Why the Yanks Call Us the Flintstones; War on Terror: MESSAGES HOME TELL HOW OUR TROOPS ARE MOCKED BY THE AMERICAN FORCES FOR LACK OF WATER, FOOD AND EQUIPMENT

By Freeman, Colin | The Evening Standard (London, England), March 7, 2003 | Go to article overview

Why the Yanks Call Us the Flintstones; War on Terror: MESSAGES HOME TELL HOW OUR TROOPS ARE MOCKED BY THE AMERICAN FORCES FOR LACK OF WATER, FOOD AND EQUIPMENT


Freeman, Colin, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: COLIN FREEMAN

ANGRY relatives of British soldiers serving in the Gulf are complaining that their loved ones do not have the food, equipment or weaponry to fight a successful war. These are some of the emails sent today to BBC Breakfast News, following an item about the supply problems:

"THE AMERICANS call us the Flintstones. This morning we have no running water. There's a dust storm outside and we have no sand goggles. Conditions are not glamorous here." Disgruntled pilot, Kuwait.

"Why does my son still not have a respirator or other bits of equipment that he needs? He has been in the Gulf for three weeks and he still has not had a shower."

Donna, Essex.

"My daughter is in the Middle East and tells me she has rice three times a day. Sometimes they don't even know what is with the rice. The Americans call them The Borrowers. She says 'they have burger bars, pizza huts and shops.

We have nothing.'" Shirley, Birmingham.

"My husband is in Kuwait and has lost two stone due to having only one small meal a day. He doesn't have the energy to fight. They need food desperately."

Housewife.

"My son is a helicopter pilot in the Army Air Corps. You would think that protecting eyesight was paramount. Imagine my concern when I received a letter asking me to post him ski goggles because of the sand storms."

Margaret, Tring, Hertfordshire.

"My two brothers are in the Gulf.

One is a Marine Commando and he has written home complaining of not enough food, no hot running water, no electricity and sharing a marquee with 77 other men.

"Their weapons have jammed and they have nearly been hit by friendly fire from the Americans. How can this be right? We are sending food parcels but not sure if they are getting through and this country expects him to fight."

Katie, Oxford.

"My brother is in the Gulf. We have sent him food packages. There are no proper shower or toilet facilities.

I even had to send him sunscreen."

Debbie, Cornwall.

"When my son was in Afghanistan I sent him luxury items only. This time he is writing home to ask that I send him the basics like soap and toothpaste.

He and his colleagues are very concerned that they are just not prepared for what they are being sent into." John, York.

"My daughter's fianc is with the 13th Air Assault in Kuwait. He went out on 14 February, he has sent lots of letters home to her but he has not had a single letter she has sent him.

"The British Forces' Post Office says it's getting 600 mail bags per day and they are all being sorted in a tent out there by a few people. He seems to have stopped writing now, because you could see his morale dropping lower and lower with each one." Anna Ramsden, Surrey.

"Nothing has changed, even the attitude of the politicians. As a former Royal Marine 1980-89 and having served in the Falklands, we had to take all our own kit (boots bergens, etc) and live on 24-hour rat-packs for more than the described period before fresh rations were issued.

"The MoD are again ill-prepared and don't care a hoot about the lads on the ground willing to lay down their life." Pete, Wirral.

"Things haven't changed. I was in the last Gulf war and I led a chemical recce team. It was two weeks into the war before we received our desert uniform. …

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