The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.


June 13, 2007

Name: Eric Coulson
Posting date: 6/13/07
Stationed in: Ramadi, Iraq
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Milblog url:

One of the things that Americans have been concerned with as this war has moved along is whether or not we are properly equipped to carry out our missions. And rightfully so. You have paid your tax dollar, you have supported this effort, and you have sent your loved ones to fight.

Anyone who has been in the military can give you a litany of complaints. The saying "a bitchy Soldier, is a happy Soldier" exists for a reason. But I would be hard pressed to complain about most of our equipment issues.

The MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protective) vehicle has been of great debate on the internet of late. Do they cost too much? Are they really the best vehicle to replace the HUMVEE?

Well, how much is your life worth? What vehicle is going to balance all of the the needs of the military? In truth I can't answer those questions for you objectively; to me these vehicles are well worth the cost because they protect my soldiers. I received a few new ones the other day. Here I am with two of them. Framed_coulson_mraps

So thank you to the folks in the Pentagon that procured them, thank you to the folks at Force Protection and Ultra Machine and Fabrication for making them, and thank you to the American Taxpayer for paying for them.

This is the first time I have received brand new vehicles in the military. They even have the new car smell.


If they keep you and the boys safe, help bring you home in one piece, and help you fulfill your mission,...then who are we as Civi's to complain.

Keep your heads down
be safe, give 'em hell!

I am delighted with you getting new more effectively protective vehicles! Fewer names to read at my memorial makes me happy!

Did you also get fuzzy dice to hang from the mirrors? It's great to see our soldiers getting the best -- you deserve whatever it takes to keep you safe. Take care!

Love the new car smell detail and I'm glad you've got safer transportation.

Dear Eric, It is refreshing as a mother, a grandmother and a taxpayer to be thanked for anything. Let's not spin donuts in the dirt now, you might wear them out.

You definitely deserve these. Take care. And thank you!!

Break 'em in, work 'em hard, wear 'em out. Leave 'em there at a used car lot with a sign that says "beater with a heater". We'll make more when you need 'em....

I love seeing my tax dollars at work

Have bored off duty soldiers already started pimping them out?
"Better get some lipstick on that pig."

Stay Safe!

Might want to thank the media, too- remember there was a big stink made by them because the USMC procurement was dragging its heels on getting these. Course, there's probably more to it than what's in the news, but I expect it encouraged 'em to get moving a bit quicker.

Cool! they're very "mad max" scary-looking - just don't let anyone hang off the side brandishing their weapons :-) (as in the movie)

Stay safe, stay well, come home! And thank you for keeping up.

great, and only, what, four years into the war? Better get your requests in for the next generation of vehicles now, maybe we'll get them out to you by 2020.

We should all be ashamed that it took so long to get you what you need.

thrilled to see that you're FINALLY getting something that'll protect from IEDs.

awesome :D

make sure you wear your seatbelts.

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