Are you shocked that some soldiers are acting upon what they've heard from the man who wants to lead them?
The Army is investigating reports that several members of a reservist supply unit in Iraq refused to go on a convoy mission, the military said Friday. Relatives of the soldiers said the troops considered the mission too dangerous.
The reservists are from the 343rd Quartermaster Company, which is based in Rock Hill, S.C. The unit delivers food and water in combat zones.
According to The Clarion-Ledger newspaper in Jackson, Miss., a platoon of 17 soldiers refused to go on a fuel supply mission Wednesday because their vehicles were in poor shape and they did not have a capable armed escort.
The paper cited interviews with family members of some of the soldiers, who said the soldiers had been confined after their refusals.
Another source says:
"I got a call from an officer in another unit early (Thursday) morning who told me that my husband and his platoon had been arrested on a bogus charge because they refused to go on a suicide mission," said Jackie Butler of Jackson, wife of Sgt. Michael Butler, a 24-year reservist. "When my husband refuses to follow an order, it has to be something major."
..."They knew there was a 99 percent chance they were going to get ambushed or fired at," Hill said her daughter told her. "They would have had no way to fight back."
But as it happens:
The mission was carried out by other soldiers from the 343rd, which has at least 120 soldiers, the military said.
If I've learned anything after blogging for a while it is to treat items like this as data points and to wait a few days for the full story to come out. I don't know beyond what I've read here what motivated these men to disobey an order and make the lives of other soldiers more difficult and dangerous. I won't call them cowards and I certainly won't applaud them. I trust the authorities will investigate and do what is right in this instance whatever that is.
Maybe it's a cheap shot to lay this at the feet of Senator Kerry's rhetoric. Then again, maybe it isn't if you read the previous post.