Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On things that can be purchased for five dollars

Okay, so over at Daily Kos, Bill in Portland Maine shares a letter from the Maine Sunday Telegram. And I agree with him, it's a damn good question:
I would like to ask Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe to please help my family understand why my son, Pfc. Matthew Deister of the Maine Army National Guard's 172nd Mountain Co., has to pay for basic services while in Iraq and Kuwait.

Matthew has been deployed for 18 months and left home Feb. 1 with his unit.
Matthew and our family understand the reason for the deployment, as he enlisted during this war. But I, his father, can't understand why we are charging our soldiers for Internet and telephone services, food and even haircuts!

Did we not ask these fine men and women to go? And yet, we continue to charge them for simple services that should be provided at no cost.

Matthew has to pay $5 per hour for Internet service. Anyone who knows about the pay structure of the service can understand why this is such an outrage. Matthew makes Pfc. wages while overseas.

If you deduct what he pays for the Internet, telephone and haircuts, you can see the reason I am very angry right now. I have never been so angry about any situation. We require them to go overseas and yet continue to allow people to profit off their needs.

Richard Deister
Buxton, Maine

And what's better, BiPM wants to do something about it. E-mail him at bipm04103 (at) yahoo (dot) com to find out how your $5 donation can help Matthew and his company get in touch with their families.

And just to put things in perspective, forgoing any one of these things can save enough money to give a soldier in the 172nd an hour of Internet access:

- a Starbucks grande latte and a maple scone
- a six-pack of Warsteiner
- two gallons of regular gas in metro Atlanta
- a Wendy's value meal and medium Frosty
- a matinee of V for Vendetta
- half an hour with this chick
- one Old Navy flip-flop
- the cover charge at Scruffy Murphy's on a Friday

And remember: lighting a candle does not preclude your right to curse the damn darkness anyway.

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