Our starving Marines
They feeding you ok? No?
Bob Kerr: The problem is strictly from hunger
01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, April 26, 2006
There's a big barrel in the lobby of the credit union on Post Road in Warwick. It's decorated with ribbons and it's there because Karen Boucher-Andoscia's son, Nick Andoscia, called and asked his mother to send food.
Nick's a Marine corporal. He was in Afghanistan last year where there was enough to eat. He's in Iraq now even though his enlistment was up last year.
He's one of those Marines who can't walk away. His unit, the 3rd Battalion of the 3rd Marines, was headed for Iraq and he just couldn't head for civilian life while those he had served with were heading to their second war.
"He extended," says Karen. "He told me, 'I really have to go. I can't let my guys go alone.' "
There are a lot of stories like that. We don't hear them much. They're kind of personal.
So Nick Andoscia went to Iraq. And hunger soon followed.
"I got a letter," says Karen. "And he had called me before that. He said 'send lots of tuna.' "
Nick told his mother that he and the men in his unit were all about 10 pounds lighter in their first few weeks in Iraq. They were pulling 22-hour patrol shifts. They were getting two meals a day and they were not meals to remember.
"He told me the two meals just weren't cutting it. He said the Iraqi food was usually better. They were going to the Iraqis and basically saying 'feed me.' "
Pounds and pounds of food started showing up amid the daily business of loans and deposits and withdrawals. Marianne Barao, the branch manager, said it could be done, the credit union could become the place where people help feed hungry Marines who are risking their lives on a skimpy diet.
"We sent out 51 pounds this week," says Karen. "There are customers coming in saying, 'What do you need?' "
The credit union is paying the cost of packing and shipping.
The last thing he should have to worry about is an empty stomach. The last thing he should have to do is approach Iraqis and ask for food.
What's even worse is that the Halliburton mess halls have left soldiers sick from spoiled and contaminated food.
posted by Steve @ 10:30:00 AM