License to Live

The Oklahoma House of Representatives recently passed legislation to create “Patriot Plates,” special license plates which help buy body armor for Oklahoma troops sent to Iraq.

For every $35 plate purchased, the state will donate twenty bucks to a special fund to buy bulletproof vests and other pieces of armor to keep soldiers safe.

The legislation was proposed by State Rep. Ryan Kiesel, who said he got the idea after meeting with soldiers from his district. “They were being sent to Afghanistan or Iraq with no body armor or Vietnam-era body armor.”

There have been stories for years now about soldiers scrounging in scrap yards for homemade armor, about parents personally buying flack jackets to their sons and daughters, and about the tragic and unnecessary deaths of soldiers who never got the armor and equipment they needed. I’m glad someone’s stepping up to take care of our men and women on the front lines. But isn’t Donald Rumsfeld ashamed other people have to pick up his slack? Isn’t arming and protecting America’s soldiers his job?