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WNY Congresswoman speaks out against fatal flaws in body armor

Body armor used in war
Department of Defense photo
Body armor used in war

By Eileen Buckley

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wbfo/local-wbfo-982627.mp3

Buffalo, NY – Western New York Congresswoman Louise Slaughter is speaking out against fatal flaws in body armor used by U.S. Marines and soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Slaughter is calling on the Department of Defense to implement recommendations issued in a report by the Inspector General earlier this month.

Congresswoman Slaughter tells WBFO News she is livid over the results of testing that found 80% of Marines serving in Iraq, who were shot in the upper body, died due to inadequate body armor.

"We were sending those young people off to fight on our behalf. We were obliged to make sure the equipment was more than adequate," said Congresswoman Slaughter.

But it's not a new problem. According to Slaughter it's been going on since the Bush Administration in 2006.

"I think it was to reward people with contracts...this was in the Rumsfeld days," said Slaughter.

Slaughter said its impossible to tell how many may have died because of the flawed armor.

In past practices, the body armor did not come back when a solider or marine died. But Slaughter said that has changed. It comes back with the body to be tested in Washington.

Still Slaughter is skeptical. She received a call from her district who said they lost a relative on July 30th.

"So obviously we still have bad armor out there," said Slaighter.

In 2009, following a report that revealed the body armor failed tests, the army recalled more than 16,000 sets.