Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Army Takes Care of Its Own?

I read an article recently in the Poughkeepsie Journal that said our troops are at an increased risk of identity theft. Why? Because the military insists on using the social security number as an identification number. When I entered the Army back in the late 1960s, I was issued an Army ID number that began with “RA” (meaning Regular Army). Draftees had numbers beginning with “US” and those in the National Guard had numbers that began with “NG”. After I was in the Army for a while, the military did away with the unique ID number and went to the social security number instead. So “name, rank, and serial number” became “name, rank, and social security number.”

Even though identify theft is commonplace, the military has been slow to take action to protect its personnel. The answer is simple, go back to the military “serial number.” It’s not that difficult, and it would give our military personnel some degree of protection. I don’t know why the military has been so slow in implementing this simple change.

Actually, I do know why. The military does not take care of its own, much as they like to claim that they do. Our military used Agent Orange in Viet Nam, putting our troops at great risk. Although the military may not have realized how dangerous it was, there should have been more testing done before Agent Orange was deployed and our troops exposed to it.

In the Gulf War, the military forced experimental vaccines on our troops, which may have contributed to what has come to be known as Gulf War Syndrome (in addition to exposure to pesticides and other toxic chemicals). For more of an analysis on the Gulf War Syndrome and its possible causes, go to www.ei-resource.org.

To protect those who protect us, write your congressman and tell them to put pressure on the Pentagon to do the right thing and go back to a military identification number.

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