By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer
HAMILTON - Dan Britt spent $1,340 for protective armor for his son, a former Miami University Hamilton student who will soon ship out for Iraq.
Britt, of Hamilton, two weeks ago bought the vest and bulletproof ceramic inserts from a Camp Washington company because his son, Aaron, and daughter-in-law, Desiree, Seattle residents in the Washington National Guard, were not issued the gear.
"They have nothing right now. They are being promised that they'll get it when they get there," said Britt, 55, who purchased the vest and small arms protective inserts from Reliance Armor Systems Inc., 3111 Spring Grove Ave.
An Ohio National Guard spokesman, however, says Ohio's 700 soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been issued proper protective gear.
"We are very confident that our folks have the equipment they need," said Gen. Steve Koper of the Ohio National Guard.
According to Koper, U.S. soldiers cannot go from Kuwait staging areas into Iraq without proper vests and the ceramic inserts.
But Don Budke, Reliance Armor Systems vice president, says some of his two dozen sales to soldiers or their families in the past six months have come from Iraq via e-mail.
Butler County Commissioner Michael A. Fox Monday asked County Administrator Derek Conklin to investigate whether money should be raised locally to buy the equipment for Butler County natives serving in Iraq.
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