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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Video: Rep. Young following a hearing on improvised explosive devices

20

September

WASHINGTON — The e-mail was read aloud in a hearing room Thursday morning on Capitol Hill, bringing to life a soldier's words as he cited the very conditions that would cause his death.

"As a brigade, we are averaging at a minimum an amputee a day from our soldiers because we are walking around aimlessly through grape rows and compounds that are littered with explosives," U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Sitton recently wrote to the U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores. "The morale and alertness levels on our patrols are low and it is causing casualties left and right."

On Aug. 2, Sitton and another paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division were dead, blown apart by one of the explosives he warned about.

Sitton's letter and subsequent death prompted Young, a longtime supporter of every war the United States has waged dating back to Vietnam, to change his mind about Afghanistan. He is also running for his 22nd term in Congress, prompting his Democratic opponent, Jessica Ehrlich, to question how much his conversion owes to the approaching Nov. 6 election.  (full story here)

[Last modified: Thursday, September 20, 2012 11:15pm]

    

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