The morning after President Bush announces that he is sending additional troops to Iraq, we learn that a Hummer used in 2003 in the Iraq War will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson.
So, the morning after President Bush announces that he is sending an additional 21,500 troops to Iraq to try and bring some semblance of order to the country that his administration has sacked over the past four years, a press release comes over the transom announcing that a Hummer used in 2003 in the Iraq War will be auctioned at Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona, on January 20th. Proceeds will go to the Fisher House Foundation, which provides lodging for family members of military personnel who are hospitalized.
It's a nice Hummer. Called "Warrior One," it was used by CNN journalists when they were embedded with the First Battalion, 7th Marines, and it received a fancy, ground-up restoration last year at the talented hands of the crew from the TV show "Overhaulin'."; Images of service men and women and journalists have been airbrushed onto the new paint job, and the interior has been outfitted with a DVD player, four LCD monitors, and a state-of-the-art sound system. After its TV debut, it was presented to CNN employees, and then it made the rounds of various military facilities around the country, including Fort Bragg, Fort Campbell, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
I didn't see the Warrior One episode of "Overhaulin'," nor did I even know about this project until today, but I suspect this particular Hummer has been well-received wherever it's gone. The Walter Reed appearance, though, sticks in my craw. Obviously, I can't speak for the servicemen and women who are receiving treatment there, but imagine the scenario: You're in rehab at Walter Reed, trying to pull your life back together after losing a limb or an eye or both, and the military and CNN parade a gussied-up Humvee onto the medical campus for entertainment purposes. This, the same type of vehicle that has been the target of roadside bombings that have caused many of the injuries that have landed service people in places like Walter Reed to begin with. And although our disgraced former Secretary of Defense failed to properly armor these Humvees for military use, by god, this one has a DVD player and four LCD monitors! One wonders if they're screening "Apocalypse Now" on them.
I hope somebody pays a lot of money for Warrior One, because the Fisher House Foundation is a very worthwhile organization. But there's a grim irony to this vehicle's very existence.