Before entering a building, troops squirt the plastic goo, which can shoot strands about 10 to 12 feet, across the room. If it falls to the ground, no trip wires. If it hangs in the air, they know they have a problem. The wires are otherwise nearly invisible.
Shriver, along with the help of two churches and a pilot has collected a 1000 cans ready to be shipped out to Iraq.
“There’s so much that they can’t do, and they’re frustrated, but this is something they can do,” said the Rev. Joseph Capella of St. Luke’s Church in Stratford.
The Shrivers said they would not mind seeing the string as standard-issue equipment, but they don’t blame the military for not supplying it.
“I don’t think that they can think of everything,” said Ronald Shriver, 59, a retired salesman. “They’re taught to improvise, and this is something that they’ve thought of.”
Marcelle Shriver said that since the string comes in an aerosol can, it is considered a hazardous material, meaning the Postal Service will not ship it by air. But a private pilot who heard about her campaign has agreed to fly the cans to Kuwait — most likely in January — where they will then be taken to Iraq.
Shriver said she is going to continue to collect the cans of Silly String as long as her son is over in Iraq.
Battlefield “Improvisation” has led to soldiers to come up with ideas on how to make their environment safer with “low overhead.”
In other cases of battlefield improvisation in Iraq, U.S. soldiers have bolted scrap metal to Humvees in what has come to be known as “Hillybilly Armor.” Medics use tampons to plug bullet holes in the wounded until they can be patched up.
Also, soldiers put condoms and rubber bands around their rifle muzzles to keep out sand. And troops have welded old bulletproof windshields to the tops of Humvees to give gunners extra protection. They have dubbed it “Pope’s glass” — a reference to the barriers that protect the pontiff.
At our DBPK staff meeting the availability of condoms and rubber bands in Iraq was discussed. If our men and women serving Iraq or Afghanistan need more we can certainly put our heads together and have a condom roundup.
Donations, in the form of money or actual Silly String, should be sent to St.Lukes Church/55 Warwick Rd./ Stratford, NJ 08084. Checks should be made out to Marcelle Shriver.
By Little Baby Ginn
Image [Pat Dollard]
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.