Humvee Help

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U.S. soldiers have been fighting in Iraq for more than a year, but some members of Congress say troops still don't have the life saving equipment they need.

"It's absolutely unacceptable to be extending these units and not giving them the equipment they need to be safe," said U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, (D) IL.

Durbin says all Humvees need armored doors and other safety equipment to protect troops from roadside bombings and ongoing insurgent attacks.

"the equipment in the field wasn't ready for the challenge. That is a sad thing to say when you consider that the lives of our soldiers are on the line. We have to move immediately and upgrade the equipment," said Durbin.

Families of soldiers with Freeport's 333rd Military Police Unit are especially concerned. When the unit was unexpectedly redeployed last month, only 13 of its 40 Humvees were equipped with the latest safety features.

"We sat here and listened to the president say our troops would have the equipment they need. And this kids don't have what they need to stay safe," said Cheri Frisbee.

Frisbee's son Josh is with the 333rd in Iraq. The unit was just redeployed unexpectedly to a new Iraqi location and now the soldier fears the worst.

"he says now we know we're not all coming home. That's hard to sit there and listen to him say something like that," said Frisbee.

In fact, the 333rd experienced its first casualty just last week. Sen. Durbin says he's written letters to top military officials. They say much of the equipment has been manufactured but it will take time to get it on the ground in Iraq, but still the military has only requested 8,400 armour kits when nearly double that is needed.