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Posted on Feb 21, 2007 in Armchair Reading

Civil War Casualty in 2006

By Keith H. Patton

Your article brought back memories of my adolescence.  As a teenager living on Okinawa in 1966, I too had an extensive collection of artifacts collected from Sugar Loaf Ridge, Kakazu Ridge, and the Pinnacle.

I was an experienced fire arm ammunition hand loader and none of my munitions artifacts were "live".

Even the primers had been deactivated.  But that did not stop the EOD team from coming to my house in the wake of an accident similar to the one described in the article with tragic results, and taking every artifact I had, even those totally inert such as medical supplies, shrapnel, and leather equipment.  The bottom line is that in these situations, bureaucratic zeal takes over, especially if functionaries feel they need to justify their existence.

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Ensuring the public safety has nothing to do with it.

Keith H. Patton
Houston, Texas

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Keith,

Thanks very much for your email and for sharing your experiences battling bureaucracy. I think it’s a losing battle!

This is just outrageous and your experience is another example of bureaucrats gone wild. I wonder how much of your collection ended up in some bureaucrat’s collection?

Have you been following our Interactive Combat Story "At the Sharp End" about the Pacific Marine? We are featuring 3 episodes of his combat on Okinawa in 1945 which may be of interest to you. The final installment will appear in our July 2007 issue of ACG.

Thanks for your email and best wishes,

Jerry Morelock
Editor in Chief, Armchair General magazine

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