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Oklahoma soldier in Iraq says meals cut

Oklahoman Modified: April 24, 2008 at 5:49 pm •  Published: April 24, 2008
Congressional lawmakers from Oklahoma are looking into allegations that members of the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th Infantry Brigade are not being regularly fed in Iraq.

U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., placed a formal request Thursday for the Army to investigate the allegations, Fallin spokesman Alex Weintz said.

The father of an Oklahoma soldier first notified Oklahoma City television station KOCO after receiving an e-mail from his daughter, Kristy Fleshman, a member of the Oklahoma National Guard serving in Iraq.

"I have the ultimate respect for our military and for the job they do and for the sacrifices they make for the well-being of all of us," Howard Fleshman told KOCO. "And, so it's only out of this concern and the concern for the well-being of Oklahoma soldiers that I'm raising this issue in the first place."

Weintz said Fallin's office was told members of the 45th at Camp Bucca were working 9-hour shifts without being served lunch.

"Having heard those reports, our office contacted the Oklahoma National Guard, and Rep. Fallin herself contacted (Maj.) Gen. Galen Jackman at the Pentagon," Weintz said.

Jackman is the Army's Chief of Legislative Liaison and works with members of Congress.

U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., also was notified and is looking into the matter, a spokeswoman for Cole's office said Thursday.

Members of the Oklahoma National Guard's 45th are serving at Camp Bucca, which is near Umm Qasr, a port city in southern Iraq, Weintz said.