South Carolina National Guardsmen returned from Iraq.
Their equipment didn't.
The units were ordered to leave behind $50 million in equipment -- and they aren't sure if the items will ever be returned or replaced.
Among the stuff they left in Iraq -- 24 Bradley Fighting Vehicles, 169 heavy transport trucks and Humvees, and hundreds of radios, weapons, and tools.
The Charleston Post & Courier reports the South Carolina National Guard left 750 pieces of equipment in Iraq.
We've told you here before that Governors in other states are dealing with the same problem -- and worrying more about whether the National Guard will have what they need to face disasters at home.
During Hurricane Katrina, National Guardsmen complained they didn't have the communications equipment they needed to do their job right.
The Iraq War is taking a heavy toll on military equipment. Hardly any of it was designed to last for years in the extreme heat and dust of Iraq. Tanks, Humvees, and other equipment was designed for a quick war in Europe. Sand and dust destroy electronics quickly.
Taking tools away from the National Guard may extend the mission in Iraq.
It may also leave them in the lurch next time a fire or flood threatens Americans here at home. (Post & Courier)