My opinions on the US military have always been somewhat divided. On the one hand, I question the necessity of both recent wars in the Middle East. On the other hand, I admire the bravery and sacrifice of those who actually participated.

It’s one thing to love your country. It’s something else entirely to take up arms and prove that fact.

Perhaps my latter opinions are why I reacted so angrily to a recent discovery on Amazon.com. While researching a new pair of hiking boots (wife’s orders), I came across a surprising area of demand for such products.

Not just beginner hikers like myself, but US troops. Read enough customer reviews for hiking boots, and eventually, you’ll find at least one soldier commenting on their ability to tackle the desert heat.

Now, call me naive but I was surprised to learn this.

I always thought that when you pick up a gun, travel half way around the world to defend America, the US government would be willing to supply you with a pair of shoes up to the job. You know, you are volunteering to be shot at….

Well apparently, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong, US soldiers are indeed provided with all necessary equipment. It’s just that apparently, said equipment is about as well chosen as this countries military action.

The best hiking boots are designed to be comfortable and to provide as much stability and traction as possible. Government issues boots, on the other hand, seem to be designed with little else in mind except saving money.