August 03, 2005

One suh-weet ride

Here's a fun news story about an American soldier's adventures buying an armoured Mercedes-Benz that formerly belonged to Saddam Hussein, and trying to get it shipped back to the U.S. Some highlights:

A year's service in Iraq gave William von Zehle a host of memories, some good, some bad. The first sergeant in the Danbury-based 411th Civil Affairs Battalion returned home from Baghdad a certified hero for his rescue efforts when terrorists destroyed the United Nations headquarters in the Iraqi capital. He helped foster democracy where it never existed and gave hope to a people still suffering the after effects of war and oppression.

He also came home with a new car, a Mercedes Benz that possibly once belonged to Saddam Hussein. . . .

"I could tell right away it was armored," von Zehle said, "and I thought that was kind of neat." . . .

After buying the car, von Zehle quickly noticed it had a few of those "extras" for which some car buyers pay thousands extra.

"One of the neat things, aside from the fact it's armored, is it has microphones that allow you to hear people talking outside the car and loudspeakers so you can talk back to them," von Zehle said. "It also had a pretty neat crowd-control device."

Although he had to dismantle it, the "crowd-control device" consisted of a series of pipes that would shoot out flames from the side of the car. "I guess it was to make sure nobody got too close," said von Zehle, who is a Wilton firefighter.

[Full Story]

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