They call Susie Alderson the “Mother of MRAP” for two reasons.
First, because she’s the Navy engineer who persuaded the military to embrace the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected, or MRAP, anti-landmine vehicle that is credited with saving lives in Iraq.
Second, because she’s a civilian, and a mother of young boys, who went to the war zone to find a solution to the land mine problem.
Alderson, a longtime employee at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific in Point Loma, has earned the highest honorary award given by the Marine Corps to civilian employees, in recognition of her work jump-starting production of the MRAP.
When she went to Iraq in February 2006, the request for a something like this vehicle had been made before.
But, controversially, nothing had come of it.
“What we were getting from every parent in America was ‘Protect my boy.’ We were losing a lot of people. I looked at all those 19-year-olds as my sons,” says Alderson, who now works on anti-bomb robots at SPAWAR.
“It almost became my personal vendetta. I’m getting these for you,” she says, remembering that period.
Well done. BTW, the MRAP is what was bearing down on the Afghan girl who Spc. Dennis Weichel of the Rhode Island National Guard gave his life for (RIP - http://thepoliticalforums.com/threads/2565-American-Soldier-Dies-Saving-Afghan-Girl).