An American GI assigned to one of the harshest posts in Iraq had a simple request last week for a Wisconsin mattress company: send some floor mats to help ease the hardship of sleeping on the cold, bug-infested ground.
What he got, instead, was a swift kick from the company's Web site, which not only refused the request but added insult to injury with the admonition, "If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq."
Army Sgt. Jason Hess, stationed in Taji, Iraq, with the 1st Cavalry Division, said he emailed his request to Discount-mats.com because he and his fellow soldiers sleep on the cold ground, which contains sand mites, sand flies and other disease carriers.
In his email, dated Jan. 16, 2007, he asked the Web-based company, registered to Faisal Khetani, an American Muslim of Pakistani descent:
"Do you ship to APO (military) addresses? I'm in the 1st Cavalry Division stationed in Iraq and we are trying to order some mats but we are looking for ships to APO first."
On the same day, Hess received this reply:
We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.
Khetani on Monday told FOX News that the person responsible for the email reply had been fired. The Web site, meanwhile, has been temporarily taken down.
Hess emailed that he has since found two mat suppliers willing to ship to an APO address in Iraq.
FOX News' Douglas Kennedy contributed to this story.