Why He Popped The Question

TIME interviews the National Guard specialist who asked Donald Rumsfeld the now-infamous question about armor

If this is my 15 minutes of fame, I hope it saves a life," says Thomas "Jerry" Wilson, the National Guard specialist who unnerved Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a public forum by asking why soldiers have to scrounge for scrap metal to arm their vehicles before heading into Iraq. Wilson, 31, who joined the National Guard a few days after Sept. 11, has kept a low profile since the Dec. 8 town-hall meeting in Kuwait, even as his question--and a reporter's later account of his role in preparing it--became a hot topic. But in an interview with TIME last week,...

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