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Injured troops are on their way to Iraq.

March 12, 2007

wounded american soldiersIt’s true. Soldiers with spine injuries are packing up on a plane and heading back into the fire of war in Iraq. Soldiers too injured to wear body armour, soldiers with wounds that aren’t healed are going back for more at the calling of Bush’s plan for a troop surge.

This makes for a painfully ironic twist to the idea of the suicide bomber, doesn’t it? Is the rationale that since they’re already classified as casualties of war they won’t add to the tick marks of the wounded and dead Ameraican soldiers we’ve amassed in the name of Iraq and the War on Terror? Can you imagine how it would feel to be one of these soldiers? Insanely suicidal.

Salon has the story:

On Feb. 15, Master Sgt. Jenkins and 74 other soldiers with medical conditions from the 3rd Division’s 3rd Brigade [from Fort Benning, GA] were summoned to a meeting with the division surgeon and brigade surgeon. These are the men responsible for handling each soldier’s “physical profile,” an Army document that lists for commanders an injured soldier’s physical limitations because of medical problems — from being unable to fire a weapon to the inability to move and dive in three-to-five-second increments to avoid enemy fire. Jenkins and other soldiers claim that the division and brigade surgeons summarily downgraded soldiers’ profiles, without even a medical exam, in order to deploy them to Iraq. It is a claim division officials deny. …

One female soldier with psychiatric issues and a spine problem has been in the Army for nearly 20 years. “My [health] is deteriorating,” she said over dinner at a restaurant near Fort Benning. “My spine is separating. I can’t carry gear.” Her medical records include the note “unable to deploy overseas.” Her status was also reviewed on Feb. 15. And she has been ordered to Iraq this week.

I suppose this is just one more travesty to add to the pile. And we know there’s no point in asking if it’s going to get worse. It will.

To be clear, I’m very supportive of every American that has had to be involved in this war; I just want every one to come home safe and for this war to end.   These 74 soldiers from Georgia are an example of people that shouldn’t have to die for George Bush’s failed war in Iraq.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. March 13, 2007 9:27 am

    If America was serious about “supporting the troops,” we’d have a draft. You support troops when you create a national effort. Failing that, you take wars a hell of a lot more seriously. We’ve farmed out war to the families our government has disadvantaged with cruel economic policy. And to private contractors who are owned by the donors of the GOP. All of this contributes to distancing ourselves from the reality of war–an act that is anything but supportive.

  2. girl permalink*
    March 13, 2007 10:06 am

    That’s a really interesting take on the draft. I think you’re right…but how would the American public ever see it that way?

  3. March 14, 2007 8:56 am

    This is news to you? This is something that every Reserve and National Guard soldier already knows. I myself have a permanent profile (P-3), meaning non-deployable. When I got to the medical station at the mobilization site, the civilain women looked at my records and said “WOW you only have 1 lung! Dont worry as soon as you come back from Iraq we will redo your medical board and return it to a P-3. Then you will proabably be medicaly discharged. Again. ” And I am in no way alone in that boat. (Heart conditions, bad hearing, ect.) So now there are quite a few of us that are looking forward to a year on medical hold seperated from our families even longer at the end of our 18 month deployment. Cool huh? Somebody needs to wake up and smell the war and start the draft. I myself am not going to return for yet another tour, so sombody will have to take my place.

  4. March 15, 2007 3:54 pm

    // how would the American public ever see it that way? //

    Actually, I think they might have a more mature sense of it than we think. Mostly, the families in the military are GOP. They obviously would not be averse to a draft. Lefties would be averse to it, but if it were submitted in the terms I presented it–essentially a way to avoid non-WWII-like wars of necessity–you might find greater support. It’s impossible to not support the troops politically; if the Dems got out in front of a draft, they might find themselves in a politically strong position.

    (Are they likely to touch this with a ten-foot pole? No.)

  5. girl permalink*
    March 15, 2007 4:05 pm

    I need to educate myself more about what a draft would mean in real terms today. It seems so politically unthinkable right now that I haven’t considered it as a realistic possibility.

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