Sunday, March 11, 2007

The outrage continues.....

The Army is ordering injured troops to go to Iraq

At Fort Benning, soldiers who were classified as medically unfit to fight are now being sent to war. Is this an isolated incident or a trend?
By Mark Benjamin

March 11, 2007 | FORT BENNING, Ga. -- "This is not right," said Master Sgt. Ronald Jenkins, who has been ordered to Iraq even though he has a spine problem that doctors say would be damaged further by heavy Army protective gear. "This whole thing is about taking care of soldiers," he said angrily. "If you are fit to fight you are fit to fight. If you are not fit to fight, then you are not fit to fight."

As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

I've been too tired and just fed the f**k up, but I saw this and wanted you all to know.

Jenkins, who is still in Georgia, thinks doctors are helping to send hurt soldiers like him to Iraq to make units going there appear to be at full strength. "This is about the numbers," he said flatly.

That is what worries Steve Robinson, director of veterans affairs at Veterans for America, who has long been concerned that the military was pressing injured troops into Iraq. "Did they send anybody down range that cannot wear a helmet, that cannot wear body armor?" Robinson asked rhetorically. "Well that is wrong. It is a war zone."

Eight soldiers who were at the Feb. 15 meeting say they were summoned to the troop medical clinic at 6:30 in the morning and lined up to meet with division surgeon Lt. Col. George Appenzeller, who had arrived from Fort Stewart, Ga., and Capt. Aaron K. Starbuck, brigade surgeon at Fort Benning. The soldiers described having a cursory discussion of their profiles, with no physical exam or extensive review of medical files. They say Appenzeller and Starbuck seemed focused on downplaying their physical problems.

Go read the whole thing and then bang your head on the computer.

Guess I'm spending the day on the phone (again)

Updated 912a Monday 3/12************

And Via Ari @ SOTU Blog, we find out this is not the first time.

Guardian UK From April '04

The Guardian has uncovered more than a dozen instances in which ill or injured soldiers were sent to war by a US military whose resources have been stretched near to breaking point by the simultaneous fronts in Afghanistan and Iraq. In its investigation, the Guardian learned of soldiers who were deployed with almost wilful disregard to their medical histories, and with the most cursory physical examinations.


At 8:46 PM, Blogger Jambon said...

I can't even say I'm surprised at this. Outraged? Yes. But not surprised. Especially after Walter Reed.

Good catch Paddy and I'm glad to see it at the top of the DK Rec list. I'm writing emails to Tom Davis, Jim Webb and John Warner as we speak. Then to the media outlets.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Fernando said...

We live in a country where kids aren't safe in there own home.

At 10:30 PM, Blogger KDJ said...

Just wrote to Allen Boyd and Bill Nelson about this issue. This is absolutely ridiculous.

At 6:25 AM, Blogger SOTU said...

We wrote on this tonight, too. Surprised it's not getting more coverage...

- Ari @


Post a Comment

<< Home