Thursday, February 26, 2009

The toll

In Iraq:

1.6 Million Deployed, 4,232 Killed,
30,981 Wounded, 180,633 Disability Claims, 2,095 Compensated.

The 30,981 wounded figure is those that the DoD officially recognizes as being wounded "in combat". The actual figure is more than four times that total. If you lose your arm because you were driving a supply truck and an IED went off next to the truck, you are not listed as being wounded "in combat" because you are not a combat soldier and nobody was shooting at you (being blown up, apparently, does not count as being shot at). Similarly, if you were in the loo at your base and a mortar shell falls near you and blows off all three of your legs, you aren't counted as "wounded in combat" because you weren't "in combat" -- you were in the loo. The DoD has been using all sorts of stratagems of that sort to deny veterans the compensation and medical care they deserve for serving in a war zone. It's important to know that, when you look at the difference between wounded, disability claims, and compensated in the numbers above. It is a disgrace and should be front-page news in every newspaper in America, yet for some reason, is not...

-- Badtux the Military Penguin


  1. It is a sickening thought to realize that the DoD uses the same type of thinking that the worst HMO's use to deny claims.

  2. The U.S. spends 48% of the $1.4 some odd trillion the world spends on war.
    No peace yet.
    That's worse than the return on our health care costs.

  3. It is a disgrace and should be front-page news in every newspaper in America, yet for some reason, is not...

    Could it have something to do with that thing you bang on about, the right-wing control of the meeja?

    And Americans are so disconnected from the military. Aside from the 2% of the population directly involved with the armed services, how many Americans have a gut-level feel for what's going on with military men and women? Of the people whose family members are actually serving, I reckon it breaks 50-50 between those who are outraged about the shoddy treatment, and those who have ideological blinders on and say "I must not criticise the Establishment, because that would make me one of those gay leftists who I hate."

  4. Bush/Cheney should be hunted down and charged with war crimes and sentenced to life w/o parole, period.

  5. Thanks for your post. It is a terrible situation and a remedy should be just as important as getting out troops home.

  6. This statement is completely inaccurate. Wounded is wounded no matter what you were doing when it happened.,

  7. Yes and no. Combat-related injuries are treated differently from non-combat-related injuries, and if the DoD classifies them differently, that has direct impact upon eligibility for services upon returning home. For example, the military disability system is only required to provide disability payments for combat-related injuries, not for non-combat-related injuries, and the VA medical system is only required to provide health care for combat-related injuries, not for non-combat-related injuries. So if you get your legs blown off while sitting on the loo and your wound is declared to be "non-combat-related", it definitely results in different post-severance rights than if it had been declared to be "combat-related". Your CO probably didn't tell you this, but your CO is required by Pentagon policy to lie to you. So it goes.

    - Badtux the Military Penguin


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