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Two and a half years after the fall of Saddam Hussein the Iraq war is proving no exception. While much was made of the US death toll recently reaching 2,000, little has been said of the 15,000 who have returned home mutilated.There are actually two lies in one in the above claim regarding the wounded - one is the total number, and the second is the implication that they've been discarded and forgotten. We debunked them both here.
As we noted then regarding the actual count of wounded troops, There is nothing to celebrate in the numbers of injured, nothing can make war less ugly than it is. In spite of that, folks like those who write for the Telegraph feel compelled to toss out outlandishly exagerated claims of "15,000 mutilated" - we are left to make our own assumptions as to why the truth isn't good enough for their purposes.
To update the real numbers on Iraq:
The columns on the right represent wounded in action, returned to duty (WIA RTD) and wounded in action not returned to duty (WIA not RTD). The total is most likely the source of the frequently misused 15,000 number. The distinction between the two categories is made at the 72 hour point - anyone not able to return to duty in that time is classifed as "not RTD". 7,250 GIs have been thus classified - a number less than half of the total.
We can look still deeper into the numbers. The Army provides monthly updates of numbers of soldiers actually evacuated from Iraq as a result of wounds. Since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 2,791 soldiers have been wounded in action seriously enough to require evac to Army medical facilities. (Note: this figure does not include other branches of service.)
That same report doesn't shy away from presenting numbers of amputees from all branches of service treated in Army hospitals:
These numbers represent persons treated in Army hospitals. They represent numbers of persons sustaining the loss of hands, feet, arms and/or legs; they do not include the loss of fingers and/or toes.So there you have it - the real numbers. As noted, nothing to celebrate, but certainly a far cry from "15,000 who have returned home mutilated".
214 Army soldiers, 34 of whom are multiple amputees
68 Marines, 10 of whom are multiple amputees
4 Navy sailors, no multiple amputees
3 Air Force amputees, 1 of whom is a multiple amputee
Total of 280 service member amputees treated in Army hospitals
As for the Telegraph's claim that the wounded have been forgotten - you have an opportunity to make sure that's not true of you.
Project Valour IT is an effort to get voice-activated laptop computers to those GIs whose wounds prevent them from operating the types you and I likely take for granted. These put them back in touch with the world - and enable guys like Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss to tell the real story of what it's like to be a recovering soldier at Walter Reed.
Make a difference, give all you can.
(Original post: 2005-11-04 20:11:19)
This also doesn't take into account the fact that the evac policy changed half-way through OIF I. Early on, if you made it to the CSH, you were evac'd out of theater...period. The guys at 30th MEDCOM saw that we were losing too many soldiers who could have easily been returned to duty after the 72hr window and changed the theater evac policy. I don't know how many of those early evac's would have been turned around later on after had they been under the new policy...Posted by armynurseboy at November 4, 2005 10:40 PM
I'll just leave it to our fore-fathers..........
"The man who never looks into a newspaper is better informed than he who reads them; inasmuch as he who knows nothing is nearer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors. It is a melancholy truth that a suppression of the press could not more completely deprive the nation of its benefits than is done by its abandoned prostitution to falsehood."--Thomas Jefferson
It appears that only the dates have changed.Posted by jmiller at November 6, 2005 09:40 PM
Wanted to click on "make a donation" but it says there's a problem with the paypal address.
I'll keep checking back though. Just wanted to let you know.
RosePosted by Rose at November 21, 2005 02:27 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(3) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)