Sunday, July 10, 2005

Mindnumbingly Painful to Read

Riggsveda has a very important post up over at Corrente that is very, mindnumbingly painful to read and think about. It is something everyone should read. Sorrowfully the people who should read it most are the most likely not to. The article comments on an article in the July Harper's (only available in print)by Ronald Glasser, A War Of Disabilities:
"Some 12,500 American G.I.s have been wounded in Iraq. Eight soldiers have been wounded for every one killed, about double the rate for Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War. The percentage of soldiers who have undergone amputations is about twice that of any of our past military conflicts; nearly a quarter of all the wounded suffer from traumatic head injuries, far more than in our other recent wars...The true legacy of this war will be seen not in the memorials to those lost forever but in the cabinets of files in the neurosurgical and orthopedic wards at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in the backlog of cases at Veterans Affairs."

The net result is that with all of our advances in combat medicine and protective armor we are helping more and more soldiers avoid deadly injuries and we are keeping them alive longer. The fact that we are saving what, in a past war, would have been a dead soldier is wonderful news but it is coming with some additional pain. Evidently the ceramic plates inside the Kevlar vests have been very effective:
"This body armor protects the chest, back, and upper abdomen, preventing damage to the torso and allowing many soldiers to survive other serious injuries."

while we continue to focus as wring our hands over the dead I am concerned that the wounded and maimed are getting short shrift. It is obvious from news stories that that the VA is overwhlemed and underbuget by probably billions of dollars. The article later quotes Max Cleland,
"The VA can't handle what they have to do now; how are they going to handle the flood of physical and emotional casualties, many of whom will be the responsibility of the VA for the rest of their lives?" (Emphasis mine.)

Bush and company have made and will probably continue to make cuts in social programs and other entitlements that directly and indirectly have an impact on these men and women maimed by Bush and his minions. Where is the support going come from for these people? Maybe if some of the blogiverse contiue to write about this tragedy it will have some impact. Regardless you should read Riggsveda'a piece.

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