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Pentagon Sweeps 20,000 Veterans Under the Rug


Lt_Ripley

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Pentagon Sweeps 20,000 Veterans Under the Rug

Posted on Nov 23, 2007

What were they thinking?: The Pentagon has left thousands of wounded troops off its injured list, according to a study conducted by USA Today.

Roughly 20,000 soldiers who aren’t on the military’s list of combat wounded have signs of brain injury, according to an analysis of Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs data conducted by USA Today. The Pentagon’s official tally of troops who’ve suffered brain trauma in combat is 4,471—one-fifth the total gleaned from military records.

USA Today:

At least 20,000 U.S. troops who were not classified as wounded during combat in Iraq and Afghanistan have been found with signs of brain injuries, according to military and veterans records compiled by USA Today.

The data, provided by the Army, Navy and Department of Veterans Affairs, show that about five times as many troops sustained brain trauma as the 4,471 officially listed by the Pentagon through Sept. 30. These cases also are not reflected in the Pentagon’s official tally of wounded, which stands at 30,327.

The number of brain-injury cases were tabulated from records kept by the VA and four military bases that house units that have served multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

usatoday

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"Roughly 20,000 soldiers who aren’t on the military’s list of combat wounded have signs of brain injury, according to an analysis of Army, Navy and Veterans Affairs data conducted by USA Today ..."

Since WHEN is the newspaper USA Today qualified to base medical decisions from mere records?

Doesn't a physician determine whether a veteran suffered brain damage?

This is yet another example of the media creating the news, not reporting it.

USA Today is hardly qualified to say, "Yep, this soldier has brain damage ... nope, this one doesn't ... yep, this one does ..."

But that's what it's doing.

And asking the veterans themselves is equally unreliable, in this age of litigation and the prospect of a veteran winning a lawsuit worth millions.

I have more far more faith in the judgement of a physician than a reporter --- and I was a reporter for 12 years!

The sorry state of journalism today drove me out.

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The rest of the article goes on to say:

The data came from:

• Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center in Germany, where troops evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan for injury, illness or wounds are brought before going home. Since May 2006, more than 2,300 soldiers screened positive for brain injury, hospital spokeswoman Marie Shaw says.

• Fort Hood, Texas, home of the 4th Infantry Division, which returned from a second Iraq combat tour late last year. At least 2,700 soldiers suffered a combat brain injury, Lt. Col. Steve Stover says.

• Fort Carson, Colo., where more than 2,100 soldiers screened were found to have suffered a brain injury, according to remarks by Army Col. Heidi Terrio before a brain injury association seminar.

• Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, where 1,737 Marines were found to have suffered a brain injury, according to Navy Cmdr. Martin Holland, a neurosurgeon with the Naval Medical Center San Diego.

• VA hospitals, where Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have been screened for combat brain injuries since April. The VA found about 20% of 61,285 surveyed — or 11,804 veterans — with signs of brain injury, spokeswoman Alison Aikele says. VA doctors say more evaluation is necessary before a true diagnosis of brain injury can be confirmed in all these cases, Aikele says.

I don't think it was just a reporter ticking off keywords in medical records...

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