Taking Texas And The Nation Back

Broken Iraqi Soldiers – Broken American Soldiers

Posted by bosskitty on May 6, 2007

Thanks To You: Karin Brulliard, Washington Post Staff Writer for bringing this to America’s attention. I have paraphrased her article and added my own comments to this sad state of affairs.
Of Iraq’s 120,000 soldiers, advancing to the front lines of the war, more are being wounded. But, because there are no Iraqi military hospitals, thousands have been left to the mercy of overtaxed and corrupt civilian hospitals and a military compensation system paralyzed by red tape and disorganization, according to soldiers, family members, doctors and military officials. Many, feeling abandoned, turn to their families for help. Families must buy and bring everything from crutches, wheelchairs, medication, tip or bribe nurses to administer shots, bring food and juice. After all that, wounded Iraqi soldiers must still contribute his entire salary to pay for treatment and medication.

Heres the spin: U.S. military officials who work with the Defense Ministry say Iraq’s capacity to care for its troops has greatly improved, but remains hampered by its reliance on public hospitals, which deteriorated under economic sanctions in the 1990s.
Though Iraqis fight alongside Americans, their destinies diverge upon injury. Wounded U.S. soldiers are typically flown, within one day, to a first-class military hospital in Germany. Then, within 72 hours, they arrive at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where amputees receive extensive rehabilitation and prosthetic limbs at a cost to taxpayers of $58,000 to $157,000 per soldier, according to a 2006 study by the American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Institution.
Iraq’s Defense Ministry has recorded 3,700 injured soldiers since the war began, but officials say the true figure is probably double that. The Congressional Research Service estimates that more than 33,000 Iraqi security force members — about two-fifths of whom are soldiers — were wounded by late April 2006. Last year, then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Iraqi forces were wounded at about twice the rate of American troops. About 25,000 U.S. soldiers had been injured as of this May 1, according to the Department of Defense.

Saddam Hussein’s, Military hospitals were looted during the war and their doctors fled. So while some seriously injured Iraqi soldiers now receive initial treatment at sophisticated U.S. military facilities in Iraq, they must recover in public hospitals where medicines and highly trained staff are scarce. There is one military prosthetics clinic in the country, little in the way of mental health services and no burn center.

Quotes: “U.S. soldiers have access to rehab and prosthetics that are obviously better than what Iraqis have,” said Maj. Brian Krakover, 32, emergency room physician at the U.S. military hospital in Baghdad’s Green Zone. “It really makes the sacrifice that these guys make so significant, knowing that if they get hurt they don’t have the potential future that, say, a 20-year-old U.S. soldier who gets his legs blown off would have. They are really sticking their necks out here.”

And so:
While several aid organizations focus on the civilian victims of Iraq’s violence, none has stood up for injured soldiers. “No one is paying attention, unfortunately,” said Said Arikat, a spokesman for the United Nations in Baghdad.

The 74-bed Medical City, a sprawling complex in central Baghdad, where quick dismissals are routine, officials say they keep unstable Iraqi patients as long as possible but must maintain space for the next wave of casualties.

Family members must follow ambulances carrying their injured relatives in their car with their guns ready — insurgents are known to ambush ambulances carrying soldiers.
There are few doctors, so injured must hire private physicians to stitch up stumps. Relatives scrub rooms daily, because no janitors came. The hospitals do not have the painkillers and antibiotics patients need, so family members must buy them — at $15 a day — from outside pharmacies. They must “tip” a nurses $6 a day to administer injections and clean wounds.

Please follow this link to Washington Post the details about the RED TAPE that wounded Iraqis must navigate.

So, we are the Liberators! We are the privileged! We, who acknowledge the inadequate VA in this country and the terrible conditions we offer our own wounded. Yet, the Iraqis we use to control their own country are left to their own devices, which are pretty limited and extremely dangerous. Where does this take us? Where does this leave the Iraqis? Whether we go or stay is of little consequence at this point, yet so much lip service is being given to this issue. We are still the country of WE BROKE IT, YOU FIX IT!


5 Responses to “Broken Iraqi Soldiers – Broken American Soldiers”

  1. kayinmaine said

    Sad. 😦

  2. nytexan said

    I was also sad when I read the post, but then I had to think why would we give a hoot about the Iraqi soldiers when we don’t even take care of our own.

  3. bosskitty said

    What’s really sad is that this is not a topic ANY politicians will touch. I am convinced it really does not matter to the Iraqi people whether we stay or go. It does matter to those Americans who contribute their family members blood.

  4. I believe the answer lies in providing a solution, not griping about the problem. On Second Chance to Live, I provide encouragement, motivation and empowerment to the wounded soldier to live life on life’s terms. Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up.

    My name is Craig J. Phillips and I am a traumatic brain injury survivor as well as a master’s level rehabilitation counselor. Through out my lifetime, I have taught myself how to overcome many insurmountable odds. These strategies have helped me to prosper and succeed. On February 6, 2007, I decided to start a blog at / Second Chance to Live presents topics that motivate encourage and empower the reader. As a tbi survivor, I can speak from my experience, strength and hope. As a professional, I provide information to encourage, motivate and empower both disabled and non-disabled individuals. Our circumstances are not meant to keep us down, but to build us up. Second Chance to Live empowers the readers to live life on life’s terms.

    Please read my post, as that will help you understand more about my background. Professionally speaking, I have nursing training on the LPN level, I have an undergraduate degree in Theology, with a minor in Physical Education / Recreation, and a masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. I have practical experience with in nursing, emergency medicine, physical education, private and public rehabilitation, chemical dependency counseling, day treatment and partial hospitalization for mentally ill adults, and I have worked with in both the cemetery and funeral industries. In addition I have been pursuing my own personal empowerment for the last 30 years. Please consider sharing my site with anyone who needs to be encouraged, motivated or empowered.

    Per my traumatic brain injury, at the age of 10, I was in a motor vehicle accident. Upon impact — the Cadillac hitting our VW Beetle — I was thrown forward from where I sat, behind my father who was driving. On my way forward, I snapped my left femur on my Dad’s bucket seat and then hit the windshield. When my head hit the windshield, I sustained an open skull fracture. The injury to my brain resulted in my remaining in a coma for 3 weeks. Upon waking from what I thought was a bad dream, I found my left leg elevated and in traction. Slowly, it became apparent that I was not merely in a bad dream. Although I am unable to remember much from that time in my life, one memory stands out. The right side of my forehead — where the fracture occurred — was depressed inward like a shallow bowl. I later learned that my right frontal lobe had been damaged, that I had sustained a severe brain contusion, and that my brain stem had been impacted.

    In 1967 neurological rehabilitation was not available. As a result, I was virtually on my own. I had to re-teach myself how to walk, talk, read, write and speak in complete sentences. Although my injuries were life threatening and I was not expected to succeed beyond high school, I went on to obtain both my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I have learned that daunting pessimism and negativity is pointless. My hope is that through visiting my site, those individuals who may have lost hope will see a new light. This light will in turn guide them to a renewed hope, an array of possibilities, and a new zest for living.
    Second Chance to Live, will enable the reader to live life on life’s terms.

    Please share my site with both disabled and non-disabled individuals.

    Thank you for your time and kindness,

    Respectfully yours,

    Craig J. Phillips MRC, BA

  5. nytexan said

    Thank you for your comments. I will visit your site.

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