500 Amputees

Another milestone for Chimpy’s Vanity War.

The giant transport planes unload their sad cargo at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, the first stop home for the most seriously injured Americans of the Iraq war. Arriving virtually every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday nights for the past four years, the parade of wounded warriors may be one of the most predictable events in an otherwise unruly conflict.

Last Tuesday marked another grim milestone: the arrival of the 500th amputee. Army officials said the victim, a 24-year-old corporal, lost both legs in a roadside bomb explosion on January 12. He was treated at the military hospital in Landstuhl, Germany, before landing at Andrews and being taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The corporal became the newest resident of Ward 57, the hospital’s renowned amputee center that has swelled with casualties since 2003. Limb-loss has occurred twice as often in Iraq as in any conflict of the past century, except for Vietnam, for which there are no good statistics. The 500 major amputations — toes and fingers aren’t counted — represent 2.2% of the 22,700 U.S. troops wounded in action. But the number rises to 5% in the category of soldiers whose wounds prevent them returning to duty.


6 thoughts on “500 Amputees

  1. Let me ask a dumb question:
    Just to get somewhere to start discussion: considering the medical care these 500 folks need and also any lost wages, $ 30,000 per person per year seems a reasonable guess (probably low. Interestingly, a lot of life insurance policies have riders that they will go ahead and pay for someone who loses their dominant hand). 500 times $ 30,000 is 1.5 million a year just for these 500 folks.
    I assume Chimpy is increasing funding for the VA? (silly me).
    He’s going to decrease taxes?
    And we haven’t even started talking about other folks injured by the War.

  2. Also worthy of reminder:
    SecDef Rumsfeld REFUSED TO GIVE CONGRESSIONALLY ORDERED MEDICAL TESTS to soldiers before deployment.
    The law, ordering a battery of baseline testing, was partly in order to document preexisting non-symptomatic illness which shouldn’t be blamed on the various toxins of warfare.
    Instead of those lawfully-required medical tests — Rumsfeld yucked it up while passing out a QUESTIONAIRE.
    [Of course, no one in the military will CONFESS to illness, even when ordered to do so, so the act by Rumsfeld was one of defiance to the Congress of the United States, and disregard for the heath of our troops — an attitude he then demonstrated again in the casual under-armoring and the bad lie covering up for it that he told, and indeed in failing to order Al-Qaqaa locked down immediately (and in fact AT ALL).]

  3. Editor, it’s certainly conceivable that 100,000 soldiers have a high risk of being no longer fertile, or of producing birth defects, if they are in fact able to stay mentally and emotionally healthy enough to start new marriages — since the long deployments are destroying families and careers right and left.
    And just think of what the Nuking of Iran will do for OUR soldiers. Those gamma and X rays are just great for the gonads.
    The 91 Gulf War disabled have swelled to something like 100,000 troops treated for major illnesses.

  4. This amputation stuff is all bad enough. But what if people heard about those who came home with, well, ummmmm, some other bits missing. I mean, DOUBLE amputees, right? … there are thingies in between those lower doubles, I think, that also could have been damaged, at least. Surely, more than one or two returnees had some tragic injury of that sort, no? Any statistics to be found out there, anyone?
    Now THAT would turn some fence sitters around, maybe. (Or maybe not…)

  5. Bremer’s first two actions, CPA Order 1 & 2, deBaathified to four levels and disbanded the entire Iraqi security force (police and military), sending them home with their AK-47s.
    In so doing, Bremer betrayed the overt Pentagon plan, which from the start was BASED on the idea that those forces would be available to stabilize the country. Thanks, Jerry!
    In so doing, Bremer helped bring about what his boss Kissinger said in early 2004, to his Saudi clients: “There is no more Iraq. There will be three territories.”
    Shockingly, the Pentagon had already betrayed the troops by then — having completely failed to guard the munitions dump at Al-Qaqaa, allowing 380 metric tons of high-explosives to fall into the hands of the insurgency.
    Gw and his SecDef wrote NO orders to guard that materiel — even after in person briefings and warnings, and AlBaradei’s report to the UNSC just before the illegal invasion.
    Bushco supplied the high-explosives for the IEDs, and Bremer supplied the manpower to the insurgency.
    Mission Accomplished.

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