I started wondering about how many troops have been hurt in Iraq. Hurt, not killed. I started asking people. Many, incorrectly, quoted numbers close to the "casualty" (how is that for misleading?) counts reported in the mainstream media; guessing roughly around 300-1000. This is, logically, smaller than the number wounded, but by how much?|
What I found in a few google searches is really disturbing to me. Why aren't the papers reporting these numbers and stories more often? In times of declining military enlistment, I think the readers of this site know why.
So how many wounded have their been? It is hard to gauge. I can guess at this point it is well over 10,000 as indicated by this article, conveniently title "Toll on U.S. troops in Iraq grows as wounded rolls approach 10,000". A couple notes on this article:
- It is defines what is wounded in this sentence: "9,675 U.S. troops have been killed, wounded, injured such as in accidents, or become sick enough to require airlifting out of Iraq." This seems like a fair definition to me. Arguably, this could include something such as severe flu or food poisoning (etc) in the count; but it still seems like a decent way to count wounded.
- The article was written on November 28 2003 making its count certainly substantially lower than what must be the current count.
As I said, it's hard to find "official" figures (for reasons that seem obvious to me). But there are some sites that are counting wounded or at least relating their stories. In a way, these are even more powerful to me, as you can just imagine these stories being multiplied (let's be conservative) 5,000 times. An excellent -- or should I say horrific? -- example of this is the site memory hole, which recounts soldiers' tales of injuries and has photos as well. Remember, there may be as many as 10,000 (or more?) in similar state.
And what of this article from October 16, 2003: Brain injuries take toll on US soldiers? The quote that jumped out of me in this one is:
According to military officials, roughly 20 percent of the wounds suffered by the troops in Iraq have been severe brain injuries. And Major General Kevin C. Kiley, commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command, said that figure does not even take into account milder neural injuries. He estimated that as many as 70 percent of the wounds suffered by US forces in Iraq had the potential for resulting in brain injury.
Amazing. Terrifying. You do the math.
There is plenty more that can be fairly easily researched out there. (I have been searching both regular google and news.google.com, using combinations of "iraq troops wounded" or "iraq troops injured".) I guess my whole point is that, to me, this is the kind of information people need to know about. This help make people see how wrong this is.
And, finally, for those who are compassionate humans, I just want to add this to think about. These numbers, these 10,000-plus wounded, are the ones "protected" by the most advanced military power on the planet, with billions of dollars of technology. What kind of nightmarish reality must there be over there for "the enemy"? I wish I could believe the numbers were smaller. Or similar. Or even double. But we aren't even hearing about "our own" people being hurt, so I don't suspect we will ever know.