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You're never too injured

Seems as though the surge in Iraq is going so well that not only do we need to make it even surgeier but we are so hard pressed for warm bodies that the Bushies are sending injured soldiers back to the front lines.
As the military scrambles to pour more soldiers into Iraq, a unit of the Army's 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Ga., is deploying troops with serious injuries and other medical problems, including GIs who doctors have said are medically unfit for battle. Some are too injured to wear their body armor, according to medical records.

And how do Army officials determine these soldiers are fighting fit and ready to be deployed? Do they give them thorough medical exams and physicals? Nope. They're fit because the Bushies say they are.
On Feb. 15, Master Sgt. Jenkins and 74 other soldiers with medical conditions from the 3rd Division's 3rd Brigade were summoned to a meeting with the division surgeon and brigade surgeon. These are the men responsible for handling each soldier's "physical profile," an Army document that lists for commanders an injured soldier's physical limitations because of medical problems -- from being unable to fire a weapon to the inability to move and dive in three-to-five-second increments to avoid enemy fire. Jenkins and other soldiers claim that the division and brigade surgeons summarily downgraded soldiers' profiles, without even a medical exam, in order to deploy them to Iraq. It is a claim division officials deny.

And for those of you who might be thinking these troops are complaining about minor injuries like stubbed toes or bone spurs, think again. Some are so injured they can't even wear protective gear (if they are even issued any of course).
Master Sgt. Jenkins, 42, has a degenerative spine problem and a long scar down the back of his neck where three of his vertebrae were fused during surgery. He takes a cornucopia of potent pain pills. His medical records say he is "at significantly increased risk of re-injury during deployment where he will be wearing Kevlar, body armor and traveling through rough terrain."...

One female soldier with psychiatric issues and a spine problem has been in the Army for nearly 20 years. "My [health] is deteriorating," she said over dinner at a restaurant near Fort Benning. "My spine is separating. I can't carry gear." Her medical records include the note "unable to deploy overseas." Her status was also reviewed on Feb. 15. And she has been ordered to Iraq this week...

The captain interviewed by Salon also requested anonymity because he fears retribution. He suffered a back injury during a previous deployment to Iraq as an infantry platoon leader. A Humvee accident "corkscrewed my spine," he explained. Like the female soldier, he is unable to wear his protective gear, and like her he too was ordered to Iraq after his meeting with the division surgeon and brigade surgeon on Feb. 15. He is still at Fort Benning and is fighting the decision to send him to Baghdad. "It is a numbers issue with this whole troop surge," he claimed. "They are just trying to get those numbers."...

More from BarbinMD.

(Filed at State of the Day)

The problem is that Bush has got to scare up 8500 more troops, and you got a choice between untrained (lightly trained) guardsmen, or fully trained, but injured, active duty troops.

A choice either of which can cost someone their life. But then, Bush never really thinks that far ahead. He's just looking for his next Mission Accomplished moment.

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