20,000 wounded unlisted by the Pentagon

  1. 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.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   HM2VikingRN
    We have an obligation to care for these soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen.
  4. by   Simplepleasures
    And to add insult to injury these injured soldiers are having to FIGHT to get their SSDI benefits, even though they may be 100% disabled by the military. I have been reading some of the nightmare stories by some of these soldiers in the AARP Forums> Issues and Elections> Social Security , look under " Tell Us Your Social Security Nightmare " then look at page 22 of this thread for a post by the soldier,"smitty(smithrs)". This poor fellow took over two years to get his SSDI benefits, now he speaks to groups of wounded soldiers trying to go through the system to get their benefits, when they ask "why do we have to go to court in front of an ALJ to be approved for SSDI?", he tells them "its because your country has failed you". Makes me want to cry.
    Last edit by Simplepleasures on Nov 25, '07
  5. by   wtbcrna
    "•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.

    Soldiers and Marines whose wounds were discovered after they left Iraq are not added to the official casualty list, says Army Col. Robert Labutta, a neurologist and brain injury consultant for the Pentagon."

    The soliders that they are talking about are the ones that developed signs/symptoms later or didn't disclose them at the time of injury (possibly it was just missed during initial examination). This is much harder thing to track than someone getting an arm/leg amputated from traumatic injury.

    The VA system is a screwed up beuracratic nightmare during the best of times. The whole VA system needs to be overhauled!

    The only good news is that all of DOD and VA are working on a universal electronic medical record system that is supposed to speed up some of the process in determining disablility.