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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:14 AM
Original message
Visualize 40,000...
I'm still in shock. According to Aaron Brown's report on CNN last night, 40,000 Americans have been Medivac'd either out of Iraq or Germany over the past year! 40,000!

While seeing this in my morning paper, in the corner was a wide-angle photo of the crowd at last night's Cubs game...a full house...just shy of 40,000!!! That's also the population of my rather large suburbs. It's staggering to think that many of our men and women have needed emergency flights in the past year. How many ruined and mangled lives are on those flights, and for what???? And this doesn't count those who are able to hobble onto a regular flight or the many whose injuries are mental images that will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

Am I the only one who is amazed this number isn't getting much play this morning? I just think of all the lives that are being radically changed, all for the greedy rich frat boys who refused to serve when it was their turn.

Last Friday we finally got to see the names and faces of those whose lives have already been wasted. We honor those people and I'm certain one day we'll have a special place for their memory on the National Mall. But for those who've lost, now they start their lives and move on. For those who deal with the injured, this war is just beginning. Every day is another battle just to be "normal"...take another step.

Feel free to add your own thoughts here. Supposedly CNN will be running a series on the injured in this invasion. 40,000 is a staggering number!
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Drifter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. Isn't that about ...
1 in 3 of our standing force ?

Yikes.

The meat grinder has been running a little longer than I thought. Jeeeez, at least Vietnam went about 3 years before seeing the casualty rates that we have now.

I say pull the plug, and get out while most of our soldiers are still alive.

Cheers
Drifter
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I Can't Believe That Number...
If we've had a steady force of 130,000 for the past year, and many have been on extended stays, that number real staggers.

The report mentioned lots of lost limbs and injuries that in past wars would have never left the field. Also that those who are quickly Medivac'd out and die here aren't considered KIAs...to cover this regime's ass.

My friend, sadly this war hasn't hit our streets yet. Not enough people have lost family members, and a major that have are Latinos, Blacks and Poor Whites who are ignored by our society in general and the media and this regime in specific.

I fear that it's gonna take a lot more scrambled limbs and lives...and Mr. & Mrs. Pleasant Valley Sunday realizing their Janie or Johnny could be sucked up into this quagmire (there's that word).

I'm hearing Frank's "I Don't Want To Get Drafted" right now. I miss his music and insight in these times.

Cheers!
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:04 AM
Response to Original message
3. While you're at it
wrap your brains around the reality that the injured are returning to a truncated health system. STRESSED OUT, MAXED OUT, ECONOMICALLY BURDENED FAMILIES!!! COMING SOON TO A NEIGHBORHOOD NEAR YOU!!!!
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. We'll Just Shove 'Em Away...
Just like the Vietnam Vets...hide 'em in VA Hospitals for as long as possible, then put 'em out on the streets. Treat their flesh wounds but not the mental scars. Then give them minimal care at best...adding to the burden of a healthcare system in total greed control.

It's just like the poor and the handicapped...hide those who aren't "sexy"...ignore 'em and hopefully they'll just go away. The lack of humanity in these people is so callous.

And the nerve of that asshole, O'Neill to question Kerry's purple hearts and how he got them. When that partisan bastard probably never heard a shot in anger and surely never got any medals himself.

The spinning can't continue without the truth eventually bashing these oxygen thieves in the face.
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many a good man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. That number can't be right
Iraq Coalition Casualties reports 4,133.

I think Brown must have misspoke, putting an extra zero on the end. I couldn't believe when I heard it. I hope he corrects his mistake.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Those numbers reference different things
The 4,133 wounded is DoD's official 'wounded in action' figure.

The 40,000 evacuated for medical reasons refers to how many they have brought out of Iraq for a variety of medical reasons, including 'WIA', but also 'traffic accidents', disease, psychological/psychiatric reasons, and pregnancies.

About 6 months ago, the DoD released a figure of about 18,000 who'd been evacuated for medical reasons, so the 40,000 figure now isn't out of range, considering how the last 6 months have been.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Your link doesn't go anywhere.
I'd really like to see the figures.
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Ripley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:36 AM
Response to Original message
6. I'm so glad they're covering this, CSPAN tried to say it was a lie...
This morning on Washington Journal a guy called in who was a vet. He cited that number and said it was shocking there were 40,000 medivacd home. The moderator smirked and said "caller are you sure it wasn't 4,000?" and hung up on him.

THIS KIND OF SHIT HAS TO STOP. If Brian Lamb thinks he's doing the country a service by providing information he should train his freaking moderators to not dismiss what clearly is truth and say, I didn't know that and try to look it up and verify it. I went away from the program not knowing if the guy exaggerated the number or not.

Glad CNN is finally covering these soldiers. They had become the forgotten.
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prodigal_green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 11:43 AM
Response to Original message
9. Yeah, but they were probably
just "scratches" on the forearm. Like Kerry. </sarcasm>

I'm sure the administration will continue to "supportthetroops" like they always do.

Fuckers.
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Oilwellian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
10. Link to Brown's report
Towards the bottom of the page:

BROWN: In a week when we've talked a good deal about bad apples in Iraq, it is time to talk of angels. We found these angels on a clunky airplane filled from ceiling to floor with the wounded of the Iraq war. They travel from Iraq to Germany and then on to Washington, the beginnings for many of a very long road back to health.

At every mile they travel, they're watched over and tended to by medics and nurses and doctors who have seen too much to be unchanged by a war that is still just a year old.

NEWSNIGHT's Beth Nissen made the journey with them this week.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BETH NISSEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirteen hundred hours, Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany. On approach, the day's medical evacuation flight from downrange, a C-141 Starlifter bringing in sick and wounded troops from Iraq. CAPT. DAN LEGERE, MEDICAL CREW DIRECTOR: We continuously move patients out of theater. The patients that we see, most of them have trauma of one type or another from their battle injuries.

NISSEN: The war wounded, almost 20 on this flight, are all floated on to buses that will take them to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the big Army hospital nearby. The plane is immediately reconfigured for the next medevac flight to carry another set of sick and wounded troops from Landstuhl to military hospitals in the U.S. for more surgery, treatment, long-term rehab.

SMSGT. RICKY SMITH, PRIMARY LOADMASTER: These kids, they've done their job. And it is our job to make sure they get back to medical attention and get put back together, if you will.

NISSEN: Seventeen hundred hours: 37 patients loaded on to the plane for the long flight to the U.S. Their injuries are typical of those carried on medevac flights, especially in the last five weeks, gunshot wounds to the chest and abdomen, legs and arms fractured in mortar blasts, eyes ruptured by shrapnel. Two patients are in critical condition, both with spinal chord injuries. One is on a ventilator.

For the ground and flight crews, seeing so many so badly injured is hard, yet hardens their sense of mission.

LEGERE: A few things that you see will really tug at your heart.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I just sympathize with them so much. And I just want to make sure that we do everything, everything possible for them.

NISSEN: That isn't easy on board a C-141 cargo plane, an inhospitable flying hospital. The challenges start on takeoff, especially for the critical patients.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The most dramatic thing here is when the airplane takes off and the nose pitches up, the head pitches down and kind of destabilizes things for us when that happens.

NISSEN: Changes in altitude, cabin pressure can cause drops in blood pressure. Turbulence can cause spikes in pain.

MAJ. STEVE GRIFFIN, AIRCRAFT COMMANDER: We try to watch out for it. We keep the smoothest flight that we can for our patients. It is their comfort level we're concerned about. And we try to make it as comfortable as what we can for them.

NISSEN: Things are far from comfortable for the medical flight crew. Most crew members are Air Force reservists, Air National Guard. In civilian, they are E.R. nurses, EMTs. At 30,000 feet, their work is the same, but working conditions are radically different. The light is dim. Space is cramped. Stethoscopes are useless in the roar of the C-141's engines.

TECH SGT. TIMOTHY MITZEL, MEDICAL FLIGHT CREW: We all have to wear ear plugs. We can't hear. We can't hear blood pressures. We can't hear lung sounds.

NISSEN: Crew members use monitors, use informal sign language, lean in to listen to patients. For nine hours, they work to control pain, to monitor mortar and bullet wounds.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're OK.

NISSEN: To dispense comfort.

LEGERE: The kids that we see, they've all got still that great spirit. You don't ever hear any of them complaining or whining or any of the things that you really would expect seeing the disfiguring and the severe injuries that these guys have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.

NISSEN: Twenty-two hundred hours: Andrews Air Force Base in Washington, D.C. Patients are off-loaded onto buses bound for Walter Reed Army Medical Center or Bethesda Naval Hospital. It is hard for the flight crew, especially the older ones, to see them go.

GRIFFIN: You don't look at them as some stranger that is on the other side of the world. You look at them as, wow, this could have been my son or my daughter.

NISSEN: There is little time for reflection. Within hours, the medevac missions go again, back to Germany, back downrange, back home with the latest casualties of war.

Beth Nissen, CNN.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BROWN: Since the war began, there have been 3,000 of these flights, 40,000 patients. They haven't lost one yet.

We'll check morning papers after the break.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)
CNN.com - Transcripts
http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0405/05/asb.00.html
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Thanks For The Reprint
Too bad there's not a video, where you can see some of the young bodies...in one shot all you see are some sneakers sticking out from under field blankets...or the long shot of the cabin inflight with several berth's of men hooked up to IVs and monitors. Welcome home, eh?

Either Brown or Dobbs mentioned there was going to be a series on the Medvacs and the returning wounded next week. Here's hoping this sheds some real light on the terrible situation faced by the returning wounded...both physically and emotionally.
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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #10
12. OafOfOffice
Per DU copyright rules
please post only four
paragraphs from the
news source.

Thank you.


DU Moderator
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