Monday, April 09, 2007

And just in case your outrage meter is running low,

Mark Benjamin has another article up in his excellent series on how the administration respects the troops - by shipping injured and traumatized soldiers right back overseas.
    April 9, 2007 | WASHINGTON -- On March 9, Army Spc. Thomas Smith was ordered to board a plane from Fort Benning, Ga., to deploy back to Iraq, even though he was known to be suffering from chronic post-traumatic stress disorder from a previous tour there. Only weeks prior, military doctors determined that Smith should not be allowed around weapons because of his PTSD symptoms, which included bouts of sudden, extreme anger. Smith's medical records, obtained by Salon, also show that doctors had "highly recommended" that Smith not be deployed because of his condition.

    But that did not stop Smith's commanders from ordering him to Iraq as his unit, the 3,900-strong 3rd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division, was rushing to move out as part of President Bush's so-called surge plan for securing Baghdad.

    "I was told to have my bags in at midnight that night," for the flight, Smith said. "I was sitting there looking at these letters in my hand from my doctors," he recalled in a telephone interview. In order to follow the doctors' recommendations, Smith said, "I had to check myself into the hospital." He avoided the flight by just a few hours. Smith's condition was serious enough that the doctors there kept him hospitalized for nearly two weeks...
Read and weep. You know the drill. How is it that the families of soldiers have the restraint not to storm congress and the White House in their fury?

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