This Should Not Be Happening

U.S. soldiers at a base in Kabul, Afghanistan. The number of medically unfit troops deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan was 10,854 in 2003. That figure slid to 5,397 in 2003, but jumped back up to 9,140 in 2007. Photo: Musadeq Sadeq, AP

More Than 43,000 Unfit Troops Deployed
By Gregg Zoroya / May 8, 2008

WASHINGTON — More than 43,000 U.S. troops listed as medically unfit for combat in the weeks before their scheduled deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003 were sent anyway, Pentagon records show.

This reliance on troops found medically “non-deployable” is another sign of stress placed on a military that has sent 1.6 million servicemembers to the war zones, soldier advocacy groups say.

“It is a consequence of the consistent churning of our troops,” said Bobby Muller, president of Veterans For America. “They are repeatedly exposed to high-intensity combat with insufficient time at home to rest and heal before redeploying.”

The numbers of non-deployable soldiers are based on health assessment forms filled out by medical personnel at each military installation before a servicemember’s deployment.

According to those statistics, the number of troops that doctors found non-deployable, but who were still sent to Iraq or Afghanistan fluctuated from 10,854 in 2003, down to 5,397 in 2005, and back up to 9,140 in 2007.

Read it here. / USA Today

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