Friday, December 05, 2003
KRT Wire | 12/05/2003 | Denial of Purple Heart medals raises questions about casualty count
GULFPORT, Miss. - (KRT) - An influential Mississippi congressman has raised the possibility that the Pentagon has undercounted combat casualties in Iraq after he learned that five members of the Mississippi National Guard who were injured Sept. 12 by a booby trap in Iraq were denied Purple Heart medals.
The guardsmen were wounded by an artillery shell that detonated as their convoy passed the tree in which it was hidden, but their injuries were classified as "noncombat," according to Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss. Taylor, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, learned of the classification when he visited the most seriously injured of the guardsmen, Spc. Carl Sampson, 35, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
"How could no one have caught this?" Taylor said.
How, indeed. Many of us have felt for some time that the Pentagon is underreporting casualties in Iraq; this lends some credence to that idea.
posted by lazarus |