Monday, October 20, 2003
buying their own toilet paper
check this article from Military.com out. this is ridiculous.
A few quotes:
" FORT STEWART - Hundreds of sick and wounded U.S. soldiers including many who served in the Iraq war are languishing in hot cement barracks here while they wait, sometimes for months, to see doctors.
"The National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers' living conditions are so substandard, and the medical care so poor, that many of them believe the Army is trying push them out with reduced benefits for their ailments. One document shown to UPI states that no more doctor appointments are available from Oct. 14 through Nov. 11 - Veterans Day."
" Soldiers here estimate that nearly 40 percent of the personnel now in medical hold were deployed to Iraq. Of those who went, many described clusters of strange ailments, like heart and lung problems, among previously healthy troops. They said the Army has tried to refuse them benefits, claiming the injuries and illnesses were due to a "pre-existing condition," prior to military service.
"Most soldiers in medical hold at Fort Stewart stay in rows of rectangular, gray, single-story cinder block barracks without bathrooms or air conditioning. They are dark and sweltering in the southern Georgia heat and humidity. Around 60 soldiers cram in the bunk beds in each barrack.
"Soldiers make their way by walking or using crutches through the sandy dirt to a communal bathroom, where they have propped office partitions between otherwise open toilets for privacy. A row of leaky sinks sits on an opposite wall. The latrine smells of urine and is full of bugs, because many windows have no screens. Showering is in a communal, cinder block room. Soldiers say they have to buy their own toilet paper. "
The Nation's Daily Outrage says: "Since UPI broke this story, CNN has reconfirmed it, and the Pentagon says today it will send a team to Georgia to investigate. CNN also quotes a sergeant who says Fort Stewart soldiers are afraid to talk to the news media about their poor treatment. 'Here we all were overseas, ready to get ourselves killed in order to bring democracy to these countries, and we get home and we don't even have freedom of speech anymore,' she says."
And it further points out: "Then again, if we wanted to divert some of the $87 billion (billion!) the President wants to spend in Iraq to places like Fort Stewart we could do so easily -- because that $87 billion isn't even necessary right now. According to a study by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, we've already approved hundreds of billions of dollars for military needs, both general and Iraq-specific, and the White House has enough cash to play with through early May. Apparently Bush is trying to pile up as much slush for the war as he can now because he doesn't want to ask later -- during an election season."
in other news, who thinks I should go as Valerie Plame for Hallowe'en? (Has the Canadian media been pushing this one at all?)
jane 3:00 PM [+]