« Home | Army Anthrax Practices Raise Concerns Over Propose... » | Castle insists on response from military, Pentagon... » | Monkey Shortage Threatens Germwar Vaccine Testing,... » | Biden, Carper, Castle want answers - Delegation as... » | Experts Call for New Approach to Biodefense » | Ex-DAFB commander says troops used as guinea pigs » | HHS Awards $232 Million in Biodefense Contracts fo... » | Two firms win smallpox contracts » | Biological Threat Assessment: Is the Cure Worse Th... » | New insights into Gulf War syndrome »

Pentagon not listing 17,000 war casualties

by Mark Benjamin

WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- The Pentagon has nearly 17,000 service members medically evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan not listed on their public casualty reports.

According to military data reviewed by United Press International those evacuees appear to fit the Pentagon's own definition of war casualties.

The military has evacuated 16,765 individual service members from Iraq and Afghanistan for injuries and illnesses not directly related to combat, according to the U.S. Transportation Command, which is responsible for the medical evacuations. Most are from Operation Iraqi Freedom.

But the Pentagon's public casualty reports, available at www.defenselink.mil, list only service members who died or were wounded in action, even though the Pentagon's own definition of a war casualty is: "Any person who is lost to the organization by having been declared dead, duty status - whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or injured."

In addition to those evacuations, 32,684 veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan now out of the military sought medical attention from the Department of Veterans Affairs by July 22, according to VA reports obtained by UPI. The number of those visits to VA doctors that were related to war is unknown.