September 04, 2003
Irrational Numbers

"With no fanfare and almost no public notice, giant C-17 transport jets arrive virtually every night at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington, on medical evacuation missions. Since the war began, more than 6,000 service members have been flown back to the United States. The number includes the 1,124 wounded in action, 301 who received non-hostile injuries in vehicle accidents and other mishaps, and thousands who became physically or mentally ill."

From the Washington Post, which also publishes an "interactive feature" of the KIAs as the information comes in. But how is it that KIA became the only measure of the shock, or the awe? Those 1,124 soldiers -- about 10 a day now -- are so badly wounded that they are sent home. These are not bullet wounds that can be treated in a field hospital, these are serious and permanent injuries, many resulting in amputations. 10 a day. How many, I wonder, will it take? How do you think it would change things if the Post published all the seriously -- often permanently -- wounded, the same way they publish the dead?

Posted by kevin slavin at September 04, 2003 08:02 AM
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