When you think of all the things that get people worked up in an election year, for some reason the treatment of American soldiers by the U.S. military rarely is mentioned.
Today, NPR and ProPublica provided an investigative report that shows that U.S. military commanders regularly deny Purple Heart medals to soldiers who suffer brain injuries in combat.
It would require a lot of medals. The report says 90,000 soldiers have sustained mild traumatic brain injuries in the war in Iraq.
"It's an outrage," said Paul Sullivan, a former Department of Veterans Affairs official who now heads Veterans for Common Sense, an advocacy group. "What I'm afraid of is that the military intentionally is concealing casualties in order to conceal the enormous human costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan war."
Take 10 minutes to watch the Frontline video and visit the Web site NPR has put together for the story. It's a fine piece of work.
NPR's coverage on vets has been outstanding for the last couple years. It is important work and work they should be proud of. What we are doing to soldiers when they return is horrifying.
This is an outrage. I hope other media pick up on this and the policy is changed.