Getting the real story about Iraq is difficult. Getting the real story regarding casualties in Iraq is even more difficult since the Media dictum is "if it bleeds it leads". Between this and the general antipathy most of the media has against the war, it is no surprise that the situation is made to look as bad as possible. But that is one reason MilBlogs exist.
For instance, a recent report in the Dallas Morning News stated.
Polls show that the symbols of progress — renovated schools, new sewer lines, expanded electricity grids and restored oil pipelines — tend to be too sporadic and limited to hold Americans' attention and support. But the rising price tag, now exceeding $200 billion, and casualty figures — which include more than 15,000 wounded troops — are resonating with Americans.
And folks like Cindy Sheehan endlessly repeat those numbers
Over 2000 American families have paid the price of our dear loved ones to the insanity. Over 15,000 of our young people are wounded with over 400 of those being amputees.
Britains The Telegraph cites similar numbers
Two and a half years after the fall of Saddam Hussein the Iraq war is proving no exception. While much was made of the US death toll recently reaching 2,000, little has been said of the 15,000 who have returned home mutilated.
Now the fact is, if Cindy Sheehan and The Telegraph are citing numbers like this, they are immediately suspect and need to be checked. And that's what MilBlogs are for.
Milblogs like Mudville Gazette where Greyhawk points to an authoritative site that has the real numbers. Real numbers which paint a different story
Now one thing to note here is the WIA RTD counts the number of people who were wounded and returned to duty within 72 hours. The number that should concern us are those not returned to duty within 72 hours.
They are the ones who are sitting in hospitals. They are the ones who have to suffer not only the recovery process but also the Friends of Cindy who want to exploit the wounded for their own anti-American purposes.
Now some portion of those 7,250 have not returned to service. And some portion of those who are still recovering from their wounds can not use their hands. And it is for those that Project Valour-IT is intended to help.
It will provide voice activated laptops for those who can not type either permanently or temporarily.
Technology advances. Time was you had to wait for months to receive mail from your loved one in a theater of war. Today, they are often an instantaneous email away. Or, sometimes, you are able to message and web cam in real time. When my son was in Iraq all of these occurred.
And with the proliferation of laptops and such, many soldiers, sailors, and airman have blogged of their experience.
Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss is one such soldier blogger. But when a combat injury deprived him of the use of his hands, at least temporarily, he needed new technology to continue blogging. Soldier's Angels came to the rescue.
When Ziegenfuss emerged from the fog of pain medication, Soldiers' Angels got him a computer -- and, because of his heavily bandaged left hand, where he lost a pinky, added voice-activated software. He got back online with his popular blog, Tcoverride.blogspot.com. It's gotten 90,000 hits in the past three months.
Now Soldier's Angels have a new mission (adding to all the rest) to get 150 laptops for each military medical center to be used by recovering personel. And it's not "just" for blogging, or keeping in touch with people. It for anything you regurlarly use a computer for, typing resumes, reports, school whatever a modern person needs to do but can not because of injured hands.
As Veteran's Day approaches, please consider donating to this cause.
Oh yeah, and donate via the Air Force Team because, you know, we're way cooler than those other services.