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Wounded Iraqi Soldiers Live in Shipping Container, 'Toilet' is an Empty Lot

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posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:23 PM

BAGHDAD — For two years now, Pfc. Qusay Aziz has risen each morning in the dank confines of a metal shipping container, rolled off a stained, torn mattress, put on his right leg and reported for duty.

This article is about Iraqi soldiers, wounded vets, being treated very poorly. I thought that U.S. vets were among some of the worst treated in the world, but I suppose Iraq is working on taking that proud distinction from America.

He and three other severely injured Iraqi army soldiers live in the container on the edge of an Iraqi National Police base in Baghdad’s Khadamiyah district and, like many of their wounded comrades, struggle to pay medical bills and have been repeatedly refused retirement by the Iraqi government.

“I feel very bad, very angry,” said Aziz, 31, whose leg was ripped off by a roadside bomb in 2004. “The people who are now in government are there because of the army and what the soldiers sacrificed.”

Meanwhile, Aziz and his three container mates, with injuries ranging from a missing arm to multiple shrapnel wounds, work one week on, one week off. Their only toilet is an empty, overgrown lot; there is no shower and no running water. During summer, the heat seeps past the dingy rugs and metal sheet covering the container’s open entrance, a faulty air conditioner offering little relief; a damp chill takes hold during the winter. During the rainy season, the roof leaks.

Pfc. Yahia Abud’s heel and ankle are an amorphous, scarred mess, the result of a mortar blast that ripped apart his foot in 2004. He wears a walking cast and hobbles around using a metal crutch. He says on his salary, he can’t take care of his wife and three children and pay for the regular doctor visits and painkillers his injuries require.

“Each month I borrow money from my friends,” said Abud, 31.

Another container resident, Sgt. Hadi Ramadan, was riddled with shrapnel from a mortar in 2004. He has repeatedly put in for retirement and repeatedly been denied. Ramadan, who supports a wife and eight children, is not optimistic his lot will improve any time soon.

“We know for a fact that the Iraqi government will not take care of us,” he said.

Unable to go on patrol anymore, the soldiers are officially there to guard a weapons cache, but their days are spent in boredom, smoking cigarettes and worrying about families they now struggle to support.

I was all set to be really indignant and argumentative about the conditions these guys have to endure. I'm afraid it just makes me too sad. I imagine maybe it's supposed to do just that and I shouldn't feel sorry for them. I guess I should feel anger at Iraq. Hell if I know.

The guys have to live in a shipping container and crap in a field. That just sucks.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:28 PM
Used and abused by both governments.

Yet, I'm sure the government elites are enjoying their cozy a/c palaces while wining and dining on the best food and drinks they can get their hands on.

Pathetic :shk:

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 04:28 PM
It's more important to buy a 20 billion dollar jet from a defense contractor than spend a few thousand helping a wounded vet, I guess.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 06:02 PM
reply to post by Kaytagg

I wonder how people become so expendable after they have served their purpose. I instantly thought that since the Iraqi military had been 'advised' by the U.S. for so many years now that our treatment of vets just rubbed off on them.

[edit on 8-9-2009 by KSPigpen]

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 06:37 PM
reply to post by KSPigpen

Well, another question you could ask, which I'm sure the leaders/owners of America ask themselves when a situation like this arises, is why help him? What gain could they possibly get from helping this guy?

If you can come up with a smart answer to that, be sure to let them know, and they might help him.

Before you reply to that, there's something I want you to think about:

It is estimated that for every $3.00 donated to UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), one child's life will be saved. Now, I challenge you to pause for a moment and think about that. Will you make a donation?

Most people wont. Now I don't blame them, because most people don't know that. A lot of people have probably never even heard of UNICEF. But now you know, and every time you spend $3.00 frivilously, you have to weigh what is more important -- a human life, or the item/service you're about to buy.

You'll probably find out something about yourself that's rather startling -- that a child's life is not worth $3.00 in your eyes.

This is something the leaders/owners of this country are conscious of. They know this statistic, and probably many others I'm not even aware of, which share an equal impact. Yet they do nothing. WE do nothing.

That is why this vet lives in shipping container, and it's why he'll never get any help.

posted on Sep, 8 2009 @ 08:58 PM
reply to post by Kaytagg

Thanks Kaytagg. Sometimes I need to do some thinking like that. It's a lot easier to condemn the actions of others than it is to look at my own. I would imagine that I am not alone in that.

I don't trust charities. Any of them. I suppose I will have to examine my reluctance to believe that ANY organization REALLY cares about the life a starving child, and that by not having my OWN organization to insure that children are helped, then I am as guilty as they are.

UNITED NATIONS, February 11 -- UNICEF pays consultants up to $625 a day, but the National Committees which used UNICEF's name to raise money apparently pay up to $1200 a day. As UNICEF Germany is engulfed in scandal, repeated requests for UNICEF chief Ann Veneman to answer questions were met Monday with a series of terse written responses.

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