Higher Rates Of Wounded In Vietnamistan

by Daniel Russ on October 31, 2009

Post image for Higher Rates Of Wounded In Vietnamistan Wounded Soldier In Afghanistan Wounded Soldier In Afghanistan

More than 1,000 improvised explosive devices, or roadside bombs, exploded or were found in Afghanistan in August, more than double any monthly total until this summer. The bombs account for 70 to 80 percent of U.S. and coalition casualties in that country, according to Lt. Gen. Thomas F. Metz, director of the Pentagon’s Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization.

Metz told military reporters this week that IEDs are now the “weapon of choice” for Taliban fighters. The bombs are so powerful, he said, that they can take out the latest mine-resistant vehicles the Pentagon has employed to protect troops. In addition, insurgents have begun targeting troops on foot. He said that the rise in bombings has coincided with the doubling of U.S. troop numbers this year and that further troop increases — now under consideration by President Obama — would bring more bombs.

As U.S. ground forces moved in this year, Metz said at a House Armed Services Committee hearing this week, “the enemy was ready with a very thick array of IEDs. . . . Those soldiers and Marines ran into those IEDs, and it was what we predicted.”

On Aug. 18, Lt. Dan Berschinski, 25, of Peach Tree City, Ga., was serving as a platoon leader with the Stryker brigade combat team in Kandahar province, where the roads were laced with bombs and his unit had to operate without engineer support or mine-detection equipment. His platoon was crossing a footbridge when a bomb threw Berschinski to the ground, deafened a sergeant and blew up Pfc. Jonathan Yanney, a radio operator. An initial search located part of Yanney’s shredded helmet, pieces of a boot and some small body parts that Berschinski said team members put in a plastic bag.

Realizing that not only the roads but also the foot trails were too dangerous, Berschinski and his men moved on by walking through shin-high water. Regrouping in a mud-walled compound later that day, Berschinski was passing a gate when another bomb blew up underneath him, bouncing him off a wall and tossing him back into the crater that had formed.

“I immediately reached down — up, really, since I was upside down — for my legs. I could tell they were gone,” Berschinski said in a written account provided by his family. His right leg and hip and his left leg above the knee were amputated. According to Metz, few soldiers have survived stepping on such bombs…”

Source: Washington Post

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

LJ Gangloff August 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

Hello, I am the Media Development Manager for DynCorp International’s LOGCAP IV Afghanistan South AOR contract and I would like to use this photo in our internal newsletter. May I have permission to use it please? It will go with a poem by Michael Mack called “Small Pain in My Chest”. My deadline is very close, so I appreciate your quick response. Thanks!

Daniel Russ August 6, 2010 at 10:38 am

This is simply a history and culture blog. Since we do not charge a fee or place advertising on this sight, we use photos simply for their historical or news value. That said, we do not own this photo and it would be necessary to find those that own the rights to this.

My suggestion is just to go on Google Images, type in Afghanistan + Casualties and see when this comes up. When it does , click on it and see if a news organization took it.

Good Luck.

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