SALT LAKE CITY — Some veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are having trouble getting disability benefits because of missing war records.
The problem of missing records have plagued the U>S. military since the Gulf War in 1990, according to NBC News. Field records documenting incidents have been prone to being disorganized and lost over the past two decades, and was especially a problem during the early years of the war in Iraq, according to an analysis by The Seattle Times and ProPublica.
The field records — after=action write-ups, intelligence reports, etc. — are important to veterans who are trying to claim disability benefits, because they provide proof the disability was incurred during the war. they are also important to military strategists trying to learn lessons from the way both wars were fought.
The U.S. military has taken steps to improve its record-keeping, putting emphasis on training soldiers on its importance, but there are still dozens of Army units with no or insufficient field records from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
In fact, the records are so bad that "very few" exist from Operation Enduring Freedom from between 2004 and 2007, according to a 2009 Army report.
Units deployed between 2003 and 2008 had similar problems producing field records.
In an email, Maj. Christopher Kasker, an Army spokesman, said, "The matter of records management is of great concern to the Army; it is an issue we have acknowledged and are working to correct and improve."
In the meantime, the Department of Veterans Affairs has relaxed rules for requiring documentation prior to providing benefits for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, often allowing medical and personnel records to do the job.
Other political news:
- Hillary Clinton spoke to The New York Times about what she is looking forward to once she leaves her position as Secretary of State. She said she is looking forward to relaxing and having time to do things she loves to do — including watching "Love It or List It" on HGTV.
- Residents of 20 states have filed petitions on the White House website looking to secede from the U.S. because of the election results. Most of the petitions have a few thousand signatures, according to the Washington Post.Secession has long been a controversial threat among states unhappy with the federal government, but the Supreme Court has ruled in cases such as Texas v. White (1869) that states cannot unilaterally secede from the union.
- "The Simpsons" poked fun at Fox News' Karl Rove for his Election Night outburst in which he refused to concede the election to Pres. Barack Obama despite his network making the call.During the show's opening credits, Bart Simpson writes "I will not concede the election till Karl Rove gives me permission" repeatedly on a chalk board.
- Contrary to popular belief, U.S. presidents do not age faster than anyone else in the nation — at least on the outside.Side-by-side comparisons of presidents early in their presidency versus when they leave office often show a younger looking man contrasted to someone with a lot of wrinkles and white or gray hair. But MSNBC reports "this myth that presidents age twice as fast as anyone else was purely based on how they looked, not on any data. You might age faster (outwardly), but you do not die any sooner."
- Charles Darwin recieved almost 4,000 write-in votes against a Georgia representative who said evolution and other scientific theories are "lies straight from the pit of hell," the Associated Press reports.