Battleland

War Is An Ugly Business

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Army photo

An Army doctor fights to save the foot of a wounded soldier.

That becomes clear every once in awhile when reviewing what the military wants to buy.

Check out this recent Army solicitation:

PURCHASE FRESH FROZEN CADAVERS FOR COMBAT EXTREMITY SURGERY COURSE

Not quite sure if it’s the word “cadaver” that bothers Battleland as much as its proximity to “fresh frozen.”

“Southern Regional Contracting Office has a requirement for Cadavers for the Combat Extremity Surgery Course (6A-A0158) for the Amedd [Army Medical Department] Center and School and US Army Trauma Training Center in Miami Fl,” it says. “This requirement is being conducted as a commercial item acquisition…”

The service is apparently seeking 30 human legs – “Cadavers need to be at least from the Hemi pelvis to toe” – and 30 human arms – “Arm Specimen need to be from shoulder to finger tips” to train military doctors to deal with horrific leg-and-arm-threatening wounds caused by IEDs seen first in Iraq and now in Afghanistan. U.S. troops have suffered close to 1,600 amputations in the post-9/11 wars.

It’s tough to read about. But then again, without such training, stories like this wouldn’t be possible.

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smedleybutlersociety
smedleybutlersociety

I recently spent some time in Dublin, Ireland. The history museum has a wonderful exhibit on grave robbery. It  features a cut-away model of how they did it. The robbers, wanting to sell cadavers to satisfy solicitations like the above,  would dig a tunnel from beyond the head of the casket down to the casket, break into the casket, tie a rope around the head of the cadaver, and pull it up through the tunnel and sell it to a university or whomever wanted it. The Dublin cemetery had to build walls with watch towers around the cemetery to stop the practice.

Go for it.


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