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Fort Stewart investigated for deploying medically unfit soldiers
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Fort Stewart is one of three posts involved in a Government Accountability Office investigation of reports that medically unfit soldiers were ordered to deploy despite their conditions.
The GAO is examining records and conducting interviews at Fort Drum, N.Y., and Fort Benning, as well as Fort Stewart. The report is due next month.
Other media have reported that investigators found instances of soldiers from the posts being ordered to deploy when they were not fit.
Brenda Farrell, director of the Defense Capabilities and Management for the GAO, disagreed with the findings.
"GAO has ongoing work reviewing the medical condition of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Our objectives are to examine one, the extent to which Army policies were followed in deciding whether to deploy service members with medical limitations, and two, the extent to which service members, if any, with medical limitations were deployed and if these soldiers were assigned to duties that took into account their limitations, which is Army policy," Farrell said.
Fort Stewart has no comment on the matter; an official requesting anonymity said, "We will wait for the report."
Veterans for America, an advocacy group, and USA Today said that according to Pentagon records, more than 43,000 U.S. troops listed as medically unfit for combat in the weeks before their scheduled deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan since 2003 were sent anyway.
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