Sunday, July 10, 2005

Local Soldier's Death Goes Un-Recorded

Last week, I sent out a piece from a website called
A reporter from that site claims to be in possession of a leaked Department of Defense document showing that the DoD has been under-reporting U.S. casualties and deaths. The report claims that the DoD doesn't count deaths that occur while fatally wounded soldiers are in transit to Germany (because they didn't actually die IN Iraq). It says that they are only counting deaths that occur on the ground IN Iraq. The report supposedly shows that real DoD's figures for U.S. fatalities in the Iraq theater are between 7 and 9,000 soldiers, thus far.

As an example of what the author is talking about, I have posted a copy of the Post-Star's story about a local soldier, Stephen Z. Madison, below. Army Specialist First Class Madison died at Fort Riley, Kansas on June 26, 2005 from complications he suffered from severe burns received while showering IN Iraq while posted there last year. After reading the Post-Star's story, check the official website of fallen soldiers listed from the occupation of Iraq (the address is posted directly below this missive). Can you find Stephen's name? He is NOT listed. Why not?

National press have done absolutely nothing to investigate this apparent under-reporting and many are already seeking to discredit the author who wrote the initial piece. Interestingly, a Vietnam vet who is a good friend of mine says that this happened all the time in Vietnam, as well. It is all very hard to prove but what better place to start than an absolutely provable example like this one? Do you think that the LOCAL press will pick this LOCAL story up? Ever wonder who's pulling the media's strings?


Soldier’s widow says military is to blame
Corinth Family seeking answers in bizarre death


Published on 7/7/2005Local NewsTHE POST-STAR

The widow of Army Spc. Stephen Z. Madison, a Corinth native who was badly burned in Iraq last year, is faulting the military for her husband’s death on a Kansas Army post last week. According to Mary Madison, her husband was treated at the post hospital on Tuesday and Wednesday for an apparent bad reaction to new medicine he was given to ease the pain of the burns. Both days he was released from the hospital, and he died later on Wednesday, according to Madison, a Corinth native who was formerly Mary Walsh. She said she found her husband unconscious when she tried to wake him for dinner on Wednesday evening, and emergency responders were unable to revive him. She said she doesn’t understand why he was released from the hospital. “I blame (the military) very much because the next day, he died,” Mary Madison said in a phone interview from Fort Riley, Kan., late Tuesday evening. “If he was under observation, they would have seen something happen to his body.”

Fort Riley has released no information about his death, except that foul play is not suspected. Nothing further will be released until an investigation into the matter is complete, according to post spokesman Jeffrey Coverdale. According to family members, Stephen Madison suffered third-degree burns to his torso and upper legs while showering at the base in Balad, Iraq, last September. Jamie Wooten, a close friend to Stephen and Mary Madison at Fort Riley, said it was her understanding that the showers in Iraq were spraying only cold water no matter how hot they were set, which caused soldiers to set them as hot as possible. She said Madison was unaware they had been fixed on the day he was injured, and he passed out in the shower and was scalded.

Madison was on his second tour in Iraq as a helicopter mechanic with the 82nd Medical Company of the 541st Maintenance Battalion at the time. Coverdale and officials at the U.S. Central Command, which is in charge of combat forces deployed overseas, were not able to provide any official version of Madison’s Iraq injury on Wednesday. Coverdale said some information in media outlets was inaccurate, but would not be specific. The lack of information from the military has been criticized by Madison’s parents, Debra and Stephen R. Madison, who welcomed local media outlets into the family’s White Street home in Corinth on Tuesday. Mary Madison said she’s even having trouble getting answers on the post. Madison’s family said they view him as a casualty of the war in Iraq. That makes the circumstances and the lack of information surrounding his death more frustrating, according to Mary Madison. “If he died in Iraq, it would be handled a lot differently,” she said. “Because he died in his house, they’re not taking it as seriously.”

A service at Fort Riley was scheduled for Wednesday. Services were also scheduled for Friday at the Densmore Funeral Home on Sherman Avenue in Corinth, and at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville on Saturday. Madison will be cremated, according to his wife. She said she and her husband were just embarking on a life together, and they planned to someday move to Boston and for him to become a forest ranger. “He is like the sweetest man ever,” Mary Madison said. “I want him to be remembered more than just being an Army guy — he had plans for the future.” She said her nights in the last week have been mostly sleepless, and expected her husband’s death would really sink in at Wednesday’s service. “I’ll be really good during the day, and then, during the night, something will click and I’ll just lose it,” she said. “Once it starts, it will be real.”


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