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Resource ID: #25744
Subject: Veterans
Source: ProPublica
Date: 2024-04-23



"Lost to History: When War Records Go Missing" revealed that military field records from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were never kept, destroyed or simply could not be found, leaving veterans with combat injuries or disability claims unable to prove they saw action. The widespread failure by the military to keep and preserve these records - records that have been kept since America's Revolutionary War - leaves war historians in the dark about the granular details that, when woven together, tell larger stories hidden from participants in the day-to-day confusion of combat. “Lost to History" showed that dozens of Army units and U.S. Central Command lacked adequate war records, how Pentagon leaders had years of warnings but never sufficiently addressed the problem, and how commanders failed to take record keeping orders seriously. The stories vividly narrate the personal costs of this failure. The lack of field records forced Spc. Christopher Delara to struggle for years before receiving treatment he was entitled to for post-traumatic stress syndrome. And the missing material deepened the grief of Jim Butler, who searched for years to find the truth about his son's death in combat.

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