by S-Q @ 6:40 AM MDT
By Mark Benjamin
Soldiers on crutches and canes were sent to a main desert camp used for Iraq training. Military experts say the Army was pumping up manpower statistics to show a brigade was battle ready.
Hernandez had served two tours in Iraq, where he helped maintain communications gear in the unit's armored Bradley Fighting Vehicles. But he could not participate in war maneuvers conducted on a 1,000-square-mile mock battlefield located in the harsh Mojave Desert. Instead, when he got to California, he was led to a large tent where he would be housed. He was shocked by what he saw inside: There were dozens of other hurt soldiers. Some were on crutches, and others had arms in slings. Some had debilitating back injuries. And nearby was another tent, housing female soldiers with health issues ranging from injuries to pregnancy.