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March 25, 2007

Odd addendum to the NYT PTSD photography story

The New York Times is running a correction to last week's Sunday Magazine feature on female veterans and PTSD. It turns out that one of the injured servicewomen featured in the piece didn't actually serve in Iraq, as claimed in the article:

On March 12, three days after the article had gone to press, the Navy called The Times to say that it had found that Ms. Randall had never received imminent-danger pay or a combat-zone tax exemption, indicating that she was never in Iraq. Only part of her unit was sent there; Ms. Randall served with another part of it in Guam. The Navy also said that Ms. Randall was given the medal with the insignia because of a clerical error.

Based on the information that came to light after the article was printed, it is now clear that Ms. Randall did not serve in Iraq, but may have become convinced she did. Since the article appeared, Ms. Randall herself has questioned another member of her unit, who told Ms. Randall that she was not deployed to Iraq. If The Times had learned these facts before publication, it would not have included Ms. Randall in the article. (Go to Article) [NYT]

Before the article went to press, a Navy spokesperson confirmed to the NYT researcher that Randall had been awarded a medal for service in combat. A few days after the article went to press, the Navy called back to say Randall had never received imminent danger pay or combat tax-exemption, which in the Navy's opinion, confirmed that she'd never served in Iraq. The Navy said that Randall was awarded a combat medal through a clerical error.

Very strange. The correction also implied that Randall may be suffering from cognitive problems as a result of her brain injury.

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Comments

It's bizarre that the US Navy doesn't have direct records of where she served.

Instead, they're speculating based on her not receiving "danger pay or a combat-zone tax exemption."

Eric, that's exactly what I thought.

Also, she may be suffering from cognitive problems as a result of her brain injury...that she didn't recieve in Iraq?

Very strange indeed....

She did serve in Guam. The Navy and the NYT seem to agree that she has a brain injury and that she was a Seabee for six or seven years. No details on how she got the brain injury, though.

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