COLORADO SPRINGS — Fort Carson sent soldiers who were not medically fit to war zones last month to meet “deployable strength” goals, according to e-mails obtained by The Denver Post.
One e-mail, written Jan. 3 by the surgeon for Fort Carson’s 3rd Brigade Combat Team, says: “We have been having issues reaching deployable strength, and thus have been taking along some borderline soldiers who we would otherwise have left behind for continued treatment.”
Capt. Scot Tebo’s e-mail was, in part, a reference to Master Sgt. Denny Nelson, a 19-year Army veteran, who was sent overseas last month despite doctors’ orders that he not run, jump or carry more than 20 pounds for three months because of a severe foot injury.
Nelson took the medical report to the Soldier Readiness Process, or SRP, site on Fort Carson, where health-care professionals recommended Nelson stay home.
The soldier, who has a Bronze Star and is a member of the Mountain Post’s Audie Murphy Chapter, was sent to Kuwait on Dec. 29.
Nelson says he was one of at least 52 soldiers deployed who should not have been, and a veterans group says the military is endangering soldiers to meet its goals.