The Canadian government’s policy is to release figures on troops injured in Afghanistan only once a year, a dry statistic released every Dec. 31 that has tended to deflect attention away from disturbing details. But this story takes a close look at seven months of battlefield wounds from 2008, based on reports usually kept under wraps. It’s interesting to note that during the period examined, Gen. Walter Natynczyk visited Kandahar, just a month after taking over as chief of defence staff. After a five-day tour he touted “significant progress” in an upbeat assessment of the security situation in the southern province. In fact, the days just before and after his visit were extraordinarily tough ones for his troops. Thirteen of them suffered injuries from July 4 to July 19 that year, in 10 separate incidents. Over the entire seventh-month period examined here, the Canadians were taking casualties at least once every three days.