Iraqi Army soldier Ali Katham Hussein would have a Purple Heart if he were in the U.S. Army. But he's received no medals for valor. He can't even afford to have the shrapnel and bullet lodged in his chest removed.

Neither can the Iraqi army.

"In Saddam Hussein's time, if you got hurt, you received compensation," he said.

Three months ago, insurgents ambushed Ali Katham Hussein's unit near Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad. Hussein was shot nine times in the attack -- bullets pierced his chest, stomach, arm and leg.

Leaning on a crutch on a dusty, trash-littered Iraqi army base in west Baghdad, he pulled up his shirt to reveal two moist bandages taped to his chest.

"After I got shot, I didn't get treated in a military hospital," he said. "I paid from my own pocket to get treatment."

In fact, there are no Iraqi military hospitals. Like all injured Iraqi soldiers, Hussein had to pay for his own treatment at an Iraqi civilian hospital.

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