Friday, February 23, 2007

More of the Walter Reed quagmire

The Washington Post continues its coverage.

The Post found recovering soldiers living in squalid conditions in Building 18, a decrepit former hotel just outside the Walter Reed grounds, with some of the quarters plagued by mold, rot and vermin. The series also documented a larger
issue of bureaucratic indifference that soldiers and family members said had
demoralized them and impeded recovery.

When I had an Infantry platoon, I visited my soldiers barracks on a pretty regular basis. When things were in disorder, they quickly came to order. I do not understand where or how the leadership could have failed. Non-commissioned Officers (NCO's) live a creed. One statement, while short in nature, provides the NCO with his or her basics.

My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind --
accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers.

NCO's at Fort Stewart beforehand and now at Walter Reed has failed on both counts. The General in charge should be relieved of duty.
Gates said he had no indication of problems at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda or facilities elsewhere comparable to those at Walter Reed, but he said the review group would be empowered to investigate wherever it wanted because "we need to know the scope of this problem."

Obviously they have forgotten about this one.

Some are not happy with the coverage.
The comments came a day after the Army's surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Kevin C.
Kiley, criticized the Post articles, saying they unfairly characterized the living conditions and care for soldiers recuperating from wounds at the hospital's facilities.

Kiley, chief of the Army Medical Command, told reporters that the Post series "was a one-sided representation."

What would be happening now if the Washington Post had not uncovered this madness? Of course the comments come from the former Commander of the facility.

General Kiley seems to be just another one of those men with the stars on their hats and the funky "Generals Belts" who have forgotten, after all these years, what it's like as a foot soldier, not a high paid General.

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