Monday, March 05, 2007

Beyond Walter Reed

H/T Bluestem Prairie

Another Washington Post story that exands the discussion to other military facilities across the US.
Oliva is but one quaking voice in a vast outpouring of accounts filled with
emotion and anger about the mistreatment of wounded outpatients at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center. Stories of neglect and substandard care have flooded in
from soldiers, their family members, veterans, doctors and nurses working inside
the system. They describe depressing living conditions for outpatients at other
military bases around the country, from Fort Lewis in Washington state to Fort
Dix in New Jersey. They tell stories -- their own versions, not verified -- of
callous responses to combat stress and a system ill equipped to handle another
generation of psychologically scarred vets.

Unfortunately, had it not been for the work of Dana Priest, others at the WAPO, and progressive bloggers, his quaking voice would still remain silent to most Americans.

What brought forth such a strong reaction?
Several forces converged to create this intense reaction. A new Democratic
majority in Congress is willing to criticize the administration. Senior retired
officers pounded the Pentagon with sharp questions about what was going on. Up
to 40 percent of the troops fighting in Iraq are National Guard members and
reservists -- "our neighbors," said Ron Glasser, a physician and author of a
book about the wounded. "It all adds up and reaches a kind of tipping point," he
said. On top of all that, America had believed the government's assurances that
the wounded were being taken care of. "The country is embarrassed" to know
otherwise, Glasser said.

Obviously, the internet plays a significant role in uncovering the horror our Veterans face. Had the internet been around during the Vietnam War era, I have no doubt that the horrific conditions our soldiers faced then would be front page news.

You can go back and read my stuff on Fort Know and Fort Stewart, here is where other reports are coming in from.
From Fort Campbell in Kentucky: "There were yellow signs on the door
stating our barracks had asbestos."

From Fort Bragg in North Carolina: "They are on my [expletive] like a
diaper. . . . there are people getting chewed up everyday."

From Fort Dix in New Jersey: "Scare tactics are used against soldiers who
will write sworn statement to assist fellow soldiers for their medical

From Fort Irwin in California: "Most of us have had to sign waivers
where we understand that the housing we were in failed to meet minimal
government standards."

This truly is a nationwide pandemic. It's time to start holding people accountable.

No comments: