Sunday, March 11, 2007

Fort Knox General in new Walter Reed Command group

The Army Times is reporting that Brig. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, deputy commanding general at Fort Knox, will be part of a new group of leaders — all combat veterans — for the medical center, which has been under scrutiny for poor conditions.

I am pleased that change is occurring at Walter Reed. However we all know that this issue is not merely confined to the hallowed grounds of Walter Reed, that in fact, it is a nationwide military hospital and Veterans Administration pandemic.

I also want to know if these are the right leaders to bring forth this change at Walter Reed. Many of the problems at Walter Reed existed at Fort Knox as well.

"I arrived here and was placed in the World War II barracks," one soldier wrote in an internal Fort Knox survey of the conditions. "On the 28th of August we moved out. On 30 Aug. the roof collapsed. Had we not moved, someone would be dead," that soldier wrote.

Shaffery said all of the soldiers have moved out of those barracks. "As soon as we were able to, we moved them out," Shaffery said. The barracks now stand empty and have been condemned.

Also like Fort Stewart, soldiers at Fort Knox claimed they are getting substandard treatment because they are in the National Guard or Army Reserve as opposed to regular Army. The Army has denied any discrepancies in treatment or housing.

We know that Senator Bond launched an investigation into these issues and found fault with numerous cases regarding the mistreatment of our Veterans, specificaly those having served in the National Guard and the Reserves.

It is my sincere hope that the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army have selected leaders who will put the health and welfare of their subordinates before their own.

Time will tell...but this Fort Knox connection is disturbing to me.

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