Posted by: Kevin | March 1, 2007

Support the Troops*

Back on February 18th the Washington post reported on the conditions of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the difficulties faced by wounded soldiers overall.  Quite a bit of well justified outrage has been voiced on this subject.  So I won’t go into the details and instead encourage you to read the article if you haven’t yet.

Naturally, the military couldn’t allow this disgraceful situation to persist, right?  The military might be a huge bureaucracy, with a lot of inertia, but this was about supporting the troops.  This was a situation where Bush and the civilian Pentagon leadership could demonstrate their capacity for leadership and decision making.  Emergency funding, a rapid review and elimination of the red tape faced by these soldiers, is that too much to ask for our brave wounded?  Apparently, it is

This story in yesterday’s Navy Times details the military’s initial response to the situation at Walter Reed hospital.

Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media.

Soldiers say their sergeant major gathered troops at 6 p.m. Monday to tell them they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters.

They were also told they would be moving out of Building 18 to Building 14 within the next couple of weeks. Building 14 is a barracks that houses the administrative offices for the Medical Hold Unit and was renovated in 2006. It’s also located on the Walter Reed Campus, where reporters must be escorted by public affairs personnel.

So the military’s response is to subject these soldiers to basic training style inspections and wake up calls.  Then, they hide the problem from the media.  Keep in mind that these are wounded soldiers, with valid complaints that were NOT being addressed by their chain of command prior to the Washington Post story.  The military’s first priority was to shut them up and hide them from the media.

That doesn’t give me much hope as to what their next response will be.  Out soldiers, brave young men and women who served their country, are getting screwed over by their commanders, their political leaders and their country.

*accept those loud mouth assholes who want actual medical care

Washington Post on Walter Reed Feb 18th
Hat Tip to Sideways Mencken

The Military’s response to Walter Reed from the Navy Times
Hat Tip to Balloon Juice




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