Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

You Shouldn't Have To Present Your Purple Heart To Be Issued A Garment To Wear In The Hospital.

Especially not if the last clothes you wore got burnt or blasted off you by a roadside bomb, or cut off your body by a medic, several thousand miles away.

The Washington Post has been demonstrating the necessity of a free press and the value of real investigative journalism. If I thought my own experiences at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center were bad--well, actually, they were appalling by any standard--I have to say, they were small potatoes compared to what's happening routinely there now.

Now that large numbers of returning wounded soldiers are being treated to the...I can't even use the word "care" to describe it...that Walter Reed has to offer, and those soldiers' family members are there to see what's happening to them, and the Post is making the issue impossible to ignore, something might actually change.

The Post has so many articles that touch on the state of Walter Reed, I ended up spending a couple of hours picking through them all to find the most important ones. Here they are. Their headlines are easy to find, but some of the sentences are too potent to lose to skimming:

"You saved me, for what?"

"If Iraq doesn't kill you, Walter Reed will."

"It's not every day one gets to witness a whitewash in action."

The New York Times condensed one of the cases described at length in the Post this way:

A staff sergeant who had his eye and skull shattered in Iraq stumbled about after his release from a surgical recovery room. He was handed a map and ordered to find his way across the sprawling post to the outpatient unit. After he found his room he sat for weeks like some accidental tourist, with no doctor appointments nor official concern. “Shouldn’t they contact me?” he wondered.

That's in this editorial:

"When the Senate next debates whether to debate the Iraq war, members would do well to visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center, just five miles to the north."

Please consider calling your elected representatives with whatever opinion you form. As some of the patients' family members quoted in the Post articles note, pressure from Congresspeople and Senators actually gets good things to happen, even in the ghastly limbo of Walter Reed.
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