Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration At Army's Top Medical Facility

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by leekohler, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #1
    Apalling, but not at all unexpected. We should be able to expect more. This is a long article. I'll just put in a little from it. I would encourage you all to read it though.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/17/AR2007021701172.html

     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #2
    Its worth mentioning that Walter reed had 300 civilian employees before privatizing Walter Reeds many civilian jobs, afterwards they had only 60 employees meaning they got rid of 240 highly trained folks. Then to make matters worse they hired a former Haliburton guy to run it. Anyone surprised its a big fricking mess? A Haliburton guy running things and the Army General who was fired warned about all this 6 months ago to deaf ears.
     
  3. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #3
  4. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #4
    3 threads on Al Gore's supposed hypocrisy and only 3 responses on this 1 thread. Still surprised it didn't show up earlier. I would have expect pages and pages of people voicing their outrage. I've been in and out here lately, but this is kinda a big deal, no?

    Guess it was no surprise, which is even sadder. :(
     
  5. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #5
    i am outraged. and not at all surprised.

    support the troops!
     
  6. leekohler thread starter macrumors G5

    leekohler

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    #6
    Honestly, I'm sad there were no responses earlier too. I thought this would really have people talking- and quickly. This story made me ill when I read it, as most of you know I have friends and family in the service. Fortunately, they haven't had to go through this- yet. If people still can't figure out why Bush in unpopular, look no further than this article. It's absolutely disgusting. And look no further than his current budget to find out how Bush feels about our troops.
     
  7. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    I read a good op/ed piece about this by Halrod G. Moore ("We Were Soliders Once... and Young") a few days ago but I forgot where. :(

    As disgusted as I am by some of the conditions at Walter Reed I'm not surprised. My dad is retired military and my brother got a medical discharge a few years so there are few things that would surprise me when it comes to medical aspects of the military. So much of it is bureaucratic BS that puts paperwork before patient's health that it's just maddening.

    If soldiers come back in one piece they are heros. If they come back wounded they are swept under the rug. No one wants to be reminded about their own mortality or deal w/the possible awkwardness of someone that's been disfigured in combat. Especially from a conflict like what Iraq has degraded into.

    Not only were combat lessons learned in Vietnam seemingly forgotten but apparently so were the lessons learned about treating the mental and physical health of soldiers returning home.


    Lethal
     
  9. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #9
    The only reason the Vietnam lesson was forgotten was because the guys running our country the past 6 years were all draft dodgers who never learned because they were in hiding. Bush,Cheney,Lott,Delay,Rove,Hastert,Libbey, plus the likes of loudmouth draft dodgers like Limbaugh,O'reiley,Frist,Giuliani,etc etc. A who's who's of the Republican party, the very ones with the least character.
     
  10. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #10
    Unfortunately, I had the same reaction.

    'Rat, thanks for the link from 'Mausergirl.'


    I can't help but think that for all the cheerleading from some to 'support the troops' it doesn't refer to the troops at all, but rather our wayward leaders. Furthermore, I am continuously outraged by an administration and Congress that is utterly unable to do a damn thing about it.
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #11
    By and large, our society hates to pay the true cost of anything. It doesn't matter if part of the true cost of a war is seriously taking care of the wounded, or taking care of some little chunk of the environment after making a mess.

    What Congress seems to seriously avoid is putting accountability into any of its authorizations and laws. Pick a subject, any subject.

    So far, though, it's sorta refreshing to see a couple of Big Dogs no longer in place, doing the spin game about how it's not their fault.

    'Rat
     
  12. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #12
    If Walter Reed was supposed to be the best medical facility I would hate to see the worst. Oh wait thats the VA Hospital.
     
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #13
    I ran across a followup article on Google "news":

    "Although the standard of intensive medical care at the hospital is widely praised by injured veterans and their families, they claim squalid conditions, bureaucratic chaos and insensitive regulations have made the process of recovery appallingly stressful."

    "...squalid conditions..." is the absolutely unacceptable part. That's a function of two things: Congress and the gross amount of money appropriated, and the Army, for its allocation of the funds it does get.

    "...bureaucratic chaos and insensitive regulations..." is part and parcel of every level of government that I've ever seen, if the workload increases even a slight amount. This is born out by Mausergirl's comments about communications.

    The saving grace is that the complaints don't involve the actual medical part of the deal. It's the post-op and recovery/rehab phase where the problems are.

    I saw similar but far less egregious problems with a private hospital here in south Georgia, back in the 1990s. After complaints, the owners put a new broom in place. When I went through my cancer thrash in 2003 it was a whole new and quite pleasant/efficient world.

    I hope this same sort of rework can occur at Walter Reed. The patients who go through there are our most deserving...

    'Rat
     
  14. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #14
    This is definitely becoming a Katrina/Foley type thing. After all that talk of supporting the troops, kinda hard to say the Dems are the ones dropping the ball. Especially since they're the ones who fought the privatization part that certainly made things worse. Haven't heard as much from the right either way though. At least most of them aren't trying to defend it, not that there's much to defend, but for people who supposedly support the troops you'd think there would be an uproar about how fearless leader has let them down. Or how the soldier were told not to say anything.

    Still surprised this isn't as big of a story here as it's now finally picking up steam, even over the Coulter distraction.
     
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #15
    Bingo , the republican version of supporting the troops is sending them off to war, not much else. Who cares if they have armor,or healthcare or are in a needless war. Just the fact that they are fighting is what republican draft dodgers mean by support. Its allways the bastards who never served who yell the loudest for war.
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #16
    When people say "support the troops" they're really saying "support George W. Bush". That explains why they don't actually give a rat's fanny about whether the troops are properly trained, properly armored, properly cared for... whatever. As long as you support Shrub, that's all that is required to "support the troops".

    Oh, and you have to question the patriotism of anyone who actually wants to help the troops train, arm, rest, recover from injuries etc.. That's also part of "supporting the troops".
     
  17. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #17
    Of course. But the bumper stickers don't cut it anymore. This would be the perfect time for the Dems to nail them and their war with the Murtha plan. I'm sure they'll still try to say the Dems don't support the troops, but it'll ring a lot more hollow now.

    It's getting frustrating waiting for them to really pounce though, especially as the neocon talking heads criticize them anyway.
     
  18. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Looking at emails from and blogs of the guys in Afghanistan and Iraq, I don't think smarts, training or equipment is any part of the problem.

    I think part of the physical problem at Walter Reed is that it's on the base closing list. If such be the case, somebody dropped the maintenance-money ball when its usage got extended beyond the original schedule or plan for closure. Maintenance money isn't usually allocated when a site is due for closing. In this case, the budgeting left hand didn't get told by the using right hand.

    A far as the paperwork and regulations, that's commonly due to an attitude of "payday and sundown" on the part of the non-medical personnel. Clerical staff that I'd tend to think is civilian. Plus the usual, "There's no reason for it; it's just our policy."

    However, both Gore and Schumer were there, last year, for photo ops. You'd think they saw some peeling paint, and/or their staff folks heard some gripes...

    'Rat
     
  19. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #19
    There were serious shortages in body-armor in Iraq for both Marines and Army units, and there were complaints from NG units who were shorted everything from web-gear to NVDs. This problem, however, should be viewed as a separate problem that may have come from a similar carelessness.

    This is still a major screw-up.

    Still a screw up.

    I'm not sure what your point here is. Are you saying that the staff couldn't be smart enough to steer Gore and Schumer away from the damaged wings?

    Or are you trying to pull Gore and Schumer into this by inferring some malfescence on their part that they didn't investigate the hospital as part of their photo op?
     
  20. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #20
    Of course it must be the Democrats' fault. We all know Republicans support the troops, and I'm sure the few Dems that did go there were shown the entire hospital. And they should have known what would happen to it in the future as more and more troops filled in. And even though it was closing, the Dem had no problem letting those patriotic Repubs continue to privatize it and send more troops there, then telling them not to talk to the press.

    There is no defense here for the Bush administration and the Republicans that let this happen, but still people try. Still amazes me. You'd think I'd be used to it by now.
     
  21. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #21
    hulugu, that's lots of "were", and not much "are". :)

    Sure, the Walter Reed deal is a screwup. All I'm saying is that I'm not particularly surprised about it.

    And, no, solvs, it's not the Democrats' fault. The question is, given the apparent length of time that the situation has been bad, why haven't folks in Congress already been on top of it? I'd bet that victims and relatives of victims of the maltreatment have done some bitching via snail mail, telephone and email. I just don't see how this could have not been known back when the guys were first running into the problems. It's no different from the top adminstrators claiming they were unaware.

    I merely figure that any Congressfolks who jump on this bandwagon are doing the usual grandstanding thing.

    Physical repairs? I know you'd want a competitive bid, to avoid a Halliburton thing, so that's some six months or more down the road before anything can happen.

    Paperwork delays? The regulations must be obeyed, must they not? To change them requires a lengthy review process, up and down the Pentagon's chain of command. That's more months of continuing hassle. Your government in action...

    'Rat
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    Walter Reed is supposed to be the nation's foremost military hospital. The general feeling, according to what I've heard, is that the situation is probably even worse at other hospitals in the system. The problem isn't just one moldy building at Walter Reed -- it's a fundamentally broken system which has been overwhelmed by the unexpectedly large number of casualties coming from Afghanistan and Iraq.
     
  23. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #23
    Why no mention of the Executive Branch here? Surely it's just as much the Executive's responsibility to see that the troops he puts into harm's way are properly cared for as it is Congress's?
     
  24. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #24
    isn't it obvious? gore should've been there getting the hospital to replace all low efficiency bulbs with high efficiency ones!
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    Hasn't the VA system been bad for many years. Where were the politicians complaining when the problems first started. Don't tell me that this is just a new problem that crept up overnight and took everyone by surprise.
     

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