Run-Around For Soldiers At Walter Reed

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Congress knows about it, the DOD knows about it, the media knows about it... yet these guys and gals are still getting the shaft. Its up to the citizens now to get movement on this. Perhaps some sort of daily reporting on the plight or condition of soldiers (it could even be anonymous for them, i.e. Soldier #1, etc.) in the post-op phase, along with some regular shaming of the higher-up's stupidity and government snafus that screw folks over.

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

On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of "Catch-22." The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.

Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers' families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment.

"We've done our duty. We fought the war. We came home wounded. Fine. But whoever the people are back here who are supposed to give us the easy transition should be doing it," said Marine Sgt. Ryan Groves, 26, an amputee who lived at Walter Reed for 16 months. "We don't know what to do. The people who are supposed to know don't have the answers. It's a nonstop process of stalling."

Soldiers, family members, volunteers and caregivers who have tried to fix the system say each mishap seems trivial by itself, but the cumulative effect wears down the spirits of the wounded and can stall their recovery.

"It creates resentment and disenfranchisement," said Joe Wilson, a clinical social worker at Walter Reed. "These soldiers will withdraw and stay in their rooms. They will actively avoid the very treatment and services that are meant to be helpful."

Danny Soto, a national service officer for Disabled American Veterans who helps dozens of wounded service members each week at Walter Reed, said soldiers "get awesome medical care and their lives are being saved," but, "Then they get into the administrative part of it and they are like, 'You saved me for what?' The soldiers feel like they are not getting proper respect. This leads to anger."
 

Annie

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Congress knows about it, the DOD knows about it, the media knows about it... yet these guys and gals are still getting the shaft. Its up to the citizens now to get movement on this. Perhaps some sort of daily reporting on the plight or condition of soldiers (it could even be anonymous for them, i.e. Soldier #1, etc.) in the post-op phase, along with some regular shaming of the higher-up's stupidity and government snafus that screw folks over.
I came across this and there are links:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OGIwODcxYjlhZjkyMzFlNTRjMjg2NWNhM2UyYjJlYjI=

The Wounded Warriors [Jonah Goldberg]

I don't trust Dana Priest that much, and I am suspicious of some of possible motives behind the series, so with those caveats in mind, I still think the Post's series (See here and here ) on what some of our wounded troops go through is must-reading. Hospitals for vets returning from the front should be palaces and the last thing in the world any of them deserve are bureaucratic hassles. Though I should say that I've visited wounded troops and from my very limited experience they are surrounded by people who really do care.

...
 
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I would be happy to see that. I think what's needed is public transparency.

Of course, I don't trust Johah Goldberg that much, I do trust Dana Priest ("The Mission" is still the best book out on the global scope of America's military commands and leaders, and the intricate balance of diplomacy and military action required of the CENTCOM, PACOM, EUCOM commanders) and I think from personal experience dealing with the post-op system, this is damn near 100% true. Its the military way of life unfortunately, piss-poor leadership from the tone-deaf top and a system that is such a cesspool of incompetence that it traps a lot of people in it.
 

Annie

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I would be happy to see that. I think what's needed is public transparency.

Of course, I don't trust Johah Goldberg that much, I do trust Dana Priest ("The Mission" is still the best book out on the global scope of America's military commands and leaders, and the intricate balance of diplomacy and military action required of the CENTCOM, PACOM, EUCOM commanders) and I think from personal experience dealing with the post-op system, this is damn near 100% true. Its the military way of life unfortunately, piss-poor leadership from the tone-deaf top and a system that is such a cesspool of incompetence that it traps a lot of people in it.
I see you are still enjoying your job. ;) I cannot stand Dana Priest, but if there is a problem I'd like to see it addressed too. I think that was what Goldberg was saying.
 
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I see you are still enjoying your job. ;) I cannot stand Dana Priest, but if there is a problem I'd like to see it addressed too. I think that was what Goldberg was saying.
Absolutely, its the best job! Where else can a grieving father/husband with the express permission of the Commanding Officer to depart be forced to wait 3 days to fly off the ship because of paperwork snafus?
 

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Absolutely, its the best job! Where else can a grieving father/husband with the express permission of the Commanding Officer to depart be forced to wait 3 days to fly off the ship because of paperwork snafus?
That's horrid. From what I've heard, all my life, the armed services have often had that problem. I'm sorry for the man, and you.
 

Annie

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Found this Eddie:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=N2RkYWY4NTRlMmJmZDZiYjg5YmM0ZjIzZmEwYTFkNDE=

Re: Wounded Warriors [Jonah Goldberg]

From a Marine I know and first met at Walter Reed:


Dear Jonah....


Having served at Bethesda and Walter Reed, I was not a big fan of the
WaPo articles. Would you believe that about 5% of the Marines we had
complained endlessly about their treatment? Well I think the WaPo found
almost all of them. One of the Marines interviewed in the article was
given almost everything possible. He and his family were given
thousands of dollars from NGOs and non-profits, free furniture by a
famous rock star, letters of recommendation by senior USMC generals to a
top 10 US university, and so many other things that I cannot possibly
catalogue them. And you know what??? He deserved all that stuff, but to
give the impression that you were treated poorly or unfairly when you
were treated like a king is just wrong. However, I think he's right
about the paperwork issues; but considering that many of these injured
soldiers and Marines have such complex trauma case, lots of paperwork is
hard to avoid. I used to grapple with it every day.

I feel sorry b/c the Marine in question has had some obviously difficult
times. I know him and he's a good man but the trauma he's been through
has been terrible.

From Iraq, [Name withheld]​

Me: This is, of course, good to hear. Though that doesn't mean the press shouldn't paying more attention. Meanwhile, I'm sure Glenn Greenwald thinks this Marine who served at Walter Reed should be ashamed for questioning Dana Priest's reporting.

02/19 01:34 PM
 
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That e-mail is bogus to me until the "Marine" ID's himself. I'm tired of anonymous e-mails (benefiting either the left or the right) unless they point to information that can be independently authenticated.

The system is at fault here, not the reporters, the Marines or even the staff at Walter Reed (even the incompetent ones). Tone-deaf leadership, countless redundant computer databases and procedures, etc. Geraldo or Bill O'Reilly or anyone else would be great to publicize this and force transparency into the system.
 

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The good news is that it is nothing new. Troops were still foundering in field hospitals two years after WWII ended.

The bad news is that it is nothing new.

The biggest part of the problem is a cover your six mentality by military medicine. Ever since troops got the right to sue for malpractice, the admin went thru the roof.

As a PFC if I had a sprained ankle, I was told (no shit) to tighten my boot laces and after work to elevate the foot.

By the time I retired a sprained ankle got that PFC all the motrin he could handle THREE DAYS of bedrest, and a followup before I could get my mitts on the malingering sonofa.....

:lol:
 
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All that negative attention got something going...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/19/AR2007021900759.html

Walter Reed Army Medical Center began repairs yesterday on Building 18, a former hotel that is used to house outpatients recuperating from injuries suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan and that has been plagued with mold, leaky plumbing and a broken elevator.

The facility's commander, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, said Army staff members inspected each of the 54 rooms at the building and discovered that outstanding repair orders for half the rooms had not been completed. He said that mold removal had begun on several rooms and that holes in ceilings, stained carpets and leaking faucets were being fixed.
--------------------------------

Walter Reed and Army officials have been "meeting continuously for three days" since the articles began appearing, Weightman said. A large roundtable meeting with Army and Defense Department officials will take place at the Pentagon early this morning to continue talks about improvements in the outpatient system, he added.

Weightman said the medical center has received an outpouring of concern about conditions and procedures since the articles appeared and has taken steps to improve what soldiers and their families describe as a messy battlefield of bureaucratic problems and mistreatment.

"We're starting to attack how we'll fix and mitigate" some of the problems, he said.

Social workers will now be stationed around the clock at Mologne House, the 200-room hotel on the post where many of the outpatients live. Plans are being developed to better train other staff members who deal with outpatient needs.

The Army will also consider moving some outpatients to its other medical centers throughout the United States and will determine over the next weeks whether more workers are needed at Walter Reed.
 

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The good news is that it is nothing new. Troops were still foundering in field hospitals two years after WWII ended.

The bad news is that it is nothing new.

The biggest part of the problem is a cover your six mentality by military medicine. Ever since troops got the right to sue for malpractice, the admin went thru the roof.

As a PFC if I had a sprained ankle, I was told (no shit) to tighten my boot laces and after work to elevate the foot.

By the time I retired a sprained ankle got that PFC all the motrin he could handle THREE DAYS of bedrest, and a followup before I could get my mitts on the malingering sonofa.....

:lol:
While I agree with you, a sprained ankle is not what put these service members in the hospital. We own them a debt for their service, and we as a nation should be willing to see that they get everything necessary to assure their recovery and rehabilitation from their wounds. And if that means raising taxes, so be it. It's past time for everyone to start paying their fair share for the costs of this war.
 

pegwinn

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While I agree with you, a sprained ankle is not what put these service members in the hospital. We own them a debt for their service, and we as a nation should be willing to see that they get everything necessary to assure their recovery and rehabilitation from their wounds. And if that means raising taxes, so be it. It's past time for everyone to start paying their fair share for the costs of this war.
I'm going to simply assume you have never read anything I wrote. I am going to assume you mistook me for the run of the mill anti military long haired dope smoking draft dodger that went to Canada. So, for your edification I agree with everything you said.
 

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I'm going to simply assume you have never read anything I wrote. I am going to assume you mistook me for the run of the mill anti military long haired dope smoking draft dodger that went to Canada. So, for your edification I agree with everything you said.
I'd be hard pressed to see where anyone was saying anything different. Bully just is trying to make it so.
 

Bullypulpit

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I am going to assume you mistook me for the run of the mill anti military long haired dope smoking draft dodger that went to Canada.
Not bloody likely! You served, you have my respect, as does everyone else who served and is serving.:thup:

And on that note. I got an e-mail from my brother-in-law in Iraq. Any ideas on how I can get a couple (or more) bags of White Castles to him?
 

pegwinn

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Not bloody likely! You served, you have my respect, as does everyone else who served and is serving.:thup:

And on that note. I got an e-mail from my brother-in-law in Iraq. Any ideas on how I can get a couple (or more) bags of White Castles to him?
Fair enough, just wanted to make sure we all knew who we were talking with or to.

White Castles? Bags? I doubt it. Space on the Bird is limited. And mail is delivered space A. By the time he got them (assuming the flight crew or the security dog didn't eat them) they'd be inedible.

Small care packages work best. Unfortunitly I can only recommend non-perishables. Beef Jerkey is always a good choice. Lots of stuff from Hickory Farms will make the trip.

Or, make friends with the pilot........ start with five bags and work it so one actually makes it in theater.
 

Bullypulpit

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Fair enough, just wanted to make sure we all knew who we were talking with or to.

White Castles? Bags? I doubt it. Space on the Bird is limited. And mail is delivered space A. By the time he got them (assuming the flight crew or the security dog didn't eat them) they'd be inedible.

Small care packages work best. Unfortunitly I can only recommend non-perishables. Beef Jerkey is always a good choice. Lots of stuff from Hickory Farms will make the trip.

Or, make friends with the pilot........ start with five bags and work it so one actually makes it in theater.
Yeah...that was my thought as well. But Columbus IS where White Castle's corporate headquarters are located. Maybe the right pitch would get him, and his whole unit, all they could eat. Although the after effects might qualify as a crime against humanity. I'll wait until I hear back from him though before I try that angle.
 
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More progress. And they're blaming NCO's for it too. Disgraceful.
Gen. Richard A. Cody, vice chief of staff of the Army, and William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, declined to specify precisely where the leadership breakdown occurred or to identify anyone who was at fault. Instead, they and the commander of Walter Reed, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, said they took overall responsibility for the situation.

"Clearly, we've had a breakdown in leadership, and bureaucratic, medical and contractual processes bogged down a speedy solution to these problems," Cody told reporters. "I can assure you that the appropriate vigor and leadership is being applied to this issue, and we will correct any problems immediately."

Cody vowed to "personally oversee the plan to upgrade Building 18," a decrepit former hotel that houses about 80 wounded soldiers just outside the Walter Reed grounds. The general also said the name of the 54-room facility would soon be changed.

"Referring to a place where our soldiers stay as Building 18 is not appropriate," he said. "We own that building, and we're going to take charge of it."

In a scathing statement on the issue, Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.), the top Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the problems at Walter Reed go far beyond building repairs and that the Army has known about underlying personnel, management and record-keeping shortcomings for years.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/21/AR2007022101179.html
 

pegwinn

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More progress. And they're blaming NCO's for it too. Disgraceful.
With respect, I didn't read it that way.

Gen. Richard A. Cody, vice chief of staff of the Army, and William Winkenwerder Jr., assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, declined to specify precisely where the leadership breakdown occurred or to identify anyone who was at fault. Instead, they and the commander of Walter Reed, Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, said they took overall responsibility for the situation.
That's a pretty good acceptance of responsibility. The question shouldn't be "Who's responsible?" but "Who's going to be accountable?"

On the subject of NCO's the source you quoted said:

He did point to lower-ranking officers and noncommissioned officers lacking "the right experience and the authority to be able to execute some of the missions."
This highlights a problem to resolve and it appears that the junior officers and the NCO's are in on it. Any administrative giant runs on it's clerks and typists as much as it's CEO's. IF the Enlisted Leadership needs training then train em. IF the Officers need training, then train em.

But if the system is broken and needs fixing, fix it. And see if we can find out the answer to the second question above.
 

Annie

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070301/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/walter_reed
20 minutes ago

WASHINGTON - The Army said Thursday that the two-star general in charge of Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been relieved of command following disclosures about inadequate treatment of wounded soldiers.
ADVERTISEMENT

Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman, who was commanding general of the North Atlantic Regional Medical Command as well as Walter Reed hospital, was relieved of command by Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey.

In a brief announcement, the Army said service leaders had "lost trust and confidence" in Weightman's leadership abilities "to address needed solutions for soldier outpatient care" at Walter Reed.
 

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This stuff has been going on for decades; as much as I love the military and most of those in it, it does have its petty-ass, bullshit side too. The medical bunch goes a long way in fostering that crap too...just my opinion.
 

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