Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) is not a Veteran’s Administration Hospital (VA). It is a facility of the full time Army which is used to treat a varied population of patients; active service members, retired service people and military families. A VA hospital is quite different. It treats inpatient and outpatient personnel who are eligible under US law for lifetime care for service connected disabilities. Most of these people are former service members rather than retired service members. The latter continue to be eligible for military medical care or for service connected health insurance. The difference in kind between these two types of hospitals seems to be beyond the comprehension of the MSM.
There is a major general of the Army Medical Service who commands WRAMC. He is a doctor. Like all Army officers he is responsible for all that his command does or fails to do. Don’t bother to tell me that this is an unreasonable standard. The Army is not a "reasonable" calling, and it should not be.
The general responsibility for the provision of and policy supervision of the functions of the Army Medical Service falls on the Secretary of the Army, the civilian politician who is the departmental head of the Department of the Army.
IMO both of these men failed miserably in their duty, failed to the point of criminality and should be fired at once pending an investigation to see if criminal charges can be justified.
The present sociology of the enlisted force of the US Army and Marine Corps is such that there are a lot of people in the ranks who have no home but the Army or Marines. When wounded and placed in a convalescent status requiring frequent outpatient care, many of them have no civilian home to go to, no disposable funds to deal with the additional expenses of maintaining aplace to live for such close family as they may have, and no one to care for them but the "big green machine." That machine and the two men I named failed miserably in that "familial" responsibility. They should pay for that failure toward those who had every right to expect to be cared for.
Why did they fail? They failed because they had other priorities. The base closing commission’s (BRAC) decision to close Walter Reed was probably a factor. A focus on budgetary problems in an atmosphere in which the costs of war are "sucking" so much money into the wars was probably a factor. A stupefyingly bureaucratic approach to problem solving is now pervasive in the Army. That was probably a BIG factor. I am going to write more on that general problem.
Did Dana Priest and her colleague tell the commanding general of WRAMC about this problem before WAPO printed the story? An interesting question, but it does not alter the situation. The general and the secretary are responsible.
That is Dr. Walter Reed’s picture at the top. He was a serious Army doctor. He would have burned the hides off these people.
Imagine what George Marshall’s reaction would have been if he had discovered something like this on his watch. General cody, the Vice Chief of Staff of the army said that he thought it "reflected on him" that he had never been to building 18 at WRAMC. Really? pl