Chairman Skelton on Fixing Walter Reed

February 21, 2007
From the House Armed Services Committee:

Skelton Statement on Conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Washington, DC -- House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement today regarding news reports concerning the condition of facilities and treatment of service members and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center:

"Although I have visited service members and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's main hospital, I was unaware of the problems at Walter Reed before the recent news reports.

"With the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, our military medical facilities and personnel support services are under strain to meet the needs of injured service members and their families. Congress has been working to resolve many of the challenges faced by service members in medical hold status, including matters of transitional compensation, medical treatment, evaluation and rating of disabilities, and post separation programs. However, these challenges are long-term and cannot be cured with a one-time fix.

"The Pentagon must take urgent action to deal with immediate problems that can be fixed at Walter Reed and other facilities. Over the long term, Congress must also ensure that staffing and maintenance of our military treatment facilities meet high standards that reflect the dignity and respect our wounded warriors and their families have earned."