Fixing Walter Reed

February 21, 2007
Following up on yesterday's post drawing attention to the plight of physically and psychologically damaged outpatients at Walter Reed exposed by the Washington Post, as well as Rep. Louise Slaughter's letter to Defense Secretary Gates on the subject, today reports illustrate the response to the needs of those who served and sacrificed for our country.

From the Washington Post:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) asked the House Armed Services Committee to investigate outpatient care at Walter Reed. "The treatment reported in The Post of our troops and our veterans is disgraceful," Pelosi spokesman Brendan Daly said.

And more from The Hill:

Democrats spring to action to help soldiers at Walter Reed

Klaus Marre, The Hill - February 20, 2007

Democrats Tuesday reacted swiftly to reports that some soldiers recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center face desolate conditions.

Following two votes last week in which Democrats rejected President Bush's surge plan and faced questioning from Republicans regarding their commitment to the troops, Democrats quickly seized on a story published by the Washington Post describing the conditions some soldiers encounter at Walter Reed.

The article highlights reactions from Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Claire McCaskill, then elaborates on efforts in the House and Rep. Slaughter's reaction to Walter Reed's assurance that Building 18 would be repaired:

"However, these improvements are long-overdue and I cannot help but think that they would not have begun at all had the Washington Post not blown the whistle," Slaughter said.

Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a powerful voice on military issues as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, called the Post story "disturbing."

"It is a disservice to those who have bravely sacrificed and it is a dishonor to their brave service to expose them to these conditions," Murtha said. "Those who are responsible must be held accountable and immediate rectification must be aggressively pursued."

Rep. Murtha concludes his extensive statement with this sentiment:

"We owe our men and women in uniform a debt of gratitude and the best care possible. They have more than held up their end and have sacrificed so much. Our government must hold up its end. The troops deserve to know that if they come home wounded that they will get the care and the best possible facilities that they deserve."