Thursday, March 8, 2007
Major Walter Reed Hospital MIA
Walter Reed Army Hospital
Major Walter Reed
Dr. Walter Reed's Legacy
Today a hospital and medical center stand in constant tribute to Walter Reed. Walter Reed General Hospital, as it was then known, opened its doors on May 1, 1909 to ten patients. Fourteen years later, General John J. Pershing signed the War Department Order creating the Army Medical Center. In September 1951 on the one hundredth anniversary of Walter Reed's birth, the entire complex became known as Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in further tribute to this hero of medical science.
Major Reed gained recognition for his tireless pursuit of cures and control of yellow fever, which decimated American Troops in the early 1900's. It is safe to say, he would have easily detected the incompetence of service, cracked plaster, mold, urine and blood that now plague the hospital named in his honor.
Reed died of peritonitis on November 23, 1902. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. On his monument is inscribed the following epitaph: "He gave to man control over that dreadful scourge, yellow fever." All it took was a Major to do that. We have Generals that can't keep Reed's hospital sanitary and competent.
The United States Army is at war. troops die, many are severely injured. Many go to Walter Reed Army Hospital, cited as the United State's "premier" military hospital.
Now we get to see what the Army definition of premier is: Decrepit.
In a typical political dash for cover, the Bush administration has appointed a committee to look into and fix what his own three star generals can't seem to handle.
Congress is no better. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young, supposedly frequented Walter Reed Army Medical Center, "Bill" said he and his wife found wounded soldiers who didn't have adequate clothes, even one doing his rehabilitation in the bloody boots he had on when he was injured. One soldier, ashamed that his mattress was soaked with urine, tried to turn Young's wife away, the Florida Republican recalled Wednesday. Another with a serious brain injury fell out of bed and hit his head three times before someone was assigned to ensure it didn't happen again.
On the third day of hearings on Walter Reed, Young told Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, the Army's top medical officer, and other brass that he repeatedly took his concerns to officials. Young didn't raise them in public, he said, because he didn't want to undermine patients' confidence in the military. But now he and other lawmakers want answers. Inexplicably, Young must have thought the mistreated patients still had confidence in the military. What a jerk.
Unbelievable. "Bill" scolds a three star about conditions he observed frequently himself , yet refused to raise them in public. Hypocrisy and contempt are up and running in D.C. How about that action called a Congressional Inquiry Mr. Young? It is obvious Republican Representative Young didn't want to undermine the shameful treatment of wounded troops.
That Young could leave that hospital after seeing what he now reported to the world and not go into a frenzy to see it corrected, demonstrates a politician whose soul is lost.
Now Bush, the Commander in Chief is going to correct this scandal immediately. He is appointing a committee.
At the White House, former Sen. Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala, who were appointed Tuesday to head a commission to study military and veterans medical care, met with President Bush.
"He made it very clear that if one soldier doesn't get high-quality treatment and isn't transitioned back into civilian life or back into the military, that's unacceptable," Shalala said, adding that she could sense Bush's "anger and his anxiousness that we move as quickly as possible."
Most people that get caught neglecting their responsibility are angry and anxious. The same guy who enjoys using soldiers as props for his "mission accomplished" speeches would not look so good with a brigade of uncared for troops behind him.
Too bad the Army can't find a good Major to fix this awful mess.