Our Vets deserve better than this....

Sinsear

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2007
6,439
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Been watching this unfold on the news for the last hour or so. Seems to me our Vets deserve much better treatment than this. As a member of the Army, I find myself quite pissed off at this.

Text

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan's room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.

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.

Text

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Army Secretary Francis Harvey blamed a failure of leadership for substandard conditions in a building that is part of Walter Reed Army Medical Center and vowed Tuesday to move quickly to fix the problem.

"We failed here, we failed in having a facility like this," Harvey told CNN. "Unfortunately, it's a leadership problem."

Inside Building 18, used for outpatients who suffered wounds in Iraq and Afghanistan, workers were repairing plumbing, covering holes in ceilings and repainting mold-covered walls. (Watch a tour of the run-down facility Video)

Harvey said he learned about the conditions in the building, a former hotel where some soldiers have been recuperating for more than a year and a half, on Sunday, when the Washington Post broke the story.

"If we would have known about this, we would have fixed it," he said. "Unfortunately, we didn't know about it."

The article, titled "The Other Walter Reed," said some outpatients at the facility include veterans who suffer from depression and were involved in overdoses and suicide attempts.

Walter Reed is the Army's top medical facility. It opened in 1901 in a single small building and now is a complex of structures with 28 acres of floor space.

The hospital can accommodate 250 patients and admits more than 14,000 a year. Thousands use its outpatient facilities daily.

President Bush has been seen visiting wounded troops at the hospital several times, and presidents often receive medical care there.

The Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005 recommended closing Walter Reed in 2010.

Harvey said an "action plan" was being put together "to ensure across the board that our soldiers are being taken care of with the highest quality medicine possible in the kind of facilities that provide a quality of life for the soldier that is equal to the quality of their service."

He added, "To have it in this condition is disappointing to me, unacceptable to me as the secretary of the Army, and we have a plan in place."


This involves the outpatient building where soldiers can come and go a bit but not go home. Seems the Walter Reed we all see on the news is the shiny, fabulous, technologically advanced part where the VIP's regularly visit. Apparently the rest of the facility is not quite up to par.
 

jpeyton

Moderator in SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones
Moderator
Aug 23, 2003
25,375
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Wouldn't be good for business. When Bush ask for war appropriations, he will send the absolute minimum needed to the armed services to keep the war effort going, and the absolute maximum to contractors to increase company profits and shareholder satisfaction.
 

keird

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
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I was stationed at Walter Reed for a few years. That hotel is across the street from the front gate and there have been robberies and assaults within 50 yards of that gate. The disrepair is nothing compared to the Walter Reed?s Forest Glen Annex in Maryland. An all-girls prep school from the 1900s was annexed and made in to a convalescent facility. It had a 3-story ballroom that has probably since been demolished. It was a beautiful, secret gem of the Army. A volunteer group tried to raise funds to save it, but I don't think they were successful.
 

dmcowen674

No Lifer
Oct 13, 1999
54,894
47
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www.alienbabeltech.com
Originally posted by: jpeyton
Wouldn't be good for business.

When Bush ask for war appropriations, he will send the absolute minimum needed to the armed services to keep the war effort going, and the absolute maximum to contractors to increase company profits and shareholder satisfaction.

Pretty much sums it up
 

nullzero

Senior member
Jan 15, 2005
670
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This is pathetic bush and the war profiteers are sick and twisted. All this money for the military and 99% of it is going to weapons and the War in Iraq. While the War Vet services suffer and close down. Wasnt Walter Reed on the list of military places to shut down to save cost? By the time we pull out of Iraq, the Iraq War vets are going to be forgotten and left behind by our government just like they did to the Vietnam Vets. Its very sad indeed but I can already see it, its happening right infront of our eyes with the troops lack of equipment for safety on the battlefield.
 

brandonbull

Diamond Member
May 3, 2005
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Originally posted by: nullzero
This is pathetic bush and the war profiteers are sick and twisted. All this money for the military and 99% of it is going to weapons and the War in Iraq. While the War Vet services suffer and close down. Wasnt Walter Reed on the list ofmilitary places to shut down to save cost? By the time we pull out of Iraq, the Iraq War vets are going to be forgotten and left behind by our government just like they did to the Vietnam Vets. Its very sad indeed but I can already see it, its happening right infront of our eyes with the troops lack of equipment for safety on the battlefield.

I've seen it several times. As soon as a soldier is unable to fight, they are thrown away like some old trash.

 

OutHouse

Lifer
Jun 5, 2000
36,413
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nasty nasty nasty. who ever is in charge of putting those guys in that facility should be fired and demoted.:|
 

nullzero

Senior member
Jan 15, 2005
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Originally posted by: brandonbull
Originally posted by: nullzero
This is pathetic bush and the war profiteers are sick and twisted. All this money for the military and 99% of it is going to weapons and the War in Iraq. While the War Vet services suffer and close down. Wasnt Walter Reed on the list ofmilitary places to shut down to save cost? By the time we pull out of Iraq, the Iraq War vets are going to be forgotten and left behind by our government just like they did to the Vietnam Vets. Its very sad indeed but I can already see it, its happening right infront of our eyes with the troops lack of equipment for safety on the battlefield.

I've seen it several times. As soon as a soldier is unable to fight, they are thrown away like some old trash.

Exactly our government is going to throw them away like trash. The ones that developed mental problems from war and have no limbs are going to be at the end of a freeway ramp begging for money. Very sad indeed my heart goes out to those vets that are injured in this pointless war. If we cut the war profiteers money down by 30% we could more then likely have enough money to fund new medical care places and have nice military payouts for life to those severely injured.
 

keird

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
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Speaking for the 2/100s of 1% of people in the United States who have actually served in the miltary, I think you jokers harping on President Bush don't really know what you're talking about.

Speaking as a Soldier who was stationed at Walter Reed, do you have any idea, precisely, what you're condemning? Are you going to grow more land in Washington D.C. or something? The Fisher House is full, I think. That hotel is, from my understanding, temporary. The barracks have historically been full.

Don't get me wrong, I think that improving temporary transient housing is awesome. But blaming the President of the United States and 'the war profiteers' for 100 years of housing and budgeting issues for an unarguably difficult piece of real estate makes you sound uninformed and reactionary.

Too reactionary. It was the Washington Post. You think they might have spun it a little? Do you even realize that you're not getting all the information? They've selected the bits that they've intended for you to read.
 

UberNeuman

Lifer
Nov 4, 1999
16,937
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There's a lot of lip service that has come from the Bush White House about honoring our troops; in 2004, the Republicans, passed a bill to the VA to cut benefits, chiefly - health benefits....

The respect for our troops ends when they're not cost-effective....
 

brandonbull

Diamond Member
May 3, 2005
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Originally posted by: keird
Speaking for the 2/100s of 1% of people in the United States who have actually served in the miltary, I think you jokers harping on President Bush don't really know what you're talking about.

Speaking as a Soldier who was stationed at Walter Reed, do you have any idea, precisely, what you're condemning? Are you going to grow more land in Washington D.C. or something? The Fisher House is full, I think. That hotel is, from my understanding, temporary. The barracks have historically been full.

Don't get me wrong, I think that improving temporary transient housing is awesome. But blaming the President of the United States and 'the war profiteers' for 100 years of housing and budgeting issues for an unarguably difficult piece of real estate makes you sound uninformed and reactionary.

Too reactionary. It was the Washington Post. You think they might have spun it a little? Do you even realize that you're not getting all the information? They've selected the bits that they've intended for you to read.

I served. I know a few people that were sickened from a stay in the Gulf.

 

keird

Diamond Member
Jan 18, 2002
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I was in the Gulf. No illnesses, here. There was a Gulf War Clinic that was in the main hospital building at Walter Reed. Despite the prevelance of reports of Gulf War Syndrome, studies showed that incidence rates of disease weren't above rates in the U.S. Same with birth defects. I worked in the Neonatal ICUs at both Brooks Army Medical Center and Walter Reed. I have seen some horrible stuff - but I knew some of the physicians that wrote those reports and they're not lying or misinformed.
 

CaptnKirk

Lifer
Jul 25, 2002
10,053
0
71
At least the Dems have attempted to move forward with funding and assistance to the Vets,
after 6 years of funding cuts and reappropriation of capital for tax breaks by the GOP leadership.

Where was the 'Party of Partiotism' when the Vets and the Military really need thier help, or is bragglng about it without helping their way?

Same with Senatorial Debate and discussion - who's hurting the troops, those who question it's course and value
or those who hid behind the flag - old narrowminded fools who's ego sends youth off to die for their lies.

Some GOP you brought along with you Dubya - a band of fools.
 

Bitek

Lifer
Aug 2, 2001
10,647
5,220
136
I went to Walter Reed to visit my cousin after he got blew up in Iraq. Most of the facility was quite nice, even the guest rooms where his wife, kid and mother lived for 2 mos waiting for him to to come out of his coma. I wouldn't call it lavish, but was not in complete disrepair. It was comfortable enough for them given the circumstances.

The neighborhood around it was a hellhole tho.


It was not until he was discharged did the Army really try to screw him over. That's the real story IMO.
 

techs

Lifer
Sep 26, 2000
28,561
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0
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co...rticle/2007/02/21/AR2007022101179.html

Pentagon Faults Leadership for Walter Reed

Top Pentagon officials today blamed a breakdown in leadership for problems with outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and vowed to take quick corrective action.

In a Pentagon briefing, however, the officials said they did not know about the most serious problems until The Washington Post reported on them in a two-part exposé on Sunday and Monday. An "independent review group" is being formed to look into the problems and report back as soon as possible, the officials said.

The Post found recovering soldiers living in squalid conditions in Building 18, with some of the quarters plagued by mold, rot and vermin. The series also documented a larger issue of bureaucratic indifference that soldiers and family members said had demoralized them and impeded recovery.





I agree. I fault leadership. Starting with the Commander in Chief, Bush.
Hundreds of billions for expensive weapons systems, pennies for our troops.
What an outrage.

 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,348
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My research advisor is the chief of staff of the two VA hospitals in St. Louis. The St. Louis VA is currently ranked dead last among all VAs nationwide (which is why my advisor, not the previous guy, is chief of staff). The problems that the VA faces are different from any other healthcare system in the US, perhaps worldwide. They are awarded a fixed amount of money based on the treatment index of the previous year. The treatment index is indicative of the complexity of cases treated by the hospital and is roughly calculated as the sum of the complexity of the individual cases. Thus, a VA hospital can get more money by seeing more simple-to-treat patients and/or fewer, more complex cases. Quality of care factors in only as a negligible contribution to the score. IIRC, the VA here got about $770 million this year for everything. Next year, they'll get about the same, but they'll get an extra $220 million for new basic research buildings. As a VA researcher, I appreciate that they are gung-ho on research, but as someone with friends and family in the military, it seemed silly to me that they are so forthcoming with funds for research when other, more obvious expenditures (such as building maintenance) are neglected.

Now that I have more insight into the workings of the VA, I know that *congress* decided on such a funding scheme long ago. The logic behind approving research funding ahead of more clinical funding is that the long-term savings will be greater if the VA can get intellectual property that is widely applicable to particularly rehabilitation. This is true, at least to an extent, but doesn't help the people who are there now.

The most glaring cases that I see here are, as in the Walter-Reed case, maintenance. Though congress thought they were far-sighted in funding research through the VA, they totally missed a chance for greater long-term savings by failing to fund simple building maintenance. As a result, the only recourse for the VA is to wait for a building to practically fall down, then ask for more money to build an entirely new one.

I don't think Walter-Reed is a VA facility (though maybe someone can correct me - I think it's only for active-duty personnel), but it is my understanding that the same rules for funding apply. Blaming the president for this is just ignorant. Perhaps he could have requested more funding, but since we can't seem to get any sort of budget through, it wouldn't matter at all. I'm still sitting on my hands waiting to get a little funding so I can get back to work this year. Meanwhile, congress is busy trying to pass finger-wagging resolutions that don't really accomplish anything other than a political pat on the back.
 

ProfJohn

Lifer
Jul 28, 2006
18,251
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Originally posted by: techs
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co...rticle/2007/02/21/AR2007022101179.html

Pentagon Faults Leadership for Walter Reed

Top Pentagon officials today blamed a breakdown in leadership for problems with outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and vowed to take quick corrective action.

In a Pentagon briefing, however, the officials said they did not know about the most serious problems until The Washington Post reported on them in a two-part exposé on Sunday and Monday. An "independent review group" is being formed to look into the problems and report back as soon as possible, the officials said.

The Post found recovering soldiers living in squalid conditions in Building 18, with some of the quarters plagued by mold, rot and vermin. The series also documented a larger issue of bureaucratic indifference that soldiers and family members said had demoralized them and impeded recovery.


I agree. I fault leadership. Starting with the Commander in Chief, Bush.
Hundreds of billions for expensive weapons systems, pennies for our troops.
What an outrage.
Is there anything wrong with this country that is not Bush's fault in your eyes?
 

catnap1972

Platinum Member
Aug 10, 2000
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Originally posted by: ProfJohn
Originally posted by: techs
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co...rticle/2007/02/21/AR2007022101179.html

Pentagon Faults Leadership for Walter Reed

Top Pentagon officials today blamed a breakdown in leadership for problems with outpatient care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and vowed to take quick corrective action.

In a Pentagon briefing, however, the officials said they did not know about the most serious problems until The Washington Post reported on them in a two-part exposé on Sunday and Monday. An "independent review group" is being formed to look into the problems and report back as soon as possible, the officials said.

The Post found recovering soldiers living in squalid conditions in Building 18, with some of the quarters plagued by mold, rot and vermin. The series also documented a larger issue of bureaucratic indifference that soldiers and family members said had demoralized them and impeded recovery.


I agree. I fault leadership. Starting with the Commander in Chief, Bush.
Hundreds of billions for expensive weapons systems, pennies for our troops.
What an outrage.
Is there anything wrong with this country that is not Bush's fault in your eyes?

Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Clinton is behind all this

THE BASTARD!!!

:roll:
 

CycloWizard

Lifer
Sep 10, 2001
12,348
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Originally posted by: catnap1972
Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Clinton is behind all this

THE BASTARD!!!

:roll:
Why is it that a president is responsible for every government mishap?
 

blackllotus

Golden Member
May 30, 2005
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Originally posted by: CycloWizard
Now that I have more insight into the workings of the VA, I know that *congress* decided on such a funding scheme long ago. The logic behind approving research funding ahead of more clinical funding is that the long-term savings will be greater if the VA can get intellectual property that is widely applicable to particularly rehabilitation. This is true, at least to an extent, but doesn't help the people who are there now.

Thanks for this piece of info, it clears up a lot.
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
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Originally posted by: CycloWizard
Originally posted by: catnap1972
Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Clinton is behind all this

THE BASTARD!!!

:roll:
Why is it that a president is responsible for every government mishap?

Because he's the commander in chief, and that title means more than a convenient excuse to ignore laws you don't happen to like. When you're the boss, EVERYTHING that happens on your watch is your responsibility. As the old navy wisdom goes, the ship's captain is responsible if the ship runs aground, even if he's asleep in his bunk at the time. And if people seem to be pressing this point particularly aggressively with President Bush, it might be because he has so far failed to take responsibility for ANYTHING (with a few notable exceptions) that's gone wrong during his time in office. Considering that he ran on a platform of brining responsibility back to government, I can't feel too bad for him.
 

DealMonkey

Lifer
Nov 25, 2001
13,136
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Just goes to show you that the GOP/Republicans talk a good talk about supporting the troops, but when it comes right down to it, it's all a lie. A smoke-screen. A couple of magnetic ribbons on their SUV sort of superficial. :roll: And yet when it comes down to helping the troops who need it the most: those coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan with limbs missing and other horrific injuries, where are the Republicans then? Cutting funding for these vets for years and instead of learning about this travesty first-hand by visiting these sort of hospitals, they're learning about it by reading the GD WaPo.
 

nullzero

Senior member
Jan 15, 2005
670
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Originally posted by: DealMonkey
So much for the GOP/Republicans giving two craps about the troops. :roll:

GOP is the bullcrap party say one thing and do another.
 

bctbct

Diamond Member
Dec 22, 2005
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Originally posted by: CycloWizard
Originally posted by: catnap1972
Yeah, it's pretty obvious that Clinton is behind all this

THE BASTARD!!!

:roll:
Why is it that a president is responsible for every government mishap?


The President has the ability to set his sights on an issue and makes things happen. Bush wants to put men back on the Moon, not take care of vets.