Walter Reeds dirty deeds

Well, we did it. We did three segments on the Walter Reed (and other medical hold facilities) without saying GOD DAMMIT on the air. For those of you who haven’t read Dana Priest’s Wa Po article. Hide your guns,put down your coffee, take a couple deep breaths and read this. Now you can see why I was so concerned about a slip of non-FCC acceptable verbiage while talking about this …..issue. With the help of the fine ,dedicated folks at the Northwest chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America,we got a local and national perspective of how our returning, wounded soldiers are treated after they serve our country. At this point I would like to personally thank: Ernie Butler,executive Director, Gary Pearson, Chapter President and Skip Dreps, Government Relations Director for guiding us through this gray area our soldiers face between the time they are actually treated for their wounds and the final status of their service whether they return to active duty, or are released from the service and qualify for Veterans Administration status.

This limbo or DOD purgatory is the issue at play in the WaPo article. These soldiers are placed in “Medical Hold” units near DOD hospitals, and are faced with worse than kennel-like accommodations while a mountain of laborious paperwork and red tape is closing in like a Humvee under a bolder. Their forms are lost or misplaced, they have to continue to have formations every morning (even though there are broken elevators) and after all that, they return to rooms rotten with mold, rodent droppings and roaches that die because the conditions aren’t even fit for THEM!

There were a couple things said on todays show that, as Audrey mentioned, made my face go pale and my jaw to drop.It was stated by our guests that the reason the “medical hold” units were so over-stressed is because the DOD (under the leadership of rummy) thought these wounded soldiers would DIE! MY GAWD!! THAT almost got me to utter a GOD DAMMIT.

Anyway, we wanted to offer resources for folks that need help obtaining benefits from the VA upon returning to civilian life after the ordeal they face with the DOD.Here are some links that might be helpful. The NABVETS, who are proud sponsors of Equal Time. Once again, the Northwest chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America.The national Paralyzed Veterans of America. And of course the Disabled American Veterans.
We decided that we will do another show on this issue next week. We have invited The folks we talked to this week back next week and we’ll see how much progress the DOD has made to correct this abomination. There have already been a few pinpoints of light. There have been some improvements to building 18 at Walter Reed. There are investigations in the house and Senate to find out how this happens, why it went so far, why it takes so damn long for these incompetents to determine the status of these soldiers and the expedition of paperwork.

There is another bittersweet aspect to this story. First, the media, cowed by the folks at bushcorp is at least TALKING/ writing about this story. Second, the American people are outraged and sickened by it. We have Dana Priest to thank for her courage to write about this, and our Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) for pointing this stuff out for YEARS. If you have the time, please give her a call at (292) 224-2621 and say thank you for doing what is right for our Veterans.