The Walter Reed Army Medical Center story is several stories, one about the physical condition of military hospital buildings and another about the malfunctioning Army

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The Reed Effect

An old story made new again.

The Walter Reed Army Medical Center story is several stories, one about the physical condition of military hospital buildings and another about the malfunctioning Army and Veterans Affairs bureaucracies around the U.S. and across Puget Sound. Just today the GAO released a report on how the two massive agencies can’t get along electronically. It’s encouraging to see D.C. react to the Reed news, starting with the terrific stories in the Washington Post. But it’s of course not a new story, just new victims. The medical and bureaucratic mistreatment is compounded this time by a war that never should have been. Still, as with Gulf War I, the aftermath will only worsen. In the decade-plus since GWI, more than 320,00 of the 696,000 U.S. troops deployed have sought medical treatment from the VA – despite the fact that the official American combat toll from the so-called “100-hour war” was just 148. It shows there’s a greater toll to war than body counts. In GWI, chemical exposures contributed to what became known as Gulf War Illness; in this war, the hangover medical consequences will come from bomb concussions - and the liklihood the government again will disregard wounds it can't see. Hopefully, the Reed story will help keep awareness of this ongoing injustice, and our vets, alive. Why, I could write a book...

 
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