The Walter Reed Disgrace
A soldier writes:
I honestly believe that the Army is fixing its appalling mess at Walter Reed. But that it took WaPo's Dana Priest to bring it to anyone's attention tells me one thing: that it's been going on a while. The Army is certainly taking the right course on this one - owning up to fault, immediately fixing the situation. But I can't believe for a minute that no one with any real rank had no clue that Soldiers with brain trauma were put in charge of lower ranking Soldiers with equal or worse injuries. I have no doubt that people knew but were simply overwhelmed with the crush of patient intake.
Of course, Army Secretary Harvey told WaPo today that the command had NCOs not doing their jobs. With all due respect, Secretary Harvey, that's interesting, but irrelevant. The very idea of blaming subordinate non-commissioned officers is repugnant. They are not commissioned - they are not up for public scrutiny. Commissioned officers, say, the commander of that hospital or the Army Surgeon General or the Chief of Staff of the Army - or political appointees - they are up for public scrutiny and should be held accountable. To blame NCOs "not doing their jobs" is the worst kind of passing of the buck and is all to familiar, I'm afraid, for those tied to this administration.
My only hope is that this causes a ground swell of both concern AND action. It's one thing to say "those poor Soldiers. Damn this administration." It's something else entirely to actually do something about it. Start a 501(c)(3) that funnels real help to those Soldiers and Marines who return to face nothing. Something. Anything. The Army - given its extremely limited resources faced against the challenge of a multi-front war - clearly can't do it all on its own.