Thursday, February 22

Speaking of Supporting Our Troops--At Home

A ‘breakdown in leadership’

A top army general blamed “a breakdown in leadership” for poor living conditions of wounded soldiers at the US Army’s renowned Walter Reed Medical Center.

But General Richard Cody, vice chief of staff of the army, said no one has been relieved of command or disciplined since the problems were exposed over the weekend by The Washington Post. “Clearly, we’ve had a breakdown in leadership and bureaucratic, medical and contractual processes dogged down a speedy solution to these problems,” Cody said at a Pentagon news conference.

The Post said convalescing soldiers in one army building were living in rooms with mold covered walls, holes in the ceiling and infestations of rodents and cockroaches. The series set off a furor with the White House expressing shock and lawmakers demanding action.

And there's this from the Washington Post

Most infuriating are reports of official efforts to deny disability benefits to discharged fighters. The Army tried to deny disability compensation to Cpl. Dell McLeod, who suffered a head injury that left him aimless and unable even to count change at the cafeteria. Army officials' argument: Because he had done poorly in high school, his current mental state might not have been caused by the steel door that smashed his skull in Iraq. If the Army determined that he was mentally fit to serve in the first place, it cannot now abscond from its responsibility for the consequences of his service overseas. Cpl. McLeod ended up getting a settlement from the command at Walter Reed -- despite base staffers' best efforts -- only after his wife got a congressional staffer involved.

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