Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Walter Reed: Possibly the beginning of something?

For some, it may be difficult not to see the present awakening at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) as a political stepladder due to the obvious ramifications on both sides of the aisle. Yet, just for a moment, I would like to think that there isn’t an American alive who isn’t thankful that this issue, politics aside, is being addressed in what seems to be a correct and appropriate manner. There are some that may not be able to separate the politics of this from the simple fact that these heroes are going to get better care, better facilities and over all recuperation will dramatically improve for all of them.

I am sure there are patients at WR today whose lives will be forever changed for the better due to that handful of people who had been worn down by the system to a depth of despair that made it clear they had nothing left to lose. Many have questioned the Washington Post reporters who broke the story for having waited almost four months to bring this issue to the forefront. For whatever the reason, we truly must ask ourselves, who else was in a position have a similar impact? My thoughts are better late than never. Here,here and here you have some less slanted reporting eventhough still staying failthful to the MSMs "Bush is to blame" mantra.

Getting back to the politics of this, we already have our fans on the left pointing fingers, placing blame and in some cases, enjoying the rainstorm that is befalling Washington right now. Here is a perfect example. I had to laugh because Benen’s title, ””The Right Explains the Walter Reed Scandal” gives you the impression that he is going to give that side of the aisle’s perspective, yet all is does is give his sides typical blame game rhetoric. My question for the left is, how many of you have sat down and written a letter of support to a deployed soldier or Marine? Because after all you don’t support the war but you support the troops, right? How many have quietly and without fanfare gone to Walter Reed or Bethesda Naval Hospital to visit the wounded without cameras rolling?

This reminds me of the horrific story of the Ziegenfuss Family as US Army Major Chuck Z was recuperating at Walter Reed in 2006 from one of his 34 surgeries after being wounded by and IED in 2005. He and his wife were visited by Arizona Senator and 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain, this alone should keep McCain out of the White House, read here. This event may surprise some, but not me. Yet, this serves as a perfect example of those who still consider the wounded as a necessary evil for those much needed photo ops.

I sincerely hope that this is just the beginning of the exposure of many other military agencies that are charged with providing care and assistance to our heroes and their family members both past and present. Walter Reed will surely be the beginning of peeling pack the layers of chronic problems with the VA and it’s care not just for present day heroes but those from the Vietnam Era as well who continue to go through similar difficulties over their care and benefits from three decades ago.

I can only dream that this will be a springboard for not just those Vietnam Vets who still have the internal and external scars but for those family members of those brave men who are still MIA who have fought for decades to get answers to the questions that they know our government and those of our former enemies may well have. They too have been forgotten and hidden away in the hopes that they would be worn down by the system much like these wounded warriors of today.

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