"The Other Walter Reed" - Dana Priest and Anne Hull - Washington Post
Doctors at Walter Reed say she has a mental disorder. Army superiors say that's just an 'excuse' for her actions.
"Military psychiatrists at Walter Reed who examined Whiteside after she recovered from her self-inflicted gunshot wound diagnosed her with a severe mental disorder, possibly triggered by the stresses of a war zone. But Whiteside's superiors considered her mental illness "an excuse" for criminal conduct, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post."
When Her Soldier Returned From Baghdad, Michelle Turner Picked Up the Burden of War
"Michelle has spent hundreds of hours at the library researching complicated VA policies and disability regulations. 'You need two college degrees to understand any of it,' she says, lacking both. She scavenges information where she can find it. A psychotic Vietnam vet she met in a VA hospital was the one who told her that Troy might be eligible for Social Security benefits. Meanwhile, there are clothes to wash, meals to cook, kids to get ready for school and a husband who is placidly medicated or randomly explosive. Besides PTSD, Michelle suspects that Troy may have a brain injury, which could explain how a 38-year-old man who used to hunt and fish can lose himself in a three-day "Scooby-Doo" marathon on the Cartoon Network."
Follow-up: Walter Reed - "Almost Home, but Facing More Delays at Walter Reed" - Dana Priest and Anne Hull - Washington Post
Errors Slow Disabled Soldier's Retirement
"Last week, Shannon, 43, was back at Walter Reed, but not to say goodbye. The doctors' signatures on two time-sensitive forms in his disability file had expired. He would have to be reexamined by his doctors, he was told, and his medical summaries would have to be written all over again. Unfortunately, the sergeant in charge of his disability paperwork had not stayed on top of his case. 'There was a failure of paying attention to the currency of his paperwork,' a Walter Reed spokesman, Charles Dasey, said last night."
At Walter Reed, Care for Soldiers Struggling With War's Mental Trauma Is Undermined by Doctor Shortages and Unfocused Methods
"Even though Walter Reed maintains the largest psychiatric department in the Army, it lacks enough psychiatrists and clinicians to properly treat the growing number of soldiers returning with combat stress. Earlier this year, the head of psychiatry sent out an "SOS" memo desperately seeking more clinical help."
Follow-up: Walter Reed - "Soldier Finds Comfort at Dark Journey's End" - Anne Hull and Dana Priest - Washington Post
"At the start of this year, Blackwood, 41, took on a new job as the chief of media relations for the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, based in Crystal City. No one knew that loud noises would trigger a panic attack for her, that she was barely sleeping or eating, or that she was clawing her forearms so fiercely the blood sometimes soaked through her sleeves."
Troops Are Returning From the Battlefield With Psychological Wounds, But the Mental-Health System That Serves Them Makes Healing Difficult
Veterans Affairs will spend $2.8 billion this year on mental health. But the best it could offer Cruz was group therapy at the Bronx VA medical center. Not a single session is held on the weekends or late enough at night for him to attend. At age 25, Cruz is barely keeping his life together. He supports his disabled parents and 4-year-old son and cannot afford to take time off from his job repairing boilers. The rough, dirty work, with its heat and loud noises, gives him panic attacks and flesh burns but puts $96 in his pocket each day.
Soldiers Share Troubling Stories Of Military Health Care Across U.S.
"Across the country, some military quarters for wounded outpatients are in bad shape, according to interviews, Government Accountability Office reports and transcripts of congressional testimony. The mold, mice and rot of Walter Reed's Building 18 compose a familiar scenario for many soldiers back from Iraq or Afghanistan who were shipped to their home posts for treatment. Nearly 4,000 outpatients are currently in the military's Medical Holding or Medical Holdover companies, which oversee the wounded. Soldiers and veterans report bureaucratic disarray similar to Walter Reed's: indifferent, untrained staff; lost paperwork; medical appointments that drop from the computers; and long waits for consultations."
III-Walter Reed: "Hospital Investigates Former Aid Chief" - Anne Hull and Dana Priest - Washington Post
Walter Reed Official Had Own Charity
"For the past three years, Michael J. Wagner directed the Army's largest effort to help the most vulnerable soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. His office in Room 3E01 of the world-renowned hospital was supposed to match big-hearted donors with thousands of wounded soldiers who could not afford to feed their children, pay mortgages, buy plane tickets or put up visiting families in nearby hotels. But while he was being paid to provide this vital service to patients, outpatients and their relations, Wagner was also seeking funders and soliciting donations for his own new charity, based in Texas, according to documents and interviews with current and former staff members."
Inside Mologne House, the Survivors of War Wrestle With Military Bureaucracy and Personal Demons
". . . Oil paintings hang in the lobby of this strange outpost in the war on terrorism, where combat's urgency has been replaced by a trickling fountain in the garden courtyard. The maimed and the newly legless sit in wheelchairs next to a pond, watching goldfish turn lazily through the water . . ."
I-Walter Reed: "Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration at Army's Top Medical Facility" - Dana Priest and Anne Hull - Washington Post
". . . Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers' families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment . . ."