II-"Walter Reed Army Medical Center: Behind the Walls of Ward 54" - Mark Benjamin - Salon

They're overmedicated, forced to talk about their mothers instead of Iraq, and have to fight for disability pay. Traumatized combat vets say the Army is failing them, and after a year following more than a dozen soldiers at Walter Reed Hospital, I believe them.

Byline: Mark Benjamin; 2005-02-18; Salon.com; 

Report: Mark Benjamin's Walter Reed Exposé - Salon

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The conditions for traumatized vets at the Army's flagship hospital are particularly disturbing because Walter Reed is supposed to be the best. But leading veterans' advocate and retired Army ranger Steve Robinson, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center, agrees that when it comes to psychiatric care, Walter Reed doesn't make the grade. "I think that Walter Reed is doing a great job of taking care of those suffering acute battlefield injuries -- the amputees, the burn victims, and those hurt by bullets and bombs," said Robinson, who has spent many hours visiting psychiatric patients at Walter Reed. "But they are failing the psychological needs of the returning veterans."

Description:The first major article about the poor quality of care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. This story focuses on the suicide of Spc. Alexis Soto-Ramirez and the difficulty he faced receiving quality psychiatric care.

Rights: Access to online material.

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Photo of someone who received care at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Referenced in Mark Benjamin's article, "Walter Reed Army Medical Center: Behind the Walls of Ward 54." Written for Salon.