Feb 21, 2005
The new year brought an unwelcome change for hundreds of wounded Iraq War troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Outpatient soldiers receiving treatment lasting more than 90 days started being charged for their meals at the hospital!
These long-term outpatient troops, living on the hospital grounds or in nearby hotels, have little choice but to buy food at the hospital. They frequently have serious injuries like head wounds, amputations and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many will never return to actual military duty. But because they are technically still "active military," in what is called "medical hold" status, they have to line up for daily formations and buy new uniforms despite their injuries.
They were warned they would be disciplined for saying anything negative about their treatment. But a soldier recovering from a broken neck anonymously told a reporter, "I don't starve, but it might be beans and weenies or a cup of noodles. I'm not going to starve, but it really sucks."
Bush calls on people to "support the troops" – even as he nickels and dimes them every way he can.
Support them yes – but by bringing them home!