Skip to comments.NOW THE TROOPS HAVE TO DEFEND WALTER REED, TOO – FReep # 99: 3/09/07
Posted on 03/15/2007 12:26:00 PM PDT by Albion Wilde
WASHINGTON, DC, March 9, 2007 Most Americans will root for an underdog. Since the dubiously motivated articles stirring up scandal at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center appeared in the Washington Post over the past weeks, the motorists who beeped for our troop-support rally at the gates of Walter Reed on Friday night were now double, triple in number. Now it wasn't just a discreet little toot every five or ten cars; it was many drivers at a time releasing loud, long, sometimes frankly impassioned blasts of the horn, from cars, trucks, Metro buses, even a DC police car hospital zone or no hospital zone. As inaccurate as they were melodramatic, the articles critical of Walter Reed have drawn the troops into the libmedia's anti-war web of deceit more than ever, forcing them to face the enemy at home as well as abroad.
There isn't space in this weekly chronicle to refute all the when-did-you-stop-beating-your-wife allegations and innuendo in those articles. Their transparently disdainful purpose was to demoralize the troops and embarrass the administration certainly not to benefit the soldiers, veterans and family members who are now burdened by extra layers of uncertainty about their care in the middle of a war that the Loony Left seems to feel is as unnecessary as, say, personal integrity.
What these developments have meant for us in the the DC Chapter of Free Republic is the joy of more visits from troops to our four-corner, Friday-night rallies outside the main gates. This week the Walter Reed Med-Hold platoon sergeant, John Dail, stopped by to shake hands all around.
I asked Sgt. Dail about Building 18, which had been cited by the Post article for mold and vermin. (It's worth noting here that Building 18 is not a medical care facility, it is a barracks. It is not on the main 116-acre campus of Walter Reed; it is a former motel, across the 6-lane Georgia Avenue bounding the eastern perimeter of the base, that was purchased as an overflow residence for outpatient and recovered soldiers waiting for transfers out of Walter Reed. Yet much of the uproar resulting from the articles has created the impression that the patient-care areas of the hospital are similarly contaminated, which they are not.)
"The residents of Building 18 have moved to Building 14, right on the base," Sgt. Dail revealed. "It has apartments with kitchens, DVD players in the rooms. They just got a plasma TV over there. It's a beautiful building one of the best I've seen in the Army.
"The residents didn't want to move, and didn't really understand why they had to move," Sgt. Dail went on. "But now we are going to improve all the facilities," he added, indicating that the shake-up has resulted in different budget priorities at Walter Reed, which had in 2005 been scheduled to be phased out altogether over the succeeding decade. For now, the Student Company was moved out of Building 14 to off-base civilian housing leased to WRAMC, and the "Med-Holds" were moved into 14, where those who are still reporting for outpatient medical appointments will be closer to the hospital building. The Student Company will now commute to the base.
As for Building 18, the subject of one of the scandal-mongering articles, Sgt. Dail said that inspectors determined "there were only seven rooms in that building that really needed work." My own sources on the base say that the mold was a result of a bathtub overflow, not from a problem in the larger infrastructure. One source, who has managed other residence buildings on the base, said that problems affected less than 5% of the rooms in Building 18, which is only one of many residences serving recovering troops at WRAMC. Other troop accommodations are comparable to upscale hotels, or, like the Fisher Houses, are home-like environments housing entire families of spouses and children of the recovering troops.
Specialist Tim, an MP of the 198th National Guard troop, was wounded in Afghanistan 15 days before the end of his tour. He was thrust into the spotlight on the previous Friday, March 2nd, as he stood near our rally. A Fox affiliate local DC television station interviewed him about the conditions at Walter Reed; he appeared on the 11 PM news for a very brief sound bite. On Wednesday of the past week, he and three other patients, with help from FReeper Just A Nobody, organized a lengthy press conference in support of WRAMC that was attended by major news outlets and then ignored, except for a tiny blip on FoxNews. (Even Demo-leaning pollster Zogby admitted last week that readers perceive a leftist bias in media coverage.)
Tonight, Tim (who will soon return home to Kentucky to continue healing, where he hopes to enter local politics) determined to talk with the anti-war protestors down the block, to lodge his objection to their phony "vigil" outside the hospital. "We need to put our attention back on the War in Iraq, on the Congressional resolution to support the troop surge," he said, "instead of on any problems at WRAMC. Because if we don't, we're just going to have more soldiers in Walter Reed. We need the funds for the ammo and armor to fight the war."
After talking with them, Tim circled back to the FReeper coffee stand. He related that the anti-war protesters said they are bringing "visibility" to their perception that supporting the troops means not allowing them to perform their military jobs. "It's not about visibility," Tim said. "It's about the fact that they're on what I consider sacred ground. This is our home, this is where I live, where my brothers and sisters live who have lost an eye, a leg, part of their brain..." he trailed off, and then continued, eyeing some nearby young FReeper females. "Hitting on women is why I came out here," he joked, "but if there's a bonus like debating with the Commies, I'm for it! They [the Pinkos] seem to think the Afghanistan War is different than Iraq, but I say no. Those people need to move to the other side of the street!"
This week's Honor Roll of troop supporters: FReepers present were Albion Wilde, BufordP, Cindy-True-Supporter, Citizen SMASH, Danang68, Fraxinus, Just A Nobody, Kristinn, PleaDeal, PrezUSA222, Taco Mamma, tgslTakoma, Tom the Redhunter, [Mr & Mrs] Trooprally and VAFlagWaver; lurkers included Amanda, Ashley R, Bill from MD, Chevelyn, Laura Bush, Lindy and Miss USA.
To view all of the photos of this FReep by [Mrs] Trooprally, click here.
To view all of the photos of this FReep by PleaDeal, click here. To view a complete archive of Walter Reed FReeps maintained by BufordP, click here.
I enjoyed your father's story on your home page. Sounds like he was a wonderful guy who gave his family a lot of joy. Many of us had some awful times in the Navy health care system in the 60s, myself included. That's one reason why so many of us on FR are adamantly opposed to socialized medicine.
The main complaints of the WaPo articles focused not so much on the health care, which many say is excellent at WR, but on the Building 18 conditions already discussed and the many bureaucratic tangles that are difficult for the patients. I also heard one story recently of an inexcusably crude civilian worker who made abusive statements to an amputee; on the other hand, the half-dozen or so civilian residence administrators at WR whom volunteers like myself have come to know well are outstanding, deeply motivated individuals. Part of what we do involves watching these people interact with dozens of rapid-fire demands for service week in and week out, which they fulfill with great care.
The commie writers working at the Washington Post want everyone to relive their worst hospital experience and conflate the memory with present day Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Commie propagandists are excellent at pushing sensitive buttons.
The medical care at WR is superb.
Plant problems were recounted at an old motel used by WR as a barracks for outpatients.
The main problem is the large number of recovering troops who are not Regular Army, but reserves or National Guard, and the excruciating red tape that tangles them into oblivion.
If the Army can get better paperwork systems functioning, as a result of the WP article, then a real service will have been done. But the smears to our military are truly despicable.
Just got off the cell with DC Chapter members. The moonbats' planned protest at Walter Reed today was a coward's wet dream they never showed up.
Must have read our plans to counterprotest;
or maybe the fact that we have the permits near the gates unduly discouraged their self-esteem,
or maybe it was because, according to the leftie After Downing Street blog, Gael Murphy (CodePink's DC leader) and a couple of other "activists" were rumored to have been arrested this morning for trying to barge past guards into the House Appropriations Committee hearing room, where the war appropriations issue was under discussion.
As I post this, the 10 or more FReepers who were there are now breaking pizza together at an "undisclosed location", having safeguarded WR's gates from 2:30 to 5:00 in extremely high winds and showers.
It's now about to rain buckets on DC and our local meteorologist is predicting snow for tomorrow.
Thanks for the update!
Now I get to jump into the buckets of rain!
Hope the snow predicted for the Northeast doesn't hinder the Gathering of Eagles caravans for Saturday.
I'll be there regardless!
Not only will the truth not show up in MSM, but the posters here who screamed in indignation about WRAMC, saying don't shoot the MSM messengers, will not return.
Sadly, they would sooner support the lies of traitors like Anne Hull and Dana Priest than the truth of our own trusted FR eyewitness.
Since so many hotels have been maxed with reservations by veterans, it's unlikely that they will back down. I think many of the veterans are eagerly anticipating locking arms with one another and sending "the look" to the nearest dirty little loudmouth near any of the Memorials for the pure pleasure of watching them leave a skid mark in their training pants.
I picked up an extra packet of plastic rain ponchos at the Dollar Store.
good to hear that our people were there to ward off the potential attack today..
wouldnt it be a shame if Murphy, sheenan, Fonda etc were ALL arrested for the entire weekend?
Pinging some of y'all from the latest WR scandal thread I was on. Excuse me if I have already pinged you from another list. Here is another piece of WR on-site reportage.
Out of your keyboard into God's ear...
Now THAT is a really good idea! I'm not doing too well with my search for a closer-in spot that isn't an arm and a leg, either. Click on DC Walmart locations here to plan your destination. Do you have time to check with them whether they allow all-night parking? I am crazed with more duties for Saturday.
"over the past weeks, the motorists who beeped for our troop-support rally at the gates of Walter Reed on Friday night were now double, triple in number. Now it wasn't just a discreet little toot every five or ten cars; it was many drivers at a time releasing loud, long, sometimes frankly impassioned blasts of the horn, from cars, trucks, Metro buses, even a DC police car hospital zone or no hospital zone."
Regardless of the supposed "motivations" of the reporters that started this latest round of "early retirements"....this is a FANTASTIC opportunity to raise the public's awareness of conditions and circumstances in various VA medical care facilities across the country.
I've been treated in FOUR states in the last 5 years and can ASSURE you things vary WILDLY from place to place.
It's not all good...it's not all bad....
However, if YOU know about something that needs to be fixed...THIS is the ideal time to capitalize on the public's awareness....!!!
Thank you to all who have relentlessly kept their vigil at Walter Reed. Too bad it's not happening at EVERY Military/VA facility in the land....!!!
Thanks for the link. Lots to do /accomplish at this point. Hopefully you will find a convenient place to alight for the nights you are there & so will not have to drive a lot of pay a lot.
DC Freepers get ALL the fun
Excellent Posting and great pictures. Thanks!
*Never saw any commies. We basically manned all 4 corners as well as the bus stop half-circle area down the street. Stayed until 5pm. Seemed like the temp dropped at least 20 degrees from time we arrived till the time we left. Windy too.
trooprally, BillF, Cindy-True-Supporter, Taco Mamma, Danang68, and myself manned the bus stop. Around 4:15-4:30 an old model silver/gray Mercedes pulled up to the curb, drove by slowly then immediately left. Car full of young kids. *Could have been "them". Can't be sure.
When we left it had already started to rain. So if the scum showed up after we left then they would have done their thing in the rain and cold.
Give those Pinkos hell from me,and hugs all around to any visiting troops.
Thank you freepers for all you do! Stay dry on Friday. See you all on Saturday!!
Thank you for the enlightening information about Building 18 Albion. Good article and pictures.
Great AAR, Albion.
See you Friday. Unfortunately the weather looks likt it will be bad but we will persevere.