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Vet Blogs From Within Walter Reed

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Posted on Mar 14, 2007

A wounded soldier is giving the world an insider’s view of life at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center with his new blog, This Veteran’s Life, and the view isn’t pretty.  Here’s a little taste to set the tone:  “Maybe this will give me a place to scream into the void when my screams fall on deaf ears.”  Wired and BoingBoing have covered his latest dispatch, about the array of psychotropic pills he has to take in order to acclimate to life at the scandal-rocked hospital. 


“I have been called a patriot, and treated like a criminal. I have been called a Soldier and treated as the enemy,” he writes in his introductory post, this past Saturday.

I had the system that is supposed to help me, hurt me. I have seen it hurt others. I have seen this place break a Soldier down. I have seen the hope slowly leeched from a Soldier. Vibrant and full of pride, ready to be healed and return to the fight, broken down, spirit trampled, and hope taken from them. I have seen it. And I have been that Soldier.

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By garland westbrook, May 23, 2007 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment
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I am a civilian that served in combat in Viet Nam. I am now a double amputee {above knee}. And, have suffered with phantom pain for almost 4 years now. Being on medicare and Ks. medicaid I was only able to go so far. Unable to see a specialist, because they don’t take Medicare and Medicaid. Have C-legs but unable to tolerate them for therapy. Nothing has worked after trying many different meds. After doing research I now believe that agent orange caused my disease. I wish I was there with you guys and ladies to support each other.

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By Jeffrey Field, March 22, 2007 at 2:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was stationed at Walter Reed in 1965. When the scandal broke, I sat down and wrote out my memories (some good, some bad), followed by a diatribe and a poem. I’ve had second thoughts about the diatribe, but I have yet to convince myself it’s not true.

It begins thusly… “There was this man, naked except for a diaper, rolling and twisting on the hospital bed.”

The whole thing is here -

My father was not the most wonderful dad in the world, but he left me with a philosophy I truly value and keep trying to live…

If I am not for myself, who will be?
If I am only for myself, what am I?
If not now, when?
-Rabbi Hillel

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By David, March 15, 2007 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Yeah, Bob’ll fix it.  Bob can’t fix contempt.  The Bush Administration has CONTEMPT for soldiers.  AAMOF, it has contempt for ANYONE that is not them.  You just can’t force people to care.  Bush doesn’t care.  About ANYTHING.  He’s a total sociopath.  Nothing will really change until he is gone….as in deceased.

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By James Charles, March 15, 2007 at 3:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you for posting this which led me to the site (

Reading the couragous veteran’s posts leaves me with an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. It also left me feeling angry all over again at the chickenhawks who sent this poor GI—and all of his or her brothers and sisters—off to an illegal, poorly planned and foolishly run, unnecessary and immoral war.

Yet I am also left with a sense of amazement at the strength of spirit, the poetry in the words, the hope that comes roaring through the hopelessness.

Get well soon, dear but unknown and nameless friend. You survived the insanity of Iraq or Afghanistan. May you now survive the insanity of what America has done to you.

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By joneden, March 14, 2007 at 11:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This story is reprehensible. I was hospital corpsman at the Naval Hospital in Charleston back in the early 60’s and there was none of this crap—no mold, no peeling paint (even though buildings),and no harassing of the patients in any way.

So this treatment at Walter Reed and elsewhere is not military—it is a culture gone badly awry.

Connecting the Dots:From human behaviors to Ecosystem collapse

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By @WR, March 14, 2007 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We are starting to see changes here. Change of scenery. Change of command. But the change I would like to see is this…

Seeing it all from a recliner and on the front page of the Washington Post…

not from here.

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By Bob Zimmerman, March 14, 2007 at 12:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thanks for posting this blog site. Any veteran will laugh and cry at the same time, recoginizng that the military culture will never change. For returning injured military though it is almost criminal that the Army still takes such a cavalier attitude to recovering soldiers. We can only hope that the commission headed up by Bob Dole will change the current process and Walter Reed and other military/veterans hospitals around the country.

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