Walter Reed: The Battle for Recovery
After a series of articles in The Washington Post detailed the neglect and squalor endured by outpatients at Walter Reed, President Bush promised reforms. Congress investigated. And the Army pledged to provide wounded, ill or injured troops with the care they–and their families–deserved.
The key reform was the creation of 36 Warrior Transition Units, which promised to help broken soldiers recover in a supportive environment.
But years later, a heated debate continues about whether that promise has been fulfilled. Former Army Surgeon General Eric Schoomaker, who oversaw the WTUs, admits there were “growing pains” but says the system is working well.
Noel Koch disagrees. In 2009, as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for the Office of Wounded Warrior Care and Transition Policy, he investigated WTUs and says he concluded that all too often the new units replicated some of the problems initially found at Walter Reed in 2007–the very problems they were supposed to solve.
As the debate continues, veterans like Dan Shannon–the original “face” of the Walter Reed scandal–continue to navigate their own recoveries and wonder what the future holds for wounded soldiers in America.
More Like This
How the Military Response to 9/11 Led to Two Decades of War in Afghanistan
Officials who drove the decades-long war in Afghanistan look back on the strategic mistakes and misjudgments that led to a 20-year quagmire. For teachers: This video is part of a collection of resources including four short films, each accompanied by a lesson plan and student activity.
Bringing Midwifery Back to Black Mothers
For care in pregnancy and childbirth, Black parents are turning to a traditional practice.
Why the Cold War Race for Nuclear Weapons Is Still a Threat
The Cold War may be over, but an arms race continues, even as safeguards once in place have fallen away.
How the Korean War Changed the Way the U.S. Goes to Battle
In the Cold War, North Korean Communists invaded South Korea. President Truman’s decision to intervene had consequences that shape the world today.