A Decent Commander-in-Chief Doesn’t Let This Happen

By now, stories about how poorly returning veterans are being treated hardly qualifies as ‘news’ because, shamefully, it is so common. But this story from the Washington Post is shocking:

Behind the door of Army Spec. Jeremy Duncan’s room, part of the wall is torn and hangs in the air, weighted down with black mold. When the wounded combat engineer stands in his shower and looks up, he can see the bathtub on the floor above through a rotted hole. The entire building, constructed between the world wars, often smells like greasy carry-out. Signs of neglect are everywhere: mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses.
This is the world of Building 18, not the kind of place where Duncan expected to recover when he was evacuated to Walter Reed Army Medical Center from Iraq last February with a broken neck and a shredded left ear, nearly dead from blood loss. But the old lodge, just outside the gates of the hospital and five miles up the road from the White House, has housed hundreds of maimed soldiers recuperating from injuries suffered in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan….
On the worst days, soldiers say they feel like they are living a chapter of “Catch-22.” The wounded manage other wounded. Soldiers dealing with psychological disorders of their own have been put in charge of others at risk of suicide.
Disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and overworked case managers fumble with simple needs: feeding soldiers’ families who are close to poverty, replacing a uniform ripped off by medics in the desert sand or helping a brain-damaged soldier remember his next appointment.

The next time Republicans–and for that matter, any Democrats–start blathering about the need for even more tax cuts, they should be made to mop floors at Building 18. Ditto for those who started and supported the Iraqi War and Occupation, and are now calling critics traitors.

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7 Responses to A Decent Commander-in-Chief Doesn’t Let This Happen

  1. John Wilkins says:

    Is that what you call “supporting the troops”?

  2. The Ridger says:

    For whatever reason – psychological or political – Bush has never given the VA and veterans anything whatsoever. This is no surprise at all.

  3. Stogoe says:

    But those soldiers are all used up, Mike. Why spend money on some meatbag that can’t kill on command any more?
    But seriously, the DoD budget is apparently better spent funneling its load down the rabbit hole of defense contractors than in actually caring for its military, both active and VA.

  4. Joshua says:

    I actually suggested to some of my friends last night that Congress ought to completely defund the DoD (except maybe the Air Force’s transport wing, since somebody needs to bring out troops back home) and shuttle that money to the DVA. That’d end the war, and nobody could accuse them of not supporting the troops.

  5. Troublesome Frog says:

    For some reason, this springs to mind:

  6. Toby Joyce says:

    Sure puts into persepctive Lincoln’s words at his second inaugural “..let us bind up the nation’s wounds, and care for him who has borne the battle, and his widow and orphan..”.

  7. Chat says:


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