Lieberman Calls for Attention to Walter Reed Scandal in Democratic Radio Address

Mar 02, 2007, 00:00 ET from Senate Democratic Communications Center

    WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Joe Lieberman
 delivers this week's Democratic Radio Address, calling for immediate
 attention to the deplorable care for America's wounded veterans at Walter
 Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Our nation has no higher
 responsibility than to care for the brave men and women who put themselves
 in harm's way to defend us, and Democrats are committed to ensuring that
 America's veterans get the treatment and the support they deserve.
     The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below.
     Good morning. I'm Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut with a message
 about improving care for America's military heroes -- our wounded troops
 who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     Recent reports in the Washington Post have uncovered completely
 unacceptable living conditions and inadequate services that some of our
 wounded warriors have been forced to endure at Walter Reed Army Medical
 Center in Washington, D.C.
     While it is clear that our soldiers do receive the best state of the
 art battlefield and in-patient medical treatment for their injuries, that
 high quality care has not extended to their out-patient treatment and
 recovery.
     For instance, soldiers with brain injuries have gone weeks without
 being able to get doctors appointments. There is not enough staff with the
 right skills to treat and care for the severely injured troops. And rooms
 where some soldiers lived were found to be moldy and infested with rodents.
     Our nation has no greater moral and patriotic responsibility than to
 ensure that these brave Americans receive first class treatment -- not only
 immediately after their injuries, but for their entire lives, through the
 Veterans Administration.
     The White House and Congress have an urgent obligation now to fix the
 neglect at Walter Reed and the longer term issues that affect our wounded
 veterans.
     That means we must act immediately to bring the buildings there up to
 standard so that they are safe, clean, and comfortable. We must make sure
 enough of the right health care professionals are there to treat our
 service members.
     We also must remove the bureaucratic red tape that overburdens our
 troops and their loved ones when they are most vulnerable. No injured
 soldier should have to spend a year waiting at Walter Reed to find out
 whether he or she will be reassigned to new duties or discharged from the
 Army as disabled.
     It is our responsibility to take care of our service members not only
 when they are serving our country, but for their entire lives. It is
 outrageous that veterans are waiting months and months to see the doctors
 they need. It is unacceptable that service members and veterans suffering
 from mental illness are not receiving the proper care. We know what the
 needs of our returning troops and veterans will be and we must build a
 life-long treatment system that serves their needs fully.
     Now, the President and Congress must hold the Pentagon and Army chain
 of command accountable for the neglect of our soldiers at Walter Reed; and
 together, we must prevent this from ever happening again.
     We can all agree that taking care of our military veterans is one of
 America's greatest responsibilities. We are and must continue to be united
 as a country to ensure that our heroes -- those who have served us --
 receive the care that they deserve. This is no less than our moral
 imperative.
     I'm Senator Joe Lieberman. Thank you for listening.
 
 

SOURCE Senate Democratic Communications Center
    WASHINGTON, March 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Senator Joe Lieberman
 delivers this week's Democratic Radio Address, calling for immediate
 attention to the deplorable care for America's wounded veterans at Walter
 Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. Our nation has no higher
 responsibility than to care for the brave men and women who put themselves
 in harm's way to defend us, and Democrats are committed to ensuring that
 America's veterans get the treatment and the support they deserve.
     The text of the radio address, as delivered, is below.
     Good morning. I'm Senator Joe Lieberman from Connecticut with a message
 about improving care for America's military heroes -- our wounded troops
 who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     Recent reports in the Washington Post have uncovered completely
 unacceptable living conditions and inadequate services that some of our
 wounded warriors have been forced to endure at Walter Reed Army Medical
 Center in Washington, D.C.
     While it is clear that our soldiers do receive the best state of the
 art battlefield and in-patient medical treatment for their injuries, that
 high quality care has not extended to their out-patient treatment and
 recovery.
     For instance, soldiers with brain injuries have gone weeks without
 being able to get doctors appointments. There is not enough staff with the
 right skills to treat and care for the severely injured troops. And rooms
 where some soldiers lived were found to be moldy and infested with rodents.
     Our nation has no greater moral and patriotic responsibility than to
 ensure that these brave Americans receive first class treatment -- not only
 immediately after their injuries, but for their entire lives, through the
 Veterans Administration.
     The White House and Congress have an urgent obligation now to fix the
 neglect at Walter Reed and the longer term issues that affect our wounded
 veterans.
     That means we must act immediately to bring the buildings there up to
 standard so that they are safe, clean, and comfortable. We must make sure
 enough of the right health care professionals are there to treat our
 service members.
     We also must remove the bureaucratic red tape that overburdens our
 troops and their loved ones when they are most vulnerable. No injured
 soldier should have to spend a year waiting at Walter Reed to find out
 whether he or she will be reassigned to new duties or discharged from the
 Army as disabled.
     It is our responsibility to take care of our service members not only
 when they are serving our country, but for their entire lives. It is
 outrageous that veterans are waiting months and months to see the doctors
 they need. It is unacceptable that service members and veterans suffering
 from mental illness are not receiving the proper care. We know what the
 needs of our returning troops and veterans will be and we must build a
 life-long treatment system that serves their needs fully.
     Now, the President and Congress must hold the Pentagon and Army chain
 of command accountable for the neglect of our soldiers at Walter Reed; and
 together, we must prevent this from ever happening again.
     We can all agree that taking care of our military veterans is one of
 America's greatest responsibilities. We are and must continue to be united
 as a country to ensure that our heroes -- those who have served us --
 receive the care that they deserve. This is no less than our moral
 imperative.
     I'm Senator Joe Lieberman. Thank you for listening.
 
 SOURCE Senate Democratic Communications Center