Katie Couric's Notebook: Wounds Of War
About 50,000 soldiers have come home from Iraq with serious injuries -- but sometimes they suffer AGAIN when they get here. The Washington Post has documented serious problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center-- everything from crumbling walls to a tangled bureaucracy.
But all that points to WIDER problems in the department of Veterans Affairs.
Consider this. Since more soldiers are surviving attacks in Iraq, the VA can't handle the volume of disability claims. They report a backlog of 400-thousand applications for benefits and appeals. Clearly, the system is broken.
What can we do to fix it? Today, the President ordered a review of conditions at all U.S. military and VA hospitals. Next week, congress will hold hearings on the crisis at Walter Reed. Maybe we'll find out WHY those who have sacrificed so MUCH are getting so LITTLE in return...and HOW we can get our veterans the care they deserve.
That's a page from my notebook.
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