Same Old Story On Army Medical Care

U.S. soldier near entrance to Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
AP Photo
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.

You remember the stories some months back about the treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Hospital. There were cries of outrage, an investigation, and promises that things would improve - pronto.

Pronto means fast to you or me, but to the Army it apparently means something else entirely.

A brand new congressional report claims that those teams the Army promised to assemble to help facilitate treatment for wounded vets are operating with begged or borrowed personnel, and only about half the teams promised are actually up and running.

I'm sure there are reasons, plenty of them pretty reasonable, too, but none of them are acceptable. What more can we ask of soldiers and Marines than to serve and risk their lives? They should also suffer the indignities of having to endure a health care system that can't get its act together?

The Army promises full staffing for the program by January. We'll let the forces in Iraq know to wait till then to get shot or blown up.

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.