What's the buzz on ... Walter Reed?
Each week, CNN.com takes a look at trends in the blogosphere by tracking one topic across gender and generation. This week we focus on Walter Reed Medical Center, the Army hospital at the center of a scandal over poor living conditions for some of the wounded veterans in its care.
Overall opinion (March 7-13, 2007)
So what does this mean?
Blog conversations about Walter Reed were overwhelmingly negative during the week, with both liberal and conservative voices in rare agreement that something needs to change. The few positive comments about the hospital focused on anecdotes from soldiers who say they've received good care there and the hope that the negative publicity will result in better treatment at other military medical facilities.
In their own words
'@WR' on This Veteran's Life
... With the high profile types we have walking the campus now it is almost necessary to have a reply to some basic questions set upon the shelf.
Them: How is Walter Reed treating you?
Me: I have received excellent medical treatment here.
Them: Why are you here?
Me: Didn't move fast enough.
Them: What can we do to make Walter Reed better?
Me: I cannot speak for Army or DoD policy and I believe this a question better answered by my Commander or the Public Affairs Office, sir.
What I want to say:
Me: Have you visited Walter Reed in the past two years, sir?
Me: Then you are part of the problem by ignoring us, sir.
'A!' in a comment thread on The Independent, Conservative Common Sense Oasis
... Our troops deserve better than to be treated as cast-offs and throwaways after so valiantly fighting a war that more often looks to be one against reason instead of terror.
Are we really so shortsighted as to believe that treating our soldiers in this way will not cause others who might have served to shun service?
'Not Surprised' in a comment thread on TPM Muckraker
... It's not the fault of ordinary physicians and nurses, many of whom do heroic work every day, especially considering the difficulty and tight budget.
And overall the care is an incredibly good value, extremely efficient, just like Medicare as an insurance system is incredibly efficient. It's just the VA system has been under funded for decades.
The sad reality is that people forget about vets once the war is over, and want tax cuts over veteran care. Their medical insurance and service is separate from that of the VA, which it shouldn't be.
Hopefully once we fix our medical insurance to be single payer we can also roll the VA system into that so Vets can't be forgotten and left behind.