Thursday, October 30, 2003

First it was Fort Stewart. Now Fort Knox is apparently providing substandard medical care to military personnal, including some returning Iraq War veterans, according to UPI:

...I joined to serve my country," said Cpl. Waymond Boyd, 34. He served in Iraq with the National Guard's 1175 Transportation Company. He has been in medical hold since the end of July.

"It doesn't make any sense to go over there and risk your life and come back to this," Boyd said. "It ain't fair and it ain't right. I used to be patriotic." He has served the military for 15 years.

Boyd's knee and wrist injuries were severe enough that he was evacuated to Germany at the end of July and then sent to Fort Knox. His medical records show doctor appointments around four weeks apart. He said it took him almost two months to get a cast for his wrist, which is so weak he can't lift 5 pounds or play with his two children. He is taking painkilling drugs and walks with a cane with some difficulty.

...Command Sgt. Major Glen Talley, 57, is in the hospital at Fort Knox for heart problems, clotting blood and Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder. All of the problems became apparent after he went to war in April, he says. He is a reservist.

Talley said he was moved to Fort Knox on Oct. 16 and had not seen a doctor yet, only a physician's assistant. His next appointment with an endocrinologist was scheduled for Dec. 30.

"I don't mind serving my country," Talley said. "I just hate what they are doing to me now." Talley has served for 30 years. He was awarded two Purple Hearts in Vietnam.

...After returning from Iraq, some soldiers spent about eight weeks in Spartan, dilapidated World War II-era barracks with leaking roofs, animal infestations and no air conditioning in the Kentucky heat.

"I arrived here and was placed in the World War II barracks," one soldier wrote in an internal Fort Knox survey of the conditions. "On the 28th of August we moved out. On 30 Aug. the roof collapsed. Had we not moved, someone would be dead," that soldier wrote....

There are claims of two-tiered care:

Also like Fort Stewart, soldiers at Fort Knox claimed they are getting substandard treatment because they are in the National Guard or Army Reserve as opposed to regular Army. The Army has denied any discrepancies in treatment or housing.

Right-wingers like to say that Clinton had no respect for the military, and the feeling was mutual. So what do these troops say?

"I have never been so disrespected in my military career," said Lt. Jullian Goodrum, who has been in the Army Reserve for 16 years. His health problems do not appear to be severe -- injured wrists -- but he said the medical situation at Fort Knox is bad. He said he waited a month for therapy. "I have never been so treated like dirt."

(Thanks to BuzzFlash for the link.)

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