In the fallout from the Walter Reed scandal, I am afraid that a vital distinction is being lost.
Walter Reed is not a VA hospital.
Walter Reed is an active duty military hospital.
Veterans Administration hospitals are operated under the auspices of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Walter Reed, like Brooke and Tripler Army Medical Centers, and the Naval medical facilities at Bethesda and San Diego, and Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland AFB, and all other military medical centers treating the active duty and war wounded, operates under the auspices of the Department of Defense.
The VA health system, under the leadership of Undersecretary Dr. Michael Kussman, was a government system done right before they were overrun by a flood of
It is an apostacy that the VA faces funding cuts at a time that the active duty services are rushing to dump their wounded off onto the VA system.
The VA is the largest provider of mental health services to the returning veterans of
It is high-time the VA be fully funded and the Vet Centers fully staffed.
A country that can not or will not adequately accommodate the needs of those it sends to war needs to stop sending its sons and daughters off to war.
Editorializing aside, it is vital to remember that VA Medical Centers and
The Military Medical Centers answer ultimately to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
The VA Medical Centers answer ultimately to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Jim Nicholson.
Remember the distinction and do not let the media or the politicians conflate the two.
Doing so is a disservice to those who serve and that is not conducive to accountability.
[Cross-posted from Watching Those We Chose]