Walter Reed Veteran Neglect Timeline

3-21-07
T.J. Templeton

July 2004: Maj. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley is appointed Walter Reed Army Medical Center's commander Source: U.S. Medicine

Mid-late 2004: Rep. C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and his wife stopped visiting the wounded at Walter Reed out of frustration. Young said he voiced concerns to commanders, including Maj. Gen. Kevin C Kiley, over troubling incidents he witnessed but was rebuffed or ignored. "When Bev or I would bring problems to the attention of authorities of Walter Reed, we were made to feel very uncomfortable,". source: Washington Post  Beverly Young was ejected from the House gallery during the 2006 State of the Union address because she was wearing a T-shirt that read "Support the Troops - Defending Our Freedom." source: source: St. Petersburg Times

Jan. 2005: Leading advocates for soldiers on Capitol Hill are removed from the Committee on Veterans Affairs and replaced with Bush loyalists, including the committee chairman who was replaced by Steve Buyer (R-IN) Source: The Nation

Feb. 17, 2005: In a congressional hearing room as Sgt. 1st Class John Allen, injured in Afghanistan in 2002, described what he called a "dysfunctional system" at Walter Reed in which "soldiers go months without pay, nowhere to live, their medical appointments canceled." Allen added: "The result is a massive stress and mental pain causing further harm. It would be very easy to correct the situation if the command element climate supported it." Source: New York Post

May 2005: The federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommends to close Walter Reed Army Medical Center . by 2011 as part of the Pentagon's plan to restructure military bases across the country Source: Washington Post

Nov. 2005: House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced that for the first time in at least 55 years, “veterans service organizations will no longer have the opportunity to present testimony before a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.” Source: Think Progress

Aug. 2006: Army Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman assumes command of Walter Reed, replacing Maj. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley Source Washington Post

Sept. 2006:  13 Senators (11 dem, 2 repub) sent a letter to urge Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Ranking Member Robert C. Byrd (D-W.V.) to preserve language in the House Defense Appropriations bill that prohibits the U.S. Army from outsourcing 350 federal jobs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.A similar provision, introduced by Senators Mikulski (D-Md.) and Sarbanes (D-Md.), was defeated by a close 50-48 vote, during the bill’s consideration in the previous week.  Source: Senator Barbara A. Mikulski

Sept. 2006: Walter Reed awards a five-year, $120-million contract to IAP Worldwide Services, which is run by Al Neffgen, a former senior Halliburton official to replace a staff of 300 federal employees. Source: Army Times

Sept. 2006: Garrison Commander Peter Garibaldi pens a letter to Maj. Gen. George W. Weightman The memorandum “describes how the Army’s decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed Army Medical Center was causing an exodus of ‘highly skilled and experienced personnel,’” the committee’s letter states. “According to multiple sources, the decision to privatize support services at Walter Reed led to a precipitous drop in support personnel at Walter Reed.” The Defense Department “systemically” tried to replace federal workers at Walter Reed with private companies for facilities management, patient care and guard duty – a process that began in 2000. “But the push to privatize support services there accelerated under President Bush’s ‘competitive sourcing’ initiative, which was launched in 2002,”. Source: Army Times

Oct. 2006: Joyce Rumsfeld (Rummy’s wife) was taken to Walter Reed by a close friend who was also a WR volunteer. There she was told about the filth, neglect and horror that we are learning about now. When hospital officials found out, Mrs. Rumsfeld’s friend was banned from entering or continuing to volunteer at the hospital.
Source: Washington Post

Feb. 4, 2007: The number of federal employees providing facilities management services at Walter Reed had dropped from 300 to fewer than 60, IAP replaces the remaining 60 employees with only 50 private workers. Source Army Times

Feb 19, 2007: Anne Hull and Dana Priest of the Washington Post pen an expose detailing mistreatment of veterans at housing on the grounds of Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Source: Washington Post

Feb 23, 2007: A quick cleaning, a series of hasty repairs covered by a quick coat of paint, and the Army officials invited the Press in to see the improvement to Building 18. Source: Washington Post

Feb 24, 2007: Sec. Def. Bob Gates announced intent to appoint an independent Review Panel to investigate the reported conditions at Walter Reed Hospital. Source: Washington Post

Feb 26, 2007: Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media. Source: Army Times

Feb 28, 2007: Military crackdown on veterans talking to the media is revealed to have been going on for months in anticipation of negative publicity is exposed by James Crawley, a military reporter with MediaGeneral and President of Military Reporters and Editors.
Source: Editor and publisher 

Mar 1, 2007: Army Secretary Francis Harvey fired Maj. Gen. George Weightman as the head of Walter Reed, but inexplicably replaced him with Lt. Gen. Kevin Kiley, who was for most of the scandal in the first place. Source: Washington Post

Mar 2, 2007: The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has subpoenaed Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired as head of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, after Army officials refused to allow him to testify before the committee. Source: Army Times

Mar. 5, 2007: House Oversight and Government Reform Committee begins holding investigative hearings into the Walter Reed scandal Source: Washington Post

Mar. 7, 2007:  During the course of a Defense Appropriations hearing on "Walter Reed Infrastructure" Rep. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-FL), who previously chaired the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, admitted that he was aware of many problems at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center but feared that more aggressive oversight would "give the Army a black eye." Source: Raw Story

Mar. 13, 2007: Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley steps down and enters retirement Source: Stars and Stripes