Tuesday, October 21, 2003
I am wondering who has received more prompt medical attention from the United States government, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed or the hundreds of injured Army Reserve and National Guard soldiers currently in “medial hold” at Fort Stewart, Georgia?
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
About 600 reservists currently on "medical hold" at Fort Stewart complain that they are being housed in barracks without window screens or air conditioning and have to walk, sometimes on crutches, to outdoor latrines. Some say they have waited weeks or months for appointments with Army doctors.
The reservists claim that regular Army troops with medical problems are being given priority attention at Fort Stewart. The complaints were initially reported by United Press International on Friday.
The AJC article also shows a recent photograph of Army Reserve Sergeant Michael Wilson on his medical hold cot in Fort Stewart.
This young man, a police officer in civilian life, was sent from the Iraqi theater to Fort Stewart in May 2003 and has been on medical hold ever since.
This photo courtesy of WTOC in Savannah, Georgia shows a temporary barracks.
As a young soldier I spent a few miserable days in temporary barracks just like those shown in Fort Stewart while in transit to duty stations. These were, indeed, flimsy wooden structures built during WW I to house German POWs and unmodified for modern times.
At several of these barracks where I personally resided a soldier could not even bathe or change clothes. Of course I was a very green but healthy young soldier and not a wounded combat veteran.
From the WTOC report:
PFC Mathew Connor has been there since he returned from Iraq in May. His biggest complaint is there's no air conditioning in the barracks. "It's hot," he said. "You pretty much have to sweat unless you buy your own fan." And sometimes, there's no heat. "At night, if the heater actually works, you get under a couple of covers you provide for yourself to stay warm.”
Photos: AP, Bita Honarvan-Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WTOC