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Monday, February 19, 2007

WaPo Investigation, Part II: Walter Reed's Mologne House

White-hot reaction follows a four-month Washington Post investigation into conditions some wounded troops face as they wind their way through the vaunted but aged Walter Reed Army Medical Center. An additional article arrives today with more stories of troops left to wrestle with war demons and military bureaucracy in Mologne House, a hotel for in-limbo vets on Walter Reed property:

[Cpl. Dell] McLeod, 41, has lived at Mologne House for a year while the Army figures out what to do with him. He worked in textile and steel mills in rural South Carolina before deploying. Now he takes 23 pills a day, prescribed by various doctors at Walter Reed. Crowds frighten him. He is too anxious to drive. When panic strikes, a soldier friend named Oscar takes him to Baskin-Robbins for vanilla ice cream. "They find ways to soothe each other," Annette says.

Mostly what the soldiers do together is wait: for appointments, evaluations, signatures and lost paperwork to be found. It's like another wife told Annette McLeod: "If Iraq don't kill you, Walter Reed will."

And on it goes.

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