This year has really hit your military in ways the average person may not always see. There is the cut back of Marines that has reduced our capabilities abroad to ensure our security, there have been cuts that have turned the average young servicemember that was planning on doing 20 years out on the street in under 10 years, the cuts have grounded the Blue Angels (no sign of them flying anytime in the next year or more) and now your wounded service members are feeling the sting as they too not only have to suffer for the rest of their lives for their dedication to this country but the sequestration has stuck it to them again.
People don’t like to see the ugly side to the sequestration. They argue that the US has to cut somewhere so the military is it. Funny, these are the same people who get in danger and need the military or its massive intelligence infrastructure to provide safety for them when they take a trip abroad. Here is the deal people, America’s safety blanket that continuously combated terrorism is a handkerchief at best now (more like a shitty wet wipe) and when we get attacked, watch all the nay Sayers that say it could have been prevented. It could have, “if” we hadn’t tied your military’s hands behind its back with these cuts. Now that those cuts don’t put us in more danger, we are hitting our wounded where it hurts.
Time for a CGar
In a disturbing revelation about the treatment of
America's most severely wounded troops, Fox News has learned the
military earlier this month decided to invalidate meal tickets and
reduce hours for the sole dining facility in the Walter Reed building
where they are recovering.
The decision affects the Warrior Cafe located inside building 62,
home to all multiple amputees and long-term, recovering patients at
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
The decision would mean wounded warriors who would normally have a
government-funded meal just down the hall would have to walk, wheel or
limp nearly a half-mile across the Walter Reed campus to the temporary
"food trailer" for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
"I mean it's called the Warrior Cafe, you would think it is for us,"
said Sgt. Josh Wetzel, who lost both his legs when he stepped on a
pressure plate IED outside Kandahar, Afghanistan in May 2013. He's been
recovering at Walter Reed since and has been a daily customer at the
The status of the military's decision may be in flux.
After Fox News submitted multiple inquiries with senior military
officials earlier this week, the Pentagon responded late Wednesday. Lt.
Col. Catherine Wilkinson, a Pentagon spokesman, told Fox News that Dr.
Jonathan Woodson, assistant secretary of Defense for health affairs, has
decided to reverse the changes.
Yet so far, no patients at Walter Reed have been notified of that decision and there has been no formal announcement.
"It makes a lot of people mad that they can't get into their
wheelchair and wheel down to the Warrior Cafe," Wetzel said. "Now they
have to wheel all the way across base to use their meal cards."
Wetzel's wife Paige is nine months pregnant with their first child
and is due this coming Monday. She says she's worried about how much
time and effort her husband will have to spend seeking food between
appointments, while she is in the maternity ward.
"In my opinion it's a total independence thing," Paige said. "If I
were to leave for a day or two I would know Josh could go right down the
hall, feed himself and he'd be fine. Now the only alternative is to
leave our building."
Walter Reed has already closed the cafe on weekends. Paige says the
Army offered to have Josh order his meals in advance. "They explained
that we could use our squad leaders to order meals for the weekend, but
it has to go through the squad leader (and then) through the first
sergeant," Paige said. "So how do you plan for that to make sure you get
what you need for the weekend?"
In addition to the weekend closure, the base also decided to reduce
the cafe's hours from 60 to 50 a week. Instead of closing at 8 p.m. it
now closes at 6 p.m., making it difficult for those getting occupational
therapy to get there in time.
The patients of building 62, many of whom have endured 50 surgeries
or more and are expected to spend up to two years recovering at Walter
Reed, were told of the decision to end meal tickets at the Cafe in an
Aug. 7 text message from their squad leader. The message explained that
the changes to the meal tickets will take place on Sept. 3. That message
was followed by a heated town hall meeting last week.
"I was very upset," said Carolee Ryan. She is the mother of Marine
Staff Sgt. Thomas McRae, a triple amputee, partially blinded, single
father whose wife left him after he sustained his injuries in January of
2012 in Sangin, Afghanistan.
She was one of the mothers who made her voice heard during that town hall meeting.
"I felt it was a slap in my son's face as a service member. As many
times as he has been deployed — what they were doing to him was a
disservice," she said.
Paige Wetzel said the families felt the decision was made without
their input and for reasons that are hard to understand. "It felt like
the money had been deemed appropriate somewhere else and I don't see how
that could happen," Wetzel said.
Officials in the Pentagon and at Walter Reed did not respond to
questions about why the changes were made, but congressional sources
with knowledge of the decision say it was based on concerns that
government funds for the warrior meals were being misappropriated. They
said that because the cafe is listed as a "self sustaining" business, it
is not allowed to receive government subsidies, such as the meal
tickets and appropriated funds. So the military decided the cafe could
no longer accept the government meal cards.
The families and patients have a slightly different take. Many of
them who spoke to Fox News are under the impression that the government
doesn't like paying for the higher prices that come with the better
"The food quality is not nearly as good (at the trailer) as it is at
the Warrior Cafe," Josh Wetzel said. "The Warrior Cafe has something for
everyone like a grill, hot food, salad bars, sandwiches and drinks."
Carolee Ryan says the trailers specialize in "processed food."
Walter Reed plans to eventually replace the trailers with a new
cafeteria, though it's not expected to be completed for months. But even
the new cafeteria will be a haul for the wounded occupants of building
62. For now, Josh's best options are to pay for a meal using his modest
Army paycheck or to walk on his prosthetics to the trailer.
"I would say it's close to half a mile … for guys who are on their
wheelchair or using prosthetic legs — you know that is a long way to
go," he said.
Adding insult to injury, there are only two handicap-accessible
tables in the trailer, and neither the bathroom nor the exit doors has
"It's quote unquote handicap accessible, but for guys who have
serious mobility injuries — like they can't use their hands that well
— you know it is tough for them," Josh Wetzel said.
Thomas McRae's mother says the whole situation breaks her heart. She
said her son told her he would consider going hungry before wheeling
himself to the trailers.
"Now I get it," Ryan said. "Back in the Vietnam War when all the men
and women were coming home (I understand) how they felt … and I didn't
think it would come to this."
orig story here – http://www.foxnews.mobi/quickPage.html?page=22995&content=96051174&pageNum=-1