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Congressman Yarmuth to Demand Answers from Walter Reed Officials in Unprecedented Field Hearing

Hearing to Examine Care and Conditions of the Facility is First of its Kind

(Washington, DC)  This Monday, Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3) and the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs will conduct a field hearing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to determine the cause for the substandard care wounded soldiers have been receiving of late.  They hope to come away with solutions that will quickly raise the level of care and prevent the situation form recurring.

Although alarm has spread throughout the government and military over the recent revelations about Walter Reed, Yarmuth's subcommittee is the only one that will be traveling to the site to investigate.

In addition to hearing from wounded soldiers and their families, the Committee will also question Lieutenant General Kevin C. Kiley.  Kiley served as Head of Walter Reed in 2003 and 2004 and was returned to the post this week.  The appointment has come under fire as many of the deficiencies plaguing the Medical Center developed during Kiley's tenure.  Adding fuel to the fire, Kiley said that the dilapidated Building 18 was neither "substandard" nor "serious."

Although they offered no explanation as to why, the Army refused to allow the testimony of Major General George Weightman, whose February 28th firing prompted the reinstatement of Lt. Gen. Kiley.   Maj. Gen. Weightman has since been subpoenaed to testify at this hearing.  The expected testimonies of Weightman and Kiley's will break a policy of silence, which the Army imposed on Walter Reed staff and patients after the conditions were made public February 18th.

The hearing comes on the heels of Yarmuth's call for the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a full investigation into "the adequacy of the Administration's long term plans to provide the full range of necessary services for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while continuing to care for veterans of previous wars."

"I'm looking forward to getting answers as to how we strayed so far from fulfilling our basic responsibilities to our soldiers," said Congressman Yarmuth.  "We absolutely cannot tolerate this appalling level of care for the men and women who were injured fighting for our country, and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that these brave soldiers get the care they deserve, and that they get it now."

WHEN:     Monday March 5 at 10:00 AM

WHERE:    Walter Reed Army Medical Center

WHAT:      Field Hearing on Care and Conditions at Walter Reed

WHO:         Congressman John Yarmuth (KY-3), Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, wounded soldiers and their families, Lieutenant General Kevin Kiley, Major General George Weightman, Cynthia Bascetta Director of Healthcare, GAO