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Congressman Yarmuth's Statement for the Record From Field Hearing at Walter Reed Army Medical Center

Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you for holding this hearing, and for doing it expediently.  When the American hero is neglected here at home, the urgency to act is paramount.  I also want to thank our distinguished witnesses for joining us, especially the soldiers and their families who have suffered through this travesty.  That you have chosen to be here shows courage and a faith - which I share -that America is better than this dark episode.

As yet, it remains difficult to fathom the extent to which American troops have been abused and abandoned on their own soil.  We have assembled here to determine how such a lapse in our nation's obligations came to pass, and what we can do to fix this broken system and mend the shattered promises.  The stakes could not be greater.

When we challenge our young men and women to put on a uniform and risk their lives for our country, our country promises to take care of those who answer the call.  Honoring this pact is among the key virtues that make America worth fighting for.  Failing to do so undermines our efforts to protect our nation and our fellow citizens.  We cannot ask them to fight for our well-being and then disregard theirs.

Our strength as a nation comes not only from military might but from our resolute integrity, and our historical greatness will be judged by our commitment to that principle

We are not here to find a fall-guy; the situation before us cannot be explained away or scapegoated into obscurity.  We are here to right the course of a ship that has gone drastically astray, and to do so immediately.  The faith of our troops in their country is at stake.

I look forward to hearing the answers, implementing the solutions, and putting this ugly situation behind us as quickly as possible.  Thank you Mr. Chairman.  I yield back.