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Cornyn backs top-to-bottom review of military health system

Calls conditions at Walter Reed facilities “Absolutely Unacceptable”

From the Office of Senator John Cornyn

March 15, 2007

Government - Senator Cornyn picture WASHINGTON—Following the March 6 oversight hearing by the Senate Armed Services Committee on conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center , U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, a Member of the Committee, made the following statement:

“Let there be no question – the conditions of certain facilities at Walter Reed are absolutely unacceptable. The relief of its top commander and the resignation of the Secretary of the Army were important and needed steps. We must now take the necessary action to move forward.

“The United States military and the Department of Veterans Affairs must conduct a top-to-bottom investigation of our entire military health system and take immediate steps to address any problems that might exist. The President’s Commission on Care for America ’s Returning Wounded Veterans, led by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, will be an important component of this critical effort.

“I also support today’s announcement by the Pentagon to send the Army’s Outpatient Care Tiger Team to roughly a dozen hospitals, including Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston, William Beaumont Army Medical Center at Fort Bliss, and Carl R. Darnell Medical Center at Fort Hood, to assess the quality of their outpatient care.

“We have an obligation to ensure that the men and women who are serving, and have served, in America ’s military are receiving the best service, treatment and benefits for themselves and their families. We cannot, and will not, tolerate anything less.

“As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I will work to ensure that Congress is doing what it takes, including providing the funds needed, to meet the short-and-long- term needs of America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.”

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Armed Services, Judiciary and Budget Committees. In addition, he is Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. He serves as the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee’s Immigration, Border Security and Citizenship subcommittee and the Armed Services Committee’s Airland subcommittee.

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