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Memories of military healthcare

March 14, 2007

Re "Military medicine's toxic silence," Current, March 11

M. Gregg Bloche mentions that "military medicine will always pose

The two-volume "Report of the Committee on Health Care Resources in the Veterans Administration: Health care for American veterans" was rejected by Congress in 1977 and never published. Many recommendations that the academy's team of experts made would have spared our veterans a lot of problems with their healthcare, but it was Congress that silenced a discussion of these issues, not the military.

PAUL KIMMEL MD

Los Angeles

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I can assure you that it is not a new problem. In 1946, my then-fiance was in the Army, enrolled at Georgetown University for premed training. During school breaks, he was assigned to orderly duty at Walter Reed. He had no free time, so I would occasionally stop in as a visitor, to say hello and chat for a few minutes in the kitchen. In that Army hospital kitchen lived so many cockroaches that they couldn't be counted. They skittered over the floors, walls, counters and cupboards. I deeply hope that our wounded heroes are being treated better than were those from World War II.

MARNIE THOMAS

San Pedro

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Re "Walter Reed woes claim third official," March 13

The Army surgeon general has been forced to retire in the wake of the military healthcare scandal, but he'll still get his pension. What do the grunts that he disserved get? The system always takes care of the officers, but the enlisted are left hanging in the wind.

PAUL H. TAYLOR

San Francisco

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