Blair Hickman: How We Treat Our Troops!
We rounded up some of the best accountability journalism for US soldiers in our recent wars. Check them out while you're basking on a boat this weekend, and remember the reason for this federal holiday. Armored Humvees are in short supply. When the insurgency in Iraq started, the US Army didn't have enough armored Humvees to protect its troops. As soldiers died in vehicles not built to withstand combat, the Army boosted their orders, but that takes time. While waiting for requests to be filled, soldiers rigged their own with sandbags. Barrage of Bullets Drowned Out Cries of Comrades, The Washington Post, 2004. After NFL-star-turned-soldier Pat Tillman died in Afghanistan, the Army took weeks to admit friendly fire had killed him. Over a year later, records emerged indicating they'd also withheld details of his death by fratricide, and the case spun into a saga of an investigation. When we asked national security expert Andrew Exum for a seminal piece on the case, he replied: We're looking for the seminal article on the Pat Tillman case. Anyone know one? Behind The Walls of Ward 54, Soldiers at Walter Reed said that the facility's psychiatric care was outdated and inadequate, heavily medicating soldiers in "lock-down wards," offering group therapy that often didn't address wartime experiences, and in some cases, hesitating to diagnose PTSD at all. Soldiers Face Neglect, Frustration, at Army's Top Medical Facility: The first article in a Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigation of neglect and bureaucratic failures at Walter Reed. While the surgical hospital was held up as a paragon of care, hundreds of soldiers went unnoticed in decrepit outpatient wards with few services or oversight. Soldiers described the experience as living in a chapter from Catch-22!