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Posted at 6:27 PM ET, 01/14/2011

Clearing hurdles to help wounded troops

By Janet R. Southby, Washington

I read with great interest Ann Scott Tyson’s Jan. 9 Metro story about the difficulties encountered by the charity called Troops Need You [“Despite red tape, group helps veterans’ families”].

Our experience has been different from that cited. Yes, there were initial challenges and lots of paperwork to overcome, but on the whole Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center encouraged and welcomed our assistance. As explained to us, much of the legal “red tape” was designed to ensure that the privacy of the wounded and their families was protected, that they were treated equitably and with compassion, and not manipulated, exploited or harassed.

Eventually, the paperwork was completed, and we have effectively coordinated our efforts with the Soldier Family Assistance Center at Walter Reed and at the National Naval Medical Center.

Despite potential additional requirements associated with the imminent merger of the two facilities at Bethesda — as Walter Reed National Military Medical Center — I anticipate that Troops Need You will surmount all the bureaucratic challenges, as we have.

The writer is president of the Walter Reed Society.

By Janet R. Southby, Washington  | January 14, 2011; 6:27 PM ET
Categories:  D.C., military  
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