If you really want to understand the travesty of what happens in the out-patient and med boards process at WR, and why, this is a must-read.
In 2001, 10 percent of soldiers going through the medical retirement process received permanent disability benefits. In 2005, with two wars raging, that percentage dropped to 3 percent, according to the Government Accountability Office. Reservists dropped from 16 percent to 5 percent.
Soldiers go to VA to try for more benefits, but the department had a staggering 400,000-case backup on new claims in fiscal 2006, according to VA.******
Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, the number of soldiers wading through the paperwork, physicals and appointments has doubled at Walter Reed. According to a Defense Department directive, it should take a total of 120 days from start to finish, but the average stay for Walter Reed soldiers is 270 days. The soldiers navigate a complicated system with the help of counselors with little more experience — or rank — than they have, and who lack training, according to a March 2006 Government Accountability Office report.