News Releases

(Washington D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement following Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' announcement that he has commissioned an independent review group to look at rehabilitative care and administrative processes at Walter Reed Army Hospital and at the National Naval Medical Center. Last Tuesday, Senator Murray wrote to Secretary Gates to request an investigation at both facilities after a Washington Post investigation revealed deplorable living conditions facing returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans at Walter Reed.

"Today's announcement is an important first step toward identifying the many problems plaguing our military hospital system, and I applaud Secretary Gates for taking action.

"However, having witnessed this Administration's repeated failures to take care of our veterans when they return home, I plan to remain vigilant in my oversight of this process.

"When it comes to caring for our troops and veterans, this Administration -- from the White House, to the Pentagon, to the Department of Veterans Affairs -- has consistently waited until conditions reached a critical stage before taking action to remedy them.

"Our troops and veterans have faced massive budget shortfalls, horribly long waiting lines, and sickening hospital conditions, but this Administration continues to be reactive to the problems. It's time for this posture to end. Taking care of our troops and veterans must be a cost of this war, and I will continue my fight to force this Administration to take that cost into account at all times."

View the letter Senator Murray and Senator Barbara Mikulski (D- MD) sent to Secretary Gates