News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) led colleagues in sending a letter to Secretary of the Army John McHugh raising questions about the Army Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and their efforts to engage and empower soldiers following a media report questioning the quality of care at WTUs. The letter seeks answers to questions regarding the status of WTU programs and how officials plan to improve aspects of the program that have been criticized in the article.   

The WTU was created in 2007 after the poor care and conditions for wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Amy Medical Center were brought to light. However, on April 24th, the New York Times reported that several soldiers were unsatisfied with the care they have received at the WTUs. The soldiers cited overmedication, inactivity, and harsh treatment from superiors during their time at the WTUs, leading them to feel worse than they did before seeking treatment.

“Specifically, we are concerned about the consistency of services offered at all WTUs. Recognizing each soldier is unique, how does the Wounded Warrior program provide standard engagement and vocational opportunities to soldiers throughout the nation?” the Senators wrote. “What is the status of implementing the comprehensive transition plan? What is the status of Operation Warfighter? Are there other similar national programs? Are you re-evaluating your medication management and engagement strategies following the New York Times article?”

The full list of signers appears below:

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA)
Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA
Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

The full text of the letter appears below:

The Honorable John McHugh
Secretary of the Army
101 Army Pentagon
Washington 20310-0101

Dear Secretary McHugh:

We write to inquire about the recently reported issues with the quality of care and services provided to wounded servicemembers at Army Warrior Transition Units (WTUs) and request appropriate officials brief us on the current status of the WTUs and their efforts to engage and empower soldiers.  News reports stating our soldiers are feeling isolation, neglect or harsh indifference during their recovery and transition directly conflicts with the positive feedback we have received.

As you know, WTUs were established in the wake of the scandal surrounding care and conditions for wounded warriors at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.  WTUs provide targeted care and a sense of purpose for servicemembers as they transition back to active duty or to veteran status. The time spent at a WTU represents a meaningful, gainful transition which prepares the servicemember to succeed in the civilian world or readjust to active military service. 

Specifically, we are concerned about the consistency of services offered at all WTUs. Recognizing each soldier is unique, how does the Wounded Warrior program provide standard engagement and vocational opportunities to soldiers throughout the nation? What is the status of implementing the comprehensive transition plan? What is the status of Operation Warfighter? Are there other similar national programs? Are you re-evaluating your medication management and engagement strategies following the New York Times article?

Providing care for our servicemembers and veterans continues to be a top priority for Congress and our nation. This issue is of the utmost importance to us. Thank you for your attention, and we look forward to your response.