I-"Walter Reed Army Medical Center: Insult to Injury" - Mark Benjamin - Salon

I-"Walter Reed Army Medical Center: Insult to Injury" - Mark Benjamin - Salon

Some wounded soldiers back from Iraq are having to pay for meals at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Veterans' groups say it's another symptom of fighting a costly war on the cheap.

by: Mark Benjamin | publication date: January 27, 2005 | Publication: Salon.com |

Whether it is the lack of protective armor for troops in the field or, now, wounded troops paying for food, complaints from soldiers have shed an unflattering light on how the military bureaucracy takes care of its troops. And they have prompted accusations that the Pentagon is fighting the Iraq war on the cheap, no matter what the cost to soldiers. The meal charge policy "is an example of a much larger problem relating to the overall cost of the war. It is all an indication of extreme costs they are trying to make up on the backs of these men and women," said Steve Robinson, a retired Army Ranger and the executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center.

At Walter Reed Army Medical Center, hundreds of wounded outpatient veterans whose stay exceeds 90 days must pay for their meals in cash.

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