Maryland Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger was demanding answers Tuesday from the Pentagon after experiencing firsthand an active-shooter lockdown at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, which officials alternately blamed afterward on a “false alarm” and an inadvertent mass notification made by staff preparing for a drill.
For two veterans, Fourth of July marked a different kind of celebration. On June 30, Army soldiers Fred Downs and Artie McAuley were gifted with new arms by Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin himself in a ceremony in New York.
Looking for a distraction that is both adorable and dedicated to a good cause? Well, a litter of labrador retriever puppies is now being streamed on a live feed. Currently these puppies are just nursing, but when they grow up, they will be trained as service dogs for wounded veterans.
After being severely wounded and nearly dying in Vietnam, I spent 18 months at Walter Reed before being transferred to a VA hospital. There, VA doctors, nurses, and staff cared for my wounds, began my rehabilitation and made it possible for me to successfully return to civilian life. I shudder to think what would have happened to me, and thousands like me, if there had not been a VA health care system in place specifically designed to comprehensively address our unique needs as veterans.
On Aug. 9, Marine Staff Sgt. Brandon Dodson was on a foot patrol as an infantry squad leader with 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Helmand province, Afghanistan, when an improvised explosive device detonated in close proximity to him, taking off both legs, fracturing his pelvis, and causing other injuries including a broken tailbone and broken right hand. He has been amputated above the left knee and below the right knee, but is out of surgery and is in stable condition at this time.