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John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

The incompetent at Walter Reed Army Hospital are at it again



Here’s the bad news; he got away with it and nothing happened to him and my guess is, because he got away with it, he’ll probably do it again. 

Here’s the good news; sort of. I was right. I knew from start that the US Army Officer-Nurse who intimidated my brother when he had stage 4 cancer would go unpunished for what did. 

My Brother, Dan was a stage four cancer patient at the Walter Reed-Navy Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland. He beat that cancer, throat cancer, but now it appears to have moved to his lungs. We don’t know for sure yet. 

When Dan had stage 4, the doctors cut a hole in his throat sohecould breathe and a hole in his stomach so he could eat. He has lost over a hundred pounds in six months. His skin literary hangsfrom his bones. To get to the cancer, the doctors removed all of his teeth in a single operation. He was in pain. I saw him the next morning and his face had swelled like a balloon. He asked for pain killers.    

The floor nurse, a guy named Chad Sullivan, decided he didn’t like the request. Apparently, by three reports, Sullivan is an extremely large man. He pushed open Dan’s door, leaned forward on the armchair rest where Danny was sitting, placed his face inches from Dan’s face and said “You don’t know what pain is. You’re a bullshit artist and you’re trying to con the doctors for more dope.” 

Danny started to say something and Sullivan pushed his finger in Dan’s face and shouted,“Close your mouth!” 

When Danny tried to speak again Sullivan rammed his finger in his face and yelled, “Close it!” 

When Dan called out for help, Sullivan left the room. 

Two friends of Dan’s visited him that day and found him badly shaken over the incident. They confronted Sullivan and accidentally recorded the conversation. According to their written statements Sullivan admitted that he said,“Close your mouth” but he “was not threatening in anyway” and never cursed. He also said “I am not the most gentle guy in the world. I’m not going to lie about it.” 

As he spoke, according to the statement and the recording, Sullivan swung his arms in large circles and slapped his hands together loudly forcing Dan’s friends to constantly step backwards and said “I can’t believe I have to answer your questions. I can’t believe this is going on right now. I am going to ask you people to leave right now. Right now.” 

When I found out what Sullivan did, I phoned the local police and asked them to investigate. They agreed that there is sufficient cause to arrest Sullivan for intimidation, but the hospital is on federal property and out of their jurisdiction. 

Despite a call from our attorney, and urging from the entire family and all of our friends, my brother refused to take the case to the military police. 

Why? 

Because he’s a decent sort of guy, a third generation dogface who believes in what the US says it stands for. He told us that the army would give him justice so he submitted a written complaint, his witness submitted a complaint. 

They didn’t give Dan his justice. Instead they promoted Second Lieutenant Chad Sullivan to the rank of First Lieutenant. 

Can you imagine that happening in the private sector? An employee or a customer files a serious complaint against a manager and the manager is promoted? You cant imagine it because that sort of insanity only happens within the government where employees are paid on time and in full regardless of the quality or quantity of work they perform. 

 When Dan rejected the hospital’s notion to give Sullivana good firm talking tothe Officer closed ranks, so to speak, and applied pressure. Dan was approached several times by a Major Ruby J. Thomas who tried to high pressure him into dropping the complaint against Sullivan, telling Dan that to pursue the case “would not be a Christian act.” 

Can you imagine that happening in the private sector? Using a person’s faith against them to drop a complaint against a superior?   How much do you think the lawyers would take to settle that one? 

So Dan went up the ladder and complained to Harry Hamilton, Commander of the Nurse Corps at Walter Reed. Hamilton, a true government worker,interviewed Danny, took a report and promised to get back to him. 

We never heard from him again. 

So on Dan’s behalf I wrote to Major General Jeffrey Clark, the hospital’s director and Captain Sarah Martin of the Nurse Corps. 

We never heard from them. 

Then I wrote to General Martin E. Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Believe it or not, we heard back from him within three days. One of the busiest men in the world found time to answer our complaint. The Generals staff said they would contact the hospital and ask them to look into the matter. And they did. 

The hospital approached Dan and asked if he would enter talks with Chad Sullivan and Dan said no. But by now it was clear to even him that Sullivan was going to get away with his behavior. Dan, who is still very weak and very sick, said he was too tired to fight and wanted to drop the issue. 

As understandable as that is, in this case forgive and forget is dangerous. Sullivan,is a man with apparent temper issues and is a nurse in a hospital. That combination cant be good. So a group of us were able to convince Dan that while he should forgive Sullivan, at the same time he should, at the least, demand apology from him for his behavior if only to make Sullivan’s behavior a matter of records. 

“What if” we warned Danny “Sullivan decidestodo the same thing to another patient? A patient who won’t be lucky enough to have a friend at the hospital to confront and record Sullivan, a friend who doesn’t have a brother who works as a journalist? Then what? Ifyoudon’t want to do this for yourself, do it for the overall good of protecting others.” 

And Dan agreed.    
 
So Dan went to a meeting where, he was told, Sullivan would apologize to him for his behavior. But sure enough Sullivan wasn’t there and the person who arranged the meeting told Dan that Sullivan flatly refused to apologize. My brother figures that Sullivan used the Army’s free legal services and lawyered up. Surprising behavior for a tough guy. 

But Sullivan isn’t the only one who got away unscathed. Major Ruby J. Thomas who tried to use my brother’sdeep spiritual beliefs to protect a fellow officer, got away with her behavior. Harry Hamilton, the disappearing Commander of the Nurse Corps at Walter Reed got away with his behavior too. Major General Jeffrey Clark and Captain Sarah Martin who won’t or can’t reply to their mail are just fine too. 

So in the larger picture, in my opinion, Chad Sullivan walks in lockstep with the way things are at Walter Reed. For me, I see Sullivan’s behavior as being in step with the increasing lack of personalaccountability and honor within our politicallycorrect, career first, protect your pension at all costs officer’s class. 

Why is it like this? Because our Army Officers Class are, to use words of their own timid mouse PC speak, “morally and ethically challenged."

 Look around you….West Point and the Naval Academy havehad so many scandals over the past few years, including murder, it’s become a national embarrassment. The Air Force Academy has had serious issues for being a training ground for the Klan and lunatic religious right fringe and the Coast Guard Academy...…well, actually they haven’t done anything wrong, but then again, they’re part of the US Treasury and not the Pentagon.     

Anyway, in my brother’s case, the bad guys havewonthe day. But they’ll screw up again because incompetence is endemic in the Walter Reed medical system. Just seven years ago, the neglect and abuse of soldiers/ patientswas so bad that the Service Commanding General was fired and the Secretary of the Army “resigned” as did the hospital commander. Then the Congress launched an investigation into the place and the White House charged the Vice President to get the mess that was Walter Reed cleaned up. 

Sometime in the near future, Walter Reed will screw up again, the staff will accidentally kill a large number of patients or they’ll inadvertently unleash an epidemic on the local population or a couple of million dollars will end up MIA, but one way or the other, they’ll screw up again and this time, hopefully, the Congress will see fit to do the right thing and send the guilty to jail and close the place down.  


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