John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

When the bad guys win

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 accidently 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.


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 can't 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,heinterviewed 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.

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 anymore and told the army he would accept a simple apology from Sullivan in person.
Sullivan agreed and Dan, with stage 4 cancer and exhausted drove down from Baltimore for the meeting ...Sullivan didn't show up.

Like I said, he got away with it.

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