This is Congressman Peter Roskam. This is the first in a
series of video newsletters I will be sending out.
Email technology allows us to communicate while saving
taxpayer dollars on stationary and postage.
This system works both ways and I hope you use email to
communicate your thoughts, views and questions to me.
Today I want to talk about a recent trip I took to Walter
Reed Army Medical Center. Every day, soldiers from
Illinois - and every state in the union - are risking their
lives protect America and spread Democracy across the
Some have fallen and some were injured.
These wounded soldiers deserve our best medical
As such, I was deeply concerned when I heard stories of the
poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I
wanted to see it myself.
While I found the staff at Walter Reed to be well-trained
and highly motivated, some of the facilities were run down
- they seemed downright shabby.
A recovering soldier I talked to spoke of a complicated and
exhausting bureaucracy he had to endure to get insurance
coverage or to justify even the most basic medical
The soldiers at Walter Reed have, at the very least, spent
months in a war zone and have endured a debilitating
injury. Adding to their stress level through needless
bureaucracy is no way to welcome them home.
Clearly, there was a failure in the chain of command, and
I'm encouraged by the recent change in leadership at
I think the message to the new leadership is clear: You are
going to be held accountable for the care we are offering
our men and women returning from battle.
Congress is watching. America is watching.
Only a small number of soldiers from our Sixth District
have received care at Walter Reed. Many soldiers from
Chicagoland receive care at one of several local facilities.
My next step as the Congressional advocate for veterans in
the Sixth District is to visit these facilities to make sure that
the conditions, procedures, doctors and staff meet the needs
and surpass the expectations of our fallen soldiers.
I'm also reaching out to returning veterans through the
Veterans Administration and local veterans organizations to
hear their stories, honor their service and make sure they
have what they need to re-integrate into American society.
Our soldiers are duty bound to defend America and protect
our families. I'm proud to say it is my duty to protect our