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King, Grassley Meet With Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Officials Regarding Bible Ban at Military Hospital

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Steve King and Senator Chuck Grassley met with senior leadership of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center yesterday to discuss a recent memo released by the Medical Center prohibiting the use and distribution of Bibles and other religious materials during visits to wounded soldiers. After receiving the memo on December 2nd, King called Vice Admiral John Mateczun, Commander of the Joint Task Force National Capital Region Medical, and Rear Admiral Alton Stocks, Commander of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, to Capitol Hill. King and Grassley were informed that the memo was worded improperly, that the Medical Center has rescinded the memo, and that a new memo will be drafted to affirmatively assert that religious items and artifacts are welcome in the hospital, if they are welcomed by the patient. King and Grassley released the following statements after the meeting:

"The meeting with Vice Admiral Mateczun, Rear Admiral Stocks, and Senator Grassley was productive because the Walter Reed staff has agreed to write a new rule that affirms a visitor's ability to bring Bibles and other religious material when they visit," King said. "I have asked to look over the new rule before it's officially released and that they identify the individual who is responsible for writing this unconstitutional nonsense."

"The Defense Department appears to have acted in good faith by retracting the original statement and releasing a statement of regret. I appreciate that officials are making efforts to get to the bottom of how this horrible language came about," Grassley said. "I look forward to seeing the new policy and will reserve judgment until that time."

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