CBS devoted continued concerted attention to the plight of combat casualties. Bob Orr watched a House committee grill Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley. It was "another brutal retelling of Walter Reed horror stories." Cynthia Bowers profiled Andrea Holldorf, an Iowa seamstress who is making denim comfort quilts from used blue jeans for the amputees at the Army Medical Center.
Sharyn Alfonsi illustrated the failure to treat mental illnesses such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder with the tale of one suicidal Marine corporal in Massachusetts. Jeff Lucey was self-medicating his depression with alcohol so he checked himself into the local VA psychiatric hospital. The staff diagnosed him as a danger to himself yet told him they could not treat him until he was sober. Lucey's father found him dead in the cellar, hanging from a garden hose noose.
On ABC, Brian Ross Investigates exposed the failure of the Seamless Transition Taskforce, a database system designed to transfer the medical records of discharged military personnel automatically into the healthcare computers of the Veterans Affairs Department. Ross reported that STT was shelved two years ago when Veterans Secretary Jim Nicholson took over. The paperwork is to this day entered by hand.
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