Feedback: Report Critical Of Fort Drum's 'Wounded Warrior' Battalion
The military found problems from top to bottom in a special Fort Drum unit for wounded warriors.
A report issued last fall has become public and it provides an eye-opening assessment of the Fort Drum Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB).
The problems include poor morale, the perception of it being a dumping ground for wounded and ill soldiers, and even physical abuse.
The 100-plus page critique was released last September by the Inspector General's Office.
It found that the unit had problems ranging all the way from its command, through its staff and the soldiers themselves.
It cited the overall negative command climate within the WTB, saying it contributed to poor overall morale.
It also said there's a stigma of the unit being a dumping ground for wounded and ill soldiers from units across the post.
The report says this led to several problems, including over-medication of wounded and ill soldiers.
One command team member said that half of the warriors in the unit were stoned on psychotropic drugs.
Some staff said many soldiers "game" the system by threatening to go to their congressman if they don't get the drugs they want.
Abuse by staff included making a cancer patient stand in line formation and do physical training. His doctor had advised rest and staying away from crowds because of a compromised immune system.
Then, there's the soldier who was allowed to walk with a cane, but was put in physical training and constantly harassed to walk faster.
Now, 19 months later, Fort Drum says almost all the problems have been fixed, including closer monitoring of prescriptions.
The report said Fort Drum took the assessment very seriously, has been working on the problems and that the Inspector General's office is now satisfied the concerns have been addressed.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013, Watertown, NY