Washington The shameful treatment of U.S. troops wounded in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan was exposed to public scrutiny Monday in a series of emotional confrontations.
Soldiers who had been grievously injured in the line of fire stood before lawmakers to give heartbreaking accounts of the bureaucratic nightmares they faced in getting medical care back home.
And Army chiefs, who should have been there to offer help when their troops most needed it, admitted they had failed.
In one of the most emotional exchanges, Maj. Gen. George Weightman, who was fired last week as chief of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, faced two badly injured soldiers and the wife of a third who had fought the system.
"I'd just like to apologize for not meeting your expectations," he said from his seat, just feet away from them.
Army Undersecretary Peter Geren, who will succeed fired Army Secretary Francis Harvey, said, "We have let some soldiers down. We're going to fix the problem."
The emotional scenes dominated a House oversight subcommittee hearing at a Walter Reed auditorium that opened under a banner at center stage reading: "Is this any way to treat our troops?"