To the editor:
I read with interest the Journal-World's editorial on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It seems as if you were laying the blame on the local hospital leadership. Before going too far down that track, perhaps you should read Article I, Section 8 of our Constitution; "The Congress shall have Power - to raise and support Armies. ..."
The current administration has tried to fight the war in Iraq on the cheap. Every effort to hold down funding has been employed. This includes underfunding military people programs, like Walter Reed, across the board (likewise replacement equipment programs).
The outgoing congressional leadership (to include former Congressman Ryun), in cooperation with the administration, holds the distinction for underfunding these programs. We certainly would not want to ask anyone to sacrifice to support the war (other than the soldiers and their families).
The recently installed Democratic majority in the Congress had nothing to do with this shortfall any more than they hold responsibility for the underfunding of facilities at Fort Riley. In fact, they have tried to increase funding in these areas where possible given their past minority status.
The complexities of the budgeting process of the Department of Defense would take many times the 250-word limit imposed on letters to describe. I think it is fair to say, however, that the current leadership at Walter Reed had little if anything to do with the problems published. Look higher up the food chain - much higher!
George Lippencott, Lawrence