Report: On-Duty Psychiatrist Who Evaluated Soldier Declined Involvement in “Political Battle”

“THE AMBUSH HAS BACKFIRED”

by Sharon Rondeau

Col. Michael S. Heimall is Director of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD

(Sep. 4, 2016) — The Post & Email has learned that after an injured U.S. Army soldier was coerced with the threat of “negative consequences” to report without notice to the emergency room at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Thursday night for a “psych eval,” the psychiatrist on duty at the time not only found nothing wrong with him, but also reportedly said to him, “Whatever political battle they have going on, I’m not losing my career over it.”

We were told that Major Ryals, who reportedly called the soldier the “N” word while escorting him to the ER that night, removed himself from duty shortly after midnight Friday morning as the evaluation was being completed and serious allegations against the soldier’s former Walter Reed psychiatrist, Dr. David Williamson, surfaced through a secondary POA called to the scene.

Ryals also reportedly apologized for the racial slur.  On a recording of the events that night, Ryals is heard telling the soldier that if he should “fight” the order to be evaluated immediately, “there will be negative consequences.”

On Friday morning, The Post & Email emailed Ryals asking if he was the individual who made that statement but received no response.  However, the soldier’s primary POA identified Ryals and the other voices heard on the recording, which spans more than 90 minutes as events unfolded.

The soldier’s primary POA said that while the soldier was en route to the ER, whoever ordered the unscheduled evaluation gave the on-duty psychiatrist “their own version of things.”

Rumors are flying that Dr. David Williamson, who reportedly “recommended” the evaluation, will shortly be leaving Walter Reed.  Last week, The Post & Email’s inquiry to Walter Reed’s Public Affairs desk asking if Williamson would be departing went unanswered.

Capt. Stefanie Varno, who can be heard at the beginning of the recording stating to the POA that she was responsible for “ordering” the evaluation, on Friday morning reportedly apologized to the soldier in tears, saying, “I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.”

Just after releasing an article on Saturday morning, The Post & Email noted that the FBI and members of the Department of Defense were assiduously reading it throughout the day and evening and continuing into Sunday.

The primary POA has asked the FBI, DOD Inspector General’s office, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and the White House to investigate the complaints he/she has filed regarding Williamson, the soldier’s sexual assault in 2013 which was not noted in his medical records, the heavy medication regime alleged to have been forced upon the soldier for the last several years, and subsequent alleged abuse.

“There is more coming,” the POA told us on Saturday evening.  “The ambush has backfired.”

The family believes that Walter Reed’s Director, Col. Michael S. Heimall, has lost control over the hospital.

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