by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 31, 2016) — In an email dated October 30, 2016, the power of attorney for a U.S. Army soldier believed to have been forcibly admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) on September 29 against his will asked Army Inspector General Lashanda Cobbs to “promptly and fully address why Capt. XXXXXXX continues to be held without access to his basic Civil Rights and family.”
As The Post & Email has reported over more than three months, the soldier is considered 100% disabled yet has not been discharged from the military. As of last week, the POA informed us that Walter Reed medical staff, presumably under orders from “the command,” were allowing the soldier telephone contact with only one family member, while his power of attorney and spiritual adviser have been denied any updates on his condition.
The POA was able to visit in person on October 1 but has received no direct information since that time. Both she and the spiritual adviser have reported that the soldier has indicated that threats have been made against the spiritual adviser in an apparent attempt to keep him away as well as intimidate the soldier.
After allegedly witnessing extreme misconduct on the part of at least one officer, a chaplain, and several others on an Army base in South Korea in 2012, the soldier reported to his family that not only was his then-wife involved, but also that she had begun poisoning him. The POA has reported that because the soldier refused to participate in the egregious behavior involving his wife, he first received assignments considered undesirable in apparent retaliation and eventually was returned to the United States.
In early 2013, he was labeled “delusional” and scheduled for a Medical Board, which is the process by which servicemen are evaluated for their continued fitness to serve. Since that time, several “Med Boards” have been initiated and stalled, resulting in the soldier’s continued “active-duty” status and residence in a dormitory at Walter Reed.
His family believes that the diagnosis is the Army’s attempt at destroying any credibility the soldier might have if and when he is able to either testify to Congress or speak directly with the media about his allegations.
Further compounding the soldier’s plight, he was allegedly sexually assaulted on April 29, 2013 while stationed at Ft. Lee, physically abused, and thrown into moving traffic, where he hit his head on a car windshield and sustained a traumatic brain injury. The Army has provided treatment for the TBI both at Walter Reed and two out-of-state facilities but has refused to acknowledge the sexual assault in his medical records.
A recent interview with the soldier’s spiritual adviser, who is also a U.S. Army veteran, revealed that although the assault is alleged to have occurred off-base, the Army is still responsible for conducting an investigation. In a letter dated July 5, 2016 in response to the POA’s filing of a complaint with the White House, Col. Christopher Boyle stated that a Petersburg, VA Bureau of Police detective was “interested in meeting with” the soldier with the apparent purpose of conducting an investigation. “His command will continue to follow up on the matter and ensure a meeting is set up,” Boyle wrote in his letter.
The “meeting” still has not taken place, and the Army has indicated that it will not be conducting its own investigation.
Following the alleged assault, the soldier’s wallet and computer were stolen and two loans totaling $13,000 taken in his name while he remained in a serious medical condition in the hospital. Strangely, an “investigation” allegedly conducted by the Navy Federal Credit Union into the theft of the soldier’s financial assets was closed without explanation or the provision of documentation of its findings to the POA.
The soldier has been making payments on the $13,000 debt out of his Army pay while he has been disabled and in treatment. A letter written to NFCU by The Post & Email questioning the lack of documentation connected with its alleged probe remains unanswered after more than two months.
On October 15, the soldier’s family was informed that a “Richard Little” of the Walter Reed Inspector General’s office was the individual assigned to the “investigation” into the soldier’s latest hospitalization. When the POA and spiritual adviser attempted to reach Little, they were told that he was unavailable all of that week and that a “LCDR Stutts” would be handling the matter during Little’s absence. Stutts made no response to their requests for an update.
The Post & Email sent an email to Cobbs and left a voice message for Stutts, neither of which received a response.
In her email to Cobbs and Little on Sunday, the POA wrote, in part, “I am moving forward with bringing more exposure to the unscrupulous practices of the command and medical staff at Walter Reed Hospital. You may listen to someone of my interview and supporters on www.weactradio.com,” a radio show on which she, the spiritual adviser, The Post & Email, and another involved party appeared on October 7 and October 21 to tell the soldier’s story. The White House and Public Affairs office at the Pentagon were copied on the email.
The POA “respectfully requested” a disposition on the soldier’s condition and status within one business day as well as the name of a Pentagon official with whom she could meet to discuss her many concerns.