“IN THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 23, 2016) — As a follow-up to a communication sent to the White House in June regarding a U.S. Army soldier‘s treatment by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) over more than four years, the soldier’s power of attorney on Wednesday again contacted the office of the president about his current situation.
He is currently confined to the psychiatric wing of Walter Reed against his will and that of his family members. While then-chief neuropsychiatrist Dr. David Williamson has labeled the soldier “delusional” and other adjectives, the family and an independent doctor of psychology disagree with the diagnosis and believe he is being over-medicated.
The Post & Email has been reporting on this story since the third week of June, when the soldier was finally permitted to take earned leave to visit his family through July 8. No police investigation has ever been conducted of the sexual assault allegation despite the Army’s having stated in a written response to the White House that an investigator from the Petersburg, VA Bureau of Police would be interviewing the soldier upon his return from leave.
Following the alleged assault, the soldier was robbed and his identity stolen, with $13,000 in loans taken out in his name while he was in the hospital under treatment for a traumatic brain injury. The Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU) has denied that any wrongdoing took place as the soldier repays the money which he never borrowed.
On September 1, 2016, members of the Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) descended upon the soldier at his residence without warning and escorted him to the Walter Reed emergency room for an unscheduled evaluation. The soldier had just undergone one-day surgery, was on scheduled leave, and was told that there would be “negative consequences” if he did not comply.
While the psychiatrist on duty that evening found no reason to hospitalize or otherwise detain the soldier, several weeks later, on September 29, his POA received a phone call from Sgt. Anthony Hill stating that the soldier’s behavior had become erratic and he had willingly signed himself in to the psychiatric wing of the hospital, 7 West.
The family considers their loved one “kidnapped” by his Army commanders.
The POA was able to visit once with the soldier but afterward was told that no medical updates on his condition would be provided to anyone other than “the command.” An investigation by Walter Reed’s Inspector General has since commenced and remains ongoing to the best of the family’s knowledge.
The ACLU has told this writer that the soldier’s case is beyond the scope of its work.
Neither the Walter Reed Inspector General nor Army Inspector General LaShanda Cobbs has responded to The Post & Email’s questions about the progress of the investigation.
The POA’s letter was addressed to email@example.com and sent at 7:29 a.m. EST.