AFTER SEEKING CIVILIAN “LEGAL GUARDIAN” WITHOUT FAMILY’S KNOWLEDGE
by Sharon Rondeau
Without explanation, the soldier has been held in the psychiatric wing at Walter Reed since September 29 without access to his cell phone or personal computer.
“This is federal habeas corpus,” the POA had said of his admission.
As the soldier’s discharge to veteran status has been expected for some time, the Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) has been overseeing his care, although with considerable friction with the POA and other family members, who object to the Army’s handling of matters involving the soldier since after his 2012 deployment to South Korea.
The soldier alleges that he was sexually assaulted in April 2013, but Walter Reed WTB staff have reportedly refused to document the report in his medical records.
After the POA made an emergency trip to Walter Reed on October 1 to observe the soldier’s condition firsthand, she and those with her were denied a private visit with him, and medical personnel would not divulge any information as to why he had been admitted.
While there, the POA requested a formal list of the medications being administered to the soldier but was provided with only a handwritten note which she insisted the nurse sign before she accepted it.
The soldier’s family perceives that he has been over-medicated, misdiagnosed, intimidated and isolated by Walter Reed and has been seeking a discharge plan since May.
Last month, after Davis was contacted without the family’s knowledge or consent and reportedly interviewed the soldier without providing him representation, the POA filed a complaint with Army Inspector General LaShanda Cobbs, who referred the matter to Walter Reed Inspector General Richard A. Little.
While the soldier’s case may or may not have been communicated to Capitol Hill, The Post & Email referenced it to the Trump transition team last month and a public relations representative at the Department of Defense.
The POA has contacted the White House on two occasions to ask for assistance in resolving the impasse between the family and the Army.
The POA’s November 22 email to Davis was sent in response to a voice message Davis had left on her phone stating that she was summoned to interview the soldier, who reportedly was not satisfied with the POA’s management of his affairs.
The email was copied to Little. The Post & Email has redacted the names and email addresses.
Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 6:54 PM
To: Davis, Sherry
Cc: Little, Richard A CIV DHA WRNMMC (US)
Subject: Re: confirming that this is your email
Per our conversation a few days ago, I am following up on behalf of my brother and family to seek clarity regarding your investigation on behalf of Walter Reed Military Hospital. You stated that you do not work for Walter Reed but you were contacted by Walter Reed regarding guardianship as personnel stated that the XXXXX family refuses to work with the military. Considering that there is an open investigation regarding the attempted murder, rape, and countless of other heinous crimes committed against my brother, I have copied Mr. Little(IG) at Walter Reed on this email.
We have had two telephone conversations in which my family and I have yet to determine the nature of why Walter Reed requested your involvement. If you could answer the following questions for clarity in this matter:
- Who contacted you on behalf of Walter Reed?
- When were you contacted by Walter Reed?
- What imminent danger was Capt. XXXX in during the time you were contacted?
- When contacted by Walter Reed, what were the specific request and/or concerns for Capt. XXXXX
- What is your position at Montgomery County Adult Protective Services? Who is your supervisor?
- When will we receive official written correspondence regarding this matter from Montgomery County?
- Is there a State Attorney representing MCAPS in this matter regarding Capt. XXXXX? If so, when will he/she be contacting me to discuss this matter?
- Is this an open case? If so, please provide the case and/ or reference number
- Who decided Capt. XXXXX needed a guardian?
- How did you determine that Capt. XXXXX needed a guardian outside of his immediate family who has been caring for him?
- Did you record your conversation with Capt. XXXXX?
- Did Capt. XXXXX have a legal representative during your meeting with him? If so, whom?
- Is there a narrative or intake of your meeting? If so, is is available under FOIA or request by family?
Again, thank you for providing clarity
In a response sent on November 26, Davis told the POA that her questions asked for “irrelevant” information outside of what she said was the matter at hand: that of formulating a “safe and appropriate discharge plan” for the soldier.
Davis indicated that it was her understanding that the family might be experiencing difficulty in “working with the hospital” to that end.
On December 3, the POA responded, copying in Walter Reed social worker Debra Isenstein:
Subject: Re: follow up to call
Date: Sat, December 03, 2016 3:18 pm
To: “Davis, Sherry”
Cc: “Little, Richard A CIV DHA WRNMMC (US)”
“Isenstein, Debra R CIV DHA DHSS
I believe our attitudes towards seeking clarity on the nature of this matter is contradictory.In fact, the questions I posed are valid and very relevant to the current adversities in which my brother and family have faced within the last 5 years. I have inconvertible evidence which proves that my family and the soldier has been more than cooperative with Walter Reed regarding a safe transitional plan for him. In fact, we(his family,the XXXXXs, and the XXXXXXs) are not the perpetrators in this matter. We have always been willing to provide the Warrior Transition Brigade with a transition plan; However, the WTB has yet to provide me with the appropriate documentation upon which to submit a transition plan for Capt. XXXXXX. As a matter of fact, Capt. XXXXX has been repeatedly denied a fair Medical Board hearing in which we would willingly submit an appropriate transition plan.
Furthermore, If Walter Reed were actually concerned for Capt. XXXXX’s welfare, Ms. Debra Isenstein, the social worker in which you have copied on this email would have reached out to our family. Ms. Isenstein nor any other social worker has reached out to my family or Rev. XXXXX in the two months that Capt. XXXXX has been hospitalized. As a matter of fact, we have documented proof that we have reached out to several doctors and the head social worker treating Capt. XXXXXX, yet we have not received a response regarding Capt. XXXXX’s medical condition. As of today, we still don’t have a clue why he was admitted, what’s his medical condition, when will he be released. what medication he is taking, etc..
Therefore, I really think you should reevaluate exactly who or whom is the threat to Capt. XXXXX. It sounds more like the Warrior Transition Brigade is a threat than his family. In the event that you decide to actually conduct a through investigation into this very urgent legal matter in which you stated Walter Reed has suggested guardianship, I can assure that any family court judge and the public will be appalled at watching the videos, reading the emails and hearing the audio of Capt. XXXXX being threaten by Major Ryals. I’m sure nigger is never an acceptable word in a professional setting.
Additionally, you should interrogate Sgt. Hill about his own recorded accounts in which he voluntarily gave me a state recounting the events which landed Capt. XXXXXX into the psych ward on Sept.1, 2016.
Lastly, Thank you for your concerns and an unbiased approach into this investigation. Also,considering your role and involvement in helping Capt. XXXXXX, please let me know if you are willinging to be interviewed for my documentary regarding the domestic terrorism the soldier, my family, The XXXXXs & XXXXXXs have encountered at the hands of the very commanders who contacted you. This is an engaging piece and you would be amazed and conscience stricken at the real reason why you were contacted. An invitation is also extended to Ms. Isenstein if she would like to give a statement regarding her non-response to my multiple email appeals for help on Capt. XXXXXX’s behalf especially, after I filed a complaint against her with the Maryland Board of Social Workers in which I have yet to receive a response which is not coincidental.
Should you all be interested in a physical or audio interview please confirm. Other than that,this is my disclaimer that I have already released your names as involved parties.
On December 8, The Post & Email directed an email to Davis and Isenstein:
Hello, you may know that I have been covering the case of Capt. XXXXXXXX, a disabled U.S. Army soldier who has been confined at Walter Reed since September 29, 2016 for reasons allegedly not shared with his family.
I have some questions if you can answer them:
How is it that guardianship can be contemplated for Capt. XXXXXX, or anyone, for that matter, without the family’s involvement? I have personal experience with guardianship and know that written notice must be served to all parties and a hearing held in Probate Court.
How was it determined that the family was not cooperating with Walter Reed when, in fact, they have asked for information on a constant basis and want Capt. XXXXXX to have a discharge plan?
Is it legal to bypass a designated power of attorney to discuss other arrangements with the subject of the POA?
With the person still technically on active duty, on whose authority was a civilian protective service called?
Why has a transition meeting not been scheduled with Capt. XXXXXX’s family to plan for his discharge?
Have his medical records been updated to reflect his reported sexual assault while on active duty?
Thank you very much.
Sharon Rondeau, Editor
The Post & Email
We received no response from either party.
On Thursday, The Post & Email was invited to listen to a phone conference among the POA, another family member, the soldier, and Col. Matthew Boyle in which Boyle proposed a transition plan to move the soldier from Walter Reed to a Veterans Administration hospital nearer to his home town until an anticipated discharge date of January 3, 2017.
During the discussion, Boyle can be heard asking the soldier if he approved of the plan, even though the soldier has been termed “delusional,” “schizophrenic,” and “bipolar” by his former Walter Reed neuropsychiatrist, Dr. David Williamson, and prescribed numerous medications for the alleged conditions, a fact not lost on the POA.
Both the POA and other family member told Boyle that they are disappointed in how the Army has treated the soldier “as if he were a criminal,” to which Boyle did not provide an immediate response.
A social worker then joined the call stating that the WTB had determined that the soldier is in need of a “fiduciary” to oversee his financial affairs after his discharge, a claim with which the POA strongly disagreed.