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Army surgeon general forced to retire

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/walter_reed;_ylt=AifYOg8k6dM2T8s.F0.kYACs0NUE Army surgeon general forced to retire By PAULINE JELINEK,
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 12 10:45 AM
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      http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070312/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/walter_reed;_ylt=AifYOg8k6dM2T8s.F0.kYACs0NUE

      Army surgeon general forced to retire

      By PAULINE JELINEK, Associated Press Writer 14 minutes
      ago

      WASHINGTON - The Army forced its surgeon general, Lt.
      Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, to retire, officials said Monday,
      the third high-level official to lose his job over
      poor outpatient treatment of wounded soldiers at
      Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

      Kiley, who headed Walter Reed from 2002 to 2004, has
      been a lightning rod for criticism over conditions at
      the Army's premier medical facility, including during
      congressional hearings last week. Soldiers and their
      families have complained about substandard living
      conditions and bureaucratic delays at the hospital
      overwhelmed with wounded from the wars in Iraq and
      Afghanistan.

      Kiley submitted his retirement request on Sunday, the
      Army said in a statement.

      "We must move quickly to fill this position — this
      leader will have a key role in moving the way forward
      in meeting the needs of our wounded warriors," Acting
      Secretary of the Army Pete Geren said in an Army
      statement.

      Geren asked Kiley to retire, said a senior defense
      official speaking on condition of anonymity because he
      was not authorized to speak on the record. Defense
      Secretary Robert Gates was not involved in the
      decision to ask Kiley to retire, the official said.

      Kiley's removal underscored how the fallout over
      Walter Reed's shoddy conditions has yet to subside.
      Instead, the controversy has mushroomed into questions
      about how wounded soldiers and veterans are treated
      throughout the medical systems run by the military and
      the
      Department of Veterans Affairs and has become a major
      preoccupation of a Bush administration already
      struggling to defend the unpopular war in Iraq.

      "I submitted my retirement because I think it is in
      the best interest of the Army," Kiley said in Monday's
      Army statement. He said he wanted to allow officials
      to "focus completely on the way ahead."

      The conditions at Walter Reed were detailed last month
      by The Washington Post. Since then, Gates has forced
      Army Secretary Francis Harvey to resign and Maj. Gen.
      George W. Weightman, who was in charge of Walter Reed
      since August 2006, was ousted from his post.

      A number of investigations have been ordered.

      President Bush appointed a bipartisan commission to
      investigate problems at the nation's military and
      veteran hospitals, and separate reviews are under way
      by the Pentagon, the Army and an interagency task
      force led by Nicholson.

      In a briefing Thursday for reporters at the medical
      center, top Army officials said they have moved to fix
      some of the problems at Walter Reed.

      Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Richard Cody said that
      officials have added caseworkers, financial
      specialists and others to work with soldiers' families
      on problems they have related to the injuries such as
      getting loans or help with income taxes.
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