no spam, unsubscribe anytime.
We are about to say goodbye to a venerable military icon. The Walter Reed Army Medical Center has been in service and on duty for over a century, but will soon be closing its doors due to its age and deteriorating conditions.
Walter Reed served several generations of wounded veterans, as well as presidents. President Eisenhower spent the last months of his life there. Then-Vice-President Richard Nixon was treated there for a serious staph infection, and was visited by Lyndon B. Johnson, a vice presidential candidate at the time. General George Pershing lived in a suite at the hospital for several years before his death. But most importantly, it has served the most severely wounded warriors from our various wars. 18,000 troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated there over the past ten years as well.
It was at Walter Reed that many effective medical procedures and techniques for handling the most traumatic of battlefield injuries were developed. Those who went through this facility as patients were treated with dignity, and were given the new skills and the means to live more normal lives after recovering from their traumatic injuries, both physically and mentally.
This is a storied hospital whose place in history is assured. It is not really going away either. The old buildings where so many veterans came in during the days and months after their wounds were received, and where they recovered and recuperated and rehabilitated, will no longer function in that way. But the world-class medical services, the care, and the healing professionals will continue their work at a new location now. Walter Reed will now consolidate its efforts with the National Naval Medical Center in Bathesda, Maryland, and a hospital at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It will be known now as the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
It will be a sad day for all those who have worked there, and for those warriors who were served so well there, when the original location closes its doors for the last time on September 15, 2011. On that day the buildings and the campus will be handed over to some new tenants; the State Department and the District of Columbia. But the heart and care of old Walter Reed Army Medical Center will go on at its new facilities in Bathesda, MD and Fort Belvoir, VA.
We say goodbye to the buildings and the beautiful campus of the old and venerable Walter Reed Army Medical Center, burdened with nostalgia, but buoyed by the fact that the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center will still be giving our returning wounded veterans the best medical care in the world. Thanks to all who have been a part of this great institution.