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Wife Of Iraq Veteran: ‘My Life Was Ripped Apart’

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"Wife Of Iraq Veteran: ‘My Life Was Ripped Apart’"

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The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee’s national security panel is holding hearings this morning on the neglect at Walter Reed military hospital.

They heard from Anne McLeod, wife of wounded Iraq veteran Cpl. Dell McLeod, who was profiled by the Washington Post. Dell “takes 23 pills a day, prescribed by various doctors at Walter Reed. Crowds frighten him. He is too anxious to drive,” and he can’t be left alone. “I don’t even know this man anymore,” his wife says. Yet Army doctors disputed that Dell’s head injury was the cause of his mental impairment, claiming he was slow in high school, and ended up giving him only a 50 percent disability rating (meaning he will receive only half of his base pay).

Today, Anne McLeod wept as she told the committee about her experience. “All I’m just trying to do is have my life, the life that I had and that I know. My life was ripped apart the day my husband was injured, and having to live through the mess that we lived through at Walter Reed has been worse than anything I have ever sacrificed in my life.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/mcleod1.320.240.flv]

UPDATE: Jeffrey Feldman has more on McLeod’s testimony.

Transcript:

DAVIS: Mrs. McLeod, let me, let me start with you. You went up the chain many times, didn’t you?

McLEOD: Yes, sir.

DAVIS: You finally called this committee you were so upset.

McLEOD: Sir, I would talk to anybody that would listen, and it took the aid of another soldier who actually heard me crying, saw me crying one day, and he says, “This is the number. Make a call.” And that’s when I called Ms. Washborn, and then you know my story because you’ve dealt with me. Had I not had any other recourse, I wouldn’t be here today. The thing of the matter is, Mr. Harvey made a statement the other day that really bothers me. He said he hopes the Washington Post was satisfied because they ruined careers. First, let me come on record by saying, I don’t care about your career as far as anybody that’s in danger. That doesn’t bother me. All I’m just trying to do is have my life, the life that I had and that I know. My life was ripped apart the day my husband was injured, and having to live through the mess that we lived through at Walter Reed has been worse than anything I have ever sacrificed in my life.

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