Army acting secretary to check on complaints that reservists got substandard medical treatment

Friday, October 24th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) _ The acting secretary of the Army will travel to Fort Stewart this weekend to investigate complaints that ailing reservists on the base are receiving substandard medical treatment and housing.

The Savannah Morning News reported in Friday's editions that Les Brownlee will visit Hinesville this weekend.

Sick or injured reservists have complained about long waits for treatment and said claimed they were being treated second rate because they are citizen-soldiers rather than regular Army.

The Pentagon has already sent a team of investigators to determine if reservists are getting fair medical treatment and adequate housing.

The Army post has 633 reservists on ``medical hold,'' which means they're too sick or injured for regular duty but don't require hospitalization. The soldiers, 405 of whom got hurt or ill while deployed to Iraq, suffer a range of complaints from sprained ankles to stomach pains. A few have war wounds.

Fort Stewart officials say there's been some backlog of getting medical services to soldiers since the 3rd Infantry Division, which deployed 16,500 active duty troops to Iraq, returned in August.

But they insist that reservists aren't being made to wait so full-time soldiers can be tended to first.