If Walter Reed is the Worst Tripler Ranks First - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

If Walter Reed is the Worst Tripler Ranks First

Master Sergeant Tim Friedrich Master Sergeant Tim Friedrich
Hospital Commander Major General Carla Hawley Bowland Hospital Commander Major General Carla Hawley Bowland
Tripler Army Medical Center on Oahu Tripler Army Medical Center on Oahu
Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C.

By: Beth Hillyer

(KHNL) - Rats and cockroaches, mold on walls, endless red tape.

That's what some wounded soldiers say they experienced at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. It's been called the nation's premiere medical facility.

But top Army officials told a congressional committee that not all the soldiers are getting the care they deserve.

Things are much different at Tripler Army Medical Center on Oahu. It has a 97-percent approval rating, the highest for military facilities in the U-S. We took a tour of Tripler's offices, patient rooms, and barracks today.

The facility undergoes regular cleaning and maintenance.

A computerized mapping system helps people find their way around the hospital. Patients cited some of these examples when giving tripler a high approval rating. Hospital Commander Major General Carla Hawley Bowland says, "My folks care for Soldiers, Airman, Marines, and Sailors and we want to take care of them the best we can.

That is one reason we have town hall meetings and outreach to find out what the problems are early so we can fix them right on the spot."

The Master Sergeant we met is a special forces soldier with 23 years in the Army.

He was seriously injured in combat and he says at Tripler he's on the road to recovery.

This soldier is learning to walk again on a new titanium knee. "I've been here since February 22nd and I have only but good things to say about this place," says TIm Friedrich.

Friedrich doesn't talk about how he was injured or where he was at the time, "My wounds are combat-related, both my ankle reconstruction and total knee, they are combat related wounds."

This soldier says his care has been first class, "Physical therapy, Occupational therapy, they really take care of you, give you everything you need. There are even special machines to put on my sock."

He raves about his room, "Refrigerator, microwave, couch, 2 tvs, vcr, dvd. I'm on the first floor overlooking beautiful Hawaii."

He says the situation at Walter Reed is unfortunate, "Kinda happy I'm here versus somewhere else. I see the things watching the news."

After 23 years in special forces MSG. Tim Friedrich must leave the Army due to his medical condition. But he is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and two year old son.

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