Local Soldier Experiences Walter Reed

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You may remember this spring when unsanitary conditions for outpatient care were exposed at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C.

Soldiers were complaining about the poor living conditions at the hospital, along with the heavy paperwork and red tape they have to go through just to be treated.

Today, a Presidential Commission offered suggestions to get the system back on track such as providing better family support, more equality in disability pay and boosting severance pay.

A family of a local soldier recently treated at Walter Reed says their experience was great.

This past May, 21-year-old Rob Wright of Bowling Green found out he had cancer while fighting in Iraq.

He was taken to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to be treated where his family says unlike the negative stories they've heard about the hospital their son received the best care possible.

"He's really excited about what he does and is pleased to serve our country," Jack Wright said.

Jack and Monisa Wright were thrilled when their son Rob came home in June, but it was a bittersweet reunion.

Rob was sent home to be treated for cancer

"He was diagnosed and had a melanoma while he was in Iraq," said Jack.

The doctor that was going to originally treat Rob was sent to Iraq, so the family's plans changed.

"The Army was able to get him into Walter Reed. We made the trip up. We weren't going to leave our son," Jack explained.

Rob and his family made the trip to Washington where they say the hospital went out of their way to make sure their son got the best treatment.

"Nuclear radiation did not usually have hours for patients on that particular day that he needed to have his procedure, but they set it up to where they interrupted their meeting so he could have the nuclear medicine procedure, where they could check out his sentinel lymph nodes to make sure the cancer had not spread there," Monisa Wright said.

Unlike what they heard in the news, the Wright's say they never noticed any unsanitary conditions at the hospital.

"It was clean. Everyone seemed to know what they were doing," Monisa assured.

Nor, did they notice any unhappy soldiers.

"Very positive and upbeat," Jack said.

Jack says during their time at Walter Reed, he was more than happy with the conditions he saw and how his son was treated.

"I'm not saying there's not bad things there, but I can say without question that they went above and beyond the call of duty," Jack explained.

Soldier Rob Wright left July 25 and is currently on his way back to Fort Gordon, in Augusta, Georgia.

He hopes to come back to Bowling Green eventually to be a recruiter for the National Guard.

As for his cancer, his doctors say it's gone and to make sure it stays that way, Rob will have a full body scan every six months.

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