AFTER A WEEK of terrible publicity, the Defense Department seems to be responding quickly to many of the problems The Post found in a four-month investigation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. But so far, the most disturbing problem uncovered in The Post's series is getting the least public acknowledgment from generals and journalists alike.
Over the past week, follow-up reports, news releases and news conferences have focused on Army and Navy efforts to improve the physical conditions at Walter Reed and other military facilities serving outpatients. Generals and their press attaches assure reporters that moldy walls will be replaced, holes patched and snow shoveled. The quick pace of repairs, while late, is encouraging. But it is only a start.
The upsetting state of Walter Reed's Building 18 is only part of a larger administrative problem. Post reporters found that confusing bureaucratic rigmarole and interminable waits caused by misplaced paperwork and poor advising were endemic.
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