Monday, August 29, 2011

the end of an era

While I was home in South Carolina, most people I talked to knew about the closing of Walter Reed and were afraid Richard might be out of a job! Thankfully he has a spot at the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), which is currently known as the National Naval Medical Center, or Bethesda Naval. The decision was made to combine the old Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval as part of the Base Realignment and Closure plan, and the new WRNMMC will become the largest military medical center in the country. It's actually a great move for us, as Bethesda Naval is just a few miles from our house. But while the old Walter Reed had its share of issues, it's kind of sad to see such a historic facility close. President Eisenhower died there, and more than 18,000 troops who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan have been treated there. My husband spent countless hours there over the past three years, and his education in that building has been invaluable in both the professional and personal sense.

Richard is actually rotating through several different civilian hospitals in the DC metro area this year, so he is missing the transition from two hospitals to one. We have several friends there though, and they helped complete the big patient move Friday night into Saturday. The transition was moved up a day due to Hurricane Irene, and rows of ambulances carried the wounded warriors to their new home. It should be interesting to see the merger of Army and Navy personalities and traditions. Richard will return next year for his 6th year of residency, his chief year and FINAL year, which we are both looking forward to!

You can read about the transition here and here in the Washington Post.

the old Walter Reed

historic original hospital

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