Stars and Stripes‘ list of its top stories in 2010 says Joint Base Lewis-McChord “developed a reputation as the most troubled base in the military,” citing several scandals that people affiliated with Lewis-McChord view as isolated events.
It’s an ignominious spot built on allegations that five soldiers from the base murdered civilians during their deployment to Afghanistan with the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. They’re awaiting trials at Lewis-McChord.
Stars and Stripes also looked to reports that steroid use is increasing, Oregon National Guard soldiers did not receive appropriate care at Madigan Army Medical Center when they returned from a deployment to Iraq, and that the Army didn’t do all it could to head off a shooting in Utah when a suicidal soldier went AWOL.
Each of those events kept Lewis-McChord in the press in 2010, but officers at the base dispute that they’re linked. They say the base has ramped up staffing at Madigan to help soldiers reintegrate into civilian life, that most National Guard units praise the care they receive at Madigan and that most soldiers should have at least 20 months at home before facing another overseas assignment.