4:01 PM EDT

Vern Buchanan, R-FL 13th

Mr. BUCHANAN. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, my amendment is a simple one. It requires the Secretary of Defense to submit to Congress a report on the feasibility of a soldier patient tracking system to improve the medical holdover process.

In the aftermath of the Walter Reed scandal, we heard criticism about the medical hold and holdover process, which requires injured soldiers to stay in certain facilities until evaluated and treated.

We heard the story of U.S. Army Staff Sergeant John Shannon who testified before the House National Security and Foreign Affairs Subcommittee and he said, ``I had been given a couple of weeks' appointments and some other paperwork upon leaving ward 58, and I went to all of my appointments during that time. After these appointments, I sat in my room for another couple of weeks wondering when someone would contact me.''

The Buchanan amendment would require the Department of Defense to [Page: H3233]

identify and report to Congress ways of making the medical holdover system more responsive and effective for military personnel like Staff Sergeant Shannon.

I believe every servicemember should have complete, on-demand information with respect to his or her status as a medical holdover. No soldier should sit in their room for weeks wondering about their treatment and when their next appointment might be. The Department of Defense must closely examine ways to give servicemembers real-time information regarding the key milestones in their physical and medical evaluation process.

By requiring a report to Congress, my amendment would make certain that we are knowledgeable in considering all available options when it comes to improving the medical holdover process for troops and their families. I urge my colleagues to support the Buchanan amendment.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

4:03 PM EDT

Vern Buchanan, R-FL 13th

Mr. BUCHANAN. I thank the chairman and the ranking member and the House Committee on Armed Services and their staff.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.