Peter van Agtmael

The War At Home: Raymond Hubbard

The halls of the Malogne House, an outpatient living facility at Walter Reed Hospital.  Walter Reed is the main medical facility that treats wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.  Although the Malogne House had the superficial atmosphere of a generic roadside motel, it houses grievously injured soldiers who will spend years at Walter Reed recovering from their wounds.  Most of the recovering men and women are amputees.  They often live with members of their families, who provide emotional and material support during the long, distressing recovery.  Accommodations are rich.  Every room has a flat screen TV and a donated Apple computer.  There is daily maid service.  The entranceway has a glittering chandelier, and plush carpets.  But behind the closed doors are deeply damaged soldiers, each going through a private torment.  At night, the hallways of the Malogne house are empty.  Outside in the breezeway, soldiers get drunk and tell each other war stories.  Some are still teenagers.  A ways away, along the meandering paths that cut through the vast medical complex, there are often solitary wheelchairs, where ravaged veterans sit in the shadows until late at night, chain-smoking cigarettes.