Collateral Damage

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Photo by Matt McClain/For The Washington Post

Walter Reed Army Medical Center closed for good in August

As the lobbying heavyweights gobble up newspaper pages and local airtime in Washington warning that impending budget cuts are going to send the U.S. into an economic and military tailspin from which recovery will be impossible, we can sometimes lose site of the smaller fry affected by military decisions. Walter Reed Army Medical Center recently shut down its doors after a century of service as the center of a bustling Washington, D.C., neighborhood. Its 6,000 workers – and the hundreds of patients, family members and friends who visited Walter Reed every day – have stopped coming, the Washington Post reports:

Clayton Bacchus watched the news and ate a Jamaican patty while he waited for customers…Since Walter Reed Army Medical Center closed in August, the slow sales have forced Bacchus to make changes at his Caribbean restaurant in Northwest Washington. Most days, he closes earlier than the usual 10 p.m., and he doesn’t even open on Mondays now. “After Walter Reed closed, the business slowed down tremendously,” Bacchus said. “Sometimes, we have eight to 10 customers a day… We used to have 40 to 50.”