New Walter Reed Military Hospital dedicated

Military officials cut the ribbon at the new merged Walter Reed facility in Bethesda. (Photo: Ben Eisler)

The newly-integrated Walter Reed National Military Medical Center was dedicated at a ceremony Thursday morning.

The original Northwest D.C. facility was closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closing plan. Employees and patients were moved to the new Walter Reed and to Fort Belvoir.

The former National Naval Medical Center and original Walter Reed Army Medical Center merged as part of the plan to form the new Bethesda hospital.

“We also have the combined cultures and technical capabilities of both to make it a leader in the health care industry in the world,” said Rear Admiral Alton Stocks, the Medical Center Commander.

Among the areas of the hospital is the tranquility hall barracks, which look more like 153 hotel suites. They are all wheelchair accessible and include kitchens, internet access, flat screens TVs and plenty of plugs to charge everything from PC's to prosthetics.

“If our military can be judged by how well we fight our nations wars, then our national character can be judged by how well we treat those who fight for us,” said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.