Yesterday, U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and U.S. Congressman Richard Hudson (R-NC) held a press conference on the need for accountability for U.S. service members who have been the victim of Department of Defense (DOD) medical malpractice.

Mullin and Hudson were joined by U.S. Congressman Mike Waltz (R-FL), SFC Richard Stayskal, his attorney Natalie Khawam, Mayra Guillen, President of the I Am Vanessa Guillen Foundation, and many others who have been impacted by DOD medical malpractice.

Click here to watch Mullin’s full remarks. More photos available here.

“When our men and women in uniform make the brave decision to serve our country, they should know that we will take care of them and have their backs,” said Senator Mullin. “What happened to SFC Richard Stayskal, and so many others, is a tragedy. We know that of the 155 medical malpractice claims that have been processed, 144 have been denied, and that’s just within the Army. That’s a serious problem. The DOD has repeatedly failed in its basic obligation to protect our service members, and they are liable.”

“The fox is guarding the hen house, and changes must be made. Our message to the DOD is this: fix the problem, or Congress will fix it for you by building on existing law to ensure justice and accountability. I want to thank SFC Stayskal for his courage, and the courage of the families of countless other victims – some of whom were with us today. I will not back down in the fight to fix this egregious error,” Mullin concluded.

“Rich Stayskal is my constituent. He’s my neighbor. He and Megan and the girls have become my friends. I was devastated when I heard this result from DoD,” said Representative Hudson. “What happened to Rich Stayskal with this misdiagnosis and malpractice is unforgivable and an American tragedy. It’s compounded by the fact that, just like 144 heroes who have applied for relief, they have been denied. These folks kept their promise to us, they served honorably, and they deserve the best we have to offer them and that’s not what they’re getting.”