"Injured Heroes, Broken Promises," the six-month-long investigative partnership between NBC 5 / KXAS-TV and The Dallas Morning News, has been awarded the prestigious 2014 National Sigma Delta Chi Award for Investigative Reporting under the Large Market Television category by The Society of Professional Journalists.
"Injured Heroes, Broken Promises" uncovered complaints from hundreds of injured, active-duty soldiers claiming they were mistreated, harassed and verbally abused by commanders of the U.S. Army's Warrior Transition Units, or WTUs. These units were created to improve care for injured soldiers after the 2007 Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal. Just nine days after the first NBC 5 report aired and appeared in The Dallas Morning News, the Army issued orders requiring staff at all 25 of the Army's WTUs located worldwide, to undergo new training.
NBC 5's coverage about the treatment of soldiers injured in the 2009 Fort Hood shooting resulted in the NBC 5 Investigates team discovering the difficulties that soldiers faced years after they had left the WTUs. NBC 5 filed a comprehensive Freedom of Information Act request seeking Army complaint records at several Texas military installations.
"Our viewers depend on us to dig for information and sources not available to the average citizen," said Susan Tully, NBC 5 Vice President of News. "Our NBC 5 Investigates team and The Dallas Morning News were relentless in pursuing a
Texas story with national implications that has helped many soldiers. We couldn't be prouder of these journalists."
The NBC 5 Investigates team led by Reporter Scott Friedman along with Producer Eva Parks and Photographer/Editor Peter Hull was joined by Reporter David Tarrant of The Dallas Morning News.
This is the second time the NBC 5 Investigates team has won the Sigma Delta Chi Award since the group formed three years ago.
The Society of Professional Journalists has offered the Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism since1932 and will present the award to the NBC 5 Investigates team at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. in June 2015.