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Disability, or the social consequences of physical or mental impairment, is a product of all military conflict. For as long as armies have fought wars, combatants have returned home bearing the physical and emotional scars of battle. This entry discusses advancements in caring for wounded U.S. service members, procedures for evaluating disability, and criticism directed at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) regarding posttransition care.

Background

Since the late 19th century, military physicians and scientists have made great strides toward limiting the numbers of troops either killed or permanently disabled because of wartime injury and illness. In World War I, advances in battlefield evacuation and emergency trauma care saved the lives and limbs of countless wounded men. In World War II, the introduction of penicillin and sulfa ...

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