On Veterans Day, The Healthcare Debt We Owe Our Troops And Veterans

Bart Harmon | Forbes | November 11, 2012

This Veterans Day there will be much commentary on the men and women who risk their lives for our freedom. We honor their service and their sacrifice, and know that they serve nobly in some of the most difficult situations our world has to offer. As we consider the quality of military healthcare – both for those serving in forward areas of combat and also for those veterans returning home, we assume state-of-the-art tools to treat our wounded warriors. This is often the case, and our military and Veteran’s Administration leaders continually press to advance the quality of the service given back to those who serve us all.

While serving in the Army for 25 years, I saw military healthcare progress with advances in medical technology and as required by evolving missions. Sometimes the tools and techniques that are common in civilian care were initially developed in, or for, combat settings. Even now the military is experimenting with smartphones, tablets and apps to facilitate treatment of wounded soldiers. The systems would allow a medic or corpsman treating a wounded warrior to record vital signs and other important information as well as request an emergency evacuation using precise GPS coordinates, starting with the first moments of life-saving care and making the information available using the existing tactical radio networks.