Segments in this Video

Double Amputation (03:41)


Tammy Duckworth was a U.S. Air Force Captain and Assistant Operations Officer while stationed in Iraq; she is now a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and Representative for the state of Illinois. Duckworth explains how she lost both legs in a plane crash during her service.

Disabled Veterans (06:47)

J.R. Martinez believed he would be fine during his Iraq deployment, Gregory Gadson describes recovering from a double amputation, and Max Cleland suffered a head injury in Vietnam. More lives are now saved on the battlefield, but more soldiers with severe injuries must learn to adapt; hear casualty statistics.

Revolutionary War and Civil War (06:54)

During the Revolutionary War, 4,435 died and 6,188 were wounded; disability care was uneven. Approximately 752,000 died during the Civil War and hundreds of thousands were wounded; battlefield surgeons performed many amputations and PTSD was high among veterans. Experts discuss pensions and veteran homes.

World War I (07:51)

During the war, 116,516 and 204,002 were wounded; there was a growing awareness of neuropsychiatric injury. Progressives sought to end the pension system and the view of disabled soldiers changed; it led to a culture of silence.

World War II (04:26)

During WWII, 405,399 died and 670,846 were wounded; research suggested that after 60 days of combat 98% of troops would break down. Modern medicine and transportation increased survival rates. In June 1944, the G.I. Bill of Rights was established.

Korean War (02:13)

During the war, 36,574 died and 103,284 were wounded. In the U.S., attitudes about a standing military force began to change. By the late 1950s, Americans became impatient with the war and largely ignored returning veterans.

Vietnam War (11:03)

During the war, 58,220 died and 153,303 were wounded. Americans supported the war at the start but support waned by 1968; veterans received an unwelcome homecoming. This war brought to focus the mental hazards of war.

Iraq and Afghanistan (12:05)

During the wars, 6,855 died and 52,353 were wounded. Soldiers had a different burden, were always on the defensive, and underwent multiple deployments. Veterans discuss their injuries, recovery, and returning home; veteran suicide rates are high.

U.S. Perspective on Military Service (02:17)

Historically, society viewed service as an obligation of citizenship; less than 1% of the population serves today. Cleland reflects on the disconnect between the military and society.

Debt of Honor (07:17)

How do we integrate veterans back into society and what does the country owe disabled soldiers? We need to consider whether military intervention is a national need, never forget the consequences of war, and remember we are a community.

Credits: Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History (02:14)

Credits: Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History

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Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History

3-Year Streaming Price: $199.95



A moving tribute to the history of disabled veterans, Debt of Honor takes an unflinching look at the reality of warfare and disability, featuring interviews with some of the country's most prominent disabled veterans.

Length: 68 minutes

Item#: BVL151207

Copyright date: ©2015

Closed Captioned

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