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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