Wounded Veterans

August 31, 2007 • Volume 17, Issue 30
Is America shortchanging vets on health care?
By Peter Katel


Former Cpl. Bobby Isaacs, 26, of Roxboro, N.C., lost both legs after a roadside bomb destroyed his Humvee in Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photo/James Nachtwey VII)
Former Cpl. Bobby Isaacs, 26, of Roxboro, N.C., lost both legs after a roadside bomb destroyed his Humvee in Mosul, Iraq. More than 600 U.S. service members have lost limbs in Iraq and Afghanistan. (AP Photo/James Nachtwey VII)

Early this year, The Washington Post exposed shockingly substandard treatment for wounded veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's outpatient facilities. Follow-up investigations soon turned up evidence that problems extended beyond shabby conditions at the military's top-drawer hospital. On the battlefield, military surgeons are saving many more lives than ever before. But once they return home, men and women recovering from sometimes devastating war injuries confront a red-tape jungle of laws and regulations. Moreover, many wait months for treatment or benefits, and some even have had reenlistment bonuses withheld after wounds forced them out of active service. A history of disgraceful treatment of veterans of past wars, including the Vietnam conflict, looms over the issue. Amid the present uproar, a presidential panel on military and veterans' health care has called for far-reaching changes, but some critics say changes need to go deeper if the country is to live up to its promises to its troops.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
U.S. Military
Oct. 04, 2019  Veterans' Struggles
Sep. 23, 2011  Military Suicides
Sep. 05, 2008  Rise in Counterinsurgency
Aug. 31, 2007  Wounded Veterans
Nov. 19, 2004  Treatment of Veterans
Jun. 25, 2004  Privatizing the Military
May 30, 2003  Reforming the Corps
Apr. 26, 1996  New Military Culture
Jun. 08, 1990  Downsizing America's Armed Forces
Jul. 20, 1966  American Forces in Europe
Jan. 15, 1964  American Troops Abroad
May 21, 1958  Military Reorganization
Feb. 28, 1952  Benefits for Korean Veterans
May 12, 1948  Militarization
Nov. 06, 1946  Veterans' Bonus
Jul. 17, 1946  War Veterans in Civil Life
Nov. 27, 1941  Government Aid to Ex-Service Men
Sep. 27, 1932  The Bonus After the 1932 Elections
Oct. 06, 1930  Veteran-Aid Policies of the United States
Jan. 07, 1924  Congress and the Bonus
U.S. at War: Iraq
Veterans' Services