The war on terrorism has gone on for nearly seven years, with 4,000 deaths and 27,000 wounded, of which 15,000 have returned to duty after 72 hours. The seriously wounded recuperating in military hospitals have received a great deal of press and public attention. They also paint a vivid picture of the cost of war on America's military men and women. Where needed, prosthetic devices will be provided to these people for the rest of their lives by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
Among the seriously wounded, 737 have lost limbs, 116 have suffered spinal cord injuries, 53 have suffered total blindness, 83 have been seriously burned, and 3,145 have been reported by the Department of Defense (DOD) as having traumatic brain injuries. Much of the press attention has focused on the high-tech limbs that have been provided to the amputees at Walter Reed and Brooke Army hospitals. These prosthetic limbs, with their computer chips and myoelectric function, provide a dramatic visual picture of the technology being applied to the soldiers who have lost limbs in Afghanistan and Iraq.
But what of the technology provided to the other seriously wounded veterans?