It was once said that military medicine is to medicine as military music is to music—the implication being that neither is very good. While John Philip Sousa is not in Gustav Mahler’s league, military medicine today probably is as good as medical science has to offer. I regularly caution skeptics that if they don’t believe in miracles they haven’t visited a military treatment facility recently.
While that is true, it is not sufficient. The “miracles” thus far fall into the categories of preventing combat deaths and repairing bodies or otherwise restoring gratifying levels of physical functionality. For a time those achievements overshadowed that category of damage gathered under the rubric of “invisible” wounds: traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress, and the residual consequences of one, the other, or both. It is in those realms that miracles are in short supply, while confusion is abundant.