On Veterans Day, we commemorate the service and sacrifice of individual military officers -- their willingness to disrupt their lives and prioritize the greater good over their own comfort. From combat to crisis management to building infrastructure in foreign and often hostile environments, the work of the armed forces deserves our respect, gratitude and acknowledgment. But the military does something else for us, something we often don't talk about: it provides us with imaginative, well-funded medical research.
While the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Food and Drug Administration are the most well-known health-related governmental branches, the military's medical research institutions and funding grants are responsible for some of the most important advancements in medicine: from neuroprosthesis to therapy protocols for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Although the treatments themselves are cutting-edge, the concept of wartime solutions entering mainstream medicine is nothing new. As the Yale Journal of Medicine & Law wrote:
The medical advances that this war has catalyzed are not unprecedented. In 1859, Florence Nightingale founded the School of Nursing and Midwifery after three years of work in a British hospital on the front lines during the Crimean War. While on the battlefront, she had recognized that most of the casualties were caused not by battle wounds but by poor sanitation, which led to diseases such as typhus, typhoid, cholera, and dysentery.
Times have changed. Here are some of the latest medical research projects from our armed forces: