American Veterans Get Best Care in World

Allan Mallinson, whose essay on military morale I highlighted in my previous post, makes a point that’s worth highlighting separately. He argues the UK’s care for wounded soldiers has been a “national scandal.” What he says next is surprising, indeed, after the Walter Reed fiasco:

But we should first look to America, the country that does more than any other for its Servicemen, wounded or not. Its network of veterans’ hospitals, for example, is humbling. Despite this, in April President Bush established a commission on the Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors.

Whether this is empirically true, I couldn’t say. Certainly, the quality of military health care system is the object of much bitterness and ridicule within the ranks. My guess is that a man who served 35 years as a British cavalry officer would have a pretty good idea, though, of the consensus view of those who would know best.

FILED UNDER: Health, Military Affairs
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Dave Schuler says:

    Apropos of nothing in particular the VA hospital system is the size of BNH.

  2. Anthony C says:

    Heh. It’s pretty much true – for all that there may be problems with the US system. Colonel Mallinson is undoubtedly correct that the British system is poor.

    In isolation, I can certainly sympathise with a lot of the complaints that I hear from my American friends. There’s no doubt that there are a lot of people who are being let down. But the US system is still, so far as I can tell, the best in the world and the reality is that modern-day American soldiers coming back from active service (or “returning warriors”, if we’re employing the sort of incredibly twee lingo that seems to have come in since 9/11) are probably better cared for than pretty much any soldiers in human history.

    That doesn’t in and of itself mean that more couldn’t be done, especially given some of the other stuff that money is wasted on and given how little the population at large contributes to the war effort.