Thursday, March 20, 2008
This week marks the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. In addition to the nearly 4,000 U.S. servicemen and women, as well as countless Iraqi citizens, who have died in Iraq, nearly 30,000 service personnel have been wounded. Many of these young men and women find themselves in Washington, D.C., as in-patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Recently, the Washington Post ran an investigative series that looked at the care provided to these wounded men and women. It was equal parts uplifting and discouraging and resulted in hearings on Capitol Hill regarding the appalling state of conditions.
On the campus of Walter Reed is a unique museum run by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology that includes some really interesting artifacts depicting war and advances in medicine. I'll be featuring a few more posts about the museum in the next week or so. Today's entry features the museums exhibit on prosthetics, or artificial limbs. The advances in technology are simply astonishing and today's amputees are finding greater mobility and comfort, despite their life-altering wounds.
This exhibit, and other fascinating artifacts and information, can be found at the National Museum of Health and Medicine at Walter Reed. The museum is open to the public. To visit, you'll need a government-issued I.D. The guard at the main gate will issue you a temporary parking pass and instructions for finding the museum on the grounds of this military hospital.
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 3/08