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Veterans' Policies, Veterans' PoliticsNew Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States$
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Stephen R. Ortiz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042077

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042077.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 29 July 2021

Army Sanctuary For Tubercular Veterans

Army Sanctuary For Tubercular Veterans

Veterans' Health Care before the Veterans Bureau

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 Army Sanctuary For Tubercular Veterans
Source:
Veterans' Policies, Veterans' Politics
Author(s):

Carol R. Byerly

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813042077.003.0002

This chapter examines the army's first tuberculosis hospital at Fort Bayard, New Mexico, before the creation of the Veterans Bureau in 1921, when the army began providing health care for veterans in its own institutions. It shows that while veterans’ programs presented a confusing patchwork of state and federal benefits and institutions, the system was in some ways simple and nonbureaucratic. Fort Bayard tuberculosis patients could move from active duty to veteran status without leaving their beds, receiving continuous treatment. While Congress delineated the broad outlines of government funding and benefits, local posts developed specific policies governing veterans’ health care, and officials in Washington often deferred to local judgment. Even without a coherent set of government veterans’ benefits and institutions, the level of care could be quite high because Fort Bayard medical officers were among the nation's leading tuberculosis specialists. Unfortunately, the incomplete understanding of tuberculosis transmission and government policies allowing tuberculous veterans to move in and out of the hospital meant that some spread the disease. Thus, by providing health care for ailing military personnel and disabled veterans, the army's first tuberculosis hospital stands as a vivid example of the often unseen human costs of war and empire.

Keywords:   Bushnell, George, Fort Bayard, hospitals, Soldiers’ Homes, tuberculosis

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