Issues Facing The Elderly Veteran Population.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A.) is the current American embodiment of an ancient social pact, one that has existed in many forms since antiquity, between a society and those who go to war on its behalf. The agreement is that in return for the soldier risking his (or her) life, society will care for an injured soldier, and sometimes his dependent family members, until death. In the era of Greek city-states and even the Plymouth Colony, the average life expectancy for humans was four decades or less, and the number of individuals affected numbered at most in the hundreds. Now, as expectancy is more than eight decades and military service engages millions of individuals whose ages cover the full adult lifespan, the promise of lifetime care for former warriors has become an enormous, costly, complex, and mostly elderly-focused health and support services enterprise.

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