HEALTH / WELL-BEING

Shaping the future, Military and Veteran Health Research

Article

This book represents the most current research being conducted across Canada on issues of military and veteran health. It provides a snapshot of the military health services, challenges, and research programs that are guiding the Canadian Forces’ future strategic direction for military health.

Abstract

The veterans of the current war in Afghanistan have joined more than 700,000 living Canadians who have unselfishly served their nation in the Canadian Forces. Over the last 25 years, the Canadian government has called upon the Canadian military to deploy to war zones and humanitarian missions around the globe, including the former Yugoslavia, Kosovo, the Middle East, Central Africa, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Haiti, and recently Libya. As a result of the consequences of high intensity training and operations associated with such missions, the life course health and wellbeing of these veterans can be seriously affected. The health implications range from battlefield injuries (mental and physical) and serious trauma to exposure to toxic chemicals, life-threatening diseases and viruses. Families of military members not only deal with the deployment of loved ones into “harm's way,” but they become the primary care givers of injured veterans, and their own health is affected not only by this, but also the lack of continuity of care as they move about Canada.