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March 19, 1997

Military Medicine Tries 'Home Front' Approaches

JAMA. 1997;277(11):872. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540350022009

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TODAY'S peace enforcement effort in the former Yugoslavia is the 50th military operation involving US troops since the 1989 Just Cause move into Panama.

Military medicine has supported all of them, in the field and at home. The home base effort has become more important than ever as the dwindling number of US troops are deployed increasingly often and for longer periods, leaving spouses and children behind.

To take care of these beneficiaries awaiting the return of their family member in uniform, US military medical personnel—whose numbers also have decreased with the downsizing of the armed services—are exploring a number of approaches.

At Landstuhl (Germany) Regional Medical Center, for example, "Army" has been dropped from this major referral (for 250 000 beneficiaries throughout Europe) facility's title because US Air Force physicians and other medical personnel have joined their US Army counterparts there.

In Würzburg, Germany, Ronald R. Blanck, DO, visiting