The Benefits of VA Research

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When the old Hasbro cartoon GI Joe used to wrap, they always ended with the slogan, “Knowing is half the battle.” After more than a decade of war, we recognize that to be true. Whether you’re talking about knowing the terrain, the enemy, or the mission, or simply knowing yourself, Guardsmen excel not because of the weapon systems they’ve been issued, but as a result of the training and skill they have acquired. They complete missions because they never stop learning. They never stop striving to improve.

But knowledge doesn’t end on the battlefield.  Earlier this month, retired Col. Pete Duffy, the NGAUS director of legislation, met with Dr. Tim O’Leary, the acting chief research and development officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs, to discuss what VA research does to support veterans and where our two organizations can collaborate.

The more than 3,400 VA researchers collaborate nationwide with universities, nonprofits, and other federal agencies, including the Defense Department, to develop innovations that advance health care for our veterans. Bottom line: They build knowledge. Over the past 90 years, they’ve brought us the implantable cardiac pacemaker, the nicotine patch, powered prosthetics and more to include groundbreaking work on post-traumatic stress and other mental health issues that veterans sometimes face.

From electronic health records to advanced prosthetics, you’ll find that VA research is on the cutting edge of superior health care.  

NGAUS and VA research have the same person in mind – you. Help guide the direction of future research by letting us know your concerns and check out www.research.va.gov to find out what medical breakthroughs are on the horizon. 

John Crawford is a writer and editor with the Department of Veterans Affairs' Office of Research & Development.

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