The industrialization of modern warfare dating back to WWI led to an increase in combat-related injuries with unprecedented levels of severity. The necessity of addressing the clinical challenges that ensued led to the emergence of modern reconstructive surgery and subsequently a robust healthcare initiative for veterans in the form of the Department of Veterans Affairs. In the following article, a literature review was conducted to examine the interplay between combat injuries, veterans' care, and reconstructive surgery. We found that the relationship between military trauma and reconstructive surgery has led to an increase in survival rates and advances in mass casualty response while allowing the survivors to maintain a high quality of life. The relationship between the Veterans Affairs hospitals and plastic surgery has only strengthened over time as these hospitals play a major role in training the next generation of plastic surgeons throughout the nation. It is imperative to maintain this cooperative relationship to ensure a high level of care for our veterans and a comprehensive training experience for plastic surgery residents.
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