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Carry On: Magazine on the Reconstruction of Disabled Soldiers and Sailors

Carry On: Magazine on the Reconstruction of Disabled Soldiers and Sailors

M.W. Ireland: March 1919

IN the first number of this magazine, June 1918, Surgeon General Gorgas promised that “the Medical Department of the Army will ‘Carry On’ in the medical and training treatment of the disabled soldier until he is cured or as nearly cured as his disabilities permit.”

Today I can assure you that the Medical Department of the Army has Carried On. Over there, amid the dangers at the front and in the aero-bombed districts in the rear, our doctors and nurses strove day and night to cure the disabled and return them as rapidly as possible to the fight — eighty per cent, of the wounded went back to the front within six weeks. The remainder, as soon as able and travel was available, were returned to this country where, under more normal conditions, proper care could be administered.

Over here the same spirit of service to the disabled soldiers pervades the medical and nursing corps. Thus from the debarkation hospitals, through the general and base hospitals, into the convalescent centers the message has gone, “cure the disabled and expedite their discharge — but don’t discharge until their cure is completed.”

During this period of treatment and convalescence every effort is made to prevent hospitalization, meaning habits of indolence and discontent, and the spoiling of the soldiers by misguided hero worship. Curative work, prevocational and even vocational training, physical exercises, and healthful recreations, are provided in the general and base hospitals and in every convalescent center for the sole purpose of hastening the cure of our disabled soldiers and returning them to civil life as productive citizens. Eighty per cent, went back to fight — ninety-eight per cent, must return to the industrial army ready and anxious to carry on.

The sick and wounded soldiers want to go home. They are tired of army life, of hospital life. Home appeals to them as never before. But Carry On, my men. Get well before you get out. Well men even though handicapped can secure jobs, sick men cannot.

Carry On, mothers and fathers, sisters and sweethearts. Urge your boys to stick contentedly until their physical reconstruction is completed. Carry On, doctors and nurses. You want to go home also, but continue until this job is finished. Carry On and spread throughout the land this spirit of reclamation of disabled men.

M.W. Ireland

How to Cite this Article (APA Format): Ireland, M.W. (1919). Carry On: Magazine on the reconstruction of disabled soldiers and sailors. Retrieved [date accessed] from /?p=10388.

Source: American Printing House for the Blind, Inc., M. C. Migel Library. Disability History Museum at:

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