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Foreword

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Foreword

From the earliest days of the Republic, the United States Amy has not just maintained the national defense but has also performed a wide variety of peacetime missions. Army officers helped explore the West, Army engineers built early flood control systems, and Army pilots flew the first airmail routes. The Army Medical Department in particular has long aided the civilian community. Its members regularly contributed to the advancement of medical knowledge and in special situations provided health care for civilians. The Demands of Humanity examines one aspect of that direct assistance, medical aid rendered during natural disasters.

Discussing help given both at home, and abroad, this third volume in the Special Studies Series examines the origin of the relief mission in the nineteenth century and recounts its history to 1976. With their special expertise in public health and the treatment of' mass casualties, Army medical personnel during these years compiled an impressive record of assistance. After the Spanish-American War, Army doctors made medical history in their campaigns against epidemic diseases in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. In times of twentieth century floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, famines, and epidemics, Army medical personnel aided individuals and famished stricken communities valuable advice on sanitation and health care.

The Demands of Humanity chronicles the humanitarian contribution made by Army doctors, nurses, and medical corpsmen during disaster situations. It also examines the problems their units encountered in relief operations and explains the development of the Army's assistance role. It thereby contributes not only to the often-neglected history of the peacetime role of the military but to the history of social welfare policy in the United States as well.

Washington, D,C.
30 September 1982

JAMES L COLLINS, JR,
Brigadier General, USA
Chief of Military History