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The New Yorker Festival Speech

The New Yorker Festival: Casualties of War: The Medical Repercussions of Battle

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Publisher's Summary

Recorded live at the 2007 New Yorker Festival in New York City.

Major L. Tammy Duckworth serves in the Illinois Army National Guard. In 2004, the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting near Baghdad was attacked with a rocket-propelled grenade, costing her both legs and shattering her right arm. Following her recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she became an advocate for veterans, testifying multiple times before Congress. She was a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in 2006 and now serves as the director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Captain (Ret.) Dawn Halfaker joined the Army's military police in 2001 and was assigned to train Iraqi police forces. In 2004, she was severely wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade while riding in an armored Humvee. Her right arm was amputated. Following her rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, she worked with the Department of Defense to develop prosthetic limbs. In 2006, she founded Halfaker and Associates, which provides consulting services on national security to the federal government.

Colonel John B. Holcomb is the commander of the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research, in Texas. The facility provides medical care to injured soldiers and contains a Level I Trauma Center and a Burn Center; its research program develops medical solutions and products that are then used on the battlefield. He serves as a trauma consultant for the Surgeon General and has been deployed eight times as a trauma surgeon in Iraq.

Atul Gawande is a practicing surgeon in Boston and an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and at Harvard Medical School. He is the recipient of a 2006 MacArthur Fellowship and the author of Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science and Better: A Surgeon's Notes on Performance, which came out in April; parts of both books first appeared in The New Yorker.

©2007 The New Yorker; (P)2007 The New Yorker

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