"Have you or a loved one served in the military?"
Taking Military Health History is Important
There are over 22 million U.S. Veterans who will require care from VA and non-VA health care providers. While many have visible injuries from their military service, others may have invisible wounds, such as Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), or exposure to health hazards that are unique to the era in which they served. These wounds may affect not only the Veteran, but their families as well, as they cope with the stresses caused by those injuries.
All health professionals should determine whether a patient has military service by asking “Have you or a loved one served in the military?” If they have, the card suggests questions that invite the veteran to tell his/her own story. It is important to make the patient aware that his/her unique experiences as a Veteran are of concern to their health care provider. Answers may also provide a basis for timely referral to specialized medical resources.
The Card can be used to capitalize on many learning opportunities:
- Give providers a better understanding of the veteran's perspective.
- Encourage trainees and staff to take more careful, veteran-centered histories.
- Stimulate case discussions augmented by information found on this web site.
- Consider discussing issues presented on the card during daily work rounds or informal case-based conferences.
Mobile Version Print color version on your local printer (3 MB)
Text Version Read text of pocket card
Non-VA use of Military Health History Pocket Card
VA encourages non-VA health care providers to adapt and use the content of the pocket card for their patients. You may wish to adapt the language of the questions in the pocket card for your non-VA health care providers, beginning with the question "Have you or a loved one ever served in the military?"
As a courtesy, we ask that you let VA know that you are adapting this valuable tool at your facility, and that you credit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Please note that the content of the card is usually updated every year to address the needs of our Veterans.