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by Jamie Bearse   |   September 18, 2017

Just Like Duct Tape: Why We Have Medical Research at the DOD

Did you use the microwave to cook popcorn before a movie this weekend? How about use the GPS on your phone to get to that apple orchid with the family? And who hasn’t used duct-tape?

All courtesy of the Department of Defense.

Recognizing the uncanny talent of the U.S. Army for protecting our nation not just with soldiers, weapon systems, and tanks, Congress tasked the DOD in 1992 to take a significant role in the War on Cancer and other significant diseases like Alzheimer’s, and PTSD.

Active service men get prostate cancer. In fact, the National Cancer Institute has found that servicemen deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan are at higher risk of prostate cancer because of exposure to depleted uranium. Shouldn’t we know why? In an effort to protect our protectors, shouldn’t we stand up and fix the problem so these heroes can have long, healthy lives with their adoring families and communities?

It doesn’t end at that. Unlike anywhere else, the DOD uniquely targets critical gaps in medical research and utilizes a two-tier review process that includes patients impacted by the disease. In just prostate cancer – the model is incredibly successful: creating three treatments for advanced disease and a genomic marker to tell if the disease is aggressive or not before treatments begin.

Just like duct tape, this research has real and far reaching application in civilian life. And why shouldn’t it? Aren’t our armed forces sworn to protect this nation from enemies foreign and domestic? Cancer kills.

What better place to host medical research than the place where wars are won? Cancer death rates have fallen 25 percent since 1992. I don’t think it’s a coincidence and I urge you to not do the same. And here’s the Capital T truth to the whole program, for every $1,000 the DOD spends on personnel, equipment, and weapons systems, it spends 25 cents on medical research. Think about that.

Is that not the best business model and the best return on investment you’ve ever seen?

Some in the Senate don’t see it this way. They don’t see that this research saves the lives of Army Colonels, combat Marines in the Middle East, and the American public who support them with every heartbeat. Instead of world-changing research, they’re clogging the process with red tape to save a quarter.

It’s critical to share this info with your network and your Congressman because in the coming days, we’ll need those friends to stand up on Capitol Hill and fight for this life-saving research.

This fight will require resources, funds, and manpower. Donate today and sign up for ZERO’s Advocacy Alerts to be notified when it’s time to take action.