many independent researchers engaged in finding answers to the numerous remaining questions. These efforts are vital components of the research network envisioned within the National Center. The Center itself, however, must be independent of the governance of these agencies and groups in order to ensure the broadest research participation and the public perception of credibility of results.

The issues surrounding the health of the men and women who have served in war and other military operations are complex. A National Center for Military Deployment Health Research provides an opportunity to gather together the results of many individual efforts, to analyze and synthesize what this research can reveal, and to move the nation forward in ways that will help and protect those individuals who will participate in future deployments. The Center is needed to fulfill the nation's commitment to the health of veterans, active-duty military, and guard and reserve forces, and it will provide a needed impetus to improve the prevention and treatment of deployment-related health consequences.

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