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Remember the Wounded, Not Just the Fallen

May 23, 2014

As we prepare to celebrate Memorial Day, we will be reminded of all of those that have given their lives in service to our country. Volunteers will place flags on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery and at cemeteries around the country.  We will also be reminded of those that continue to serve at locations in the United States and throughout the world.

Many times, those that have served and returned wounded are forgotten. These soldiers have sustained injuries that have been life-altering to the soldiers and their families. From lost limbs, to traumatic brain injuries these soldiers and their families’ lives have changed forever. As we pause to reflect on our heroes in uniform this Memorial Day, let’s take a look at technology and bionics in particular that have created new tools and devices to bring mobility and in some cases sight back to those that have lost it. Here are just a few of the ways that bionics are changing the lives of wounded veterans.

When we hear the word bionics, many of us think about the 70’s TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man”. Today’s bionics are a far cry from those dramatizations. In the simplest definition, bionics is the application of engineering and technology systems to natural systems. In medicine, this applies to the replacement of or enhancement of existing body parts or organs with mechanical devices.

These devices can be controlled and manipulated as if they are a naturally occurring part of the body. As more and more power and functionality can be put into smaller and smaller packages, the possibilities for bionics in the medical field are endless.

From a bionic eye that has restored sight to patients blinded due to retinitis pigmentosa now available at thirteen medical facilities nationwide, to the Ekso bionic suit that has restored movement to a veteran who had become a victim of paralysis, bionics are quickly becoming useful to help those with severe injuries like our many wounded warriors. In fact, the FDA recently approved a bionic arm that is controlled by the wearer’s mind much like an existing human arm giving hope to those missing limbs.

Keystone Electronics has been providing key electronic components for many medical devices over the years.  Whether for insulin pumps, pacemakers, glucose monitors, and other medical devices, including the electronic control units that allow today’s bionic devices to function. Some of those products utilized include: Battery & Coin Cell Holders, Contacts & Clips, Plugs, Pins, Jacks & Sockets, Test Points, Tips, Probes, Jumpers and Clips.  We look forward to the opportunity to supply our components in these new medical devices, especially those that will help our many American Wounded Warriors.

Support organizations like the Wounded Warrior Project and the Gary Sinise Foundation are able to provide these technologies and other services to wounded veterans nationwide. These devices and services not only restore functionality to the soldier, but to their family, friends and neighbors.

So on this Memorial Day, we’d like to give thanks to all of our veterans, active duty military and to those inventors and creators who have made it possible for wounded veterans to regain lost function and mobility. According to a recent statistic, only 1 in 50 American citizens have volunteered to defend our nation. That leaves 49 Americans to thank them, not only on Memorial Day, but throughout the year as we live freely due to their service and sacrifice.