Americans entered the war aware of the massive casualties already suffered by battling nations. Still paying benefits to 650,000 Civil War veterans and widows, the U.S. government was mindful of the cost of caring for disabled veterans. For the first time, the U.S. Army instituted a coordinated physical and occupational therapy program. This new work, called “reconstruction,” sought to restore all soldiers to physical, social, educational, and economic health. Women called “reconstruction aides” received special training to carry out this work.