Thousands of GIs cope with brain damage

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The war in Iraq is not over, but one legacy is already here in this city and others across America: an epidemic of brain-damaged soldiers.

Thousands of troops have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, or TBI. These blast-caused head injuries are so different from the ones doctors are used to seeing from falls and car crashes that treating them is as much faith as it is science.

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If you are believers. TBI is an awful thing to deal with. My Mom suffered a TBI - closed head injury three years ago from a fall at work (passed out and sailed over a high flight of stairs, landing on her head). We are still dealing with the repercussions on a daily basis.

I can't imagine the level that these people are suffering.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

We should set up a prayer chain. It would beat the arguments, and make discussions less vitriolic because we would be prayer chain members?

Well, I thought...

Anyway, I'm praying for your mom, you and your family.

Of course, considering who's praying (me), I'll also ask someone more holy to help! ;)

There's a powerful, very moving documentary currently showing called 'Alive Day Memories' hosted by James Gandolfini (Sopranos), dealing with injured soldiers coming home from the war, including those with TBI.

The military has been criticized for not getting life saving equipment to our soldiers and Marines fast enough. However the military has been right to be slow and cautious.

A Marine Corps approved helmet was initally rushed into production but was halted when tests showed that while it was safer from indirect blasts and schrapnel it also caused more concussions and brain injury.

Likewise there was a flak jacket many said the military should send to Iraq. However it was found to give off toxic fumes and melt when exposed to high temperatures. Not very effective when you consider the biggest threat our military has faced in Iraq is IED's.

Every war in the last 150 years has helped our military to advance new techniques and life saving procedures in order to keep our military members safe. This war is no different. However this is the first war where new procedures were being developed at such a rate as they could be developed and employed within the duration of the war. We shouldn't rush and sacrifice safety in the name of saving lives.



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