It has to stop

Soldiers

Just passing this one along. It’s like she is in my head. It’s exactly how I feel. And she expresses it so well.

I wish there was more that I could do to help soldiers know about HBOT and encourage them to try it now.  You know the saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  The problem is the soldiers I talk with are minimizing their pain and “sucking it up” and when it all falls apart it will be so much more difficult to sort it out. They compare themselves to their buddies that died or lost limbs or have seizures and think “I am fine”, but it just isn’t the case.
What you wrote about suicide tears me up.  I know of soldiers that couldn’t take it and killed themselves during their deployment.  We at Soldiers’ Angels try to prevent them from feeling isolated or abandoned by sending letters and packages, but what if it is a brain injury?  We need to get this word out to the chaplains too.  I know that chaplains are bound and cannot reveal if a soldier has told him that he is contemplating suicide.  Your email makes me want to get the word out to these chaplains to have these soldiers tested for brain injury. Of course the difficulty there is that as with some of my military son’s friends the MRI’s don’t show any damage.  Their symptoms of headaches and memory problems and anger and impulse control again are minimized due to stress from long deployments. Even if they are sent to bases for Imaging the results are inconclusive.
In fact the soldier who lives near me was in a tank that rolled over an IED and would you believe that even tho he had been knocked unconscious he was only treated at a small Combat Outpost by a medic and went right back to work.  It was only 6 weeks later when his speech began to slur, when the aspirin couldn’ contain his pain,  that they sent him to Balad and then forward to his present rounds at the VA.  He constantly minimizes the seriousness of his injury and what it means for his future.
One can’t help but wonder about the brain injuries these soldiers may have had that later committed suicide.  Of course the military hushes these incidences up so as to keep morale high.  Soldiers are led to believe that these guys were somehow inadequate…basically they try not to think about it at all..and that is what the military encourages..just get in there and do your job….you can’t change what has happened.  But I do appreciate your point that we need to know what is happening to them and how their brains are affected and those consequences. How can they get treatment when  their injuries are hardly acknowledged.  This has always been the problem with TBI. It is the invisible injury.  Now tho the sheer number of our military with this reality is as frightening to me as the budget crisis.

-Beth Vandenburg, Soldiers Angels

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~ by gonefishindd5 on January 20, 2015.

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