The Silent Cost of War – Study Reveals Troops Show Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms Five Years Later
Unless you have served in the military in a combat zone, it is impossible to understand what that existence is all about regardless of how many movies or documentaries we watch or how many articles that we read. We do understand that these brave people put their well-being and their lives on the line every second of every day for us when they serve in this manner and we support them completely at every turn. That support is almost unconditional, and it continues despite some of the costs of war that are currently being discovered now that more troops are starting to come home and work their way back into civilian society.
One of the most horrific costs of the wars that have been going on for over a decade in both Afghanistan and Iraq has only recently been defined. That cost is the number of soldiers who suffer from traumatic brain injuries. According to statistics kept by the federal government, more than 273,000 soldiers have suffered traumatic brain injuries since the first war began nearly 12 years ago. The severity of these traumatic brain injuries obviously varies, but many soldiers are struggling badly with the aftermath of this type of harm for several reasons.One of those reasons could be that thousands of soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries that continue to haunt them even several years after they originally suffered them. Recently, a 15-year study that was done by the Defense Department concluded that a 'high proportion' of the 273,000+ troops who suffered traumatic brain injuries continued to endure the symptoms from them at least five years after they were initially injured. A link to an article describing the study in full can be found here.
There were many criticisms of the study, and many of those criticisms came from those who were working on it. Funding appeared to be a problem as did some of the restrictions that were placed on the researchers that prevented them from digging deeper into this problem. Regardless, the results were troubling and the hope is that more funding and more freedom to learn will come about in subsequent studies. What is known as of now is that thousands of soldiers continue to need help because of the traumatic brain injuries that they suffered while serving in combat zones.
Traumatic brain injuries could wind up being the 'signature' wound that is associated with these two wars much like Post-traumatic Stress Disorder became so closely associated with soldiers who served in Vietnam. This is not a good thing because it only means that an enormous number of soldiers suffered traumatic brain injuries, but perhaps that association will prompt people to continue to dig into this issue and provide help for those who need it.
We have been serving clients as traumatic brain injury lawyers for 25 years, and the team at the Scarlett Law Group hopes that the military and the civilian worlds come together and continue to fight for those who need help with this terrible injury.