y'all know i don't do politics. all it causes is anger, and strife, and angst, between people who would normally get along just fine.
this is a little deeper than politics.
i watched the bob woodruff special tonight. i still need a tissue. the tears were very real. the pain was very real. watching him try to recover his sense of self, and speech, and everything else that went with recovering from a traumatic brain injury, was very intense.
what caused me to cry was watching the families that he followed after his recovery. the worst was the man who will live out the rest of his days in a hospital bed, with a trach tube, and will probably never speak or move on his own again.
here are some frightening statistics.
there have been 1.5 million soldiers through iraq since the war started.
of those 1.5 million, approximately 10% will have some sort of brain injury.
of those 150,000, a large number have closed brain injuries.
the way they explained it, anyone who has been exposed to an IED, or any large concussive explosion, has their brain bounced around in their skull so badly it can cause trauma. think concussions cubed.
there have been calls to screen all returning soldiers for these closed-brain injuries, so that they can be given the maximum amount of help in an expeditious manner.
it's not being done.
of those who are returned home, after going to a rehab center after leaving the major hospitals, have trouble getting help. they showed one man who was supposed to have all his care arranged when he went home, and when they got there, nothing was in place. they waited weeks, and while they waited, he ended up having more trouble, and backslid from where he was when he left rehab.
the local VA hospitals, such as we have here in omaha, are poorly prepared to handle these TBI patients (traumatic Brain Injury), and don't know what to do to help them. in fact, most end up in private therapy, with the defense department paying for it. when they do get help. these hospitals have done nothing but deal with an aging veteran population (for the most part), with the last action being the Gulf War in 1990/1991. they're being asked to deal with these men, understaffed, underfunded, and underprepared.
This is a travesty. I've never served (but i did try, twice), but my brothers have, and my sister-in-law has. My uncles did (my dad was hard of hearing, they woulnd't take him) in WWII. My boys want to. They deserve better than this.
it's time to stop. it's time to stop subjecting our men & women to a situation that we are not helping, and may well be hindering. bring them home.