Traumatic Brain Injury Pentagon Roundtable

From The Pentagon Channel

A roundtable held at the Pentagon brings service representatives together to talk about the latest in traumatic brain injury care during Brain Injury Awareness Month.  For more on this story and for news and updates, please go to the Pentagon Channel’s website.

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  • Clousdh

    All of your comments and
    research sounds great. I appreciate your work and dedication to helping the soldiers with TBI as well as prevention.
     It is too bad the treatment it is not followed
    through to the soldiers in a timely and consistent manner.  There is not continuity in care for the TBI and PTSD patients. 
    My husband was in the Army Reserve. He was deployed in July 08 to Afghanistan,  He came back to the
    US in July 09 and was diagnosed with TBI and PTSD after experiencing many close bombings on his base.   It took over 5 months
    of the run- around doctor appointments at Fort Lewis to get all of
    the psychological and physical evaluations.  He was allowed to
    come home and obtain treatment in Montana in Remote care.  It took over 6
    months to get a counseling and psychology appointment at
    the VA to then re-evauluated all of the same tests that were done
    at Fort Lewis. During this time he and our family were on our own, as far as
    dealing with his severe PTSD.  He finally was able to start his counseling and they
    determined he was too severe for their care and was sent to Palo Alto for phase
    1 of PTSD treatment ( this was hard for him because it took him away from his
    family again, but he needed it).

    He finished phase 1 of
    PTSD treatment and returned home for 4 months and started phase 2 of prolonged
    exposure, again it took months to get an appointment.  While mid treatment
    of his prolonged exposure he and the counselor felt they couldn’t
    provide the proper treatment.  He and his counselor decided he
    needed to go back to Palo Alto Menlo park for his phase 2 treatment.
    remote care unit came unannounced to our house and took him to Fort Riley from
    Montana to start his MEB. He had an hour to pack.(not a good way to treat a PTSD patient).The mental health center at the VA that was treating my husband had no idea they were taking him out of his PTSD phase 2 treatment. 
     Fort Riley does not have a PTSD treatment center, Although I do think Fort Riley is one of the better places to be.

     Many of the soldiers
    in their MEB have TBI and PTSD and physical injuries. Some are not provided the
    proper medical and psychological treatment. These soldiers have nothing to do when they are in medical hold or an MEB status.  Isolating these soldiers from their families and
    support systems do not help them. They tend to get worse.  I feel that is
    why you see so many suicides.  PTSD patients tend to isolate themselves
    any way, They have no sense of purpose because they have nothing to do. 
    There have been many studies about adaptive exercise therapy helps with PTSD
    and I do not see any programs for these soldiers at Fort Riley to help these
    soldiers in hold waiting for their MEB.  There are so many programs out
    there. Why cant these soldiers do these programs, or why cant they be home for
    treatment and fly back to Fort Riley or wherever their MEB is and be more efficient in there
    evaluations. Everyone needs a sense of purpose and something to do, to have some self worth.
    There are also good programs with dog therapy, Maybe the bases could implement service dog training and have the soldiers train the dogs.  That would give them something to do with having some self worth.
    There are biking programs like the Ride to Recovery, I see some military bases participating in these events.  Exercise is scientifically proven to help the soldiers mentally and physically.  

    My husband is one of thousands of Soldiers that is in medical hold or in an MEB without
    finished treatment. It has been almost 4 years since he has officially lived at home.

     How do you do a medical evaluation board on a soldier
    who hasn’t been able to finish his treatment??? I feel if some of the soldiers would be able to
    finish psychological treatment and physical treatment they may be able to
    function in the Military and not forced to retire.
    My wish would be to see all the the research and talk put into action and actually implemented to help the soldiers with physical and mental ailments.

  • Lanman

    I think it’s great that they’re addressing the tremendous burden that soldiers must carry after enduring a traumatic brain injury which has been linked to PTSD. It is so important that these soldiers receive treatment, and with so many soldiers suffering from TBI’s and PTSD, my concern is that not all of them are treated. Finding a TBI treatment program like the Neurologic Rehbiliation Institute at Brookhaven or the Fla Institute for Neurlogic Rehab might be a solution for those who have not yet been treated.

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