Experts are calling traumatic brain injuries (TBI) the signature injury from the War on Terror. While it is by no means a new injury for soldiers and the military, it is one that is increasingly common in Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Because of the high number of IEDs and an increased amount of ground combat, thousands of soldiers are returning home for war with a vast range of head injuries, from slight memory problems and cognition issues to full-body paralysis, behavioral changes, and severe disabilities.

How do traumatic brain injury occur in Iraq and Afghanistan? Most are the result of being involved in a blast or nearby explosion, many times involving IEDs. Others are the result of falls, traffic accidents, physical assaults, gunshot wounds, or general combat.

The true tragedy of veterans with traumatic brain injuries is that many don’t look like they have been seriously injured in battle. While it is easy to see an amputation or a scar, it is much more difficult for people to understand that permanent injury has been done to a soldier’s brain: injury that could prevent that man or woman from working, having a career, relating to his family, supporting his loved ones, or even walking or talking again.

Because these head injuries are often invisible, veterans themselves are sometimes reluctant to come forward for treatment and help, many times because they don’t feel that they deserve the attention that more obviously wounded soldiers require. However, it is vital that those with TBI receive medical attention, therapy, and treatment so that they can better understand their injury and learn how to live with their injury. Veterans also believe that their TBI injuries are difficult to measure and diagnose – how do you measure a personality change after a blast left you unconscious? Or how do you measure how much of the ability you have lost to concentrate?

If you are a veteran who is disabled because of a head injury received while in the service, you deserve support. Call us today to schedule an appointment with a veterans’ disability benefits attorney and learn more about how you can get help.

James R. Keller
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Partner at Keller & Keller