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Intrinsic Notes

From Burns to Breathing

(photo credit click here)

By Jose “Joe” Lopez, 473 Cavalry, 82nd Airborne Division (Retired)

After a 15-month deployment in northeast Afghanistan near where it borders Pakistan, it was finally time for me to go back home to Texas. My commanding officer told me to stay an extra three days because someone always gets injured right before a group goes back to the States. When I agreed, little did I know that this person would be me.

On the first of those three extra days, I’d already packed up all my gear. Most of the other guys were out on a mission and our base was almost deserted. I remembered that the Christmas packages had arrived late this year, as they usually do when you’re deployed overseas, and that this had left a giant pile of cardboard boxes. A guy in the nearby village usually collected our trash, but his truck was broken again. So I decided to take care of it. When I got to the motor pool, I found a private who offered to drive me into town to...

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Traumatic Brain Injuries in Veterans

When an NFL player is concussed and suffers brain trauma on the field of play, we cringe, we mourn. We make Blockbusters about the scandalous effects of CTE  (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) on the largest sports franchise in our country. Waves of national news, documentaries, and medical journals come out with findings. Carpool moms, sideline parents and coaches around the country all discuss the issue with downcast eyes. Are you going to let your child play football? What's going to happen to this sport we crave each fall?

The battles we crave in sports are playing out on the sidelines of our consciousness in war with very real consequences. But we are asleep at the collective remote. 

Over 339,000* warriors are returning from the fields of battle in the Global War on Terrorism with traumatic brain injuries (TBI's) that are largely undiscussed. Another silent group of possibly hundreds of thousands more live with the damage of TBI's...

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