Tag Archives: navy

Book Recommendation For Working With Soldiers/Veterans

In recent years, public awareness has been growing of the increasing presence of brain injuries in combat soldiers and veterans. Many doctors and therapists are now working with these soldiers and veterans but often do not fully grasp how this population may differ from other patient populations.

 
The military is in no way simply a nine to five job. For many soldiers and veterans it encompasses much of their life and identity. Under combat deployment, there are no days off from work. The soldier is on duty 24-7 without a true break or rest. Due to the demands and risks of the military, soldiers are part of a culture that is very different from that of the civilian world. For instance, it’s relatively common for an employee at a store to question a supervisor’s directives and perhaps even lodge a complaint with management. This process may last for several days and either see action taken or not. In combat, a soldier is not in a position to question a direct order. Life and death decisions have to be made moment by moment. The immediacy of danger also leads soldiers to develop intense and special bonds with one another. The loss of a fellow solider in combat may be felt as strongly as the loss of a family member. Since being a soldier so often encompasses so much of the individual’s life and identity, being dismissed from the military due to an injury is not like being fired from a job. The effects of emotions such as grief and anger felt resulting from losses suffered in the course of a veteran’s service are often experienced on an entirely separate level of magnitude.

 

Below is a list of a few books that may help doctors and therapists to better understand this population:

Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts: Stories of American Soldiers with Traumatic Brain Injury and PTSD by Patricia Driscoll and Celia Straus

On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and Peace and On Killing: The Psychological Risks of Learning To Kill in War and Society by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org

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Project Victory

Many experts believe that the hallmark injury of the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is traumatic brain injury.  In fact, the Department of Defense and the Veteran’s Brain Injury Center estimated that 22% of all injuries received by soldiers during the recent wars were brain injuries.  Unfortunately, a large percentage of our veterans and soldiers with traumatic brain injuries never receive adequate treatment.  They may subsequently experience deficits such as poor memory, difficulty sustaining concentration and a lack of sufficient impulse control.  These problems often negatively impact success as they return to their lives at home and at work.

The Transitional Learning Center offers rehabilitative services under a special program called Project Victory which is designed to help soldiers and veterans with traumatic brain injuries.  To qualify, the soldier or veteran must have served in Operation New Dawn (Iraq), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) or Operation Iraqi Freedom and have a suffered a traumatic brain injury/concussion during that military service.

There is no cost to the Project Victory participants.  The program is supported by a grant administered by the TIRR foundation and is independent of any government agency.  Length of stay is generally between 6-10 weeks and program participants receive a full range of therapeutic services designed to improve their lives.  These include psychological, speech, physical, occupational and recreational therapies.

Here is a wonderful news story by KPRC on some of our Project Victory participants and the gains they made in the program: http://www.click2houston.com/news/Project-Victory-gives-veterans-healing-hope/-/1735978/9208576/-/wrctws/-/index.html

For more information on Project Victory, please contact Director of Admissions Jim Osborne by phone: (409-797-1455) or e-mail:  (josborne@tlc-galveston.org).

Learn about brain injury treatment services at the Transitional Learning Center: tlcrehab.org