Gerald Vest: Soldier tells of his Traumatic Brain Injury in Iraq by IED    
 Soldier tells of his Traumatic Brain Injury in Iraq by IED4 comments
picture20 Dec 2009 @ 16:52, by Gerald Vest

If you're a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom (O1F) or Operation Enduring Freedom(OEF), we welcome you home and sincerely thank you for the time you served. Words can't convey the deep appreciation that we and other Americans across the country have for your valor, commitment, and hard work. While in harm's way, you endured many hardships, from constant threats and unpredictable crises to extreme temperature, chaotic operations, absences from loved ones, and uncertainty about your return home. You have much of which you can be proud. Courage after Fire by Keith Armstrong, LCSW/Suzanne Best, Ph.D./Paula Domenici, Ph.D.

One of our soldiers visited my website and forum and said that he would like to be a guest presenter and tell one of his stories about being injured by an explosive device. This great soldier, like many others in our program, are now working to recover from this blast, PTSD, and other injuries.

These injuries, often accompanied with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD), are often very difficult to diagnose and treat, yet so many of our soldiers have enormous headaches and now have short term memory loss; sleepless nights; anger episodes; hypervigilence; anxiety and panic attacks; and, other physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual injuries.

I am not using this Warrior's name, even though he has given me authorization, as I wish to protect his privacy and confidentiality as a patient in the Warrior Transition Battalion. It is our hope and our interest in informing others about these 'invisible injuries' so that these great soldiers will be treated with the respect that they deserve and given every possible treatment with rehabilitation services to help them recover and carry on and carry out their lives as civilians in our society that is often described as indifferent and judgmental. Many of our soldiers will return fit-for-duty; however, those who are unable, must be supported when they return to civilian life.

This soldier is very intelligent, brave, resourceful and eager to get better so that he can go to college and join a profession of his choice. Let's get behind our Warriors and thank them for their service and for their courage. Welcome our soldiers home with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

Jerry

Dear Colleagues and others,

I was deployed to IRAQ, the first time from Feb. 2004 until Feb. 2005. I was involved in several engagements. The methods of engagement ranged from: small arms fire; IED's; mortars and everything in between. Looking back now on my first tour there are at least a handful of times where I was suffering from mild concussion symptoms. Most of us, if not all of us, had something wrong with us, but we just kept driving on and pushing through it. Because of our small size we didn't have the luxury of extra men/women and down time like infantry platoons. I was in C co. 1-77AR, 3rd platoon out of Schweinfurt, Germany and my platoon was a tank platoon converted to one of those needed by the Army. We pulled every kind of mission you could think of. All the while being told we were soldiers first then our MOS specialties were considered later, if at all.

One of those missions was VIP escort and drop off, and it was one one of these missions that my life would be changed forever. It was late night sometime in Dec. 04 when we were tasked to pick up SGM T........ from LSA Anaconda and drop him off at FOB Paliwoda. I was the last truck in the column that night and it didn't have gypsy racks or anything just the standard shield and 240 machine gun that came with the truck. We were driving North up route Linda just past Yathreb when IED struck my vehicle--peppering the passenger's side rear of the truck with shrapnel and blowing out the tires. The percussion of the blast rendered me unconscious, and when I awoke in a dazed state, I remember a bright light and an intense pressure all over my body but all other events of that incident are fuzzy.

I have little to no recollection of the rest of my time in Iraq after that either with the exception of my friend being KIA. Had it not been for the help of my battle buddy JS, I wouldn't have been able to take care of myself. John was tasked with the job of making sure I ate and dressed properly and bathed. He was my only way to function, and without his help I would have been lost. From that time till now I still suffer from the effects of that blast, and even with the rehabilitation for TBI I continue to struggle.

One of the biggest obstacles I face, unlike some soldiers, is that my wounds aren't visible, and there is still so much misunderstanding about this type of injury. If a soldier loses an arm or leg you can see that clearly, but there is no way to go back in time and see my level of function before the blast and compare it to Now.

Traumatic Brain Injury is so strange, in fact, if you put four people in the exact same situation as I experienced, all four would be affected differently.

For me it was my mother who noticed the drastic changes in me first, but I didn't see them for myself until much later. Sometimes a man's pride stands in the way of his progress and all you can do is hope someone notices and helps you help yourself. I will never be at the same level I once was, but in time with hard work I will be better than I am today. Thank you for your time. I will be patiently awaiting the decision of the Medical Board.

A Wounded Soldier!




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4 comments

24 Jan 2010 @ 18:57 by a-d : Let's give Vets even more
Voice here: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2010/01/22/call-for-immediate-arrest-of-5-supreme-court-justices-for-treason/#respond
This article is followed by COMMENTS from the "Public"... most of them Vets, who are eager to share their two cents in a world gone so terribly wrong; (some of ) the "Whos", who are behind that fact... and WHAT REALLY was and is their most "secret" JUSTIFICATION = Agenda TO WANT a World so wrong... at the expense of ALL (the rest) on the Planet!... We the Public still need to strip the BS and expose the Naked Bones to all this BS: MENTALLY SICK people!... UN-able to live a normal healthy life of their OWN (making)... hence all this BS that allows/makes it possible to steal LIFE from the rest of the World = anybody/anything outside these sick people's own skin!...
We, the rest, can't afford to go on any longer to accept these lies of Social Structure This /That as being of any true value to our HUMAN Communities made up of Flesh & Blood Humans (& Animals & over all Nature). IF we don't choose to see the naked truth and DO something about it,we will all end up with these "same" kind" of injuries described here by the Vets!  



24 Jan 2010 @ 19:11 by jerryvest : Thanks for link and resources, Astrid...
I hope more people will get involved and support our Vets--they must not be blamed for these wars, they are only doing their Work as they have pledged to do. I think many are not aware of how we got into these wars and continue to judge and blame our soldiers rather than support them and give them the health care they need to return to the force or our troubled society that doesn't care.  


24 Jan 2010 @ 19:38 by a-d : I do agree with Jerry!
What you are giving Voice to here is the experience of ALL of us!...though not all went into the Military action,we did something else equally harmful to LIFE as intended by LIFE/"God" Universal Laws of (SUSTAINING) Life !... We all are living and have contributed to a World 100% IRRATIONAL/ARTIFICIAL (in the name of " PROGRESS" ; a cover-up word for removing ourselves farther & farther awa from TRUE REALITY where NATURE &UNIVERSE rule SUPREME! and we are meant to Co create each our own little part of Life in PEACE & HARMONY with all the rest outside of our skin for the HIGHEST GOOD OF ALL!...and I mean for mean for the HIGHEST GOOD of ALL!!! ) I did as an RN --until I just couldn't find ANY Common Sense to what I was doing & why!... Then "my world" collapsed!... and I had to through very hard transition away from this Artificial world of the Sickos' deceitful one... It was a long hard journey.

WHO of us did get this right without having done this long painful &harmful Trip into the MADNESS we all were born into... Soldier, RN -or what not!... doesn't matter! We were all coersed!  



24 Jan 2010 @ 19:58 by a-d : Ooops,jerry....
my comment was actually meant to be on your next up post...the very latest one!...Somehow I got my comment in the wrong post! Sorry! Here Jerry is a great link that Scotty gave us a few days ago: http://libcom.org/library/change-world-without-taking-power-john-holloway  


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31 May 2008 @ 13:55: The Wounded Warrior by Robert Peek



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