Murray, Utah – Yesterday, 12 US Senators called upon the US Army to conduct a full investigation into the allegations provided by NPR this week in a recent new story that more than 22,000 wartime veterans who experienced post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a traumatic brain injury (TBI) were dismissed after unsuitable behaviors were exhibited when returning from active service. Ongoing research and increased public awareness will ensure that returning service men and women will continue to earn their well deserved medical benefits and retirement pay, despite challenges that arise from brain injury and mental illness. With continued commitment to support Utah’s men and women of service, the Brain Injury Alliance of Utah provides free resources and consultation for returning war veterans who have sustained a traumatic brain injury.
This past week an NPR report exposed a growing trend of dismissing war time veterans, who have sustained a brain injury or other mental illness such as PTSD, and depression as a result of wartime trauma, who participate in “unsuitable” behaviors when returning home. In fact, the Army has “separated” 22,000 such soldiers since 2009, even with Congress passing new legislation to prevent such actions from taking place, rather than providing more treatment rather than dismissal.
On November 4, 2015 12 US Senators call on the Army to conduct a full investigation into these allegations, which defy both human decency, but also is in direct violation to “…the intent of Section 512 of the National Defense Authorization Act.” The letter written to the Army says, “Soldiers who deploy are at an increased risk for mental health issues and the forceful separation of service members post-deployment only further denies treatment and support at a critical time in any soldier’s life. Additionally, fear of dismissal may discourage service members from seeking the medical treatment they require.”
The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah’s Executive Director George Gehling implores those who are suffering from a brain injury to receive help. “No one with a brain injury should feel they are alone, struggling to deal with the issues resulting from their injury. We’re here to help people improve their lives.”
Veterans are a unique population with an extremely high risk rate for brain injury. Some estimate the TBI rate for Veterans is as high as 20%, up to 300,000 service members. Without the proper diagnosis, support and help the often difficult challenges compound for both the soldier and his family. The support provided by BIAU is customized to fill the needs of each brain injury survivor, and include resources that help them reclaim their life; help with assimilating back into school and work, vocational help, day to day life management tips, referrals for therapists, attorneys and service providers who specifically serve TBI victims. To read this full story, and to review a list of available resources for veterans with TBI, please visit our website at www.biau.org. The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah is available for interview, and can make the connection to returned US Veterans who have lived through the trauma of living with a brain injury and post traumatic stress disorder. To schedule an interview, please contact 801-716-4993.
The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah, BIAU, a non-profit community organization in Murray, Utah, serves Utah residents who have been affected by a brain injury by providing resources, education and a shared community connections. For interviews or more information please call (801)716-4993 or visit our website at www.biau.org.