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View Diary: "No more John Kerrys": Soldiers denied Purple Hearts for traumatic brain injuries (138 comments)

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  •  My Experience (2+ / 0-)
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    testvet6778, Eclectablog

    On August 11, 2007, I was caught almost to shelter by an Iranian-made 107mm rocket that impacted 20m to my right. I felt concrete chunks strike across my back and neck, and tumbled into the shelter of the PX door-arch. I spent the next several hours shouting at people, since I couldn't tell I'd been partially deafened. I didn't go to the clinic for 5 hours, since I hadn't been cut or knocked out, but 5 hours later I still had a piercing headache. The medic quickly diagnosed a blast-induced TBI.
    My PH and CAB packet were submitted soon after, but only after I had run around to find witnesses for the statments required myself. I got little to no aid from my chain of command. Some time later, a few days to a week I think, I got the whole folder back with a Post-it note on the front that said "No Action Taken". I've been trying for the last three years to make any progress on this.
    I have hearing damage in my right ear, sleep problems nightly, and chronic strong headaches that radiate from my right temple. My wife tells me I have more memory lapses than I did before. I make regular visits to the TBI clinic on Ft. Benning when I'm home to keep getting new prescriptions for painkillers and sleep pills. I'm currently on my 3rd tour in Iraq, though we're due home soon.

    And even with all this, I still sometimes felt myself not worthy of pursuing it, since I got off about as lightly as possible, and have seen many more buddies lose limbs of fall from harsher hits. I'm still hoping to pursue it once I'm home, since I think the headaches and sleep problems will be with me for good, but still I wonder...

    A more detailed version of this story was posted here back at that time. "I Earned My Purple Heart Today" was what I titled it at the time. Seems ironic now.

    SGT(P) Brian G.
    3rd BDE, 3ID
    FOB Kalsu, Babil Province, Iraq

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