Where Did My Brain Go?

Signature Injury In The News

By August 29, 2006, “signature injury” was in the news. Actually it was the news.

On August 29, 2006, the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, published, “Brain injury budget faces cut: Military research, treatment at risk.” by Jay Price, which began, “Brain injuries are so common among U.S. troops that they’re called the signature injury of the Iraq war, but Congress is poised to cut military spending on researching and treating them.”

It went on to say that, “Pentagon budget experts did not respond Monday to a request for information on why they had not sought more money.”

It also featured quotes from Dr. Zitnay, and a soldier.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said Sgt. Maj. Colin Rich, a Fort Bragg soldier who has been legally blind since he was shot in the head while serving in Afghanistan in 2002. “Whoever is cutting the budget must have a head injury themselves.” “With the bombs, the gunshot wounds and everything else, their plate is full,” he said. “They need that money.”

It referenced Dr. Zitnay several times, including:

Even in peacetime, Zitnay said, military personnel suffer about 11,000 head injuries a year. Such injuries are common at Fort Bragg, where paratroopers are frequently hurt in parachute jumps.

And concluded with:

Zitnay said that given the nature of current fighting, the money is vital. Because brain injuries can require lifelong care, the need for money to treat the injuries doesn’t stop when injured troops are discharged from the hospital. “I can’t put a Band-Aid on it and say, ‘Here, you’re well,’ ” Zitnay said.