"Healing combat trauma" and "The Brain at War"

06/26/2010 04:51 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Alone Okay, people are supporting the troops in ways that are deeply important, in ways that as a country, we got a lot of work to do. There are physical injuries that even I can understand, but beyond that, there's traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the invisible damage to troops, like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD.)

Recently the NCIRE and
The Veterans
Research Institute, ran the "The Brain at War"
conference, which I attended briefly. (I'm not very tough, and this stuff is hard to hear.) This was all about helping vets deal with these real problem. I don't really understand a lot, so I'll get out of the way, and hear from someone with real expertise.

There were many highlights of the program, including
hearing from the National Guard about what they're doing to secure
better mental health for their servicemembers, who don't have the same
access that other branches do. The California
National Guard
has a good "Combat Stress
Control" program
, with handouts like this tip sheet, "Helping a
Soldier Buddy in Distress," linked here.
They've also got a superlative poster, "Never Let Your Buddy Fight Alone
(against PTSD)" that emphasizes the importance of Guardmembers in one
another's lives. An U.S. Army National Guard leader, Major Paul E.
Gonzales, from Kansas' National Guard, talked convincingly about the
challenges Guardmembers face after deployment, accessing mental health
services, when they're frequently hours away from the nearest facility.

Also check out more about the Marines Memorial Club, and their very real tribute to troops. (I'm getting involved, more to say later...)


Veterans Ptsd Tbi