It seems many of us were right all along: blast waves from exploding ordinance, even void of shrapnel, will have a similar effect on ones brain as a so-called typical concussion. No way, the Pentagon has screamed for the last 7 decades, operating under their usual strategies, -in other industries, think tobacco, NFL, oil, lead, etcetra game plans meant to blur the known truth- burying the scientific proof, sweeping the mess under a cheap rug for as long as they can to avoid responsible action. -think shell-shock, agent orange, Gulf War syndrome-
The hardest thing to hear, to swallow, is a child, or sister, or wife, telling you, “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” It’s the hidden injury that exposes ones “after combat” self, a terrible new you that’s impossible to explain and even harder to treat. I mean, how do you mend a fence, or plug a tire if you cannot locate a hole? Even more diabolical is the paradox you face every single day; it’s your brain that directs one for help, yet, suffering from multiple TBI’s, that very piece of you critical to act, tricks you into looking somewhere else. Combine this earned helplessness with a rank and file denial of your serious and hidden condition, it begins to become clear, reasons for Veteran’s maladaptive behavior, even suicide.
My last post drilled down on the massive inequality and unchecked corporate power and greed revving the country, the world even, far into the red line. But it was the most cynical, bloated bureaucracy of all: the Department of Defense. Not long after WWII the Army morphed into a career establishment, a standing army, with the biggest single budget in history, for any country, any organization. It’s a sick, sick, sick culture within the ranks of career military men and women. It’s no longer about doing the right thing, but rather, doing nothing that might cause friction. This culture necessitates gross incompetence. They cover for each other, providing a dirty system that is void of accountability. From the rape culture, to outrageously bloated budgets, to the revolving door and the denial of care for grunts like me, the Pentagon is incapable of doing the right thing.
So now they are forced to admit what soldier’s have understood for quite some time. Blast waves can inflict a heavy toll on the brain. The most important question to me is: what are they going to do with this public knowledge? When will the injuries we sustain on the battlefield, those beyond the outer skeleton, the unseen, be important enough to get an equal level of care, let alone respect?
Pentagon…fuck you very much!