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Old 02-11-2020, 10:19 AM
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Exclamation Trump says he 'won't be changing his mind' on view that brain injuries suffered by US

Trump says he 'won't be changing his mind' on view that brain injuries suffered by US troops in Iran's attack are not very serious
By: Ryan Pickrell - Business Insider - 02-11-20
Re: https://www.businessinsider.com/trum...njuries-2020-2

* A total of 109 US service members have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries in the weeks after the Jan. 8 Iranian missile attack on US forces in Iraq.

* President Donald Trump previously characterized the injuries as "not very serious," prompting criticism from a leading veterans group that demanded he apologize.

* On Monday, in an interview with Fox Business, the president doubled down, explaining that he "won't be changing his mind on that."

President Donald Trump doubled down on his assertion on Monday that the injuries suffered by US troops during an Iranian ballistic missile attack on US forces are "not very serious" amid continued criticism.

Iran, swiftly retaliating over the death of Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani at the hands of the US military, fired over a dozen ballistic missiles at US and coalition forces in Iraq in early January. In the immediate aftermath, the president announced that "no Americans were harmed" and moved to de-escalate tensions.

Since then, the number of US troops who have been diagnosed with mild traumatic brain injuries has steadily risen from 109, the Pentagon revealed Monday in its latest update. The specific severity of which remains unknown,

Symptoms of a TBI can be slow to manifest and sometimes harder to detect than other injuries. The Department of Defense has offered this as an explanation for initial misreporting on injuries.

While roughly 70 percent of the injured have already returned to duty, 21 service members have been transported to the US for additional care, suggesting their injuries may be more severe than those suffered by others.

In an interview with Fox Business Monday, the president commented on the situation.

"I don't think [the Iranians] were looking to do too much damage, because they knew what the consequences were going to be," Trump told Fox Business' Trish Regan. "I saw the missiles. We saw them going.... They landed in a way that they didn't hit anybody."

The president said that he "stopped something that would have been very devastating for" the Iranians.

"And then a couple of weeks later I started hearing about people having to do with trauma," he said. "Head trauma," Trump continued, "That exists. But, you know, I viewed it a little bit differently than most, and I won't be changing my mind on that."

Toward the end of January, when the number of troops who had been diagnosed with mild TBIs, concussions caused by the rattling of the brain, Trump told reporters that the injuries were "not very serious."

"I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report that it's not very serious," he told reporters in Davos, Switzerland. "I don't consider them very serious injuries relative to other injuries that I've seen."

While it remains unclear exactly how severe the injuries are, veterans groups and traumatic brain injury awareness advocates have sharply criticized the president's comments.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars said in a statement that it "expects an apology from the president to our service men and women for his misguided remarks."

"And, we ask that he and the White House join with us in our efforts to educate Americans of the dangers TBI has on these heroes as they protect our great nation in these trying times. Our warriors require our full support more than ever in this challenging environment."

(see next report below)
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Earlier Report: More and more US troops battered in Iran's missile attack have traumatic brain injuries, and it could be a problem for the rest of their lives
By: Ryan Pickrell - 01-31-20
Re: https://www.businessinsider.com/us-m...quences-2020-1

Dozens of US service members suffered traumatic brain injuries in an Iranian missile attack in Iraq, and it's possible these invisible injuries will haunt some for the rest of their lives.

The Department of Defense revealed Thursday that a total of 64 US service members have been diagnosed with concussions, characterized as a mild traumatic brain injury, in the wake of the Iranian missile attack on US and coalition forces at two bases in Iraq earlier this month.

During the Iranian missile attack, US positions were rocked by the blasts from 1,000- to 2,000-pound munitions, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said Thursday. "These things have bursting radiuses of 50 to 100 feet, and that's just the shrapnel in the actual blast. These are very, very significant, serious weapons."

Officers who survived the barrage described it as nothing short of a miracle there was no loss of life.

'A very serious and significant injury'

As for the injured, while the diagnosis is a mild TBI, "there's nothing mild about a brain injury," Michael Kaplen, a brain injury lawyer and a lecturer at The George Washington University Law School, told Insider.

"The term mild is really a misnomer when it comes to traumatic brain injury," he explained. "It trivializes a very serious and significant injury."

The common use of the word "mild" to characterize a TBI has its genesis in the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), a basic tool for emergency trauma care which ranks head injuries as mild, moderate, and severe. "It has become misused to characterize what a brain injury is in terms of its consequences," Kaplen said.

Any brain injury can have certain troubling physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral repercussions, some of which may last a lifetime.

Milley acknowledged this potential for affected service members, telling reporters: "We'll continue to monitor them the rest of their lives and continue to provide whatever treatment is necessary."

'I can report that it's not very serious'

In the short term, signs of a brain injury, which may appear immediately or possibly even days or weeks later, can be headaches, dizziness, nausea, balance problems, memory loss, sensitivity to light and sound and concentration problems. Some observers may fixate on these issues, and ignore the invisible neurological scars, problems that may persist for years.

"I heard that they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I would say and I can report that it's not very serious," Trump, who initially said that "no Americans were harmed" in the Iranian retaliation for a general's killing, said once the number of injured service members had risen to 34.

"It's deeply troubling when the president of the United States minimizes the seriousness of the injury," Kaplen, who served as the president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, said. "It does a significant disservice to members of the military with this condition."

He described the president's comments as "unfortunate," "ignorant," insulting," and "disrespectful."

(*) Brain injuries can easily become chronic conditions that require long-term support for the affected individual, who may experience more severe control, language, concentration, memory, and behavioral problems as time goes on. And, because the injury is internal, it may be difficult for others to understand their struggles.

Depression can be a side effect of a brain injury, and, Kaplen explained, "people suffering the long-term consequences of a brain injury have much greater rates of suicide" already a serious problem for US service members and veterans.

In instances where an individual suffers multiple traumatic brain injuries, they can develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease that can only be properly diagnosed during autopsy.

The US military puts battlefield injuries into one of three simple categories: very serious injuries (VSI), serious injuries (SI), and non-serious injuries (NSI), with more severe injuries being wounds like loss of limb.

The service members injured in the Jan. 8 attack "are in the NSI category at this time," Milley said Thursday, adding that this might change. "We're early in the stage of diagnosis," he said. "We're early in the stage of therapy for these troops."

Thirty-nine service members have already returned to duty, the Department of Defense said Thursday. Eight have been evacuated to the US, and nine others are awaiting transport to the US. Others are still being assessed and treated in Iraq, Kuwait, and Germany.

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Personal note: Shell Shock from WWI - WWII - Korea - Viet Nam and all these other conflicts will have suffered from Brain Injuries -

Scrambling the brain electrical signals will result in issues down the road if not during the incident. Trumps comments are disrespectful to the troops in the field that have to go through these events. To white wash them as nothing is BS - they may have problems the rest of their lives if bad enough.

Boats
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Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
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