This will constitute a significant jump of more than 50 percent in the number of reported cases. The missile attacks occurred on January 8 and were in retaliation for the US assassination of Iran’s top military commander Qasem Soleimani on January 3. At the time Donald Trump and other top White House officials said that no US service personnel had been killed or injured.
However, last month the Pentagon admitted that 34 military staff were suffering from concussion and TBIs.
Eight of those had to be flown back to the US for further treatment due to the severity of their injuries.
But in what appeared to be confused and contradictory messaging, a senior Pentagon official later tried to downplay the seriousness of the injuries.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told a press conference: “The diagnosis we have so far for all of the folks that have been diagnosed to date is mild traumatic brain injury.
“That’s the diagnosis that’s been reported to us.”
TBIs are generally considered the signature wound of war and are regarded as serious injuries by medical professionals.
Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, sensitivity to lightened nausea.
Moreover, in the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were often the weapon of choice for the insurgent army, thus causing an increase in the number of TBIs diagnosed from previous wars.
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Even mild cases of the injury can cause psychological distress, suicidal thoughts and suicide, as well as drug abuse and depression.
President Trump was severely criticised by veteran groups when he seemed to dismiss the seriousness of the condition in a press conference.
The US President told journalists: “I heard they had headaches and a couple of other things, but I can report that it’s not very serious.”
He added: “I don’t consider them severe injuries relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.”
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His remarks provoked a furious response from the group Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
The VFW”s National Commander, William “Doc” Smith said in reply: “The VFW 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.”
Trump’s remarks are also unhelpful, because they continue to perpetuate a misconception that wounds must be visible to be taken seriously.
Dr. Chrisanne Gordon, founder, and Chairman of the Resurrecting Lives Foundation, explained: “Victims of [TBI] often blame themselves for their changed behavior, not realizing that blows or force to the head have caused lasting harm.
“Step one is helping them understand they have injuries, not character flaws.
“They’re out of their brains; they’re not out of their minds.”
Pentagon data has revealed that some 400,000 US military personnel have suffered from TBIs since 2000.
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