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Understanding military brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are a serious concern for veterans who have seen combat. These injuries may be enough to end a military career, and they can even have a permanent impact on that person's life after they get out. It's important to understand how they happen and the way they may affect you.

To start, let's take a look at the different types of TBIs that soldiers experience. They are:

  • Severe: 1.1%
  • Penetrating: 1.4%
  • Not classifiable: 5.6%
  • Moderate: 9.7%
  • Mild: 82.3%

Classifying most brain injuries as mild is a bit misleading. A concussion is often thought of as a mild injury, but repeated concussions during a career can take a drastic toll and may lead to life-long cognitive issues.

It is worth noting that the instances of TBIs in the military seem to be decreasing. In one study, they started at just over 10,000 injuries back in 2000. They rose for years, breaking 15,000 in 2006 and breaking 25,000 in 2008. They peaked in 2011 when they reached nearly 35,000. Then they started falling again, as they have been doing ever since. In 2017, they were back under 20,000, though still higher than the totals at the start of the study.

This does show a trend in the right direction, with fewer injuries, but they're still a significant issue for soldiers and vets in the United States. With the length of the current wars and the size of the military, they're likely to remain an issue for a long time to come. Those who suffer from TBIs need to know all of the legal rights they have.

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