If you ask the average person what types of injuries veterans suffer, they’re probably going to mention two things: Amputation injuries and traumatic brain injuries. These do happen often in such a dangerous line of work, and they often fit the profile that people have in mind of an injured military member.
However, it’s important to remember that veterans could look healthy and still be dealing with serious internal injuries. These “invisible” injuries could still lead to a disability.
For instance, some experts have found that those military members who served in Southwest Asia have a higher risk of certain respiratory diseases and lung symptoms. The worst cases can even be “disabling chronic lung diseases“, with examples including bronchiolitis and asthma.
Why do these things happen? Curiously, the exact cause is still unknown. It could be due to small particles that are common in that environment or it could be due to hazardous chemical exposure. Even though the cause hasn’t been found, there are enough similar cases to draw a connection.
A former military member who is suffering from disabling asthma attacks or has trouble breathing may not feel the same as someone who lost their legs to a roadside bomb or who suffered a head injury in a training accident. That doesn’t mean, however, that their disability is any less challenging on a daily basis.
It’s important to draw attention to these injuries so that service members can get the care that they need. It’s also important for the injured individuals to know exactly what legal options they have. There are benefits available, and any disabled veteran has a right to seek them.