WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/128547

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Coming Home Although soldiers are no longer on the battlefield, they often JASON SWARR/ISTOCK PHOTO continue to experience the trauma of the battlefield, a condition known as PTS or Combat Operation Stress. have been injured. Contrast that with the same ratio for World Wars I tional, and behavioral. Prognosis from a TBI range from a complete and II when for every soldier that gave his life, 1.7 US soldiers returned recovery to death, and treatment, depending upon the injury, can home wounded. In terms of absolute numbers, WWP estimates that include rest, medicine, surgery, and a variety of rehabilitative therapies. more than 50,400 of the 2 million men and women who have served Posttraumatic stress (PTS), on the other hand, is the body's natural in Iraq and Afghanistan have sustained physical injuries while on duty. reaction to stress. It is common among soldiers that have served in Those are the obvious injuries. Approximately one out of every highly unpredictable environments and for long and/or multiple three veterans who serves in combat will experience an "invisible deployments. Spear explains why today's soldiers are susceptible to wound"—a traumatic brain injury or posttraumatic stress—the sig- PTS: "In Iraq and Afghanistan, soldiers have to constantly be on high nature wounds of these wars and of modern combat in general. alert for threats coming in multiple forms and any direction. There are Frequent insurgent ambushes, sniper fire, and detonation of impro- no trenches; terrorist cells can be anywhere. Enemies don't wear uni- vised explosive devices are largely responsible for these injuries. forms; they look like civilians." mind." Kevin Lambert, a US Army veteran and Director of Special accidents, gunshots, and explosions. Despite their commonality — Populations Programs and Services of the Department of Veterans' over 320,000 veterans of recent wars report having a TBI — no two Services, describes this resilience training: "Battlemind is a mindset injuries are alike. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can mani- and code of behavior that allows soldiers to face fear and adversity in fest themselves in multiple realms: physical, social, cognitive, emo- 86 To build their resilience, service men and women are taught "battle- brain. Common sources of injuries for soldiers include falls, vehicle We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | s u m m e r 2 0 1 3 Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a result of external impact to the combat with courage."

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