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The Three Soldiers statue at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This by-the-numbers look at service members and veterans paints a picture of the many men and women who have served our country and the difficulties they face before, during, and after deployments, including combat stress injuries and trouble finding jobs and affordable housing. Read more»

Members of the Massachusetts National Guard secure a construction site Friday in Qalat City, Afghanistan.

If you want more explanation about the military’s troubles in treating troops with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress, read two recent reports from the Government Accountability Office. Read more»

Traumatic brain injuries have been called the 'signature wound' of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While improvements in armor and battlefield medicine mean more soldiers are surviving bomb blasts that would have killed them in previous wars, the explosions are leaving some of them with permanent wounds. Mild traumatic brain injuries are difficult to detect as they leave behind no obvious signs of trauma. While many soldiers recover fully from the injury, others are left with persistent mental and physical problems.

More than half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans treated in VA hospitals since 2002 have been diagnosed, at least preliminarily, with mental health problems. Read more»

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., meets with a constituent at the Safeway located in Green Valley on May 22, 2010. Three months after she sustained a gunshot wound to the head, Rep. Giffords' office has called for the same brain injury treatment given to Giffords be made accessible to all Americans.

In the months since Giffords sustained a gunshot wound to the head, her path to recovery has been helped by a comprehensive brain injury treatment paid for by the government under federal worker's compensation. Such treatment may be available to Giffords, but it is out of reach for thousands of U.S. troops whose health coverage doesn't include it. Read more»

Acknowledging that commanders have sometimes wrongly denied the Purple Heart to soldiers who suffered battlefield concussions, the Army plans to issue new guidance to clarify when such recognition is warranted, officials said. Read more» 2

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords may receive cognitive rehabilitation therapy that Tricare, the military's health plan, doesn't cover for troops with traumatic brain injuries. Read more»

A key congressional oversight committee announced Friday that it was opening an investigation into the basis of a decision by the Pentagon's health plan to deny a type of medical treatment to troops with brain injuries. Read more»

Despite pressure from Congress and the recommendations of military and civilian experts, the Pentagon refuses to cover cognitive rehabilitation — a decision that could affect the tens of thousands of service members who have suffered brain damage while fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more»

The Three Soldiers statue at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, D.C.

This by-the-numbers look at service members and veterans paints a picture of the many men and women who have served our country and the difficulties they face before, during, and after deployments, including combat stress injuries and trouble finding jobs and affordable housing. Read more»

The U.S. Army honors soldiers wounded or killed in combat with the Purple Heart, a powerful symbol designed to recognize their sacrifice and service. Yet Army commanders have routinely denied Purple Hearts to soldiers who have sustained concussions in Iraq, despite regulations that make such wounds eligible for the medal. Read more»

Traumatic brain injuries have been called the "signature wound" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While improvements in armor and battlefield medicine mean more soldiers are surviving bomb blasts that would have killed them in previous wars, the explosions are leaving some of them with permanent wounds. Mild traumatic brain injuries are difficult to detect as they leave behind no obvious signs of trauma. While many soldiers recover fully from the injury, others are left with persistent mental and physical problems. Sources: Interviews with Dr. Ibolja Cernak, M.D., M.E., Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and Dr. Michael R. Yochelson, M.D., of the National Rehabilitation Hospital; "Traumatic Brain Injury: An Overview of Pathobiology With Emphasis on Military Populations" by Ibolja Cernak and Linda J. Noble-Haeusslein in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism; brainline.org; Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

The military medical system is failing to diagnose brain injuries in troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom receive little or no treatment for lingering health problems, an investigation by ProPublica and NPR has found. Read more»

A woman in Oklahoma suffered a massive stroke and although she had a directive specifying no artificial hydration or nutrition if she weren’t going to recover, her nephew insisted the local bishop’s directive on feeding tubes required the Catholic hospital to install one. Read more»

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