Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Traumatic Brain Injuries and PTSD

In addition to the wounds on his legs, McBride suffered a mild case of traumatic brain injury, one of the estimated 320,000 service members who may have experienced such injuries during deployment, according to a 2008 Rand Corporation study.

Prior to the mortar incident, when he was home on leave during the summer, McBride suffered bouts of post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. He experienced sleeplessness, flashbacks and nightmares but said he has not had repeat episodes since he was wounded.

The Rand Corporation says McBride is hardly unique and that nearly 20 percent of military personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, about 300,000 soldiers, have symptoms of PTSD or major depression. (source)

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Young Medic Starts Long Road To Recovery

Young Medic Starts Long Road To Recovery
Thomas McBride Jr. of Long Valley helps an Afghani child who suffered a burn from an explosive. McBride is a Navy medic who was assigned to a Marine unit in Afghanistan until he was severely injured in a mortar attack.

Family, friends support West Morris Central graduate’s return
By PHIL GARBER, Managing Editor
Published: Dec 12th, 7:00 AM
Thomas J. McBride looks younger than his 25 years and the 2002 West Morris Central High School graduate wouldn’t stand out in a crowd were it not for the fact that his right leg had to be amputated after he was wounded in a mortar attack in Afghanistan.

That also goes for the more than 1,000 soldiers who have lost limbs during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Many like McBride have been treated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Military Advanced Training Center in Bethesda, Md.

The dark-haired McBride is thin and of average height and like the others in the rehab center, he looks maybe 17.

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Six Questions for Francisco Pinedo

Six Questions for Francisco Pinedo
VA hospital chief of prosthetics

Sam Morris

By Megan McCloskey

Mon, Dec 15, 2008 (2 a.m.)

Francisco Pinedo, chief of prosthetics at the VA hospital, lost part of his right arm in an ambush in Iraq when he was a 25-year-old Army staff sergeant. Now he is in charge of equipping veterans with prostheses such as hearing aids, implants and artificial limbs.

How did you lose your arm?

On one side of the Tigris River in Mosul, the insurgents would fire off mortars. Our job as infantry was to ambush them. The insurgents learned they couldn’t damage our vehicles, so they started going after people poking up from the hatch. One day they placed explosives on a telephone pole at that height, and it got me. I immediately knew I was going to lose my arm. I was conscious the whole time.

Would you still be in the military if it hadn’t happened?

No. There was only a few months left on my contract before I deployed, and I had a job lined up with the San Diego Police Department. I had just gotten married and my wife didn’t want to be a part of the Army life.

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Injured Illinois Soldier Home To Celebrate The Holidays

Injured Illinois Soldier Home To Celebrate The Holidays
Last Edited: Tuesday, 16 Dec 2008, 10:01 PM CST
Created: Tuesday, 16 Dec 2008, 9:21 PM CST
Shaffer Family

By: Teresa Woodard

(KTVI - -- An Illinois soldier critically injured in Iraq is home in time for the holidays. His arrival in St. Louis means one of his Christmas wishes are filled, but the others can not be. 2008 has been a year of sad losses for his family.

"To be honest, I'd still rather be over there in Iraq," says Private First Class Chas Shaffer, "but since I'm back in the states it is nice to come home for Christmas."

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