The time for action is now to address the immense needs of our nation's warfighters. Every day we fail to act, more lives are lost to suicide than killed in action from combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. And for those warriors returning to civilian life, estimates suggest many face the signature health issues of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom: traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
I would like to introduce one of those warriors: retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal Jake Schick, who was severely wounded while conducting a combat mission in Iraq in 2004.
In his words:
"September 20, 2004, I had a bad day at the office. I was on a mission in the Sunni Triangle, driving a Humvee through soft sand when I hit an IED. It blew up beneath me blowing me 30 feet in the air. I lost my right leg below the knee and parts of my hand and arm, but not all of my injuries were visible. I was diagnosed with a TBI and PTSD. The physical pain and recovery was intense, but it was nothing compared to the mental pain that followed. I spent years seeing doctors and taking pills, but nothing helped me like the Center for BrainHealth. Out of all the drugs I did and all the people I talked to, the high performance brain training I completed there helped tenfold; it transformed my life. I learned that the most powerful weapon I have is my mind. Now, I help other service members incorporate brain health into their daily training regimen as a member of the Warrior Training Team at the Brain Performance Institute, the translational arm of the Center for BrainHealth."
As founder and chief director of the Center for BrainHealth, I am honored to work with Jake and a team of scientists, clinicians and medical doctors dedicated to understanding, protecting and healing the brain. Where most research stops with what is wrong with the brain, we are developing, testing, and delivering proven protocols shown to make the brain healthier, enhance its performance and build resilience for individuals of all ages in health, injury and disease. It is my privilege to help veterans and active duty service members, like Jake, who have sacrificed so much for us.
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Published on The Huffington Post October 24, 2014