Brain Wars: How The Military Is Failing Its Wounded
Traumatic brain injury is considered the "signature injury" of soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. An NPR and ProPublica investigation has uncovered the military's failure to diagnose, treat and document brain injuries. Evidence suggests tens of thousands of soldiers are falling through the cracks.
Brock Savelkoul survived a rocket explosion and shootout in Iraq. He never dreamed his showdown would come with police in a pasture in North Dakota.
January 27, 2012 The Defense Department has spent close to $3 billion since 2007 to treat and study traumatic brain injuries and post traumatic stress disorder. But a federal investigation finds that it's difficult to figure out how the money's been spent.
January 21, 2011 A letter was sent to the Defense Department to obtain more information on why its health plan won't cover cognitive rehabilitation therapy for troops with traumatic brain injuries.
November 28, 2011 The U.S. military is spending tens of millions of dollars to test every service member's brain to find out who suffered a traumatic brain injury during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But an investigation by NPR and ProPublica has found that military leaders are refusing to carry out the testing program.
May 10, 2011 Only about 1 in 5 soldiers and Marines say they have been tested to determine if they have suffered brain injuries. Military officials hope the numbers will improve now that a new policy is in place.
April 13, 2011 A military memorandum says that new requirements for diagnosing and treating brain injuries have resulted in a shortage of Army neurologists on battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
March 17, 2011 The new guidelines should make it easier for soldiers with traumatic brain injuries from explosions to receive the Purple Heart. The Army's move comes in response to an investigation published last September by NPR and ProPublica that revealed some soldiers had been wrongly denied the medal.
February 7, 2011 The National Institutes of Medicine convened the first of what's expected to be a series of public panels to help determine whether cognitive rehabilitation therapy could help heal troops who suffered traumatic brain injuries in Afghanistan and Iraq.
February 4, 2011 A bipartisan group of 74 lawmakers issued a letter Friday demanding that the Pentagon's health plan cover a treatment for brain injured soldiers.
December 21, 2010 At Project Share, started by philanthropist Bernie Marcus, brain-injured troops get cognitive therapy rehabilitation to relearn basic tasks of life — care the Pentagon's Tricare health plan won't pay for.
December 20, 2010 NPR News/ProPublica Investigation: Tricare, which covers nearly 4 million troops and military retirees, denies coverage of cognitive rehabilitation to traumatic brain-injury victims, despite consensus from medical specialists who say it improves the quality of life.