Veterans with traumatic brain injuries and the realities when returning home

For Veterans, returning home may be a complicated journey filled with emotional, physical, and mental highs and lows, particularly if they are trying to recover from an injury. Although coming home after multiple tours of duty is a dream come true for family and friends, many Veterans struggle to find normalcy upon their return.

Many of our Veterans do not sustain physical injuries while overseas, but since the wars began in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds of thousands of Veterans return home with various injuries from limb loss to traumatic brain injuries (TBI).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains a traumatic brain injury as a “bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that interferes with normal brain function.” TBIs are a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. and the injury can range from very mild to severe and life-altering.

An estimated 60 to 80 percent of Veterans who have sustained an injury from a blast also have a TBI. Although traumatic brain injuries are common among injured Veterans, it may be difficult to accurately determine how many suffer from TBIs. TBIs are often seen as an “invisible disability.” Some of the signs and symptoms, of traumatic brain injuries, are mistaken for common mental and emotional health issues that Veterans struggle with when returning home.

Common Signs and Symptoms of TBIs

Sadly, not every vet with a TBI is aware that he or she has one, as the signs and symptoms may