The primary health care plan for our active duty force, called TRICARE will not provide “cognitive rehabilitation therapy” (CRT) for treatment of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) because the treatment is “still unproven.” Project Share, a charity based out of the Shepard Center for Brain and Spinal Cord Injury in Atlanta is singularly focused on assisting brain-damaged soldiers – their efforts, to serve as a model for the Department of Defense and provide CRT as a means to close the gap created by TRICARE and military hospitals that lack the expertise and staff to treat complex TBI injuries, are falling on deaf ears.
The 2007 ECRI Assessment on Cognitive Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury report provides specific details on CRT costs and benefits. CRT is not some hokey-incense burning-meditation protocol – it’s a proven therapy that our servicemembers need access to.
Admitting that CRT is timely and oftentimes complex, the former Home Depot executive and philanthropist Bernie Marcus and founder of Project Share makes the compelling case that our servicemembers that are grievously wounded and affected by TBI deserve only the best treatment and options. SFTT agrees!
The trap door out of Afghanistan is supposedly lined with the premise that the Afghan National Security Forces will stand up beginning in 2011 and begin to assume increasingly more security responsibilities – the trap door is the US/NATO exit plan. But the required effort to make this possible will cost $6 billion per year in perpetuity and require a host of trainers and equipment resources – problem is, that by the end of 2010 NATO can only provide half of the required trainers. Making matters worse is the ad hoc nature of the training effort and programs and the lack of accountability of ensuring training standards are being met – most startling is that Kabul (NATO) “is still discovering training programs operating around the country that headquarters commanders did not know existed.” Can you imagine that? A critical training mission staffed at 50% with a $6 billion tab and training programs that no one knows exists?
The roster of units deploying to Afghanistan are as follows:
- I Corps Headquarters, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.
- 159th Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.
- 82nd Airborne Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg, N.C.
- 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Knox, Ky.
- 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
- 1st Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska
- 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
- 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.