The ongoing US-Iran aggression that seems to be at its height has highly affected the mental health of the US troops deployed in the conflicting areas. Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman announced that eight troops, which were diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI), arrived in the country on Friday.
The troops were among the list of 34 American service members, diagnosed with TBI after the al-Assad military base in Iraq, housing the US troops, became the target of the Iranian missile attack. It was a retaliatory move against the US for killing the top Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on January 3.
One of the missile barrage left a huge hole on the ground and obliterated a housing trailer at the Ain al-Assad air base, while another one destroyed a dining facility that remained closed on the night of the attack as a precautionary measure. It clearly indicates the fact that the Iranian missile attack was well-planned with the Iraqi government or else no such precautions would have been taken. The continued attacks have caused huge disruption and chaos in the Middle East.
The post war effects of the Iranian missile attack among the US troops have left the citizens under huge shock, since the president, previously made it clear that no American was harmed in the attack. “We suffered no casualties”, declared the president after the Iranian attack. But Pentagon’s announcement contradicts the president’s statement. The mental health of the troops was damaged in the attack, leaving behind the US officials with no other choice than to revise the statements given by the president.
When re-asked about the situation of the US troops in Davos, Switzerland, after the revelations, Trump simply stated, “I heard that they had headaches, and a couple of other things. But I would say, and I can report it is not very serious. Not very serious.” The statements were in response to his previous remarks of “no causalities suffered” that actually downplayed the reports stating the fact that the troops sustained concussion-type injuries.
The troops brought in the country were a part of a larger contingent of 18 troops diagnosed with TBI, who were medically evacuated to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. The Pentagon spokesman said that the eight troops, considered to be in serious condition to be moved to the US, will be treated on at out-patient basis either at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. or at their home bases, post transportation.
Another American soldier, who was transported to Kuwait has now returned to duty in Iraq, while a report suggests that 16 others who stayed in Iraq after being diagnosed with TBI have also returned to duty. Meanwhile, the number of troops with TBI is shifting with time, bringing in the possibility that some of the symptoms develop with time.
For the same aspect, Defense Sec. Mark Esper directed Defense undersecretary Matt Donovan to work with the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review the Pentagon’s processes for tracking and reporting injuries of all kinds. This will help in getting the clarified data and a little better handle on the disease. Meanwhile, the US-war experts and respective organizations have called for president to apologize for his downplaying remarks about brain injuries suffered by the service members in Iraq.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars wants that efforts should be made to educate Americans about the dangers TBI has on the troops as they protect the nation during war-times. Such a move would provide full support to the warriors in the challenging times.
The president’s lack of understanding about what the US troops faced in overseas conflicts invited huge criticism for him. Since, the Pentagon announced that troops were being treated for concussion symptoms on January 16, Trump claimed the discrepancy was because he heard about the injuries “numerous days later”. Though, many have been taking the president’s lack of awareness positively, believing that now they can create a world awareness about the worse impacts and effects of people suffering with TBI. Meanwhile, the US-Iran feud continues to heighten amid the soaring tensions within the government and the veterans in the country.