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Broken brains

"Broken brains" Continued...

Issue: "Another dark day in America," Jan. 12, 2013

For months Holt underwent mental drills on a weekly basis at Fort Bragg. He then went home to play additional memory, math, and hand-eye coordination games and puzzles.

Today there are a lot fewer notes stuck around Holt’s house. It has been months since he had to turn around and drive home to check whether his door is locked or his garage door closed.

He resumed taking college classes at Campbell University: 16 credit hours one semester that included chemistry and microbiology. He earned all A’s in a recent semester. He wants to go to medical school.

In the meantime, he works as an instructor at Fort Bragg helping new Special Forces soldiers become medics. To the trainees, he doesn’t talk much about the crash or his physical or mental injuries. But he does have some advice for soldiers who may be silently suffering through TBI: “It is not a derogatory term. It is not career-ending. Hiding it from everyone else is derelict. You could get other people killed. If you don’t ask for help, it makes you less of a man.”

Edward Lee Pitts
Edward Lee Pitts

Lee is WORLD's Washington Bureau chief. As a reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, he was embedded with a National Guard unit in Iraq. He also once worked in the press office of Sen. Lamar Alexander.

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