The Bracelet

May 25, 2009 · Filed Under Deployment, Honor Their Service, Military Parents · 3 Comments 

My son wears no jewelry, nor has he ever liked to wear it. He wears his wedding band, removed only during training or while deployed. He carries in his inner pocket a piece of jewelry, a personal reminder of his wife’s love and devotion. He wore an obligatory bracelet as a baby and remove at every opportunity.  My son, never removes his bracelet.

Two years have come and gone since 05 March 2007 but the memory of seven brave paratroopers is never gone. For the parents left behind … memories of their sons remain as fresh as they day their flag draped coffins arrived at Dover on a spring day. Nor, memories of their visits, home cooked meals, laughter, and tears when their time home was up. Voices heard through the hollowed sound of a poor phone connection, memories never gone. For the paratroopers with whom they served, the memories of their fallen brothers, never gone. Through the darkest days of the unit’s deployment, through losses, each of the men who served with them came away with memories that will never be gone. Times spent together with very few moments of peace and quiet, days and nights of patrols, rushes of adrenalin, precious few hours of sleep. Each, is regarded as a hero although they themselves would be the last to consider themselves as such.

This year, the day brings a much heavier heart, more than usual. The 3rd BCT, 82nd ABN is deployed to Iraq. I am certain they all paused during their duties to remember.  Perhaps, they were able to have a memorial service honoring all the fallen. My feelings about the price paid by generations of men and women with their lives and the family and friends left behind are right at the surface. I do not have to go down very deep into my heart to remember them: faces of sacrifice and courage.

RESPECT  |  HONOR   SELFLESSNESS | DIGNITY

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With great honor and deepest respect, we remember seven brave, vibrant young men whom are missed by their mothers and fathers, wives, children, families, loved ones, and their paratrooper brothers in C co., 2-505 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT-82nd ABN.

They left our world too soon but their spirit lives on forever in the hearts of those who remain behind.

God Bless our troops, veterans and their families.

May God continue to embrace the families and loved ones of all our brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Each did so with respect, honor, selflessness, courage, and dignity.

Honor their memory.82ndpatchsmall

 Articles and Information: On the Road in Samarra   Return from Samarra 

Staff Sgt. Justin M. Estes, 25
05 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning
Died as a result of injuries sustained following an explosion near vehicles while conducting combat operations in Salah ad Din province / DoD Release: Died Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their unit during combat operations Iraq-Afghanistan War Heroes 

Staff Sgt. Robert M. Stanley, 27
05 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning
Died as a result of injuries sustained following an explosion near vehicles while conducting combat operations in Salah ad Din province / DoD Release: Died Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their unit during combat operations Iraq-Afghanistan War Heroes

Sgt. Andrew C. Perkins, 27
05 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning
Died as a result of injuries sustained following an explosion near vehicles while conducting combat operations in Salah ad Din province / DoD Release: Died Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their unit during combat operations Iraq-Afghanistan War Heroes

Spc. Ryan M. Bell, 21
05 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning
Died as a result of injuries sustained following an explosion near vehicles while conducting combat operations in Salah ad Din province / DoD Release: Died Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their unit during combat operations Iraq-Afghanistan War Heroes

Spc. Justin A. Rollins, 22
05 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning
Died as a result of injuries sustained following an explosion near vehicles while conducting combat operations in Salah ad Din province / DoD Release: Died Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their unit during combat operations Iraq-Afghanistan War Heroes

Pfc. Cory C. Kosters, 19
05 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division, TF Lightning
Died as a result of injuries sustained following an explosion near vehicles while conducting combat operations in Salah ad Din province / DoD Release: Died Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq, when an IED detonated near their unit during combat operations Iraq-Afghanistan Heroes

505thSpc. Joshua M. Boyd, 30
14 March 2007
2nd Bn, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 3rd BCT, 82nd Airborne Division
DoD Release: Died Mar. 14 at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device exploded near his unit Mar. 5 in Samarra, Iraq Iraq-Afghanistan War Heroes

 

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mTBI – ‘stealth’ brain trauma

April 22, 2009 · Filed Under This & That · Comment 

 

Unlike all other wars, body armor has kept most soldiers alive, improvised explosive devices (known as IEDs) cause up to 60% of American military injuries in Iraq. ied-blast

Multiple IED blast exposures. What does that mean? Improvised (made up…) explosives, clusters of anti-tank explosives jolting a Humvee off the road; buried IEDs; IED propelled shrapnel, nails, objects; RPGs (rocket-propelled grenade).

Symptoms of a mild Traumatic Brain injury: (with or without PTSD): concussion, headaches, nausea, garbled hearing, insomnia, memory lapses. Concussion symptoms usually supposed to clear up in a few weeks or months, but can continue on one, two, three years later and more.

Statistics, during 2006 – among the 2,500 soldiers who returned from 12 month tours, 62 % reported 2 or >2 explosions (blasts), 2 %, suffered gunshot wounds.

Researchers have been looking at an unaccounted-for mechanism in the blast itself that appears to be causing hidden brain injuries.

Ibolja Cernak, neuroscientist and medical director, Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory believes that blasts have more effect than only to the head. In a blast, shock waves also compress the torso causing pressure waves to ripple through blood vessels …rushing into the brain and damaging tissue.

Colonel Geoffrey Ling, Army neurologist, concurs there is probably more to war-zone head trauma than the blunt forces that occur similarly during an automobile accident or football collision. His theory pinpoints specifically, electromagnetic pulses as one possible culprit. Dr. Ling contends that blasts emit intense magnetic fields that may damage brain cells.

In 2008 the National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke called together more than 100 doctors, neuroscientists, physicists and biomechanical engineers to review ‘blast-related’ brain injuries.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, has been investigating blast brain injuries and their effects, led by Col. Ling, from chemical and structural alterations to the resulting behavioral symptoms.

The question in debate … does damage to the head, whether direct or indirect result in long-term neurological problems? There are so many young vital lives waiting for us to uncover the answers.

LEARN MORE ABOUT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES, MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES:

**all links will open in a new window.

Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury:

This 29-minute video, introduced by General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.), offers an introduction to TBI, a health issue affecting at least 1.4 million Americans each year. It features the recovery journeys of several service personnel and their families. VIDEO TRANSCRIPT [pdf]


fulltext1CLICK Here to view NEW References! 


epoint “The Wounds Within” Dept. of Defense Video – War Trauma (PTSD/TBI). 

WARNING: The video contains real combat footage which some viewers may find disturbing! 

 CLICK HERE TO VIEW VIDEO CLIP **THIS WILL TAKE YOU OUT OF THE PARENTS ZONE SITE.   


yellow-82nd-ribbon Karen, Proud Army Airborne Mom

“H-Minus”

Karen Estrada, MS  

Military Health Matters Resource Center