Veterans still experiencing brain injuries after missile strike

Sahba Ostovarravary

The Iranian military conducted two missile strikes on two American military bases on Jan. 8, causing traumatic brain injuries for multiple U.S. soldiers. These strikes were in response to the U.S.’s assassination of Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian military general on Jan. 3 in Iraq while he was inside an airport. Although no American deaths have been reported, an estimated 64 soldiers have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. 

An Iranian protester after a military strike,
Photo by Associated Press

Originally, 32 soldiers were said to have symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. “This is a snapshot in time and numbers can change,” said Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell. “We will continue to provide updates as they become available,” As of Feb. 6, 2020, 64 veterans have been diagnosed with TBI. 

TBI has affected approximately 350,000 military veterans since 2000. Up to half of all veterans that have been diagnosed with TBI show symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and with a third also facing symptoms of depression.

The effects of TBI in veterans remains ongoing, with various soldiers still reporting the symptoms they face on a daily basis. TBI is an often overlooked issue that soldiers face while in deployment.

“I’m honestly very concerned about it,” says junior, Will Shnauss. “The global tensions that are happening right now could mean anything.”

The aftermath of the missile strikes is still being uncovered as more veterans are being tested for various brain injuries.