Soldiers Using Mortars Suffer From Undiagnosed TBIs

Soldiers who use mortars in the army have found they may be suffering from traumatic brain injuries (also known as TBIs), despite assurances to the contrary. However, the Army has denied that these injuries are occuring, resulting in their problems remaining undiagnosed. This, in turn, has put up barriers to soldiers getting the care they need to treat their ongoing neurological issues resulting from their military service.

Mortar Soldiers Face Symptoms of TBIs

Increasingly, evidence has shown that soldiers who train regularly with mortars and other explosive weapons (such as artillery or anti-tank weapons) are potentially at risk of TBIs, or similar neurological conditions. These soldiers report problems with memory, persistent headaches, mood issues, and difficulty keeping track of time, all of which are potential signs of a TBI. This is despite the fact that most of them have not received a single blow to the head, instead suffering from the concussive shaking of being near these kinds of explosives.

Army Denies Claims of TBIs

Despite the growing body of evidence that these weapons might cause TBIs, the Army has denied any serious risk. This is due in part to a lack of medical evidence, as no long-term study has been done on the effects of these weapons on the soldiers that use them. Another issue is that their conditions often appear to be misdiagnosed as PTSD or other unrelated disorders, and thus go without being properly reported.

Difficulties in Obtaining Care

These denials are not merely frustrating, they have also prevented soldiers suffering from TBI-like symptoms from getting the care they need. This is due in part to the diagnostic criteria for TBIs, which typically requires pointing to a single specific event that would cause the injury. Since the effects of these issues are accumulated over time, rather than the result of a single injury, their conditions go without a proper diagnosis.

Seeking Improvements in Treating Mortar Veterans

Fortunately, more attention has been paid to this issue, with a growing number of people raising awareness of the problem. Congress has also asked the Army, but they continue to deny that there is any known risk of the use of mortars or other artillery in causing TBIs. Thus, these veterans are likely to continue to see problems with obtaining care or benefits for their medical conditions.

The attorneys of Sullivan & Kehoe place a special focus on assisting disabled veterans. Our veterans’ disability lawyers are still available for remote consultation on your legal issues. Call our office at (800) 395-7830 to schedule a consultation in our New York City, Garden City, Kings Park, Riverhead, or White Plains office, or visit our contact page.

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