By CSM Benjamin Scott, WTC Command Sergeant Major
It is critically important that we pay attention to all wounds, whether they are visible or not. As my friend, SGM Bob Gallagher once stated to me, “The guy or girl with the invisible wound is no less wounded than the human being with the visible wound.”
The person with the invisible injury is no less challenged than the one with the visible injury. People go out of their way to help the person with the visible wound because their wound is easily recognizable; the person with the invisible wound can often be overlooked.
People will hold elevator doors, open swinging doors, push a wheelchair, and do other acts of kindness for those with visible handicaps—all admirable and conscientious acts. However, at the same time, others will ask those with invisible injuries to speed up their rate of speech, or will finish their sentences, or will think of them as “stupid.” TBI, PTSD, or any other mental or unseen injury, demands us all to have patience and to have an understanding of all wounded warriors.
No less in need of our sensitivity are the caregivers. The caregivers carry a heavy load. The families are the ones who are with our wounded Soldiers at the most critical of times. They clothe, feed, bathe, and groom our wounded warriors—no matter the wound. They are the ones who have to explain to the children or other Family members why daddy or mommy is different now than before. Comfort and care are their specialties. Love and long-suffering are their shield. Our wounded warriors and caregivers are some of the most special people I have met.
How much better could we make each other‘s world if we were just more sensitive to the needs of all human beings?
In recognition of Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, I ask you to educate yourself about TBI and other invisible wounds. The Real Warriors Campaign offers a great deal of information about invisible injuries and I encourage you to take a look at their online resources.
Taking a few moments to get smart on invisible wounds will help you better support wounded warriors and their journey in transitioning to the next stage in their lives.