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A hug is duct tape for the soul.

The Defense Department opened a $65 million medical center [a few weeks ago] to serve as a research and treatment hub for traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, the unseen "signature wounds" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda aims to destigmatize psychological and neurological problems among war veterans and instead cast their mental ailments as badges of honor, said New York real-estate magnate Arnold Fisher. His Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund raised the money to build and equip the curvy, two-story, glass-and-concrete structure.

"The work that will be done here will remove the profound veil that has fallen over these afflictions," said Fisher, speaking from a stage with 21 brain-injured or psychologically damaged service members seated behind him.


Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said studies indicate that more than 10 percent of returning troops have suffered concussions and at least 12 percent have exhibited symptoms of combat stress, depression or other mental problems that can mimic brain injuries.

DeGraba said one of the center's goals is to better distinguish the source of such symptoms and treat them accordingly.

According to their Web site,
the National Intrepid Center for Excellence (NICoE) is a 72,000 square foot, two-story facility located on the Navy campus at Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, with close access to the Uniformed Services University, the National Institutes of Health, and the Veterans Health Administration. NICoE is designed to provide the most advanced services for advanced diagnostics, initial treatment plan and family education, introduction to therapeutic modalities, referral and reintegration support for military personnel and veterans with TBI, post traumatic stress, and/or complex psychological health issues. Further, NICoE will conduct research, test new protocols and provide comprehensive training and education to patients, providers and families while maintaining ongoing telehealth follow-up care across the country and throughout the world.

Visit the National Intrepid Center of Excellence Web site.

Read the entire article.

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