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  • Veteran Shares Personal Stories to Help Others with Brain Injuries

    He is a former Army sergeant, a Department of Veterans Affairs employee, a service-disabled veteran and someone with a brain injury — he is Adam Anicich. He shares his story and practical tips via his video blog “Adam at Ease,” with the hope of helping fellow veterans with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) on their own journey of recovery.

    Anicich plays himself in every video, and talks openly and honestly on topics like setting goals, dealing with intense emotions, feeling guilty or dating, and about some of the related challenges someone with a brain injury may face. He also offers examples and ways you can help yourself overcome these challenges, often pulling from his own experiences.

    In this video, Anicich recalls how he got injured serving in Iraq and made the decision to get help.

  • Prepare Your Family for the Holidays Apart

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    U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Benjamin Crossley

    November is Military Family Month, a month that celebrates military families’ service to our country and extraordinary sacrifices made on the home front. This month also coincides with holiday traditions that many of us will share with our loved ones as we prepare to bring in the New Year. While these days may be festive and celebratory as service members return home, they may also be stressful for families facing separation.

    Separation is accompanied by change and the potential for disruptions to familiar routines. However, you can minimize the impact of disruptions by keeping up communication and family connections, learning coping skills and being flexible. All of these things are important in order for your family to foster resilience before, during and after a separation. If you’re missing a loved one this holiday season, here’s some advice that may be helpful.

  • Frontline Psych with Doc Bender: Why Cognitive Fatigue Matters

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    U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Andrea Dickerson

    Dr. James Bender is a former Army psychologist who deployed to Iraq as the brigade psychologist for the 1st Cavalry Division 4th Brigade Combat Team out of Fort Hood, Texas. During his deployment, he traveled through Southern Iraq, from Basra to Baghdad. He writes a monthly post for the DCoE Blog on psychological health concerns related to deployment and being in the military.

    Have you ever been a turret gunner and had trouble staying vigilant on a long convoy? Ever been at the range all day and your shooting actually got worse by the end of the day? Have you found yourself stuck in a long meeting at work and noticed you stopped paying attention? If so, then you’re already familiar with cognitive fatigue (sometimes called mental fatigue). It’s defined as changes in the brain after long periods of mental activity that cause a decrease in mental performance. In other words, your brain gets tired after thinking for a long time and starts to slow down.

  • Top 5 Reasons to Seek VA Care

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    Carol Rogers, center, a volunteer at Roudebush Veterans Affairs Hospital in Indianapolis, ushers Soldiers of the 76th Infantry Brigade Combat Team through a post mobilization health reassessment. Rogers along with hundreds of other staff hosted the brigade as a part of an ongoing initiative to address health concerns of returning veterans. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Lesley Newport)

    Dr. Emily Gilmore is a psychology postdoctoral fellow in the Trauma Recovery Program at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System

    It has been my pleasure to serve veterans and service members as a VA provider for the past three years. As a service member, reservist, National Guard member or veteran, you may wonder, “What can the VA offer me?” Here are five reasons why you should consider seeking VA care:

    1. Exclusive dedication to providing quality services for veterans and service members. It’s all we do. VA patients are serving or have served in the military and so has many of our staff. Our health care providers are nationally recognized leaders in treating polytrauma, chronic pain, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI). For example, we have dedicated centers like:

  • Who is a Veteran?

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    A young lady thanks military veterans at the Veterans Day Parade in New York City, Nov. 11, 2011. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Teddy Wade)

    Veterans Day is a day reserved to honor the contributions of the more than 22 million men and women in the United States who served in the Armed Forces both in wartime and peacetime — America's veterans. Most of us know what a veteran is but how many of us really know who they are? This Veterans Day, I encourage you to take a closer look at those around you and ask yourself, "Who is a veteran?" Reach out to the veterans in your life and ask how their service has changed them and made them who they are today.

    Here are some of the stories of the many veterans we honor this Veterans Day and every day.

    A veteran is the old man who lives down the street from you who landed on Omaha Beach, Normandy, knowing that when the ramp of the Higgins boat went down he had to clear out onto the beach and the boat wasn't going to be there to take him back. He is the man who returned home in 1945 with nightmares and trouble sleeping.

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  • DCoE Director Shares Marine Corps Birthday Message

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    CAPT Paul Hammer at Camp Fallujah, Iraq, on Nov. 10, 2004. (Courtesy photo)

    In November 1921, Commandant of the Marine Corps Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921. In it, he described the history, mission and tradition of the Marine Corps and directed that the order be read to all Marines on Nov. 10 of each year to honor the founding of the Marine Corps. Since then the Marine Corps birthday has grown from the simple reading of an order to full-blown celebrations.

    I first “celebrated” the Marine Corps birthday in 1975 when I was in boot camp at Parris Island, S.C. Having served four years as a Marine and several tours with Marines throughout my Navy career, I have experienced many Marine Corps birthdays, but none as memorable as the 229th birthday in Fallujah, Iraq, 2004.

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