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  • Soldier Opens Up About Sexual Assault, Recovery

    Sexual assault imposes significant psychological consequences on the survivor, as shown by this soldier's story of recovery. DCoE appreciates her courage to share her story and her desire to help others.

    Read the full story: Soldier Opens Up About Sexual Assault, Recovery
    Photo by Spc. Michael Sharp

    Pvt. Jane Smith (not her real name) enlisted in the Army right out of high school in 1999 and joined a unit driving trucks at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. She was excited about her new job and aimed to make the military a career. But Smith’s excitement came to an abrupt end shortly after her arrival.

    Smith was raped by a fellow soldier.

    The Assault

    Smith went out with friends to one of her first gatherings: a typical weekend drinking alcohol with other college-aged enlisted soldiers. She drank too much and believes she either passed out or was close to doing so when the assault happened. The last thing she remembers before the rape was hanging out in the barracks with her friends and other enlisted soldiers.

  • TBI Champion: Open Up to Your Kids about Brain Injury

    Read the full story: TBI Champion: Open Up to Your Kids about Brain Injury
    Photo courtesy of Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center

    Air Force veteran John Sharpe sustained a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) in 1990, when he fell asleep behind the wheel of his truck and ran into a tree. He was in a coma for more than 40 days.

    More than 25 years later, John is a TBI advocate who works at the Department of Veterans Affairs as a liaison to help patients get the care they need. He has a daughter and son, ages 13 and 11.

  • Help Kids Stay Safe on the Playground

    Read the full story: Help Kids Stay Safe on the Playground
    U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class John Nieves Camacho

    In Chicago, where I grew up, recess in the winter meant rollicking snowball fights and pretend “skating” races across the school playground’s ice-covered asphalt.

    One day, as I zoomed past another kid on this imaginary rink, I lost my balance, hit the ice face first and shot like a hockey puck across its slippery surface before slamming into a chain link fence.

    Playground safety has improved a lot since then. For instance, sand, woodchips and wood mulch on many playgrounds have replaced the less forgiving surface that broke my fall — and my front tooth.

    Still, more than 200,000 children in the United States land in emergency rooms every year from playground-related injuries, including concussions. Falls like mine are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) among children under 14, accounting for more than half of emergency room visits that result in a TBI diagnosis.

  • Military Children Use Website to Cope with Stress, Connect with Others

    Read the full story: Military Children Use Website to Cope with Stress, Connect with Others
    Photo courtesy of the National Center for Telehealth and Technology

    Although it’s well known that military service can challenge warriors’ psychological health, the children of service members are also affected by the stresses of military life. In honor of Military Children’s Health month, we want to share this recent article about the Military Kids Connect website created by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology. The website is a safe, private space where military children and teens can share their unique experiences.

    “The mission of the website is to improve the quality of life of military children as they face the psychological challenges of living in the military life and culture,” said T2 psychologist Kelly Blasko. “It was designed so [children] can learn about feeling stressed and anxious, and it provides them with some tools to alleviate some of this stress.”