New Fort Bragg facility to aid soldiers with traumatic brain injuries
Posted March 31, 2016
Fort Bragg, N.C. — Two years after breaking ground, a new health care facility to treat soldiers scarred by war is open at Fort Bragg.
Representatives from the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, Fort Bragg, and the Womack Army Medical Center opened the Intrepid Spirit Center Thursday morning at Fort Bragg.
The new 25,000 square foot center cost $14 million to build, without taxpayers dollars, but the services it will provide for wounded warriors is priceless.
The center is the fifth in a series of nine centers built by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund located at military bases around the country.
Soldiers, and some family members, will receive world-class treatment for symptoms connected to traumatic brain injuries and psychological health conditions.
“We provide education; we do a log of research here based on those injuries, and we treat those guys holistically,” said Capt. Henry McMillian.
Many of the soldiers treated at the Intrepid Spirit Center have battle scars not seen by the naked eye, such as concussion produced by exposure to an IED, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from witnessing tragedy on the battlefield.
“Thousands of our brave men and women in uniform return from duty in conflict zones around the world suffering from [traumatic brain injuries] and psychological health conditions. While the number of military personnel overseas has decreased, the continuation of regional conflicts and global terrorism means that our military must be ready for active deployment in conflicts that will continue to cause this unseen injury,” said Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund honorary chairman Arnold Fisher.
The facility is expected to treat about 30,000 patients per year.
Experts say even though the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over, 80 percent of the brain injuries that are being diagnosed actually happen during treatment.
“Here on Fort Bragg we’re home of the 82nd Airborne, and you get a lot of injuries from those Airborne operations,” Cole said. “So it’s really important to fulfill that need because there is a big need in this area.”
Soldiers have been waiting for services that the center will offer for some time. It will help some with traumatic brain injuries to keep their jobs and stay on active duty.
“Our troops volunteer; we do not draft. It is therefore our sacred duty to support them,” Fisher said.