BETHESDA, Md., Dec. 20, 2012 – Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III toured the National Intrepid Center of Excellence here Dec. 19 to gain perspective on treatment for service members who have traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Austin also visited wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center here, a trip officials said he makes on a regular basis. Austin and his wife, Charlene, have taken a particular interest in treatments for TBI and PTSD, two signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said.
Dr. James Kelly, NICoE director, led Austin’s tour of the two-year old center. During the visit, chiefs of major specialties briefed the general on their treatment approaches.
Austin learned how those approaches are effective in treating service members by using such modalities as art and music therapy, relaxation, a sleep lab and counseling, all in a team setting over the course of four weeks. He viewed magnetic resonance imaging -- also known as MRI -- and saw MRI films showing the occurrence of TBI and PTSD in the brain.
Two golden retrievers and their handlers from Warrior Canine Connection also greeted Austin at NICoE. The Warrior Canine Connection is a nonprofit organization that works with NICoE service members while they are undergoing treatment. In an optional program, service members can learn to train the retrievers as service dogs that are paired with veterans who are mobility impaired, the dog handlers said. read more>>>