Anorak | The invisible brain: soldiers’ haunting masks reveal the trauma inside

The invisible brain: soldiers’ haunting masks reveal the trauma inside

by | 26th, January 2015

Caroline Alexander has taken these pictures of fantastic masks painted by soldiers whose brains were injured in blasts.



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Army Maj. Jeff Hall (Ret.) Iraq 2003-04, 2005 PHOTOGRAPHED WITH HIS WIFE, SHERI (AT LEFT), AND THEIR TWO DAUGHTERS “I told him, I’m not cleaning your brains off the bedroom wall.”


According to the U.S. Department of Defense, between 2001 and 2014 some 230,000 soldiers and veterans were identified as suffering from so-called mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), mostly as a result of exposure to blast events. The variety of symptoms associated with the condition—headache, seizures, motor disorders, sleep disorders, dizziness, visual disturbances, ringing in the ears, mood changes, and cognitive, memory, and speech difficulties—the fact that they resemble symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the fact that exposure to blast events often was not logged in the early years of the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq make it impossible to pin down casualty figures.




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Army First Sgt. David Griego Iraq 2008, Afghanistan 2012 PHOTOGRAPHED WITH HIS WIFE, TRACY “Sometimes you find yourself saying, I wish ... I would have lost a body part, so people will see—so they’ll get it.”


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Posted: 26th, January 2015 | In: In Pictures, Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink