Thirty-four US soldiers have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries or concussions following the Iran missile attack on bases in Iraq that house US troops, The Pentagon spokesperson, Jonathan Hoffman, confirmed on Friday.
Hoffman reported that, of the 34 troops diagnosed with brain injuries, 17 have returned to duty, including one soldier who was transferred to Kuwait for medical treatment.
Eight service members have been transferred to the US for further treatment after spending some time in a military hospital in Germany. Nine are still being monitored in Germany, Hoffman added.
Last week, the military announced that the number of troops pulled out of Iraq for brain injury was 11. Hoffman attributed the change in numbers to symptoms that are developing in time.
President Trump had initially said that Washington "suffered no casualties" from the Iran's retaliatory missile strikes after the assassination of the Iranian general Suleimani.Asked to comment on the reports of brain injuries, Trump downplayed their severity.
"I heard that the soldiers had headaches,'' the President replied, adding that he could report it was not very serious.
The head of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Services Council, Michael Kaplen, said that he was deeply shocked by the ignorant statement made by the President.
Comparing brain injuries to a headache is "insulting" and '' disrespectful" to the thousands of service members. Kaplen, who also used to be President of the Brain Injury Association of New York State, added that the medical condition, also known as TBI is a "life-changing" injury.
A brain injury cannot be ''mild," Kaplen asserted, highlighting that the condition has lifelong physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral consequences.
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), a prominent veterans advocacy group, have asked Trump for an official apology over his controversial remarks on injuries suffered by US service members station at a military base in Iraq.
VFW National Commander William "Doc" Schmitz stated in a press release that the Veterans of Foreign Wars could not "stand idle" while the President is minimizing the troops' traumatic brain injuries.
TBI is a severe condition, Commander Schmitz noted, adding that it is known to cause depression, memory loss, dizziness, headaches, and fatigue. The VFW awaits an apology from the President for his' 'misguided remarks."
What do you think? Do you believe that President Trump will apologize to our service members for his comments on their health condition?