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TBI Champion Stories

TBI Champion Stories graphic with service member family.

Check out stories of service members and veterans who experienced traumatic brain injuries and got help. Caregivers also share their stories of support and advocacy, tips and resources.


Special Operations Veteran Shares His TBI Journey

Army Special Operations veteran Derek Poor was living his American dream, serving his country and leading soldiers through dozens of challenging missions. However, the cumulative effect of minor traumatic brain injuries was impossible to dismiss after he slammed into a wall during training. Seeing stars and unable to shake his persistent, daily headaches, Poor finally sought help.

Read the full story.


Adaptive Cycling Helps Army Veteran in TBI Recovery

While serving in Afghanistan in 2011, Army Staff Sgt. Beth King’s combat deployment changed drastically after a rocket-propelled grenade struck her helicopter. Four feet from the explosion, King sustained a traumatic brain injury, including injuries to her jaw and spine. She returned to work four days later, but the long-term effects of her TBI, and the additional diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, were not apparent for months.

Read the full story.


A Different Kind of TBI: Veteran Survives Brain Cancer and Copes with Brain Injury

Army Spc. Christopher “Dalton” Mask was on his way to his biggest challenge in his military career: Army Ranger School. He had been training for several months, running 20 miles per week, and working out three times daily. As he was setting up a TV in his new room, he had a seizure and fell, hitting his head on the side of his bed — resulting in a concussion, or a mild traumatic brain injury. He had never experienced a seizure before, so the experience was quite a shock.

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Therapy and Family Support Aid Recovery for Veteran With Severe TBI

June 23, 2017, was like any other bowling night for Marine Corps Cpl. Dustin Braun. He was driving a fellow Marine home on a dim back road in Okinawa, Japan, where they were stationed. Suddenly, he lost control of his vehicle, which slammed into a guardrail before flying into a streetlight encased in concrete.

Read the full story.


Yoga Helps Restore Marine Corps Veteran’s Health

Inspired by his sister’s service in the Marine Corps nearly 20 years ago, Marine Corps veteran Micah Norgard spent 12 years as an infantryman, serving in a variety of roles and locations. But his biggest battle was in recognizing the cumulative effects of 21 potentially concussive event exposures and multiple undiagnosed traumatic brain injuries. That journey took him from years of internal conflict to a diagnosis at VA and, ultimately, finding daily healing as a yoga instructor.

Read the full story.

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Article Around MHS
Jun 12, 2023

Second Cancer Diagnosis Doesn’t Stop Soldier from Competing at Warrior Games Challenge

U.S. Army Sgt. Dalton Apodaca smiles during an interview at the 2023 Warrior Games Challenge on June 1 in San Diego, California. (Photo: Mary Therese Griffin, Department of Defense)

When faced with a second cancer diagnosis in eight years, U.S. Army Sgt. Dalton Apodaca says his faith is guiding him through once again. “A man will pick his path, but God will direct his steps,” he said with confidence. He uses adaptive sports to improve his quality of life, and his favorite sport to compete in is cycling.

Last Updated: July 11, 2023
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