The Veterans News Hour, 14/08/2017
The Veterans News Hour with David Cory and Richard Hurley
Guest, Frederick Hinton, of "Operation TBI Freedom," a project of Craig Hospital located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, helping veterans with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Frederick (Fred) Hinton served in the U.S. Army for 21 years, 9 months. Due to his service and valor in war, he was awarded two Bronze Star Medals, the Combat Action Badge, and the Army Commendation Medal with Valor, among other awards. He served three combat tours overseas, with two tours to Iraq and one tour to Afghanistan. He spent a total of 39 months deployed to war zones. During his first deployment, he sustained his first traumatic brain injury (TBI). During the rest of his deployments, he took many direct hits by IED’s (improvised explosive devices). It wasn’t until he returned home after his first deployment that his wife starting seeing some signs that he was having trouble doing certain tasks. However, being the dedicated soldier that he was, he hid his problems as best as he could, even as he served a second and third tour overseas. Upon his final return home to the United States, things had gotten so bad that he couldn’t remember how to get home at times, and his work in Army began to suffer because of his TBI and PTSD. He retired from the Army and despite his conditions, he is now able to serve as an eligibility specialist with Operation TBI Freedom (OTF), which is a program of Craig Hospital in Colorado that provides support for veterans and active duty military personnel with traumatic brain injuries.
OTF is privately funded and assists veterans and service members who have served on or after September 11, 2001, reside in Colorado, have clinical evidence or history of TBI event(s), and whose TBI occurred after the start of his/her military service. The TBI does not need to be combat related and OTF will take referrals for any type of military discharge status. Each veteran or service member is assigned a case manager (Military Support Specialist) who is a veteran and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist. The MSS begins with a comprehensive analysis of the veteran’s needs/concerns, creating an individually tailored life plan. Services provided or coordinated by OTF include the following: crisis management, mentoring, emergency financial assistance, employment training, psychosocial education, mental health/medical referrals, assistance navigating complicated benefit processes, and much more.
Referrals to OTF can be made by the individual veteran, a community partner, a clinician, etc. If there is concern about cognitive dysfunction/impairment, yet no medical diagnosis of TBI, please refer the individual to OTF to be screened by our trained staff.