Just headaches? People who’ve felt traumatic brain injury’s impact push back on Trump’s bluster

Gage Skidmore / Flickr trump pointing at his head...
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump’s first story about the Iranian missile strike on U.S. forces in Iraq was that “no Americans were harmed.” Then, after 11 service members were airlifted out with traumatic brain injuries, Trump dismissed those injuries as “headaches and other things.” Because the United States Army airlifts people out of Iraq for simple headaches.

The number of troops suffering from traumatic brain injuries after that airstrike is now over 100, and while Trump has acknowledged that “head trauma … exists,” that doesn’t mean he’s taking it seriously: “I viewed it a little bit differently than most, and I won’t be changing my mind on that.” No, because changing his mind would mean admitting he was wrong, and that is not something Trump does.

But that means that all of the support for the military Trump loves to brag about absolutely cannot include listening to people like Frank Larkin, father of Navy SEAL Ryan Larkin, who died by suicide after struggling with a traumatic brain injury. After Trump’s “headache” comments, Frank Larkin wrote to Trump that those words were “an undeserved punch felt by every person suffering from a TBI, their shattered families, and supporting communities who struggle everyday with the consequences of insidious brain injuries.”

Trump’s refusal to admit he’s ever wrong means he won’t be listening to Ryan Britch, a former National Guard sergeant injured in Afghanistan who described his injury to Business Insider. “I never lost consciousness, but after the adrenaline went away, I had a massive headache. I was dizzy. I had concentration issues. I was irritable. I came back home to the States, and I didn’t really think anything was wrong until I was grocery shopping one day and I got unbelievably dizzy and fell down.”

Ten years later, Britch said, “I wake up with headaches every morning. It kind of feels like I’m hungover.” He still gets dizzy spells.

But, you know, it’s just headaches, and Trump “won’t be changing my mind on that.”

Thank you to all who already support our work since we could not exist without your generosity. If you have not already, please consider supporting us on Patreon to ensure we can continue bringing you the best of independent journalism.

Leave a Comment

2 Comments on "Just headaches? People who’ve felt traumatic brain injury’s impact push back on Trump’s bluster"

newest oldest most voted

I’ve had a couple of concussions over the years and I’ll tell you, you never get over them. Der gropenfurer’s attitude toward this issue really sucks. I wish I could give him a TBI. I probably would use one of his own golf clubs to deliver the sweet blow. Then ask him a few days later how he feels, even a month or so. The residual effects are long lasting

Just more lies. Nobody got hurt which means they bombed us carefully. I knew it was BS from the beginning when I saw that a bomb landed right in the middle of the buildings. I’m a retired RN and I’ve taken care of people with TBI’s. It’s a nightmare for them & their families. Balance is a big deal, they just keel over unexpectedly. Memory is a big issue too. You have to watch them like a toddler because they’ll turn on the stove & forget they’re cooking something & cause a fire. Not to mention their pain, misery, inability… Read more »