Monday, February 26, 2024

An explosion shattered the peace of a meadow in the Ozark Mountains in the fall. The meadow was engulfed in flames from several subsequent blasts that occurred from Special Operations troops training with rocket launchers. Each operator sent a rocket flying at 500 miles an hour from the launch tube on his shoulder, which in turn sent a shockwave through their brains. Despite mounting evidence that repetitive blasts may cause lasting harm, Congress ordered the military to set safety limits, and the Pentagon created the Warfighter Brain Health Initiative as a result. However, measures to prevent or track blast exposure have not been largely implemented. The military failed to take practical steps to ensure the safety of the participants, even though they’re aware of the dangers. Tests from a research team conducted on Special Operations troops at a military training center in the Ozarks showed that their short-term memories and reaction times were significantly worse in the days following rockets firing. Special Operations Command says it plans to continue using rocket launchers, but sparingly due to their negative effects. The military exercises have caused many problems like anxiety disorders, depression, migraines, substance abuse problems, and dementia among others. Even though the blast gauge program was developed it was quietly shelved, despite the fact that it helped troops to avoid blasts. The military still hasn’t issued these gauges to soldiers. Military veterans such as Frank Larkin and his son have experienced the devastating impact of blast exposure first hand.

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