Hearing loss the most prevalent injury among returning veterans

A special forces team medic assigned to the Combined Joint…

A special forces team medic assigned to the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force- Afghanistan applies medical treatment to another Soldier who received shrapnel wounds from an RPG explosion while battling Taliban fighters in the Sangin District area of Helmand Province April 10. The Soldier was able to continue fighting minutes later. (U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Daniel Love)

After a decade of war, America is well schooled on post-traumatic stress, lost limbs and traumatic brain injury, but the most common injury sustained by U.S. troops is literally a silent wound: hearing loss.

Mark Brogan, a retired Army captain, can speak quite personally about almost all of those examples of combat carnage – he suffered a brain injury, a spinal injury and a nearly severed right arm when a suicide bomber on foot detonated his weapon near Brogan six year ago in Iraq.

Mark Brogan sustained a spinal injury, a brain injury, a nearly severed arm – and severe hearing loss – when a suicide bomber blew himself up not far from Brogan in Iraq six years ago.

What does Brogan, 32, consider the worst of the physical trauma? “Hearing loss and the brain injury,” he said from his home in Knoxville, Tenn. He has “profound unusable hearing” in his right ear and severe hearing loss in his left, he said, along with constant ringing, or tinnitus, in his ears.

Read the rest of Bill Briggs’ report at NBC News.

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