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A Head for the Future TBI Champion Army Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Lee

A Head for the Future TBI Champion Army Sgt. 1st Class Bradley Lee


BRADLEY LEE: I always said that
I was invincible ━ that this body is a machine; and as long
as you feed, it’ll do anything and everything you’re mentally
strong enough to tell it to do. Well it’s not true. This body is
vulnerable. We were in a fire fight, a pretty good one at
that, and I had a 7.62 round bounce off my helmet. JENNIFER
LEE: Brad tried to sugar coat things for me ━ tried to tell me
that he only fired three rounds, and that there wasn’t a lot of
action over there. He came home midtour from Afghanistan, and I
started noticing changes. BRADLEY LEE: I had a lot of
headaches that came on, and then just blank periods ━ time lapses
that I couldn’t explain. I remember walking in and talking
to Jennifer, telling her that, hey, some things aren’t quite
right; I don’t know what’s going on. JENNIFER LEE: He went down
to my mom’s pasture, and he was target practicing, and he got
really kind of scared. He let me know that when he was down
there, he realized he didn’t know how he got there or what he
was doing. And that is what initially really concerned me.
His sergeant major gave me his email and said if you ever need
anything, here’s my email, let me know. So, when Brad was
actually on his way back, I decided to email sergeant major
and ask him to please have Brad checked out. BRADLEY LEE: Then
he was asking questions. And I wasn’t too sure how he knew
about this, because I hadn’t said anything to anybody. And he
made me go see the doctors in Bagram, and I was actually very
grateful that she loved me enough to take that risk and to
go directly with the serg major and let him know that something
wasn’t right. And they ran, one more, one last test; and it was
a balance test with my eyes closed, and the nurse caught me
right before I hit the ground. At that point, everything
shifted ━ the way they approached everything, the way
they wanted to treat it ━ everything was just like the
lightbulbs went on for everybody else, and I was able to start
moving forward. My support group was my family; it was my wife;
it was my children; and it was, you know, the love of my family
around me. Letting me know that I am okay. JENNIFER LEE: I did
the best I knew how to, which was just trying to be a
listening ear, being supportive of all of his appointments, just
taking care of him in general, and being there for him. BRADLEY
LEE: The most important therapy for me was the birth of my
little girl. When my baby was born, I knew then that
everything was going to be okay. I come home every day; here she
comes arms out. And no matter how bad the day is, it’s gone,
you know, because I got my little girl. And she came at a
time when I needed her a lot more than she needed me. You
know I am as close to 100 percent as I’ll ever be. As long
as I take care of me ━ do my best to manage my stress levels,
make sure I get my rest, communicate clearly with my wife
━ I have no problems. The army cannot function if soldiers
don’t take care of themselves. If the soldiers keep putting
things off, pretty soon this guy’s hurt and that guy’s hurt,
and now the organization is degraded too much that they
can’t accomplish their mission. So, you need to see the medical
professionals and get things fixed. I was able to go from
leaving the combat theater, through recovery, becoming a
drill serg, taking over a platoon, and then deploying
again as a platoon serg. It gave me the closure I was looking
for. The only thing I ever wanted to be from the time I
joined was to be scout platoon serg, and I successfully did it. [MUSIC]


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