Viewing entries tagged
Brain Injury

GRP 97- “Thank You for Your Service” with Adam Schumann


GRP 97- “Thank You for Your Service” with Adam Schumann

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GRP 97- “Thank You for Your Service” written and directed by “American Sniper” screenwriter Jason Hall depicts Adam Schumann (played by Miles Teller) and other, real-life soldiers with the 1st Infantry Division. The movie, opening Friday, portrays their struggles with traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts following their return from Iraq to Fort Riley, Kansas. We have Schumann on for this episode to discuss his career in the Army as well as some of the challenges he’s faced over his 34 months on the ground in Iraq.


We talked about PTSD and brain injuries. This is an incredible movie that I had the opportunity to attend an early screening back in August. I was literally gripping the edge of my seat. It’s very emotional. Enjoy.

0:00-Episode overview

1:08-Retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell on Leadership

5:18-Introduction to Adam Schumann. Three combat deployments into Iraq for a total of 34 months of time on the ground.

13:19-How we deal with brain damage as a society.

23:44-Blast wave injuries, explosively formed penetrator’s (EFP). “Separate your arms and legs so you weren’t sitting parallel. A lot of times you sit with your arms on your knees guys were getting hit by EFP’s and losing all four in one shot”- Adam Schumann

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GRP 87-Combat Concussions: The cause and effects of blast wave injuries on veterans of combat arms


GRP 87-Combat Concussions: The cause and effects of blast wave injuries on veterans of combat arms


Click the buttons below to access the full episode on ITunes (Apple users), or Sound Cloud (Android users). Be sure to like, share, subscribe, and download the episodes. Thank you.

GRP 87-We have a very special and powerful episode for you guys. Back on the podcast is retired SARC Dan Brown, and retired Army Special Operations veteran Kevin Tretter. Dan served with Force Recon and the Marine Raider Battalions as a highly trained Corpsman. Kevin started out as a Combat Engineer 12 Bravo then went into Special Forces as an 18 Charlie Engineer Sergeant. He got picked up by a special unit to serve as a heavy breacher. He then went back into Special Forces in the Commanders in Extremis Force (CIF) which is the counter terrorist arm of the Green Berets.

During his time in the CIF he survived a helicopter crash in Iraq eventually retiring after 20 years of service. This episode is important because we discussed Traumatic Brain Injury in a deep and honest way as both Dan and Kevin have brain injuries due to the culmination of training in tight spaces with live rifle fire, explosives, airplane jumps and combative training. They have both received blast injuries in combat. We talked the negative effects of having physical brain damage, and how the government protocols for diagnosing PTSD and TBI are flawed. Discussed the positive effects of Cannabis on healing brain injuries. We talked about some problems and solutions with veterans who don’t need care for TBI or PTSD taking advantage of the government and sucking up resources from service members who need the treatment.


4:48-Kevin Tretter’s background. Combat Engineer 12 Bravo. 18 Charlie (Engineer Sergeant) with 3rd Special Forces Group. Worked as a Heavy Breacher with a special unit within the Army Special Operations Command.

8:08- Tretter joined the Commanders in Extremis Forces. Survived a helicopter crash in Iraq.

9:25-Understanding the compounding struggles of all of the concussions. Prolonged exposure, retirement, and realization

14:20- Medical Marijuana and creative output.  

20:20-Issues with memory and placing memories in proper chronological order.  

25:08-Difference between sports concussions and concussions received by blast waves.

27:00-New York Times article on PTSD being misdiagnosed most likely being TBI. Area’s of the brain damaged by TBI.

32:29-Doctors misdiagnosing TBI, and not factoring the cumulative effects of the blast waves on the brain.

44:05-Servicemembers who claim PTSD falsely, sucking up resources for induvial who need it.  Solutions to fixing this issue.

1:02:28-Changing our approach to care for TBI. Potentially changing the name to Post Blast Wave Concussion Syndrome.

1:25:51-Finding a sense of purpose. Getting back to the basics. Utilizing creativity.

1:34:02-The positive effects of Cannabis on the brain, and the politics behind keeping Marijuana illegal when it heals.

Below are links for some of the articles referenced by Dan Brown during the podcast:

Hemingway's Brain


Brain/Vestibular Therapy in Dallas


CBD/Canabis for Seizures sited research studies within article


Penn State Neuroscientist and Engineers find link between Seizures and Migraines


Hormone therapy for TBI



Introduction audio is from the NRA series “Patriot Profiles” with Army Special Operations veteran Scot Spooner speaking:


Kevin Tretter:



Dan Brown:

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GRP 70-Karolyn Smith|Iraq|Combat Wounded

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GRP 70-Karolyn Smith|Iraq|Combat Wounded

Click the buttons below to access the episode on ITunes, or Soundcloud. Be sure to like, share, subscribe, and download the episodes. Thank you.

GRP 70- On for this week's podcast is retired Army veteran, Karolyn Smith. Karolyn was an MP (Military Police) who deployed to Iraq in 2004. She'd lost some of her closest friends in combat and survived several IED explosions while on security patrols. After getting wounded during one of these explosions she got out of the Army and became a security contractor for close to a decade. Karolyn struggled with PTSD, and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) for a long time and was unable to receive the help she needed from the VA. Michael Schiltz a well-known combat wounded Marine told her about a program at UCLA called Operation MEND.


Folks in Liberal Hollywood donate millions of dollars to this top tier program which take care of our warfighters with surgeries paid for, travel cost to California paid for, and continuing care post surgery all paid for and free of charge to the warfighter. Our second article has been published in the newly revamped article section on our website. Written by Gold Star Wife Alexandra McClintock. Alexandra's husband Matthew was killed in action last year in Afghanistan. Matthew is a Green Beret with multiple combat rotations and died protecting his wounded teammate. Alexandra details what it was like to learn of his death as well as some of the struggles she's faced. Here is a link to the article:


Below is an excerpt from the podcast:


Karolyn Smith: Iraq was pretty bad. Everything was a daily struggle. IED's, car bombs. September 7th, 2004 my Lieutenant and I were dismounted and a sniper shot him in the face and killed him. He died right next to me. Lieutenant Tim Price with the 127th MP's. He After that you become a different person. As a woman, i had to learn to compartmentalize. April 15th of 2005 a fuel tanker transport needed an MP convoy. A shaped charge was on the back of a light pole. It blew right threw the blast shield of my SAW. I knew that there were things that were wrong, but at that point in time, i just wanted to go back to Germany.


I'm trying to give one veteran something that they can use. We're all closely related because we all served. It's our oath to each other that we have to uphold.  I'm open about how suicidal I was. There was nowhere for me to go. I thought how pissed off would LT be at me if I took that way out. His father, his mother, his brother would kill for him to just be in pain and have a bad day. You don't ever want to disappoint your buddies. You have to take one more step. That's your oath to everyone who didn't come home.


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Introduction speech by General Colin Powell


Introduction music provided by Caspian. Song title is Gone in Bloom and Bough.


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