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Lives on hold

Updated, July 29, 2010: The Pentagon’s failure to get its brain trauma facility in Bethesda, Md., up and running recently received coverage in The Daily Beast and The Washington Post.

Advances in battlefield medicine and troop armor mean that more soldiers are surviving bomb blasts and IED explosions. However, the Pentagon estimates that as many as one in five American troops are coming home from war zones with traumatic brain injuries — ranging from mild concussions to comas.

Thousands of service members with more severe brain injuries will require round-the-clock care, possibly for decades. In a follow-up to a “NOW on PBS” report, Need to Know speaks with some of the family members who have put their own lives on hold to look after these wounded veterans.

Produced by Abby Leonard

Leader of military’s program to treat brain injuries steps down abruptly [ProPublica]