Richard Cody, retired Army general and former vice chief of staff for the Army, speaks June 13 at Fort Campbell, Ky., at the ground-breaking ceremony for a new clinic funded by a charitable foundation to treat soldiers with post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. (Kristin M. Hall / AP)
FORT CAMPBELL, KY. — A private foundation broke ground Thursday at Fort Campbell on a new clinic to treat the signature wounds of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injuries.
The New York-based Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund promised last year to raise more than $100 million to build nine of these centers at military installations across the country. The Fort Campbell clinic, which is set to open in a year, will be the third clinic, with the others at Fort Belvoir, Va., and Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Retired Army Gen. Richard Cody, who is a trustee with the fund, said about $30 million has been raised for all the nine clinics, but more help is needed.
Cody, who served as the vice chief of staff of the Army, said there is some war fatigue among Americans, but the hundreds of thousands of injured troops still need their support.
“I think America is tired, but what they should not be tired of is stepping forward to help those who have served,” he said. “It gives them purpose as Americans.”
The centers will work with the National Intrepid Center of Excellence in Bethesda, Md., to develop research and treatment for brain injuries and post-traumatic stress. Brain injuries can be caused by vehicle rollovers or improvised explosive devices.
Dr. Bret Logan, director of the TBI center at Fort Campbell, said they have more 300 soldiers in their brain injury program. With thousands of soldiers from the installation on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line deployed to Afghanistan, the addition of the new clinic will be helpful.
“When they come back, this additional space will be enormously helpful to get people in quickly and provide them quality care very early,” Logan said.
Cody said that the country music industry has also been trying to drum up awareness for the fundraising, including an event that country star John Rich held at his home in Nashville prior to the groundbreaking ceremony.
“It’s great that we have the Nashville crowd help us out to send the message and they write checks too,” Cody said. “But it’s spreading the word and letting the American people get motivated and rally behind this cause.”