Headstrong: Living with Traumatic Brain Injury

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Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Rasmussen, now retired, inspects the Sailor's firing position, ensuring he has followed all safety measures to the letter. Once satisfied, Rasmussen gives the signal and another eruption sends violent waves through his body.

Each Sailor does this no more than twice a day. The explosions can compress the brain of anyone close to the rocket when it's fired and more exposure is considered unsafe. Rasmussen, the range safety officer, has 16 Sailors on his range today. Each one goes through this evolution twice.

At times, he feels dizzy after spending a hot afternoon on the range. He tells himself he should probably just drink more water. "We're training for war," he thinks. This is no time to complain just because you've gotten your bell rung.

Rasmussen would later learn that those hot summer days on the range, along with many other seemingly minor head injuries over his 26-year career, have left him with bruises that can't be seen.

In 2013, Rasmussen would learn he had suffered from a traumatic brain injury.

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