Barbara B. Oberg is general editor of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson and a lecturer with the rank of professor in the history department at Princeton.
Barbara B. Oberg
THIS WEEK’S ARCHIVE PICK
by Our Editors
In the wake of Iranian airstrikes on Al Asad Air Base, the Defense Department is examining service members for traumatic stress injuries. President Trump this week dismissed the soldiers’ possible concussion symptoms as “headaches,” adding that he doesn’t “consider them very serious injuries, relative to other injuries that I’ve seen.” But as Bethany Vaccaro discovered after her brother Robert left for Iraq in 2006, “giving one’s life can come in more than one form.” Her essay in our summer 2009 issue explores the aftermath of Robert’s traumatic brain injury, both for him and for their family, after an explosive detonated outside his Army Humvee. His injury “defines our daily existence,” writes Vaccaro. “The ongoing process of rehabilitation … has tenaciously enmeshed each one of us, altering our plans, our family structure and interactions, our ideas about life and sacrifice, and most resolutely our belief that if he would only make it back home, everything would be okay.”