The Visible and Invisible Wounds of America's Veterans

The Visible and Invisible Wounds of America's Veterans

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Meghan Rose O'Neill
September 24, 2013

On September 17th, the Veterans Civic Engagement Project met at the National Veterans Center for a panel discussion on the impact of visible and invisible wounds on our nation’s veterans and active duty servicemen and women. Panelists included:


  1. Terri Tanielian, Senior Research Analyst, RAND Corporation
  2. John R. Campbell, Founder and CEO, JRC Advisors LLC
  3. Alison Cernich, Deputy Director, Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  4. Major James Montgomery, U.S. Army

Panelists spoke about the various types of wounds acquired on the battlefield, to include Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which Campbell referred to as the “signature wounds of the most recent wars.”  Cernich, Tanielian, and Campbell were able to offer insight into policy and government programs that aim to provide more comprehensive services, while Major Montgomery shared his personal observations of the change in culture. Students came away with a greater appreciation and knowledge of the advances in research, treatment methods, and social awareness surrounding these issues.


[View a full album of fall 2013 Civic Engagement Projects on our Flickr channel]


The Washington Center produces not only future leaders in their professions but also well-informed citizens who are engaged with their communities and their world. The goal of the civic engagement projects is to allow students to become well informed about an issue they care about and then work to make a positive difference in public life at the local, national or global level. Students devote a minimum of 15 hours over the course of the semester to active learning (attending meetings, lectures and hearings) and action (advocacy or volunteering). By the end of the semester, students write a three-to-four page report reflecting on the experience and articulating how the project helped them become more informed citizens. Find out more about civic engagement efforts in TWC's current and previous terms.

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