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Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month—Honoring Sergeant First Class Victor Medina

Rep. Silvestre Reyes

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Mr. Speaker, as our nation recognizes Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month, I rise to honor Sergeant First Class Victor Medina who was wounded in Iraq by an Improvised Explosive Device. Victor and his wife Roxana Delgado continue to work selflessly to provide encouragement and support for his fellow Wounded Warriors, even as they deal with the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

SFC Victor Medina was wounded in the summer of 2009 by an explosive formed projectile while in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The blast left SFC Medina with TBI, and he spent nearly two months receiving care at the Department of Defense's Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany before returning home to El Paso, Texas.

After 16 months of rehabilitation, SFC Medina still copes with lingering side effects. He continues to have problems with vision, hearing, balance, headaches, and speech; however, regardless of his symptoms SFC Medina's believes that `with or without injury we are all responsible for our actions and our future. Life is about decisions, and you can choose to stand up and make the best out of your life.' SFC Medina did just that. He chose not to be a victim; he chose to be a warrior. Since then, SFC Medina has been empowering and motivating others struggling with TBI to set their sights on a brighter future.

SFC Medina along with his wife, Roxana Delgado, created a blog during his recovery to provide insight on the effects of TBI. The couple has written about their struggles and triumphs in dealing with the issue, and their blog eventually morphed into a Web site, . The blog raises awareness and understanding of TBI and serves to empower survivors and caregivers through education and advocacy while providing resources to heal with hope.www.tbiwarrior.com

Each year approximately 1.7 million Americans experience TBI, and an estimated 3.2 million Americans are living with severe, long-term disabilities caused by it. TBI has been named the signature injury for troops wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq with an estimated 360,000 brain-injured men and women returning home from the battlefield.

As we commemorate National Traumatic Brain Injury Month, it is my great honor to share Victor and Roxana's story for inclusion in the Congressional Record and to recognize their outstanding contributions to the Traumatic Brain Injury warrior community in El Paso, in the State of Texas, and throughout our nation.

Brave service members like SFC Medina answer the call of duty and make tremendous sacrifices for our country. As a combat veteran myself, I salute all of our courageous men and women in the Armed Forces and the families who support them. For SFC Medina and other TBI warriors, TBI is not the end; it can be a new beginning.