Ed Bedford 11:44 p.m., June 19
Brain Trauma Study Forces Marines to Question Morality of War
Research Draws Connection Between Explosions and Brain Degeneration, Leading Senior Officers to Ask, "What Kind of Culture Accepts — Nay, Demands This Kind of Violence Against Its Young People?"
Boston University Researcher: "Combat operations can involve nearly as many blows to the head as football."
Pictured: Marine Standard-Issue Brain Bucket
CAMP PENDLETON - "Sure, these boys go into action knowing the risks," says Marine Physician Brad Steele. "And they're compensated for taking those risks. But this latest research out of Boston suggests that blast exposures can, over time, rival the trauma brought on by boxing or even football. Knowing that, we have to ask ourselves: is it worth protecting our interests overseas if it means this kind of life-wrecking damage for the people in the field? Everybody loves cheap gas and democracy. It's part of our cultural heritage. And let's face it - there's big money in it. But does that make it right?"