Sharron was in the Army from 2005 to 2009. She describes her military experience as "IEDs, mortars, gunshot blasts, fallen comrades, and sleepless nights." Stationed in Germany after a 15-month deployment to Iraq, she hit her head on the corner of a five-ton truck and incurred a brain injury. She does not know how long she was unconscious. Today, her brain injury has affected all aspects of her life, from school to her marriage.
"I can forget things I just spoke about, I get angry quickly, and my focus is off. Every day is a challenge for me," said Sharron.
The biggest effect that her friends and family have noticed is her increased aggression. At the time of the workshop, Sharron was pregnant and preparing for the arrival of her first child. She worries because she can no longer effectively multitask and has severe memory problems.
Watch Sharron's video
"In Her Own Words," a three-day workshop inviting women who have experience with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to share their stories, was a collaborative effort with the VAPAHCS Polytrauma System of Care, the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, the Center for Digital Storytelling, and Stanford University. The VA Palo Alto website has launched a public awareness series, releasing one video story per week from this project. The series follows a recent seminar (view photos from the seminar) held for VA health care providers and community members called "Women Veterans, Brain Injury and Trauma," where all four videos were debuted.