When you’re a SEAL, you don’t have to be at war to feel the effects of war. Ever since their beginning in the early 1960s, they’ve worked with underwater demolition, weapons, the potential for hard landings from aircraft, and the jostling of boats on rough seas.
And that’s just the training.
The commanding officer of about 900 SEALS based at Joint Expeditionary Base – Little Creek in Virginia Beach says the tradition has always been to push forward.
“Before, if you got what we call ‘get your bell rung’ and you’re a little dizzy after a blast or something that happened, you might just say well I’m not gonna tell anybody about that and keep going,” said Captain Jamie Sands. “I don’t want to be viewed as weak, or I don’t want to slow down the train.”
Dr. David Cifu says he has seen that attitude too. He studies brain injury among veterans for the Veterans Administration and the VCU Medical Center.
“Sometimes in the heat of battle or activity or peer pressure, (SEALs) will brush off what clearly to everyone else in the world would be a traumatic event and they’ll say ‘no, I’m good.’ “