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The February 2015 issue of National Geographic hits close to home for Americans—and even closer for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE). The two-part cover story, “The Invisible War on the Brain, begins with the personal accounts of several service members who have endured combat-related traumatic brain injuries. In “Behind the Masks: Revealing the Trauma of War”,  their sobering stories carry a message of hope and healing through the treatment they received at the NICoE. On display in the issue are not just the service members but the masks they painted in the NICoE Healing Arts Program with resident art therapist Melissa Walker.
“I’m proud of the service members for being open to art therapy and then sharing their stories with the world,” Walker said. “It’s not an easy thing to do, and they are bringing awareness to some very scary effects of war. I’m happy to work in a facility that is seeking ways to help them cope.”



The NICoE at a Glance

The National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) is a DoD institute dedicated to providing cutting-edge evaluation, treatment planning, research and education for service members and their families dealing with the complex interactions of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and psychological health (PH) conditions.

The NICoE was created to focus the collected wisdom and knowledge of our military, federal, academic and private industry partners to define the pattern of the disease state, identify definitive diagnostic criteria, advance novel treatments and share that knowledge with each other. Ultimately, together we can return our wounded, ill and injured service members back to productive lives.

The NICoE aims to be a leader in advancing traumatic brain injury and psychological health treatment, research and education. With its dedicated staff, the NICoE seeks to be an instrument of hope, healing, discovery, and learning for service members recovering from TBI and PH conditions.

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Learning and Healing at the NICoE

Finding Hope at the NICoE - Sgt Jonathan Stidham

Fort Belvoir