Military leaders, former Chiefs players talk brain injury issues at forum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - From the battle field to the football field, new research is shedding light on the impact of concussions and the long-term consequences of brain injuries.

On Wednesday, military leaders and former NFL players joined for a discussion at Fort Leavenworth to share their stories and create a dialog about the issue.

"From the Army's point of view, we are fighting two wars. Where battlefield medicine has gone well beyond what we could do before. A lot of injuries, people have not survived before," explained Dr. Patrick Jehle.

Jehle runs the concussion clinic at Fort Levenworth.

"There are a subset of individuals, we see this primarily in NFL and boxers who have developed this entity called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. We are getting our hands around that. We do not know everything about this at this point, but not everyone who has concussions ends up with this brain disorder," he said.

Both military and NFL leadership signed a memorandum of understanding. The NFL and United States Army pledged to work together to share information, provide education and engage in discussion on concussion and other health related issues that affect both organizations.

"You have to figure out how to take care of yourself. You have to be comfortable enough to express it to others. Especially with brain injuries. That is not something you can think you can have the warrior mentality and think that it really assists you," said Willie Lanier, Pro Football Hall of Fame Linebacker for the Kansas City Chiefs.

This year, the league office hosted three Culture Change Forums, including two at the Pentagon and one at the United States Military Academy at West Point. The Chiefs are one of four NFL Teams to host culture change forums.

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