Veteran Jonathan Warren remembers getting increasingly serious brain injuries during his service, including one that resulted in severe injuries to his best friend.
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I was injured back in 2006 during a deployment to Iraq. And again in 2007. I was struck by five different IED blasts. The first one not a big deal, just kind of heard a pop and lost an antennae and our tire. The second one was pretty intense. Large IED detonated, hit my fuel tank and it sprayed diesel fuel throughout the whole cabin, knocked myself out and when I woke up I just heard screaming and looked around the cabin and I couldn’t see anybody and just flames. And when I got out of the vehicle I was trying to get the fire off me and try to orientate myself to what’s going on and then I saw my best friend crawling out the backseat. And he was soaked in diesel fuel from head to toe and kind of burning up looking like a stunt man on fire and I just couldn’t believe that that was what was happening. And it was a very helpless feeling to not be able to extinguish the flames like I wanted to and to help faster. We were able to save him, he lost a leg and 60 percent of his body he has third degree burns. He had several strokes, lost some internal organs. He just had a heck of a journey to his recovery. But that particular incident for me, between the traumatic brain injury and then also the PTSD , wishing that I would have done something different or it could have been better in that situation. It led to a long, long journey of healing and recovery. This video was produced by BrainLine thanks to generous support from the Infinite Hero Foundation.