U.S. Veterans Living with Traumatic Brain Injury Need Our Support

"A traumatic brain injury can last a lifetime and our returning service members must be afforded proper accommodations, care, and treatment when a brain injury happens," explains Michael V. Kaplen, a partner in the firm and three-term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State.

On Veterans Day, AST is joining with New York brain injury law firm, De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, to call for more support for the hundreds of thousands of American Veterans living with the long-term consequences of traumatic brain injury.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was Honored for Excellence in Homeland Security in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, has revealed that over 430,000 U.S. service members were diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2000 and 2020.

However, according to De Caro and Kaplen, the actual number of servicemen and women who sustained a TBI during service may be much higher.

“The CDC numbers fail to account for the many more service members who were not diagnosed, because their injury was not properly recognized during combat, when they returned to their base, or because a service member minimized or hid his or her symptoms,” explains Michael V. Kaplen, a partner in the firm and three-term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State.

Michael V. Kaplen
Michael V. Kaplen

“This is similar to statistics for TBI in the overall population.”

“Due to the ‘invisible’ nature of TBI — where symptoms may be unrecognizable to an outside observer — many brain injuries remain undiagnosed, and untreated.”

According to Shana De Caro, a partner in the firm, and Chairwoman of the Brain Injury Association of America, missed diagnosis, and the cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms of TBI can lead to some service members facing less than honorable discharge, preventing them from receiving future benefits.

“The cognitive, emotional, and behavioral symptoms and issues caused by their traumatic brain injury can lead to a less than honorable discharge or a “bad-paper” discharge which prevents veterans from getting federal and state veterans benefits including health care and GI Bill benefits,” said De Caro.

Shana De Caro
Shana De Caro

De Caro explains that an Act put in place to assist Veterans who find themselves in this situation is leading to a review process which is both slow and cumbersome.

“The National Defense Authorization Act requires discharge review boards to give ‘liberal’ consideration for upgrades to veterans who could show they had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) while in uniform.”

“But, despite the law, the process is cumbersome and subject to lengthy delays. More attention must be given and veterans must be offered the assistance they need to contest these wrongful discharges.”

The partners conclude by calling for more support for service members and veterans who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, and for greater education on the lifetime effects of TBI for all service members, veterans, their families, and caregivers.

“Educational programs and the latest TBI information must be provided to all service members, veterans, families, and caregivers and TBI outreach must take place in all VA facilities.”

“A traumatic brain injury can last a lifetime and our returning service members must be afforded proper accommodations, care, and treatment when a brain injury happens.”

Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans — individuals who have served in the United States Armed Forces.

(In this episode of Brain Injury Insider, host Michael V. Kaplen discusses the prevalence of TBI among service members and veterans, and calls for more support for members of our armed forces who have experienced a traumatic brain injury. Courtesy of De Caro & Kaplen, LLP and YouTube. Posted on Nov 10, 2021.)

To Learn More about De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, a New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm which focuses its practice in representing survivors of traumatic brain injury, please visit brainlaw.com.

Are you a Veteran in crisis or concerned about one?

If you have been thinking about suicide, it is important to get help right away. If you need to talk with someone right now, resources are available 24/7.

veterans crisis linePlease call the Veterans Crisis Line to reach caring, qualified responders with the Department of Veterans Affairs, (many of them are Veterans themselves), at 1-800-959-8277.

For survivors in need of immediate suicide postvention support, please contact us at 800-959-8277

Or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

(Listen to surviving dad Frank Larkin share lessons learned on the lookback in an effort to save lives in honor of his son, Ryan. At TAPS they say that “postvention is a critical component of any comprehensive suicide prevention strategy.” Learn about suicide risks and protective factors as well as our field-leading TAPS Suicide Postvention Model at https://www.taps.org/suicide. Courtesy of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and YouTube. Posted on Oct 8, 2020.)

Frank Larkin to be Honored in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program

Frank Larkin is the Vice President for Corporate Development at a software development company and national advocate for veteran suicide prevention and traumatic brain research.

Frank was the 40th United States Senate Sergeant at Arms. As Chief Law Enforcement and Executive Officer of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms enforces rules of the Senate; provides a range of technical and administrative services to Senators in their Washington D.C. and state offices, and maintains security in the Capitol and Senate office buildings.

Frank Larkin, US Secret Service Senior Supervisor/Special Agent (Ret), and National Advocate on Veteran Suicide Prevention and Traumatic Brain Injury
Frank Larkin, US Secret Service Senior Supervisor/Special Agent (Ret), and National Advocate on Veteran Suicide Prevention and Traumatic Brain Injury

He had direct oversight of the US Capitol Police Department, a 2,200-member agency, and led numerous national security events.

Frank has been a member of the Federal Senior Executive Service for more than ten years, serving as both the Acting Director and the Vice Director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization and Director of the Counter IED Operations-Intelligence Integration Center within the Department of Defense.

He led the integration of technical capabilities, analysis, and human resources against the global IED threat and terror networks.

Frank served for more than two decades as a special agent and senior leader in the United States Secret Service (USSS).

He conducted complex criminal investigations and protected four US presidents until his retirement as the Deputy Assistant Director for Protective Research and the agency’s Chief Technology Officer.

In the private sector, Frank was Director, Program Management & Leadership, for the Raytheon Company, and more recently, worked at Lockheed Martin’s Defense & Intelligence Solutions, responsible as a senior program manager for intelligence community support.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, Frank served as a special warfare operator in the Navy SEALs.

After his military service, he was a uniformed patrol officer with the Norristown (PA) Police Department, a homicide detective with the Montgomery County (PA) District Attorney’s Office, and a Maryland State Trooper-Flight Paramedic.

He has been a nationally licensed paramedic for 40 years and still serves Maryland as a volunteer medical provider. Frank holds a BA degree in criminal justice and an MS degree in public administration from Villanova University.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the USSS Valor award, the Department of the Army’s Exceptional Civilian Service Award, and the Superior Civilian Service award.

To Learn More, please see his article on his personal experience of September 11, 2001 in A PERSONAL REFLECTION ON THE IMPACT OF 9/11

A Personal Reflection on the Impact of 9/11

Brought to us by Preparedness Without Paranoia

PWPORG (Preparedness Without Paranoia) is a 501(c)(3) built by law enforcement and security industry practitioners and educators to provide educational resources to kids, families and communities on safety and emergency preparedness.

Courtesy of PWPORG.org
Courtesy of PWPORG.org

Emerging as a result of hands-on experience through Kiernan Group Holdings’ community-based trainings on active shooter prevention and workplace violence, and the realization that kids are often spoken around but not directly to about safety and security.

As our nation continues to see increasing reports of violence in schools, public spaces, and even places of worship, these expert practitioners saw an important gap in resources and educational opportunities to meet the needs of our youngest and most vulnerable populations – our children.

Guided by Dr. Kathleen Kiernan, a 29-year veteran of Federal Law Enforcement, previously serving as the Assistant Director for the Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), PWP designed an age appropriate series of activity books, games and puzzles for kids 4-8 to introduce skills that when learned and practiced – will last for a lifetime.

PWPORG also launched a companion digital magazine (Parents With Preparedness) to provide practical information with easy access to national level resources.

Parents With Preparedness Magazine is a FREE digital magazine filled with commonsense strategies, powerful interviews, authoritative articles, life stories, and resources to create a dialogue to educate, inform, and share best practices about preparedness and resiliency for families and communities.

Through the following efforts to name but a few,  PWPORG is taking action to provide guidance and information directly to those oftentimes most in need, to navigate through the unthinkable.

  • Social media initiatives on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram

  • PWPORG’s partnership with the Washington DC Police Foundation

  • Promoting reading circles with Police Officers and other First Responders

  • Providing downloadable FREE resources on website: The ABC’s of Preparedness and other curated resources

How to Get Involved

Be a Superhero, Make a Donation and Make a Difference

PWPORG is accepting charitable, donations, contributions and corporate/agency sponsorships to provide Safety and Emergency Preparedness Training to children’s groups in your community.

Please consider taking action to provide educational resources to kids, their families, and their communities today.

Parents with Preparedness
Courtesy of PWPORG.org

Every donation will make a difference and all donations go towards developing new children’s books, parental resources, and educational content.

Become an author of change that can forever enhance the life of a child! Visit pwporg.org/contribute

Are you a parent, caregiver, first responder, or educator who would like to contribute your experience, strength, hope and expertise in an upcoming edition of Parents With Preparedness magazine?

If so, also visit pwporg.org/contribute and sign up to be an author of change!

Check out Parents with Preparedness Magazine for More Free Resources for You and Your Family!

Republished with permission by PWPORG.ORG.

Mr. Frank Larkin to be Honored in 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program

American Security Today’s ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards program is today in its Sixth Year and continues to recognize the Outstanding Innovations of top firms and agencies in the Homeland Security and Public Safety fields.

The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards is the preeminent U.S. Homeland Security Awards Program highlighting the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market today, to ensure our readers have the information they need to stay ahead of the competition, and keep our Nation safe – one facility, street, and city at a time.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administer, David Pekoske
David Pekoske, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administer

American Security Today is pleased to announce TSA Administrator David Pekoske, will join the organization as a featured speaker at the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Presentation Luncheon, on November 18, 2021 at ISC East in New York City.

“On the heels of an unprecedented global pandemic, continued unrest in our cities and potentially catastrophic cyberattacks on our nations critical infrastructure, the focus of the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon will be on the latest, state-of-the-art innovations that are driving investments in new public security and safety technologies and systems,” said AST Editorial and Managing Director Tammy Waitt.

“As a recognized expert in crisis management, strategic planning, innovation and aviation, surface transportation and maritime security, David Pekoske’s message highlighting his top priorities and challenges for the TSA based on his years of wide-ranging experience will be critical to our attendees internalizing the critical nature of these escalating challenges, and realizing innovative new approaches to meet them.”

The 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is Proudly Sponsored by AMAROK, Fortior Solutions  and SIMS Software, along with Returning Premier Sponsors ATI SystemsAttivo Networks, Automatic Systems, and Reed Exhibitions.

At ISC East 2021 you with the opportunity to interact with a broad array of security industry professionals.

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon featured an impassioned and compelling keynote address by William (Bill) Bratton, former police commissioner of the NYPD twice, the BPD, and former chief of the LAPD, on the history of policing in America and the evolution of critical communication capabilities in our post 9/11 landscape.

ISC East works closely with other businesses in the security and public safety space to help bring together the Northeast’s largest security trade show each year.

In collaboration with premier sponsor SIA (Security Industry Association) and in partnership with ASIS NYC, ISC East is proud to work with and be supported by various associations, trade publications, charities, and more.

Therefore, the ISC audience of security dealers, installers, integrators, consultants, corporate, government and law enforcement/first responder practitioners will be joined by the ASIS NYC audience of major corporate managerial-through-director-level national and global security executives.

The combination of one-on-one conversations with the industry’s top innovators,  integrators and security executives, special events, high-quality education and training, and strong support from industry associations, will allow attendees to learn and evaluate solutions from leading security exhibitors and brands. 

The 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program surpassed expectations with a record number of nominations received from industry leaders and government agencies, and drew over 200 attendees to the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Banquet – an exclusive gourmet luncheon and networking opportunity which filled to capacity, before having to turn away late registrants.

Why American Security Today?

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

The traditional security marketplace has long been covered by a host of publications putting forward the old school basics to what is Today – a fast changing security landscape.

American Security Today is uniquely focused on the broader Homeland Security & Public Safety marketplace with over 75,000 readers at the Federal, State and local levels of government as well as firms allied to government.

American Security Today brings forward a fresh compelling look and read with our customized digital publications that hold readers eyes throughout the story with cutting edge editorial that provides solutions to their challenges.

Harness the Power of the Web – with our 100% Mobile Friendly Publications

AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.
AST puts forward the Largest and Most Qualified Circulation in Government with Over 75,000 readers on the Federal, State and Local levels.

The AST Digital Publications is distributed to over 75,000 qualified government and homeland security professionals in federal, state and local levels.


AST Reaches both Private & Public Experts, essential to meeting these new challenges.

Today’s new generation of public safety and security experts need real-time knowledge to deal with domestic and international terrorism, lone wolf attacks, unprecedented urban violence, shifts in society, culture and media bias – making it increasingly difficult for Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Military and Private Security Professionals to implement coordinated security measures to ensure national security and improve public safety.

American Security Today

These experts are from Government at the federal, state and local level as well as from private firms allied to government.

AST provides a full plate of topics in our AST Monthly Magazine Editions, AST Website and AST Daily News Alerts, covering 23 Vital Sectors such as Access Control, Perimeter Protection, Video Surveillance/Analytics, Airport Security, Border Security, CBRNE Detection, Border Security, Ports, Cybersecurity, Networking Security, Encryption, Law Enforcement, First Responders, Campus Security, Security Services, Corporate Facilities, and Emergency Response among others.

AST has Expanded readership into integral Critical Infrastructure audiences such as Protection of Nuclear Facilities, Water Plants & Dams, Bridges & Tunnels, and other potential targets of terrorism.

Other areas of concern include Transportation Hubs, Public Assemblies, Government Facilities, Sporting & Concert Stadiums, our Nation’s Schools & Universities, and Commercial Business Destinations – all enticing targets due to the large number of persons and resources clustered together.

To learn more about the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Award Winners solutions, Check Out the New 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS Edition Fully Interactive Magazine – the Best Products of 2020 ‘A Year in Review’.

The Annual CHAMPIONS edition includes a review of the ‘ASTORS’ Award Winning products and programs, highlighting key details on many of the winning firms products and services, includes video interviews and more.

It is your Go-To source throughout the year for ‘The Best of 2020 Products and Services‘ endorsed by American Security Today, and can satisfy your agency’s and organization’s most pressing Homeland Security and Public Safety needs.

From Physical Security (Access Control, Critical Infrastructure, Perimeter Protection and Video Surveillance Cameras and Video Management Systems), to IT Security (Cybersecurity, Encryption, Data Storage, Anti-Malware and Networking Security – Just to name a few), the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ CHAMPIONS EDITION has what you need to Detect, Delay, Respond to, and Mitigate today’s real-time threats in our constantly evolving security landscape.

It also includes featured guest editorial pieces from some of the security industry’s most respected leaders, and recognized firms in the 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program.

  • For a complete list of 2020 ‘ASTORS’ Award Winners, click here.

For more information on All Things American Security Today, and the 2021 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program, please contact Michael Madsen, AST Publisher at mmadsen@americansecuritytoday.com.

AST strives to meet a 3 STAR trustworthiness rating, based on the following criteria:

  • Provides named sources
  • Reported by more than one notable outlet
  • Includes supporting video, direct statements, or photos

Subscribe to the AST Daily News Alert Here.