Fort Belvoir center to help wounded warriors with head injuries

The groundbreaking at Fort Belvoir (Photo: Brianne Carter)

The road to recovery is long and difficult for Staff Sgt. Spencer Milo. A tour in Iraq, another in Afghanistan, and numerous attacks including from a suicide bomber left him with a traumatic brain injury and PTSD.

But finally, he's getting help.

"For the first time I felt like a patient, not a number and they truly help," Milo says.

That's been at the Intredip Center of Excellence in Bethesda - though Wednesday, a look at the future, as ground broke on a satellite facility at Fort Belvoir. The goal: treat as many as 1,000 military a year here on base and use everything from service dogs to acupuncture and art therapy.

The plan is ambitious. Roughly $100 million to build 25,000-square-foot centers at multiple bases across the country. Nine are already slated. Amazingly, it's mostly all being done through private donations.

But is there enough staff to go around?

"The real answer is we need to train more,” says Director Dr. James Kelly. "But it's not just the good will that's necessary, there is subject matter, content and even expertise that's required to help these people the way they really deserve.”

They are determined though, because they've seen the difference.

Now, the faster service members come home in need of that intensive help the faster they'll get it. The facility should be open in a year's time while all nine will be open in 3 years.