Caregiver to an Injured Veteran: 'I Feel Like I've Been Drafted'

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Advances in medicine and surgery are keeping more military personnel alive than ever. Injuries that would have been lethal in the era of the wars of Vietnam or Korea are routinely treated today.

About 95 percent of troops wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan survive. But upon returning home, many grapple with a new reality. According to veteran advocates and veterans themselves, the Veterans Affairs system can't seem to keep up with the injured once they return home, and as a result caregivers are often left picking up the slack.

In our final caregiver profile, we talk to Valerie Brown who has seen her life turned upside down after her son, Sergeant John Barnes, suffered a traumatic brain injury and partial paralysis while serving in Iraq. The Wounded Warrior Project has provided Valerie and Sergeant Barnes assistance.

In collaboration with the American Communities Project and WNYC Data News, The Takeaway has compiled a map of veteran demographics across the U.S.