Army Veteran Overcomes TBI to Graduate with Honors

Josh Eckhoff

(UMSL Daily) – Joshua Eckhoff has only brief memories of the day that would shape the rest of his life.

As usual, he woke up and set out in search of improvised explosive devices along the routes of Baghdad – a task he had encountered hundreds of times before without consequence. Eckhoff and his unit completed the mission, determined the area was clear and then, per standard operating procedure, followed the same path back to base.

From there, his recollections of the February 2008 morning are missing. But it may just be this lapse in memory that eases Eckhoff’s struggles with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

On an unseasonably warm afternoon in late November, Eckhoff spent a portion of his walk across the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ North Campus reflecting on the IED detonation that resulted in a traumatic brain injury, which left him unable to talk, swallow or walk after three weeks in a medically induced coma. CONTINUE