A 101st Airborne Division command sergeant has created a medical information card for soldiers to carry to alert authorities and members of the community they are suffering from disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Smith told Nashville's News 2 he is responsible for nearly 550 soldiers in the battalion receiving medical treatment for injuries.
According to him, 46% of the WTB soldiers are being treated for Traumatic Brain Injury or behavioral health issues such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
"There are so many different variables and characteristics of PTSD that it is not always a clear picture that someone has it," he explained.
Smith is a National Guard soldier who is serving two years active duty in the WTB at Fort Campbell.
He also is a captain with the Clarksville Police Department.
Recently, Smith was talking with a soldier who is a survivor of multiple roadside bombs blasts.
"If anybody didn't know that they might think he was a little odd or eccentric and not understand his medical condition," Smith said.
The soldier, who is receiving treatment for TBI, told Smith he zoned out and after he regained his composure realized he was standing in the middle of Walmart with no recognition of how he got there.
"Once he realized where he was, he called his squad leader and the squad leader came and picked him up and brought him back," Smith said.
Thanks to the squad leader the soldier was fine but the conversation got Smith thinking about how the public or police officers might not even realize what soldiers with TBI or PTSD are going through.
Smith created medical information cards for his soldiers to carry with them.
He also reached out to local law enforcement agencies and has provided training to help police officers recognize the signs of TBI and PTSD.
"The effort was to reach out to local law enforcement agencies, explain the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, TBI and the characteristics of it. And then if they happen to come across somebody with those characteristics, how can they approach verbally, physically so that way, neither the officer nor the individual get hurt," said Smith.
If a police officer encounters a soldier who they think needs medical attention, the police officer can call numbers listed on the back of the medical information card any time of day or night.
"Our staff duty can instantly contact that soldier's squad leader regardless of day or night or location and our squad leaders will come to that spot," said Smith.
Smith said the medical information cards are another tool officers can use to help a soldier.
Instead of sending them to jail or maybe worse, leaving them alone, the officers now will be able to quickly get assistance from Ft. Campbell.
"I feel that everything we do here every day will have a life long lasting impact on all the soldiers we touch," said Smith.
He hopes the medical information cards will help educate the community outside of Fort Campbell about what our Warrior Transition Battalion soldiers are facing every day.
For more information on the Warrior Transition Battalion, visit their Web site.