Audio Slideshow: The invisible wounds of war

Samara Freemark
Public Insight Network

Richard Gilbert, 28, served as a Marine Corps scout sniper in Iraq. During a firefight there, he was badly injured: He punctured his stomach, busted his knee, sprained his neck, and slipped two discs in his spine. He spent months in the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Camp Pendleton recovering from those wounds.

But the injuries that trouble him most today are invisible. While at Camp Pendleton, Gilbert was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and a traumatic brain injury. Years later, he’s still learning to live with those conditions.

Photos by Sam Hodgson for the Public Insight Network | Production by Samara Freemark

Editor’s note (July 11, 2013): An earlier version of this story included an erroneous photographer credit. The story has been updated.


Samara Freemark Reporter
Public Insight Network

Reporter/producer Samara Freemark joined the Public Insight Network after four years at Radio Diaries in New York City, where she spent her time helping ordinary people tell their extraordinary stories for NPR. In the process, she developed an unshakeable belief in the beauty and power of personal narrative.

Before Radio Diaries Samara worked as an environmental reporter, a posting that took her to sinking islands, Superfund sites, and literal snakepits – Burmese pythons, to be exact. She also churned out copy and tape in the newsroom of WUOM Ann Arbor. Before settling on a career in radio she tried out policy research, community organizing, and urban planning before deciding she preferred soundwaves to spreadsheets.