Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Jon Meadows has served two tours of duty, first to Iraq in 2006, then to Afghanistan in 2012.
Over the course of his service, he suffered multiple head injuries—which he didn’t report because he wanted to keep on serving.
Then, in an examination during his last tour, doctors found polyps in Jon’s throat. He was sent to a hospital in the States—and that’s when the brain damage was discovered.
Jon and his wife, Melissa (pictured in the player above), came to the White House for a day StoryCorps spent recording with Joining Forces, the national effort to support service members and their families, which is spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.
In Washington, Jon told his wife about his life now, and remembered a friend and fallen soldier who served with him in Iraq.
Originally aired May 24, 2014, on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday.