- Associated Press - Thursday, June 24, 2010

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Sponsors of a new military medical center in Bethesda say they want to turn the unseen war wounds of mental illness and traumatic brain injury in badges of honor.

The Defense Department cut the ribbon Thursday on the $65 million National Intrepid Center of Excellence at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, built with private funds by the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

New York real estate magnate Arnold Fisher, whose fund raised the money for the center, says veterans who suffered psychological or neurological damage have long been stigmatized but should be celebrated for their sacrifice.

The center will test new treatment methods and introduce patients and their families to services available for those suffering from brain damage and psychological problems.