Spencer Milo is a medically retired, post-9/11 U.S. Army combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. A passionate advocate and spokesman for veterans and veterans’ issues, he also serves transitioning military members and veterans in his civilian career today.
An Airborne Infantryman who was recognized as an exceptional leader in combat, Milo held a number of command and control roles in military assignments in the United States, Europe and Asia, in addition to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts
In 2008, during a 16-month tour in Iraq where he saw action in Baghdad and Mosul, Milo suffered a concussion and other minor injuries when a routine convoy of U.S. Humvees encountered small arms fire. While evading enemy contact, Milo got tossed around inside the turret, and his vehicle crashed. One year later, he was told by doctors stateside this his injury had caused a brain tumor and was given a 6-month terminal diagnosis. Heavily medicated and bedridden for months, he started having seizures. After his family fought for a second opinion, he was sent to the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he was eventually told he had been misdiagnosed.
Cleared back for duty in January 2010, Milo chose to continue following his passion for military service and he deployed soon after to Afghanistan. Less than a year later, in January 2011, he was on combat patrol in Spin Boldak, a district in Kandahar Province. An Afghan boy, who stood just feet away from Milo, detonated himself as a suicide bomber. Thrown 15- 20 feet by the blast, Milo charged back into the smoke to find his wounded platoon buddy and drag him to safety. Among his injuries: small amounts of shrapnel to his left side and his face; injuries to his spine; hearing loss; Post Traumatic Stress; and, Traumatic Brain Injury.
Milo was returned to the states for medical treatment at Fort Bragg and, after six months, he was transferred to the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed Bethesda, where he underwent four weeks of intensive treatments. Milo was medically retired as a result of his injuries.
Today, Milo lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two children, where he continues to serve the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. He served as an Area Manager for Hire Heroes USA for four years, a national nonprofit that empowers U.S. military members, veterans and military spouses to succeed in the civilian workforce. Milo is now the Director of Veteran Programs, Communication and Strategic Development for the Marcus Institute for Brain Health, a medical institute focused on serving Military Veterans and retired elite athletes with primarily mild to moderate brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety.
Milo serves on the Board of Trustees for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund as an Honorary Co-Chair. His work with veteran service organizations also includes: The George W. Bush Institute’s Military Service Initiative (MSI); Warrior Canine Connection; Parker’s Platoon; and, Team Red, White and Blue.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Strategic Communications from the University of Colorado, in Colorado Springs.
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The Bush Institute Speaks with Spencer Milo about the Invisible Wounds of War
Because we know that the health and wellbeing of post-9/11 veterans is often complex, the Bush Institute has asked veterans to explain in their own words what it’s like to experience the invisible wounds of war.