Traumatic brain injury and its connection to suicide series wins 2023 MRE journalism contest

Patricia Kime and Rebecca Kheel of recognized as Joe Galloway Award winners by Military Reporters & Editors

This thoroughly reported three-part series offers startling new evidence intertwining the rise of military suicide with traumatic brain injuries. Reporters Patricia Kime and Rebecca Kheel deftly trace both the rise of military suicide and traumatic brain injuries over the past two decades and lay out the latest scientific evidence that connects them. The reporters also included powerful personal narratives of veterans and families directly affected, bringing the issues to life in vivid detail.

— From the judges

Award Summary

The Joe Galloway Award is named after UPI combat correspondent and McClatchy Newspapers columnist, Joe Galloway and is awarded by the judges for the Best of Show, Military Reporters & Editors highest form of recognition for outstanding journalism and comes with a $500 prize.

Patricia Kime Biography

Patricia Kime

Patricia Kime focuses on military personnel and veterans issues for, reporting on health care, military families, justice and benefits. She previously was a senior writer for Military Times, specializing in health care and medicine.

Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, Kaiser Health News and elsewhere. She was named as one of the top 100 influencers in the veterans’ arena by HillVets in 2015 and earned first place for beat reporting from the Association of Health Care Journalists in 2019. Prior to becoming a journalist, she worked for the federal government in the intelligence community. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in international relations.

Rebecca Kheel Biography

Rebecca Kheel is a congressional reporter for She previously worked as a defense reporter for The Hill, covering all things defense from the view at the Capitol, including negotiations over annual defense authorization and appropriations bills, fights about the foreign policy crisis of the day and more.

Prior to coming to D.C., she was a local reporter at the Orange County Register in California, writing about everything from disputes over new housing developments to the latest theme park ride openings.

She has a bachelor’s degree in newspaper journalism and history from Syracuse University.

Read the 3-part winning series submission

Part 1 | Published 11/8/22 |

They Said the Rise in Military Suicide Is a Mystery. Traumatic Brain Injury May Be an Answer.

Part 2 | Published 11/18/22 |

Lost Years and Missed Opportunities: How the Pentagon Squandered the Chance to Combat Brain Injuries

Part 3 | Published 12/21/22 |

From Hormones to Horses: How Veterans Are Finally Getting Help for Brain Injuries