Michael J. Kerrigan

Frank Ochberg

Restoring Character in America was the hardest of my books to publish. The first book, Politics with Principle was written from my 30 plus years of experience as a Washington Lobbyists. The second, Courage in America was a natural outcome of gaining the trust of the wounded warriors and just guiding them on their story of successful rehabilitation.

The idea of Restoring Character in America did not come easily to me. I read endless books, articles, and visited numerous web sites on several character related topics. Initially my plan was to write a book about our law enforcement heroes. I thought this would be a logical extension of the heroic qualities of the wounded warriors I knew. I had already reported on the wounded warriors traumatic loss, their vulnerability in rehabilitation, then their comeback, the final triumph of successful rehabilitation and transition to civilian life.

In my opinion, our country… Continue reading

Two pals of mine, Frank Ochberg and Greg Saathoff are psychiatrist. In addition to their demanding practice, both have created organizations that do well for our fellow citizens. Doctor Ochberg is the founder of the Trust for Traumatic Journalism, whose mission is to assist journalist who cover traumatic events; while Doctor Saathoff founded and leads Parade Rest, whose purpose it to support our veterans and their families. Although I have never asked them to define Freud’s notion of determinism, by witnessing their actions, both seem to me to come down on the belief that man is ultimately self-determining.

Freud planted the seed of determinism, which in my opinion, has given our culture every excuse for poor behavior, allowing us to avoid assuming appropriate responsibility for our actions. Strict determinism says if we know the causes, we can predict the effect. Freud believed that unconscious forces of which… Continue reading

Many remember well Doctor Martin Luther King Jr’s. “I Have A Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on 23 August 1963. One wonder’s whether our nation today has come closer to his vision of judging our fellow citizens not by the color of one’s skin but by the content of one’s character.

In my first book, Politics with Principle: Ten Characters with Character I profiled ten politicians who not only were real characters but also possessed character. Understanding a series of personality traits they possessed, I could see what they had in common was they are all character-based leaders.

In my second book, Courage in America: Warriors with Character, Rich Tedesci, a psychologist at UNC Charlotte, helped me better understand the patience, perseverance, grit and other character traits the seven warriors I profiled in this book, either innately possessed our developed in response to traumatic injuries.… Continue reading

By Daniel Crandall, member of the “PTG Working Group”


The Los Angeles Times inadvertently makes the case for changing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI). The latter designation being one that many think will do more to aid those who have suffered traumatic psychological injury.


The UCSB student Senate has called for professors to issue “trigger warnings”, i.e., “cautions … added to … course syllabi, specifying which days’ lectures will include readings or films or discussions that might trigger feelings of emotional or physical distress.” An LA Times editorial opposes “trigger warnings” as an infringement on academic freedom. In its effort to protect academic freedom it has perpetuated the idea that those who have been diagnosed with PTSD are disordered and must receive special treatment. The Times’ editorial states,


“There are students who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, a serious psychological condition… Continue reading

Last week, the Character Building Project joined the posttraumaticinjury.org campaign by endorsing  the name change from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to Post Traumatic Stress Injury (PTSI.) Since then our readers have asked to be informed of articles and scholarly papers supporting this change; several of which follow.

An Injury Is Not A Disorder

By Frank Ochberg-  Military Review



Army General Calls for Changing Name of PTSD

Some members of the Army hope that renaming Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as an injury will encourage more soldiers to seek help.  By Daniel Sagalyn



Possible Compromise on Labeling of Combat-Related PTSD

Some Army officers and mental health advocates have been calling for a change in the “PTSD” moniker on the basis that calling it a “disorder” is stigmatizing soldiers and preventing them from getting the help they need. By Dan Sagalyn



Psychiatric Community Still… Continue reading

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Courage in America has been aurally transcribed for the visually impaired, thanks to Volunteers of Vacaville, California. Tel: 704.448.6841 ext 2044.