Michael J. Kerrigan

Veterans

Today’s higher education marketplace offers a mind-boggling array of options ranging from community colleges to online PhD programs. As with any industry in a free economy, different institutions offer different levels of quality.

So I was pleased when I recently I learned of Accredited Schools Online http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org which is an organization focused on providing students with information about online learning and broader educational topics.

Of particular interest to me is their focus on assisting veterans transfer skills from military service to the civilian workplace. http://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/vocational-trade-school/guide-for-veterans/ This guide outlines options for veterans to learn a vocation using a GI Bill, along with scholarships, resources, and a directory of transferable skills.

Veterans learn a host of skills from military service that translate well in the civilian workplace. Employers like to hire veterans because they have a blend of real-world experience in leadership, teamwork, diversity, integrity and global awareness. Having these skills… Continue reading

Adm. McRaven

By Daniel P. Crandall

Chair, PTG Sports Caucus

 

When the issue is helping wounded warriors, be they veterans or active duty personnel, no solution should be off the table. A recent difference between Admiral William McRaven, leader of the Special Operations Command (SOCOM), and the House Armed Services Committee, unfortunately, is not following this truism. Adm. McRaven sought funding for what might be considered a ‘both/and’ approach to minimize the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Injuries (PTSI—a designation many prefer over the more commonly known PTSD diagnosis). Legislators, however, declared there is only one method to help veterans at risk and that is the only method they are willing to fund.

On 15 May, the Washington Post reported that Adm. McRaven had requested additional funding “to hire physical therapists, dietitians, sports psychologists and strength and conditioning specialists to work with troops” in order to address the increasing rate of… Continue reading

The following note to the man who coined the term “Post Traumatic Growth,” Professor Tedeschi, evidences growing amount of research from across the Atlantic.

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From: Lionel Fairweather [lionel@psylutions.com]

To: Tedeschi, Rich

Subject: Thank you for PTG

Dear Prof. Tedeschi,

I am a post-graduate student in the department of Psychology, University of East London. I am also an active duty soldier in the British Army Reserve, with a number of operational tours under my belt. This experience lead me to choose ‘Homecoming in Reservists’ as my topic for my Doctorate research. I am in final write up now and should complete in a couple of months.  I also run my psychological services business from offices in the University.

I just wanted to let you know I was very pleased to read many of your articles in to Post Traumatic Growth.  My conclusions from my research, which combined… Continue reading

Jessica Tyra is a stay-at-home mother, student, Army wife, and runner. She is also a wounded veteran who finds healing and growth through regular workouts with Team Red, White, and Blue (Team RWB).

Jessica Tyra Team RWB

At the time her second deployment in Iraq, Jessica Tyra was a single mother. Imagine the stress a single mother faces living far from her only child. Compound that with living and working at a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Iraq where contact with her son, who at the time lived with Jessica’s parents, was limited and sporadic due to technical issues. That stress increases several times over with the threat that comes with receiving, as she puts it, “indirect fire almost daily, and many of the attacks were deadly.”

 

One month before she was scheduled to leave Iraq a shrapnel from a volley from one of the attacks struck her.

 

“On March 20, 2008… Continue reading

This power message offering the warrior  perspective  on GWOT and PTSI is being widely read among my friends in the military and is circulated with their permission. Please see… http://www.oafnation.com/musings-of-a-grey-man/2014/3/10/when-the-music-stops

GWOTSM

 

“I want to be dead with my friends….where the iron sharpens the iron.”-

I am bearing witness to the end of an era. I have the distinct blessing, or the agonizing misfortune of having front-row seats to the death throes of a creature that has defined a generation. This creature is what my buddies and I refer to as the Global War On Terror (GWOT for short). 13 years, thousands of lives, trillions of dollars, and two presidents later, those of us who contributed our very being to this endeavor are left thinking, “What now?”

On May 23, 2013, POTUS Obama declared the GWOT “over.” Just like that. Done. Finished. It felt to my brothers… 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

http://usacac.army.mil/CAC2/MilitaryReview/Archives/English/MilitaryReview_20130430_art014.pdf

 

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

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/military/july-dec11/stress_11-04.html

 

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

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/military/july-dec11/ptsd_12-06.html

 

Psychiatric Community Still… Continue reading

In the spring of 2014, our team of experts plan to participate in daylong colloquium on Post Traumatic Growth (PTG.) We will bring together the best minds, to devise and implement best practices that inspire educate, and to motivate attendees about the importance of PTG.  Each panelist will offer key strategies for PTG, so that wounded warriors and veterans suffering from post traumatic stress injuries can become more resilient in their own lives and encourage others who have suffered traumatic events to recover positively in spirit and purpose.

Steve receiving the Bronze Star

Steve receiving the Bronze Star

My good friend Steve Basks is a splendid example of a post traumatic growth, having overcome his loss of sight during combat. Steve has since  become an expert mountain climber having scaled the Himalayas and is now devoting his “free time” to teaching the visually impaired how to turn their disabilities into living a full… Continue reading

Thomas Jefferson proposed one should follow truth wherever it may lead. He believed that grit, resilience, and robustness are the core ethical values one needs not only to survive but also to grow in greatness. Mr. Jefferson faced overwhelming odds in giving birth to and growing a new nation, through his determination, grit and resolve, he turned adversity into victory. Many of today’s wounded warriors thrive against daunting odds, channeling Mr. Jefferson’s ethical core by declaring their own Independence, taking back their lives and pursuing happiness.

Contrary to popular belief our veterans are not “damaged goods” or are all painted with the broad brush as having a “disorder.” Our veterans are honorable, capable, warriors ready to take on the next great adventure for their country.

Most wounded warriors are willing to do whatever it takes to overcome their traumatic injuries and wounds of battle. If they have the support… Continue reading

Because of the work by and my friendship with Captain Aloysius Boyle, U. S, Marine Corps (Ret.) the former Company Commander of the Wounded Warrior Battalion at Walter Reed, and MSG Chuck Christianson, currently the leader of SOCOM’s Care Coalition, also at Walter Reed, I have had several requests to explain the work of Warrior Transition Units.

The following story by J Snyderman is in response to these questions.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – The Army’s Warrior Transition Units to ease veterans into civilian life or back into active duty use a triad of care approach. The wounds of war, both seen and unseen range widely. The challenges that healing service members may face abound, and erasing the stigma of seeking help is a particular concern. 
However, the Army has made strides in providing answers. The inception of Warrior Transition Units to ease veterans into civilian life or back into… Continue reading

While some Americans feel that all should serve their country via a draft, others claim that an all-volunteer military has improved its caliber. Both sides will agree on one fact, though. It is that eliminating the draft has created a growing chasm between the one percent of Americans serving in our country’s military and the ninety-nine percent of civilians relying on them for our nation’s security.

In my opinion, this culture gap has widened since the elimination of the draft. I believe there are significant differences between these two cultures in terms of responsibility, accountability and duty.  Sadly, most civilians have no stake in the success of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and have little awareness of the extent of the sacrifices and suffering endured by the military.

I want to help close this gap. By turning The Character Building Project’s focus upon wounded warriors, I hope to help… Continue reading

Our last post asked, what values guide Americans in civilian life? We then discussed the Military Code of Conduct to better understand the values and rules of behavior for those in the military. That post also raised the idea that 99% of Americans enjoy the blessings of freedom without carrying many of the burdens. Now we address how to bridge the civilian-military gap.

My long time friend and an active member of Patriot Guard Riders,
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Patriot-Guard-Riders/306622589748
Patrick Segui introduced me to the Code of Support Foundation. COSF believes all Americans have an obligation to share responsibility for our country’s national defense. The foundation engages in programs dedicated to bridging the gap between the American people and the less than 1% who serve in uniform.

Patrick explained to me one way civilians can help close the gap with our military is by visiting the COSF web site http://codeofsupport.org/ and adding their… Continue reading

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