TPOAS - Veterans

Episode 045: Athena Ives - Healing From Sexual Assault Through Helping Others

Warning: this episode contains discussion surrounding sexual assault and does go into some detail on the specific acts. Also, adult language and humor warning.

Although sexual assault is starting to become a topic that can be discussed, some survivors are still terrified to tell their stories. Meet Athena Ives; she is a Combat Marine Veteran, author, speaker, doctoral candidate, and a survivor. After being sexually abused as a child by a family member, Athena was also sexually assaulted - twice - while in the military.

While her story may be difficult to hear, it also needs to be heard. And she tells it so beautifully, coming from a place of strength and trying to help others in the process. With her story, she talks about how others can help survivors and how we need to build a culture of listening without judgement.

Episode 044: Michelle Dutro | Inner North Star a Non-profit offering PTSD Retreats for Veterans and First Responders

Our mantra is "you can't help others until you help yourself". And that is exactly what our guest Michelle Dutro is teaching those with PTSD at her retreat for Veterans and First Responders called Inner North Star.

Michelle is an Air Force Veteran, firefighter/EMT, and mental health clinician. In this episode, she explains why the decision to CHOOSE to be in the best mental health state possible is so important; for not only healing, but continuing to grow in your role in providing help to others in your own life. I highly enjoyed chatting with Michelle and she provides a nonsense philosophy to mental health!

Episode 043: Kevin Briggs | Guardian of the Golden Gate

Since it was erected in 1937, more than 1700 people are estimated to have jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge, and just 25 are known to have survived, according to Robert Olson of The Centre for Suicide Prevention in Calgary, Canada. But one man has talked over 200 people from making that leap into the abyss.

I am thrilled to be joined by Kevin Briggs; former CHP Trooper, Veteran and now author and speaker. Kevin knows loss and trauma and uses his skills of empathy, understanding, and listening to help the hopeless take a step off the ledge and back to humanity.

Episode 042: Scott Mann - Power of a Story

There are many different ways to treat trauma floating around out there. There is talk therapy, EMDR, exposure therapy, etc. But did you know that storytelling is also an effective treatment for trauma and PTS/PTSD?

I am honored for the opportunity to sit down with former Green Beret, author, leadership expert, public speaker, and now playwright and actor Scott Mann to learn more about how he is using storytelling as a way to get Veterans the relief they need through his new play "LAST OUT: Elegy of a Green Beret".

Episode 041: Katie St. Pierre - POAS Military Recovery

Motherhood is tough enough, but imagine trying to navigate motherhood AND addiction at the same time. The shame, the guilt...sometimes it can be too much to bear. Add to that the trials and tribulations of being a military spouse, and then you have the perfect storm of trauma.

Katie St. Pierre has experienced all of this. And she has clawed her way out of addiction to teach others how to help themselves through telling her story. In this episode, Katie tells us about the effect military life and addiction has on kids as well as the whole family and what it took to finally make sobriety "click" for her. We love how she has overcome the shame and stigma to tell her story so bravely!

Episode 039: Over 120,000 homeless Veterans in America | Kimberly Mitchell with VVSD (Veterans Village San Diego)

Did you know there is over 120,000 homeless Veterans in America right now? There are many organizations that are trying to help and get these military members the help they need, but we still have a long way to go.

This is why we are exited to sit down with the President and CEO of Veterans Village San Diego Kimberly Mitchell today. VVSD serves over 2000 veterans every year with supportive services, mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, job training, case management and assistance into permanent housing.

Kimberly has an amazing story of how she became an orphan during the Vietnam War as an infant, and how being adopted by an American soldier led to her life of service and how she is helping Veterans every day.

Episode 037: The Mighty Oaks Foundation - Healing Veterans and Marriages

Marriage can be challenging but imagine having to try to keep a marriage together when one partner is suffering from PTSD. Today, we talk to the Mighty Oaks Foundation founders Chad and Kathy Robichaux about how they were one step away from divorce, Chad was one second away from death by suicide, and Kathy almost lost her faith. In their raw and emotional interview, they tell us how they were able to save their marriage and forgive each other while building this amazing organization that now helps hundreds of Veterans, military spouses, and first responders heal and find themselves again.

Episode 035: Michael Johnson - Battling Homelessness

No one ever pictures themselves becoming homeless, but that is a reality many Veterans are facing. Help is out there but can be hard to get if you don't know where to look. In this episode, we sit down with Michael Johnson, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran who was homeless himself and is now using his experience to help others get off the streets and find meaningful employment.

Episode 034: Gregory Jumes and the Victor App

What happens when Veterans transition from military life to civilian life with limited or no support, or access to resources? They may find themselves in financial distress, experience family problems, and can even slip into depression...or worse, take their own lives. In this episode, we sit down with CEO and Founder of Victor Tech Gregory Jumes to explore how his app Victor can help thousands of Veterans in the Chicago area live their best lives.

Episode 033: Eva Belanger - Alternative Treatments for Veteran Mental Health

Did you know that there are organizations out there that offer holistic healing treatments for Veterans who are suffering from physical as well as mental health challenges? In this episode, we talk to Eva M. Belanger, a decorated captain of the U.S. Air Force, with over nine years of service and wartime deployment. She currently serves as a fully licensed marriage and family therapist out of her own private practice in San Diego and is the co-founder and executive director of the non-profit Warriors Live On.

Episode 031: Sabrina Barella - Relationships With Military Members

Sabrina Barella is using her experience as a former military wife to be an active voice in many military non-profits. She is also making it her mission to help end Veteran suicide by using her personal time and her business to help Veterans and their families. In this episode, Sabrina explains how anyone (civilians included) can help be a safe ear to Veterans and maybe help save a life in the process.

Episode 26: Ryan Stevenson - MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD

There are many new emerging modalities for treating mental health challenges being discovered every day. Did you know that researchers are making breakthroughs in treating people with PTSD and depression with psychoactive substances? In this episode, we talk with Psychologist Dr. Ryan Stevenson and unpack a whole lot of topics relating to mental health treatment, survivors of sexual assault and abuse, veteran and student mental health, as well as the difference between PTSD and trauma.

Episode 24: Joe Hudak - Part 2 Vet Series

The Nation is celebrating Veterans this week, and we are honored to continue our conversations with Veterans who are making a difference by sharing their stories of courage surrounding mental health.

Today, we meet back up with Green Beret Special Forces Operator/Delta Force Medic Veteran Joe Hudak to go more in depth about what happened when he came home, his two suicide attempts, and what he did gain resilience, heal, and learn how to live his best life possible.


And if you ever wanted to ask a Veteran a question, you now have the opportunity to ask Joe what you would love to know...yes, he is taking questions from our audience! Click this link and fill out the form: https://airtable.com/shrUk0X8SoI3HOEts

Episode 23: Bill Protzmann: Music Care - Alternative Healing

Bill Protzmann is a man of many hats. Not only has he been a successful businessman and an award-winning musician, but he has discovered how to use music to help heal those who have been affected by trauma by using music for self-care.

In 2011, he launched Music Care Inc, a for-profit corporation dedicated to providing education in music as adjunct treatment for post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety. In this episode, Bill talks about how music saved his life and how he is now helping others by showing them the power of music care.

Episode 22: Healing from Trauma - Sexual Assault and the Veteran

There is a very important conversation happening in America right now surrounding sexual assault. And while we had this interview scheduled long before some of the recent events unfolded, the timing couldn't be more important for her story to be told.

We are extending our deep-dive series on suicide prevention for veterans, and today I am honored to talk to Jalitza Cardona. She is a Veteran and a mental health advocate after surviving sexual assault and is now making it her mission to impress upon others that they are not alone…and that help is waiting for them.

Sexual assault is discussed but the specific acts or details of assault are not.

Episode 20: Jeremy Stahlnecker: When Regular Therapy Isn't Enough

Sometimes, regular talk-therapy isn't enough for Veterans to manage their mental health challenges. And sometimes, the spiritual injury from the things they have seen and done in wartime is too much to bear. That is why the incredible organization The Mighty Oaks Foundation exists.

In this episode, we sit down with Mighty Oaks Foundation Executive Director, and USMC Infantry Officer and Iraq Veteran Jeremy Stahlnecker to discuss "out of the box" solutions for Veterans suffering spiritually, dealing with additions, family difficulties, and the challenges they face transitioning back to civilian life...that are free.

Episode 19: Shad Meshad: Pioneering PSTD Research in Veterans

Shad Meshad is a voice that encourages empathy for Veterans because he witnessed so much in Vietnam, as well as the shock of coming home to (at times) a hostile and dangerous homecoming from Americans.

Not only is Shad a soldier; he is also a mental health clinician and expert in PTSD. In this episode, we get to hear Shad's insight and stories of wartime; as well as what things Veterans need to survive and thrive after coming home.

Episode 18: The Reality of Being a Veteran: Joe's Story with Julie & Joe Hudak

Military Veterans face a whole new reality and set of challenges when they transition to civilian life. Imagine being a young adult who is just starting out in life being thrown into a life that is full of trauma, death, structure, and brother/sisterhood only to come home and be paralyzed by simple tasks like making decisions at the grocery store? How do you integrate back into a world that has not seen the horrors you have seen or understand what you have gone through? Today, Joe shares his raw story of how he was able to claw his way out of the darkness to living a life of compassion and how is he now educating others by sharing his own experience. And his wife Julie graciously shares what reality is like for their family supporting Joe through his challenges...and his mission.