Speaker: Psychologist and Director at the Albany Veterans Center
“Medics, corpsman, doctors, nurses, they are like number one targets when out in a battlefield. They do a lot of treating and then they really don't know what happens to these people. Did I do enough? Did this person survive? We now see people who have had two, three, four deployments and how is that affecting not just the veteran, but the family as well? The issues they come home with are not just sort of straight PTSD, but PTSD based on all of these other circumstances.”
Speaker: United States Special Forces medic from Central, New York, discusses the Syracuse Veterans Writing Group. He struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress after being inflicted with a battlefield injury during the Vietnam War.
“I wasn't sure what to expect when I first joined the Syracuse veterans writing Group. I'm encouraged by the reactions of these young veterans to my writing. They've embraced me in a way I could not have imagined. Sharing my burden with other people reminds me about the commonality of the human experience.”
Speaker: Clinical Director, The Art Therapy Project, NYC
“How and why does art therapy seem so successful with veterans? They are trained to become a part of a unit and so as they come back and engage in civilian life, they really struggle with their individuality and art, the creative expression, is a very individual process. Trauma is an experience that is incomprehensible to our psyche. By asking them to explore something visually without words, it can open up the door for these experiences to emerge. We're creating a safe space for an emotional growth opportunity, and then in that safe space, they take some of it with them.”
Speaker: Vietnam War Dust Off Pilot, founder of Alliance180, discusses equine therapy
“When we teach a disconnected human being that's suffering from post-traumatic stress how to communicate with a horse in the horse's language, we're creating such a powerful connection that it triggers a reregulation of the autonomic nervous system in that individual and to use this phrase, “the lights come back on”. And the veteran communicating with that horse in flight animal language causes the horse to want to bond with them for their own safety and survival. And when that happens, that's the catalyst that creates the change, that allows the nervous system to release.”
Speaker: Retired Combat Medic, served in the United States Army 1992-2014, resides in the North Country, NY discusses his work with Clear Path for Veterans, Inc.
“Clear Path is a non-for-profit service agency that provides many, many different programs and services for our nation's heroes and their families. We use a holistic approach through our events, creating a safe environment to help people be the best version of themselves.
You go down this weird road like what made it that I deserve to live and he didn't? Tell you what the answer and the answer didn't come easy. The answer is combat is completely random. The carnage and the chaos is so random you just can't attribute well, why did I live and they didn’t?
The reason I'm doing reasonably okay is because I was fortunate. I had an amazing support system. I try to help others in my new professional capacity that weren't so lucky. They didn't have that support system. I use that platform to help others.”