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Family and Relationships
Veterans can experience family and relationship problems when they return home because the skills and behaviors they learned to survive and function may not work at home. They also face readjusting to civilian life, dealing with TBI, mobility limitations, physical injuries, PTSD and/or addiction. Veterans also have to deal with the changes that happened at home in their absences. We’ll discuss the readjustment challenges facing veterans and when/where veterans might seek support.
- All sessions are free and all are welcome -
Wounded Warrior Project
Jeremiah Pauley grew up in the blue-collar town of Massillon, Ohio. His call to service led him to the U.S. Army recruiting office in 1996, where he told recruiters he wanted to be airborne infantry. It took nearly 10 years before he was deployed to Tal Afar, Iraq. Four months later, the unthinkable happened.
‘‘I was injured by an improvised explosive device (IED). Shrapnel from the roadside bomb entered my right arm above the elbow,’’ says Jeremiah. If it weren’t for the immediate treatment he received by the medic on hand, Jeremiah would have probably not survived. ‘‘I was at a hospital in Mosul for about a day, then at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for about a week,’’ he says. ‘‘I then spent about three months at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.’’ Due to his injuries, he was medically retired from the Army in 2007 as a staff sergeant. Jeremiah says it took him a long time to adapt and overcome his own negativity.
Jeremiah first got involved with Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) in 2011 after being invited to a Soldier Ride® in Phoenix, Arizona. He was later introduced to the WWP Physical Health, and Wellness program, which inspired him to take back control of his physical well-being. He shares his story as both a WWP spokesperson and member of the National Speaker’s Association.
A lot of Jeremiah’s inspiration comes from his kids. ‘‘I see them smile, and it motivates me to be even better. I also see things that fellow warriors are doing; some with injuries much worse than mine. They help me to carry on and be positive, and they fuel my desire to help others.’’
Bruce Feiler is the author of seven consecutive New York Times bestsellers, including Life is in the Transitions, The Secrets of Happy Families, The Council of Dads (now a hit series on NBC), and Walking the Bible. He's wrriter of the “This Life” column in the New York Times, the writer/presenter of two primetime series on PBS, and his two TED Talks have been viewed more than two million times.
Feiler has long explored the stories that give our lives meaning. Galvanized by a family tragedy and a personal crisis, he spent the last five years crisscrossing the country, collecting hundreds of life stories of Americans who’d been through major life changes—in their careers, their personal relationships, their spiritual lives, their health, and their identity. He then spent a year coding these stories, identifying patterns and takeaways that can help all of us survive and thrive in times of change.
LIFE IS IN THE TRANSITIONS introduces the original, illuminating vision of the nonlinear life, in which each of us faces dozens of disruptors. One in ten of those becomes what Feiler calls a lifequake, a massive change that leads to a life transition. Drawing on a trove of inspiring personal stories and a rich collection of insights, Feiler offers a powerful new transition toolkit with strategies for coping with the difficult, painful, or unsettling times of life. He lays out specific strategies each of us can use to reimagine and rebuild our lives, often stronger than before.
Welby O’Brien is crazy about her Veteran husband, and together they face the daily challenges of PTSD. Holding a master’s degree in counseling from Portland State University and a teaching degree from Biola University, based on her own life journey she has authored the books LOVE OUR VETS: Restoring Hope for Families of Veterans with PTSD, Goodbye for Now (grief support), and Formerly A Wife (divorce support).
Welby is also a contributing author to Chicken Soup for the Soul: Divorce and Recovery, Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of America, as well as Shepherding Women in Pain. She has been welcomed as a guest speaker across the country, and on radio and television.
Welby initiated and continues to facilitate the spouse and family support network known as Love Our Vets – PTSD Family Support, LLC. providing down to earth wisdom and much needed tips for self-care. With a master’s degree in counseling, Welby O’Brien shares from her personal experience of living with a 100% disabled veteran with PTSD. She offers hope, encouragement, and practical help for families and loved ones who are caught in the wake of the trauma. She addresses a broad spectrum of issues and concerns, and offers realistic wisdom from a wide variety of individuals who share from real hearts and lives.