Community Taskforce on Veteran Suicide Prevention

Joe Campbell – Spiritual Awakening of Forgiveness & Service of Gratitude, Pt. II

Joe Campbell joins us today to discuss his involvement in the vehicle caravan that transported a remnant piece of steel from the former World Trade Center in New York to Milwaukee. He shares how communities came together and the outpouring of support they received to transport this precious cargo and how this experience served as a spiritual awakening for Joe. He explains how he met Kim Phuc Phan Thi, a Vietnamese woman who was badly burned from a napalm bomb during the Vietnam War and author of Fire Road, and how meeting Kim helped Joe heal from the emotional trauma he experienced during the war. He also explains how forgiveness and service through gratitude have helped him through the darkness and into the light of hope and recovery.

Continue reading “Joe Campbell – Spiritual Awakening of Forgiveness & Service of Gratitude, Pt. II”

The Veteran Spouse Perspective with Janet Austin

Janet Austin understands first-hand the experience and struggles associated with being the spouse and caregiver of a combat veteran. Her husband, Bill Austin, is a medically retired Master Sergeant who has served over 30 years in the Army and Air National Guard before being medically discharged due to his diagnosis of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) following his last tour in Afghanistan. Since his discharge, Janet has tirelessly advocated for military families and others suffering through combat-related trauma through the Facebook group she created, PTSD The Truth In Numbers. Additionally, Janet is a staunch advocate for service dogs, largely due to the tremendous strides she has seen with Bill’s former service dog, J.P., and regularly speaks at various events to educate others regarding the laws on service dogs for military veterans.

Continue reading “The Veteran Spouse Perspective with Janet Austin”

Joe Campbell – Finding Acceptance After the Vietnam War, Pt. I

Joe joins us today to share his experience of serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He explains why he chose to enlist in the Army instead of waiting to be drafted, why he was anxious to fight in the Vietnam War, and how the realities of war compared to his initial expectations. He shares the shocking realities of returning home after serving in Vietnam, how he was treated, and why he felt like an ‘outsider’ even within the U.S borders. He discusses the impact that burying his feelings and emotions about losing battle buddies has had on his life, how it led to his addiction to alcohol, and how the gift of sobriety helped him cope with those buried emotions. Joe also shares his motivation to connect with veteran outreach programs and dedicate himself to helping other combat veterans.

“The greatest gift I have is to live a good life for those guys and gals that gave their life for me. And the only way I can really thank them is by living a good life because of them.”

Joe Campbell

Born and raised in Illinois, Joe Campbell graduated from the Marmion Military Academy in 1965. Shortly after, he enlisted and served four years in the U.S. Army. During his enlistment, Joe served with the 8th Infantry Division in Bad Kreuznach, Germany as well as the 1st Logistical Command in Vietnam. Over the last several decades, Joe has committed himself to serve and help other military veterans. He has served as a Trustee for the Milwaukee County War Memorial Corporation, Inc, a Chaplain with the Vietnam Veterans of America Milwaukee Chapter, and has held executive positions at several veteran-oriented organizations, including his own machinery and welding company. Due to his service and commitment to help his fellow veterans, Joe has received several awards and accolades, including the 2018 Patriot Award from the War Memorial Center and the 2007 Veteran of the Year Award by Milwaukee County.


DISCLAIMER: The information and content shared in each episode of the Stigma Free Vet Zone are for informational purposes only. The Stigma Free Vet Zone hosts, Mike Orban & Bob Bach, are not, nor claim to be, medical doctors, psychologists, or psychiatrists and should not be held responsible for any claims, medical advice, or therapy/treatment recommendations mentioned on this podcast. Any advice mentioned or shared by Mike Orban, Bob Bach, or their guests is strictly for purposes of bringing awareness to the veteran community and the services available. Please speak with a medical professional before taking any advice or starting any therapy or treatment discussed or shared on this podcast.

New podcast tomorrow with Joe Campbell!

Be sure to check into tomorrow morning for a new two-part episode of Stigma Free Vet Zone with our friend, Joe Campbell.

In this episode, Joe explains how he met Kim Phuc Phan Thi, a Vietnamese woman who was badly burned from a napalm bomb during the Vietnam War and author of Fire Road, and how meeting Kim helped Joe heal from the emotional trauma he experienced during the war.

He also talks about his spiritual awakening of forgiveness and service of gratitude.

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