Podcasts

From Darkness to Light: A Counselor Describes the Power of Alternative Healing for Veterans

Today on the Stigma Free Zone podcast, we learn more about how those who have experienced trauma and rage, are discovering freedom from pain and turmoil thanks to their willingness to surrender.

 

 

Jon Christensen grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. He left school after two years at a small college in Nebraska to enlist in the Army. He arrived in Vietnam in time for the Tet Offensive of 1968, a series of sudden attacks staged by the North Vietnamese army that proved pivotal in the history of the war.
While overseas, among other duties, Christensen rode shotgun on military supply convoys.

Ironically, he would go on to spend much of his professional career in a different supporting role to veterans.

Jon spent his life as a therapist in private practice and as a counselor at VA related facilities. As time went on, Christensen modified his methodology. Rather than focusing on traditional therapies only, he applied elements of what’s called “alternative healing” to his interactions. Sometimes referred to as “new age,” the alternative healing strategies Jon utilizes are based in
ancient teachings. They include such things as yoga and an emphasis on gratitude. Christensen claims the therapeutic results can be life changing for certain veterans and military family members.

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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.

Proud of her Military Service, Grateful for the Leadership and Resilience she Learned!

Jennifer Pankowski grew up in Milwaukee. She proudly served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard from 1992-1998, and was named Soldier of the Year for her battalion in 1994.

The daughter of a Marine Vietnam Veteran, a loving mother and a supportive family. She also has several other family members who served in the military. Jennifer has found her passion in serving veterans. She volunteers for the Milwaukee War Memorial Center, Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, Team Sijan, and as a Memorial Interpreter at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington DC.

Jennifer looks back at her time in the military fondly. The lessons learned, the leadership and resilience have served her well throughout her life.

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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.

Expectations, Reality, Depression. Problem or Opportunity

Dr. Michael Dailey is the co-founder of the Infectious Disease Society of Georgia and Co-President of the Infectious Disease Society of America, a foundation on a mission to reduce the burdens of infectious diseases worldwide.He is Board Certified in Infectious Disease and Internal Medicine, a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, and has professional affiliations with multiple organizations, including the American Society of Microbiology. Born and raised in a family of Navy veterans in Oak Harbor, Washington, Dr. Dailey attended Holy Cross College in 1969, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. He earned his Master’s degree in Microbiology from Wayne State University in 1971, and later, earned his medical degree. During his residency, he worked as a resident doctor at the VA hospital, helping veterans suffering from advanced cardio-pulmonary disease. During his free time, Dr. Dailey enjoys golfing, traveling to Ireland, and spending quality time with his wife, Maureen and their four children. Read More

Discovering an Inner Spirit Hidden for Decades | Randy Zemel

Randy Zemel calls himself a “D-minus” student who had no interest in college. After graduating from his Chicago area high school, he enlisted in the Marines in 1965. He served in Vietnam from 1966-’68 and left the service in 1969 as a sergeant.

Randy thought little about his Vietnam service after he returned home. Instead, he concentrated on his studies at a local teachers’ college. He spent about two years teaching high school special education classes at one of Chicago’s most challenging housing projects. Read More

Indomitable Spirit Keeps Looking and Creates the New Path | Mark Alan

Mark was born and raised in central Wisconsin to a large family. Mark is the eldest male child of
14 total siblings – 8 boys and 6 girls. Mark graduated from Necedah High School in 1998 and
joined the Marines in 1999 where he served 8 years of active duty and achieved the rank of Sergeant. Mark deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 during operation phantom fury. Mark exited the service in 2006 and subsequently attended school at UW Green Bay where he completed his bachelor’s degree. Mark has worked in the veteran community since 2012 in both non-profit and state government. Mark is presently the development director for Feast of Crispian and is on his last semester of his master’s program at UWM. Read More

He Turned From his Father at the Bus Depot and Walked Into a Life he Couldn’t Have Imagined | Mark Alan

Mark was born and raised in central Wisconsin to a large family. Mark is the eldest male child of
14 total siblings – 8 boys and 6 girls. Mark graduated from Necedah High School in 1998 and joined the Marines in 1999 where he served 8 years of active duty and achieved the rank of
Sergeant. Mark deployed to Fallujah, Iraq in 2004 during operation phantom fury. Mark exited the service in 2006 and subsequently attended school at UW Green Bay where he completed his bachelor’s degree. Mark has worked in the veteran community since 2012 in both non-profit and state government. Mark is presently the development director for Feast of Crispian and is on his last semester of his master’s program at UWM.  Read More

When Heroin and his “God-Box” Failed him Otis Chose to Confront Past Traumas

Otis arrived in Milwaukee “on a stick” and homeless . It had been over thirty years since Otis had accepted a mainline injection of heroin as payment fora debt owed him. people, places and things were hard to make sense of.
He had grown up as one of only eight African American families in rural Western Pennsylvania. His father was a hard working man who expected the same from his son after high school. Otis chose to enlist in the US Army, a decision his mother, who he loved dearly, did not approve.
On leaving military service Otis was diagnosed with schizophrenia. A life of Denial, isolation and coverup followed.
That payment of heroin and continued addiction would give relief from the voices in his head, but that heroin would become a bigger enemy than relief. Over 2 dozen attempts at required rehab along with incarceration followed before he realized only he could face his past traumas, understand and resolve them. Otis made the decision to seek help. Otis entered treatment, a lifelong commitment to redemption.

Read More

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

In 1965, Campbell graduated from the Marmion Military Academy in Aurora, Illinois to begin his career in the military. He enlisted in the U.S. Army that December and served four years, including two tours in Germany with the 8th Infantry Division as well as a tour in Vietnam. Read More

Getting Back Home After War | Joe Campbell

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 and Erin Schraufnagel 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, Erin Schraufnagel 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.

Rage, Reconciliation, Forgiveness and Grace | Joe Campbell

In this segment of the Stigma Free Vet Zone, Vietnam veteran Joe Campbell reflects on his family’s experience during his active duty and beyond. We hear how Joe’s family grappled with the fear associated with not knowing where he was, what danger he might be facing, and if and when they might receive word that Joe had been killed. Campbell describes his mother’s torment as her emotions swung from her unending fear for his safety overseas to gnawing heartache and helplessness for the man who returned home.

Relentlessly driven by rage, Joe’s family watched for decades as he descended further into isolation and violent nightmares fueled by alcohol. “Quit drinking or this is over,” demanded his wife.

Listen, as Campbell narrates what happens next (and guides us on his path to reconciliation).


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 and Erin Schraufnagel 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, Erin Schraufnagel 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.