Podcasts

Theater, Military Veterans and the Healing Power of Shakespeare

Nancy Smith-Watson is an actor, a trauma informed somatic bodyworker and co-founder/director of Feast of Crispian (FoC). Ms. Smith-Watson has a BA in Drama from the University of Washington and did her professional training at Circle in the Square professional conservatory in New York City. While working as a professional actor, Ms. Smith-Watson also trained in massage and somatic bodywork therapies. She has 30 years experience as a Hakomi Bodyworker, and is trained in Integrative Somatics. Ms. Smith-Watson taught the Introduction to Somatics at Big Sky Somatic Institute, in Helena, MT, 1997 – 2004. In 2013, she received director training from Shakespeare & Co. and returned home to Milwaukee to launch Feast of Crispian – Shakespeare with Veterans. FoC has created workshops, classes and full theatrical productions with veterans, inside and outside of the VA in Milwaukee, for over a decade, and has collaborated with many other veteran’s organizations and theatrical institutions in the Milwaukee community.

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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.

Focus on Veteran Family Health and Happiness!

Scott Schultz is a Marine Corps veteran who lives on a small farm near Osseo — in west-central Wisconsin’s northern Driftless Area. He retired last year from a long career in print and broadcast journalism. Twenty-one years ago, Scott and his wife, Dee, founded the educational nonprofit organization, The Heartbeat Center for Writing, Literacy and the Arts. The Heartbeat Center’s initial primary mission was to help people use creativity to find connections with the land and better understand their places in the world. Being a veteran, however, a large part of The Heartbeat’s work has been in its Veterans Expressing Themselves project — helping veterans to use writing and the arts to heal. Being a writer, Scott focuses his VETs project work on writing, as over the years he’s seen writing open doors for healing within many veterans — including himself.
Some of that VETs work is done in cooperation with The Highground Veterans Memorial park near Neillsville in central Wisconsin. Scott and I recently participated in the opening of the new Peer support program at the Highground focused on the veteran families and the issues they face in transition back to civilian life and culture. We’re looking forward to again joining veterans and their families later this month at The Highground to keep that family-healing momentum rolling. And, of course, we’ll be talking about writing being part of that momentum.
The Heartbeat Center
for Writing, Literacy and the Arts, Inc.
www.theheartbeat.us
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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.

Beacon of Courage Guides Veteran’s Recovery | Charlie Walton

Born and raised in Mississippi, Charlie Walton enlisted in the United States Marine Corp in 1968 and trained as an infantryman. He witnessed his first war casualty before his feet even touched the ground in Vietnam when the man in front of him on the jet’s stairway was shot and killed by a sniper. Despite that terrifying incident, Walton carried forth and survived his tour of duty without suffering any physical wounds. Emotional trauma came later.

Discharged in 1972, Charlie eventually made his way to Milwaukee where he established several successful businesses. However, his personal life was beset with adversity. Decades after his military service Walton hit rock bottom.

In this segment of the Stigma Free Vet podcast, Charlie Walton reflects on his 72 years. He describes how he has applied lessons learned from skilled professionals designed to guide him through grueling personal challenges. We meet a man whose life today is infused with hope and faith and centered on inner strength.

For more information about the organization and what Charlie Watson does for Feast of Crispian please refer to the link below…

Website:  INFO@FEASTOFCRISPIAN.org

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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.

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.

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