Mary Neal Vieten

Winona State University’s History Department will host a presentation, “Changing the Paradigm on Post-Traumatic Stress: From Causes to Healing and Reintegration” from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, in the Science Laboratory Center lecture hall, room 120.

The program will begin at 1 p.m. with the Introduction and The Baton, by WSU alumnus Joshua Ploetz, U.S. Custodian of The Baton. The Baton is a symbol of national conscience, crafted with care and respect from the handle of a stretcher. Many were carried on this particular stretcher used by a Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) in Afghanistan.

The keynote address by Mary Neal Vieten, entitled “The Only Cure for an Injury to Humanity is Humanity: Successful Warfighter Reintegration,” will address the realities of living with post-traumatic stress, the delay in healing, the devastating implications of the “mental illness” label, and an overview of what helps and what does not help in the healing process. Vieten is a USN Board Certified Clinical Psychologist and nationally-recognized authority on post-traumatic stress and war fighter reintegration.

A 20-minute intermission will be held, followed by a panel discussion at 2:50 p.m. featuring local combat veterans of every major war from World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq. Audience engagement through questions and comments will be encouraged. Participating Veterans are: Darol “Lefty” Lee (WWII), Jerry Koch (Korean War), Bruce Reed (Vietnam War), Gerry Krage (Gulf War), Joshua Ploetz (Afghanistan War) and Jason Ploetz (Iraq War).

The panel will also include Robert Casselman, Associate Professor of Psychology at WSU, and Kathryn Collins, Registered Nurse and Mental Health Practitioner, VA Clinic, Rochester, Minn.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served beforehand starting at 12:30 p.m.

For more information, email Michelle Eggerichs at