Rolling Up Our Sleeves to Help the Troops

Bridget Cantrell, Ph.D, and veteran author Chuck Dean have combined skills and experiences to structure vital course materials for re-integration. This information addresses and helps resolve many of the destructive issues surrounding re-adjustment when soldiers return from war.

Perhaps we now have the opportunity to make up the ground we lost when our troops came home from previous wars. “Turning Your Heart Toward Home” is a course that utilizes many lessons learned from the past. It provides tools for warriors to reintegrate with theirloved ones upon returning from their military assignments. As a supplement, we have created a free preliminary course called, “Hearts on the Home Front”. This short course helps dependents and loved ones understand Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD), and gives them general insight on what to expect when their deployed loved one returns from the combat zone.  

During the course, war veterans and family members alike are directed to the core concerns that work against healthy reconnections. Using step-by-step inventories, participants are guided toward rebuilding healthy relationships.  The course encompasses re-adjustment education and focuses on interaction between the participants and their loved ones upon their re-deployment home. It is designed to heighten one’s awareness of how each individual (both the service person and the loved one at home) has changed during the prolonged deployment separation.  Each inventory is specifically designed, and proven, to arouse valuable dialogue for both parties, in order to begin understanding the anatomy of trauma, stress, and other challenges facing healthy re-integration.

Dr. Cantrell specializes in trauma with her primary work encompasses counseling for war veterans and their families to find therapeutic resolutions to the aftereffects of wartime trauma. She currently works as one of a small number of specially selected and trained Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs PTSD Contractors. In 2004, the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs appointed her the Outstanding Female Non-Veteran for her service to veterans.

Chuck Dean is a Vietnam combat veteran and author of several books about his own homecoming from war, addressing the unsettling spiritual and emotional issues caused by serving in a combat zone. His popular-selling book, Nam Vet: Making Peace with Your Past continues to help thousands of veterans. He has served as the National Chaplain for the Society of 173d Airborne Brigade—the same Army unit he served with in Vietnam.

Dr. Cantrell and Chuck Dean have joined forces,and this powerful combination adds a special feature to their work.

It is through these experiences, that we have been able to go to “ground level” and analyze many of the homecoming hurdles Vietnam veterans had to cross when they came home. We have integrated these findings into our inventories to assist in a more rapid re-adjustment for the current troops.

Our new book "Down Range: To Iraq and Back" is a timely work, which is dedicated to bringing the troops home and addressing the challenges of re-integration from combatant to civilian. Vital information is presented to the troops and their loved ones exploring why so many veterans suffer from flashbacks, depression, fits of rage, nightmares, anxiety, emotional numbing, and other aspects of Combat-Related Stress orPost-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

There is a great deal of work to do with these men and women returning home, and we invite you to join us in helping them and their families with this process. The more we can collaborate and providethese helpful tools, information, and support, the more positive the outcome will be for us all.

We present this course, “Turning Hearts Toward Home” and book, “Down Range: To Iraq and Back” and invite you, your organization, or group to join with us in disseminating these materials across the nation. We, the authors, are available for speaking and/or facilitating this workbook course.

Please contact Hearts Toward Home International by calling (360) 714-1525 for scheduling and ordering information.

Our best to you,

Bridget C. Cantrell, Ph.D. and Chuck Dean