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Hidden Wounds of War

Thursday, May 11, 2023

How can we better serve those who serve and have served us? This question challenges us to think about those who gave much and those who gave all to serve our communities and our nation. Recently, our veterans, medical service workers, and first responders have faced increased stress. Often, the psychological trauma experienced is suffered in silence. The aftereffects of service bring the hardship home to our families and communities. By embracing honest discussion and developing strong support networks, winning the battle against these harrowing challenges is possible. The Hidden Wounds of War Conference is hosted by the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies in partnership with Grand Valley State University’s Peter F. Secchia Military and Veterans Resource Center, the West Michigan Veterans Coalition, and the Kent County Veteran Services Office.

Hidden Wounds of War Conference 2023 - Full Schedule

7:30 AM

Breakfast & Registration

Register for the conference here

8:15 AM

Welcome & Keynote

“A Communal Intervention for Military Moral Injury”

with Chris Antal, Peter Yeomans, Leroy Enck, and Hannibal Collick

10:00 AM

Breakout Sessions


1. The Art of Being a Veteran: How To Find Meaning and Purpose After Service

This interactive workshop provides a psychological framework for veterans to 1) help them better understand themselves and 2) create a roadmap to transform their military experiences into a more empowered civilian life.

2. Kent County Veterans Resources

3. The Cumulative Effects of Stress and Burnout on PTSD Among First Responders

4. Impact of Trauma of Trauma in Healthcare: Therapeutic Considerations for Supporting Healers

11:30 AM


We look forward to having you!

12:30 PM


"When Work Wounds: Addressing Professional Trauma"

with Lea Didion

The majority of individuals living in the United States will experience at least one traumatic incident in their lifetime and specific professions have been increasingly experiencing trauma and stress as a direct result of their work. Given this, why is trauma therapy often thought of as a "specialty" treatment, when trauma experiences are so ubiquitous? In this keynote address, Dr. Didion will not only highlight the need for more trauma-informed training as a standard practice but will also discuss the increasing and mounting pressure faced by those in certain professions – such as journalists, first responders, and healthcare professionals. Dr. Didion will discuss trauma-informed care and its implementation as well as the similarities and differences between trauma and trauma treatment in these populations when compared to working with traumatized veterans. 

2:15 PM

Vet Collaboratory

What issues and opportunities exist for veterans and first responders in West Michigan? 

This year we’re trying something a bit different on the afternoon of the conference: A Veteran Collaboratory

What is a Collaboratory?  It’s a participant-driven meeting where the attendees decide on the agenda, discussion topics, and workshops. The format provides an excellent opportunity for attendees from diverse disciplines to work collaboratively on topics of common interest.

Learn more here!

4:00 PM

Community Healing Ceremony

The Community Healing Ceremony is a service of reconciliation for Veterans and non-Veterans led by VA chaplains, community clergy, and Veterans.

This event requires a separate RSVP.

Learn more and RSVP here!

6:00 PM

Community Healing Ceremony Reception

This reception is free and open to the public.

Page last modified May 15, 2023