BlogThoughts and news from veteran keynote speaker and author Michael Orban
Orban featured on the front page of the West Bend Daily News for his experiences with combat and PTSD.
Michael Orban, a Vietnam War veteran, an author, and a national speaker on recovering from PTSD and the trauma of war, is also a West Bend, Wisconsin native. He has been invited to speak on “Healing from War” at a local event organized by the National alliance on Mental Illness of Washington County (NAMI). The event, to be held on Oct 6, is part of National Mental Health Awareness Week.
“When we take control of our PTSD, we see there is life waiting for us after war, a life that again allows us to feel joy, happiness and love.”
The West Bend Daily News caught up with Orban to discuss his presentation and what experiences he plans to share:
“My presentations and models provide a clear understanding and path to education, understanding, resolving, accepting and healing PTSD/PTS,” Orban said. “I know, I was diagnosed with severe PTSD. I am qualified to be in this conversation and provide very helpful insights. With understanding and education comes an opportunity to take control of PTSD.”
“We learn that some reactions to war can be resolved while other reactions must be accepted and embraced as part of our warrior experience,” Orban said. “… When we take control of our PTSD, we see there is life waiting for us after war, a life that again allows us to feel joy, happiness and love.”
In addition to Orban, three additional combat veterans will be sharing insights that evening about their own recovery experiences. James Hackbarth was an Army combat helicopter door gunner. Michael Mauer was an Army combat medic. And Mark Foreman was a Navy Corpsman. All three served during the Vietnam War.
In the article, Orban explains how the four warriors met, and helped each other in the past.
“We’re all part of a group we started about five years ago. We share what we used to help us recover,” Orban said. “We all have traumatic experiences that we’ve had to deal with.” Hackbarth has used poetry, Maurer turned to golf and Foreman creates stone sculptures to deal with those experiences.
“We all used the arts in some way to complement the treatment and therapy we were receiving,” Orban said. “We hope this can help others who are dealing with PTSD and other problems. There are alternatives that can help.”
The article continues,to share Orban’s belief that the attendees of his presentation will leave with a new perspective and better understanding of how soldiers deal after the war with the traumatic combat events they experienced, and the difficulty of losing friends in the war.
The full article can be found at the West Bend Daily News.
My name is Michael Orban. After I was drafted to serve in Vietnam in 1969, I returned from combat duty profoundly changed. I no longer fit in. Forty years later I finally sought help. Today I take my message of hope and healing everywhere I go. It’s why I wrote my book, Souled Out: A Memoir of War and Inner Peace. It’s why I speak to audiences all over the country.
And it’s why I’ve taken my message online with a new Facebook page, a new website, and this blog. If you or someone you care about suffers from traumatic wartime experiences, I hope you’ll join me. Together we can find peace and spread the word to everyone around the world who needs to hear it: Healing is possible. I know because I lived it.