Editor’s Message

By Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAISCOL (RET), US Army, COL, Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces
Editor, Combat Stress Magazine, Dayton SWAT, Member, Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

*This is an article from the Summer 2021 issue of Combat Stress. 

Our gifted authors are in no short order for our summer issue. Though the VA refused to publish this magnificent piece, we found JT’s and Riina Van Rixort’s worthy of presentation as our lead article. This heart-wrenching story of one Veteran’s ability to adapt and overcome unfathomable struggles and to find his road back from private hell, will take our readers along with JT and his beloved dog, Phoenix, on their exquisitely painful journey. Their unrivaled love for one another and what their pathway is meant to teach us, makes them truly relentless heroes.  

Another of our unstoppable authors, Robert Kallus, MS, LMFT, remains one of our most revered midwestern clinicians. His expertise in clinical hypnosis, marriage and family therapies, and the management of trauma, only begin to define his legendary career. More recently, he has authored what may be an upcoming bestseller in the mental health arena, You CAN Work It Out – Skills and Wisdom for Conflict Resolution. We are most fortunate to be able to showcase one of his most compelling book chapters in our summer issue. 

I first had the privilege of meeting Chaplain LTC (RET) Dave Fair at Fort Hood, Texas in the days following the Fort Hood Massacre in November of 2009. I will never forget his words of comfort and solace with which he gifted me following some of the most horrific moments of my entire life. Chaplain Dave has created a new column for each of our upcoming publications, entitled “A Chaplain’s Perspective.” His stunning piece regarding the emotional needs of those who have sustained physical trauma, too often readily overlooked and forgotten in the aftermath of crisis situations or traumatic events, is a must read for every first responder.  

Clinical social worker, Scott Janssen, MS, MSW, LCSW, has distinguished this issue with a topic deserving of far greater and more widespread exposure. Few have had the courage to document or authenticate the topic of Near-Death Experiences as this applies to combat Veterans and the trauma inherent on the battlefield and in the wartime theater. This subject matter is one of unequalled value to those of us who have witnessed and/or experienced this phenomenon. It is the wise clinician who will take note of this. 

Returning again from Long Island in The Bahamas, Master Scuba Diver, Navy Diving Supervisor, and renowned expert of all things underwater, Kevin James has adorned our summer issue with the PTSD project he has created, based upon a Johns Hopkins University study involving sensation in paralyzed Veterans. Very sadly, there is another kind of paralysis for which Kevin has provided rather amazingly effectual and successful interventions under the sea: those whose wartime experiences have rendered them unable to function due to the plague upon the soul created by combat-related PTSD. He does so free of charge and based upon the generosity of those who have witnessed the extraordinary benefits offered by the PTSD program he has created. 

The terrible affliction of sleep disturbances and their colossal prevalence within the populations of Service Members, Veterans, and first responders, has been brilliantly chronicled by our very own, Dr. Jeff Jernigan. That the brain is so splendid an organ that it has devised a means for seeking solutions during the hours of sleep, often revealing truths that may otherwise be denied their existence, will enlighten the reader with Dr. Jeff’s riveting findings. These will have extensive applicability for those who render treatment, as well as those who receive it.  

Profuse thanks to our readership for tuning into Combat Stress! 

Your Editor,

Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAAPM, FAIS

COL(RET), U.S. Army

COL, Ohio Military Reserve

Dayton SWAT