Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Understanding Your Returning Veteran Forum

 Understanding Your Returning Veteran Forum “Focused on the families” 

May 19, 2012 American Legion- Morrell Smith Post 42 Linden Ave. Newtown, PA 18940 
9 – 12 Noon 

Who should attend: Families of Veteran’s who are preparing, are presently or previously deployed, i.e. wife, husband, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, fiancée, good friend. 

Concept and Participants 
  • Josh & Kelly (Mother and Son) The idea for our program came from a Marine sergeant who had served multiple deployments in Iraq & Afghanistan. His was a simple suggestion; help the families understand what they could expect when their soldier or Marine comes home, hence the title “Understanding Your Returning Veteran”. The Marine and his mother will discuss their individual and combined emotions and perceptions after he came home. Their initial perceptions were so very different, one as a mom and the other of a returning Marine. They will discuss their challenges of working through it and eventually being able to communicate with an open dialog and understanding one another.
  • Jennifer Crane, wife and mother will be discussing her challenges and experiences after multiple deployments. After coming home with severe PTSD her life took a downward spiral, drugs, alcohol etc. She began her journey back after finding “Give an Hour” a nonprofit 501(c)(3), founded in September 2005 which is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Jennifer now travels the nation sharing her powerful story of struggle and successful survival at college campuses across the country. Her riveting story, as only she can tell it is heart wrenching, yet uplifting. 
These two similar but very different stories will capture both ends of the spectrum of what a family and individual goes through upon their return. These heartfelt stories are a critical part of our program and where families attending will feel a special kinship with these amazing heroes as they relate their powerful stories. 
  • Jennifer Mellor ( Day of the Forum Moderator ) - Director of Psychological Health, Ceridian appointed to the 99th RSC – Jennifer will elaborate and expand on these unique individual experiences that Kelly, Josh & Jennifer have experienced. 
  • Dr. Howard Cohen – Worked with Veterans and their families for both the V.A. and in his private practice. 

For Questions or Information Call # 215-666-3156 
URL: https://sites.google.com/site/understandingreturningveteran/ 
E-Mail: vetsprogramsbrotary@gmail.com 
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Understanding-Your-Returning-Veterans-Family- Forum/111432852317874 


  1. Looking forward to this informative forum. As a parent with a son in the service it is a needed and sought after venue. Anyone that has a familt member or loved one in the service should plan to attend as I am sure we will all be rewarded with potentially life saving information.

    1. Thank you for your family's service to our country. We are glad that you will be attending and are proud to be involved in such a great initiative. Be sure to check back for future events that may interest you.

    2. Ditto, as one of the organizers and Vietnem Veteran I am very proud of all that have helped this effort come to fruition. As LC so capability put it we all thank you for families service to our country. We look forward to seeing you at the Forum.

  2. A special thank you for all the participants especially our speakers; Sgt. Joshua Hogue USMC (Multiple Deployments), Kelly Fraga, his mother, Jennifer Crane (Multiple Deployment s & PTSD) & her husband Jason, Dr. Howard Cohen & of course Jennifer Mellor, Dir. of Psychological Health, 99th Support Unit Fort Dix, our moderator in our highly successful "Understanding Your Returning Forum" . Your courage to be able to tell your compelling stories so others can understand is nothing short of remarkable. Thank you all our service to our country and what you do for us.
    Your heartrending and amazing stories were truly uplifting to all of us especially to those who have love ones preparing to deploy, deployed or just returned could understand what to expect when their veteran returns home. Our goals of helping at least one family were not only met but far exceeded.
    We also thank the support organizations, The Travis Manion Foundation, Semper FI Families, Give and Hour, Vet Centers of Bristol, Montgomery County & NE Philadelphia as well as Military One Source. You were are the vital link of driving sustainable support for our courageous families who sacrifice so much us and endure the deployment of their love one. This is truly the "What is next after the lights and glamour of the parade is over!