Military service involves integrating into a unique military culture that may involve experiencing a number of life-threatening traumas, including combat, sexual assault and suicide. These traumas may result in unresolved or ongoing mental and physical health issues that can significantly impact a successful transition of service members back to their civilian communities. In this presentation, how communities can assist military veterans in rejoining their communities will be discussed.
Dr. Carl Castro is currently Professor and Director of the Military and Veteran Programs at the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work at the University of Southern California. Before joining the University of Southern California, Professor Castro served in the U.S. Army for over 30 years, retiring at the rank of colonel. Dr. Castro participated in the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo Campaigns, Operation Northern Watch, and the Iraq War. Dr. Castro has chaired numerous NATO and international research groups and he is currently Chair of a NATO research group on Military Veteran Transitions and Co-Chair of a NATO group exploring Military and Veteran Radicalization. His current research efforts are broad and include: (a) the exploration of the military culture that leads to acceptance and integration of diverse groups; (b) understanding and ameliorating the effects of military trauma and stress, especially combat and deployment, on service members and their family; (c) the prevention of suicides and violence such as sexual assault and bullying; and (d) evaluating the process of transitioning into the military and transitioning from military service back to civilian life.