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Moving Past PTSD with Retired Air Force Lt Col Jaime Parent - heroicinvesting - heroicinvesting
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Moving Past PTSD with Retired Air Force Lt Col Jaime Parent



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In this episode of Heroic Investing, Gary Pinkerton hosts Retired Air Force Lt Col Jaime Parent, author of Moving Past PTSD: Consciousness, Understanding, and Appreciation for Military Veterans and Their Families. They go through issues surrounding PTSD and how to deal with it. Parent gives us a background on PTSD and how only recently has society taken those suffering from PTSD more seriously.

Announcer 0:04
Welcome to the heroic investing show. As first responders we risk our lives every day our financial security is under attack. Our pensions are in a state of emergency. A single on duty incident can alter or erase our earning potential instantly and forever. We are the heroes of society. We are self reliant and we need to take care of our own financial future. The heroic investing show is our toolkit of business and investing tactics on our mission to financial freedom.

Gary Pinkerton 0:39
Welcome to the heroic investing show, a podcast for first responders, members, the military, veterans and anyone looking to improve their financial future and gain some freedom with their time. We teach America’s heroes how to build passive income, build their startup business and safely grow wealth through real estate and other alternative investments. We have current Pryor first responders put protections systems and a team in place to help them build a life where they can focus on their passion, that service or product that they’re uniquely gifted to share with others, making the world a better place for all of us. My name is Gary Pinkerton and I co host this show with Jason Hartman. This is Episode 204. And today we’re talking with retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Jamie parent. Jamie has worked at the end of his career in service and his entire civilian career afterwards, in large hospitals in the medical services community. He’s not a medical professional, but he rather he is an IT specialist and also specialized in management and his lessons learned in leadership while he was in service, near the end of his time, in his of his civilian career, he started specializing in a program small program that he created to help veterans especially those suffering from PTSD to get it done. jobs in the healthcare industry. And the way he did that he’ll explained during our interview was resulted from his involvement in bringing electronic health records into existence in the military and then continue to do so out in the civilian world. He sees the value that all of our veterans bring. And then as that successful program continued in Chicago, he’s now stepped away from that position to allow him to take this nationwide and to help do that he created a book called moving past PTSD, consciousness, understanding and appreciation for military veterans and their families. I think you’re really gonna like this episode. Please help me welcome. US Air Force retired colonel Danny B. parent, Jamie, welcome to our show. Thanks for having me. Appreciate it. Absolutely. So Jamie and I talked a little bit off air before we started about, you know, how can we add value and where I think we add the most value and if I get this Wrong, y’all, you ought to be out there giving me some feedback. So I know to adjust the format, but the feedback I’ve gotten so far most valued our, you know, some of its advice on investing, but a lot of it is advice on how do i do the transition either out of the military out of being a first responder my current career into the new career. And there’s a little bit about that in Jamie’s new book that we’ll dive into a little bit later. But Jamie has an interesting history as well. He had a profession before entering the military a little bit later than some people start. And he actually was able to apply that directly in the military. We’re very familiar or it’s a common practice to transition and use it afterwards. And he did that too. But But he did a complete right hand turn or maybe not a complete right turn changed careers in the military. I found it pretty fascinating. Jamie, can you just walk us back right before you join what you were doing even before that if you’d like and then kind of the transition all the way through?

Jaime Parent 3:52
Well, I was a medical technologist in civilian life, and I was wondering how I was going to make that a lifelong career and The Airforce came along. And they offered me some terrific training in other areas of medical laboratories that I wasn’t familiar with. So at age 27, I grasped on to that and I became a first lieutenant in the Air Force because I had a master’s degree and I was in the medical field. about midway through that journey in the airforce. I transitioned from being a laboratory officer to a chief information officer and where the Chief Information Officer basically does is handle data and a lot of the technology for hospitals in the United States Air Force, so medical centers. So I spent 20 years in the Air Force as a chief information officer and a laboratory director. And upon transitioning out I was looking for careers that would continue to be within the Chief Information Officer realm, but also I had a strong sense of purpose to continuing to serve after my military military days were done. So you’re right, I was able to successfully transition my career from the skills I learned in military medicine to civil In medicine,

Gary Pinkerton 5:01
nice and so you continued as CIO, in civilian life there in hospitals still, and then started another program we’re going to talk about here right after How long did you serve as a CIO? Are you’re still serving CIO, though, aren’t you?

Jaime Parent 5:15
Know, I stopped the CIO service about two years ago to focus on the book, the moving beyond PTSD book about two years ago, because I wanted to change my life. I’ve been doing it for a long time. And because of the enabled veteran program, I was able to build that Rush University Medical Center. I wanted to expand that beyond the Chicagoland area warm rushes. And I wanted to create a template to that I could share across the world across the United States, so that organizations could know the value of hiring a veteran, and on the other side help transitioning military veterans use their skills to gain meaningful employment in the civilian workplace.

Gary Pinkerton 5:56
Excellent. So let’s dive into these a little bit. So enabled veteran you started at Rush When you were there in Chicago working as CIO or serving as CIO, and was that programs, initially it was specifically there at Rush. Is that is that accurate?

Jaime Parent 6:09
Yes, I created that program in 2013. And it was kind of an offshoot of another program, the Road Home program at Rush, which was concentrating on the clinical benefits and treatment of military members and their families. And so when I found out that they were only going to do the clinical side, I came up with the idea of a fast track program to put military veterans into lucrative healthcare IT jobs, or just basically PC kind of jobs as well, depending upon the fit with the military person. And I came up with a unique way based upon what I had learned a unique 13 week program to put military members into Fast Track careers where there’s a lot of people hiring technology people, there’s a lot of people that need PC help, and especially in the medical field, so I came up with a unique The job training template if you will, that is an appendix in my book free for anybody to use and I labeled it the enable that

Gary Pinkerton 7:08
awesome. You demo doubt or you started that locally. And now now with the book, you’re taking it nationwide.

Jaime Parent 7:16
Exactly. The book focuses on PTSD, but it also focuses on the veterans themselves. And, you know, being a retired lieutenant colonel, hey, I thought, Hey, I’m a veteran. I’m a retiree. I know a lot about veterans. But no, once I started hearing the voices and listening, actually listening to the people, not only the military veterans, but also clinicians and their families. I got some insight as to why there are 22 suicides a day why the unemployment rate seems to tick up about a half percent, a percent or sometimes earlier, 2% unemployment rate higher than civilian peers. I started to get those kinds of insights and then I realized that it’s not enough just for a company to give a job to a veteran. And there are a lot of great companies that are doing that Boeing and Coca Cola just to name a few. But veterans want to just like myself, they want to continue that sense of service, that sense of purpose that they gained in the military. And then, of course, as you and I and your listeners know, military members gain so much vast experience and expertise at a very young age, they are just phenomenal people to hire in any company. And that’s one of the things I wanted to stress in the book. Yeah, and you know, same thing with anyone who’s in service providing right so I always have to make the bridge the gap, you know, for my firefighters and police officers who are who are speakers on the show. And same thing for military right but it applies directly across when my guests recently called us not Brothers in Arms, but I don’t remember what he said basically brothers in spirit, right, because we have the exact same purpose just wearing different uniforms, different job title, but nonetheless, these people are fiercely focused on providing service, you know, service to others. People who can’t do what they do are unwilling or unable to do what they do. So, I mean, they definitely you know, there’s a statistic out there that I studied when I was teaching ethics at the Naval Academy. And it was about successive Marine Corps officers in CEO positions of companies after retirement. It’s just fascinating. It’s not just about Marines. It just happened, that article happened to be about them. And the percentages are really, really high. Because of the things you talk about just the work ethic and, and everything. We learned the military, but you found a really good fit with technology and healthcare technology, that the military members are good fit there. And they’re a really, really desirable employee. What Why is that? It’s because they’ve been given a lot of experience and they’ve been exposed to things, mostly on the leadership side as well, at a very young age, and so a young person in their early 20s, maybe was commander of a Tank Battalion for example, and we Where they’re responsible for a million dollars worth of equipment, and the lives of dozens, perhaps hundreds of men and women. Those are experiences that a lot of 20 year olds simply don’t have. Even in my own career, I was put into leadership positions for medical centers that were 800 beds, 1000 beds, and I never would have gotten that opportunity had it not been for the United States Air Force. Also the training that sometimes I took for granted, you know, well, you got to go to this leadership training, and you got to read these books, and you got to go professional military education, things that I kind of poo pooed at the time, I realized that, wow, these were really valuable skills. And I’m glad I was forced to go pick them, because again, they build up the character and I’ll just call it the pedigree of the military person, which I would say in the civilian sector is one that stays late, gets the job done, continues to work at a high level of performance, loyalty to an organization. These are some things you don’t know we see in the session. civilian sector these days. But these men and women are prepared to come into these jobs and be able to perform well. And I would also say even though veterans might come out of my mouth, this is the same for anything as it relates to first responders, because responders have the exactly the same type of character, I believe, they have that strong sense of humanity, I would call it, they want to save lives. They want to do good things for humanity, and they, they are part of the community. And everything I really say about veterans goes for any of the first responders as well, because their character and their responsibility is also huge. And sometimes a lot of people just don’t realize what that is.

Jaime Parent 11:40
Yeah, and everyone out there is, as you mentioned, they’re you’re thrust into a leadership position, even if it’s not a title because we ended up standing duty standing watch, right, and we may be in charge of only our rifle to start with, but it’s us out of post in the middle of the night making decisions that you know, even it’ll initially be really low. But eventually, you have weekend duty and you look around and there’s five or six people working for you. And then there’s 50 people working for you. And I have found, I, you know, I always looked at duty weekend duty or nighttime duty or whatever, taking babysitting the ship, right as being really burdensome, but the things that you’re just thrust into figuring out, you know, even if they’re not exciting things like, you know, the toilet facilities are clogged and there’s no service, what do we do? You know, there’s no, no service provider, they’ve come help us out. So the water stops running, whatever it is, you know, it’s a challenge and you and you learn how to overcome adversity, I think.

Gary Pinkerton 12:36
And it’s the problem solving skills. I mean, just looking beyond yourself and saying, well, I wouldn’t know how to do that. But then you find out that you can do it and then your confidence that you can do just about anything. The other part too is that those types of skills, they might not be germane to what you were doing in as a firefighter, but it’s the same type of skills that can be valuable. In any occupation that you choose. And so I believe that these people have seen things others haven’t seen have experienced things others haven’t seen and they can take these leadership skills and the skills that they developed in their job and move it on to something in the civilian sector and be equally if not even more successful than they were as a first responder or as a military member in unifor.

Jaime Parent 13:25
I think it’s it’s just the fact that in our role, the listeners role here of first responders and military you are, you’re often thrust into situations that don’t fit in your job description, right. I mean, when you were even civilian members of the military, they they have a job description and they don’t often get too far outside of that job description. That’s certainly true. I think in a lot of civilian like when I wanted to hire a virtual assistant I had to write up the specific boundaries job description of what they would do and they don’t go outside that but you know, military first responders, you often find yourself you know, being Chief cook and bottle washer and it wasn’t anything had nothing to do with your duties or any of your training. And so yeah, I think the problem solving skills, the overcoming adversity realizing that Yeah, I can’t actually do it when I have to is it’s very helpful and I think it’s sought out by employers out there.

Jaime Parent 14:16
Exactly. And and first responders and veterans. My guess is they don’t want a job being behind the desk, there use that action. They’re used to participating, they’re used to getting their hands dirty. And I think we make a misstep in our society by saying that if we give a veteran a job, or a first responder, a job, we’re doing our duty because they’re employed. Well, what kind of job is that? Right? Is it somebody working in a warehouse? Is it somebody working as a cashier, and trust me, I’m not knocking those jobs at all. But if you’ve had a high octane, high inner energy job where you’ve actually had people’s lives in your hands, chances are you don’t want to take that job behind a desk. You want an actual kind of job where you can make money. contribution and be successful and continue that strong sense of purpose that you had while you were a first responder or while you were in the military.

Gary Pinkerton 15:08
That’s a really good point. It’s very easy. There’s a lot of things that aren’t easy in our lives as as first responders and military one thing that is easiest to understand the purpose and mission and why you come to work every day. That part’s not hard to figure out I think it would be hard to forget that in some other service service positions, you know, understanding the bigger picture in the why the Why is a lot different and a lot more shielded when you’re doing a more kind of mundane kind of job. Well, let’s dig into the book a little bit. So Jamie’s new book, he spent two years working on moving past PTSD, consciousness, understanding and appreciation for military veterans and their families and available on Amazon and everyone else out there and when it first come out, it’s not that old, right?

Jaime Parent 15:51
It’s not even out yet. It’s available for pre order, will be actually published on August 14, so you can go on Right now and preorder it. And shortly after the 14th of August

Gary Pinkerton 16:04
Well, I really enjoyed reading the the prologue and and a lot of the questions in the, you know, the stuff that is already available there on Amazon. One of the questions I wanted to bring up was about the history like I studied this back again, when I was we were doing some subjects on PTSD and my course I was teaching, and I was fascinated of all of the different names and all of the different ways in which we kind of swept under the rug through World War One World War Two, and I’m sure before that, we didn’t understand PTSD. We had all kinds of names for it like war, fatigue, and things like that. Could you just give a little history, how we’ve treated this in wars the past,

Jaime Parent 16:40
I was really surprised when I did my research because the conclusion I came up to is that we’ve been making the same mistakes and helping military veterans transition into the civilian sector since World War One. Now back in the day, we called it maybe combat stress, combat fatigue. There are some less flattering terms like loony or something, whatever. Yeah, men and women have been coming home broken from from the battlefield for 100 years, and even the congressman Danny Davis from Chicago, he did even more research and he writes about an 1850 that it was recognized even back then. So, military war changes you, you see things, you see horrific things, and you come back different. But unfortunately, the same things that plagued us in World War One plague us today. And what that is, is not enough housing, not enough jobs, no real transition services available from the services there. They’re all kind of still jumbled separately. access to healthcare. The probably I’ve read where the VA has struggled with finding the available appointments to give to veterans, not knocking the VA in any way, shape, or form. But no one I think really anticipated these large numbers of this protracted war. War on Terror that’s been going on for 18 years and shows no sign of letting up. So yes, what happens is America thinks that these wars are going to have less casualties and be fairly quick, but they’re not. And so that results in having an inadequate infrastructure to support them. Coming home. One of my favorite movies is the best years of our lives from 1947. Frederick March and a few others won Oscars. And it’s the same thing. The opening scene starts where when God says to another, well, all I want, I hope they’re not spending whole time trying to rehabilitate me. All I want is a nice job, a nice house and a nice neighborhood. And Is that too much to ask? And that was 72 years ago that that film came out and it’s pretty much I believe, still the same goals that most military and most first responders would want when they leave their primary job behind.

Gary Pinkerton 18:57
Yeah, well said. Curious Some of the titles here if you can dig into it, I know you don’t want to give you a whole the whole book away. But in the second part new strategies for transitioning veterans you talk about, we’ve touched on this a little bit, but a sense of purpose, you know, career not job, you know, intersection of human spirit and theology, those topics, they all they’re all intertwined. They kind of build on each other. Anything Did you can share with the audience about those topics?

Jaime Parent 19:21
Well, the first thing I want to say is yes, I want to give the program away. Why I put it as a complete how to guide in the appendix. So it’s more geared towards organizations on how to hire military veterans and what to look for, but it’s also a primer for military veterans and of course, first responders to us as to what the civilian job sector is looking for. So yes, that’s a complete take it as you want, and use it in your own organization because, quite honestly, the goal of my book is to help people and by providing that for free, I hope to help people One of the secrets of hiring a veteran or first responder is this. And that’s what I wrote about, especially on the intersection part. So, you know, you go into these things and saying, yes, you know, I’m going to have a jobs program for veterans or I’m going to have a jobs program for people that are no longer first responders or want to do something different. And yes, when you go into these things, you are doing some nice things for these deserving people. But what happens is as you’re doing something to help them, there’s an insidious little thing that comes in where you finally realize that they are doing something nice that you’re doing something nice for them, but they’re also doing something tremendous for you. They are incredible asset to any diversity program out there. And I also could include others that might not be thought of which would be again, PTSD, but also people that are victims of military sexual trauma as well as LGBTQ. They offer a different perspective on life. that perhaps your people in your own organization don’t have or don’t even realize, I was amazed at being in healthcare, you’d say, Well, everybody that comes there works on helping people. And of course, that’s true. But I had a number of providers come to me and say, you know what I would like to volunteer in this program because I want to contribute to healthcare. And I’m like, Well, wait a minute, you’re already a nurse. Yeah, no, but I want to do something else like this. So I think we all have that. We all have that altruistic gene to help one another. But the chapter I wanted to highlight was a man by the name of Kareem, who worked as a computer tech and a marine named Ryan Russell. Now, Ryan had a traumatic brain injury from his time in the Marine Corps. And to make a long story short, because you’ll have to get the Kleenex out and read the chapter is that when Ryan left to go to the University of Wisconsin, cream came into my office and he was sobbing because he was in tears and Nice green, what’s wrong? I know, Ryan’s gone and goes, No, no, you don’t understand. I’ve lost my son. And I’m like, What do you mean? And he goes, I have three kids. They’re just like, Brian, they’re trying to find their way. And I love Ryan. I lost my son. He was he was a son to me work so hard. And I just feel terrible that he’s gone. And this is where you know, he’s gone on to college in a better place. Yes, I know, but I lost my son. Now think about this for a moment. This is a Marine, who I’ve got a number of pictures, ready to fight ready to kill probably a bunch of Muslims. And Kareem is a Muslim. And they bonded between Christianity and being a Muslim, to just be two people together, helping and supporting one another. I had absolutely no idea the power that bringing Ryan on to the program would have in bringing out the best of people. And again, it crosses economic lines and here at cross His deep religious lines were the two of those men came together in a situation they didn’t expect. Yet they work together to help each other and to have each other learn and grow as individuals. To me, that was just a tremendous moment for me, undermining the potential of hiring somebody different, and going beyond what you might think of stereotypes, etc. But it was just a young man, an older man coming together working on a common cause, which was helping to fix PC DS and to help people in the hospital environment and the two of them from completely different backgrounds, shed any kind of things that they had behind them and just became a father and son relationship. It was just phenomenal for me to to see that happening.

Gary Pinkerton 23:49
That’s fascinating. And so as you mentioned already in the later in the book or in the appendix, then you’ve got kind of a guide on enabled veteran. An internship is this is this Guide for an individual to join the program or to obtain employment or is it a guide for for the employer or both?

Jaime Parent 24:09
It’s mostly a guide for the employer. However, there are things in there that the veteran can take a look at. And understand, for instance, why they’re not being hired. So okay, I had another guy named Kevin, he said to me, You know, I, you know, Jamie, I put my resume on I must apply apply to 50 different places. And you know, what, not one of them ever got back to me. Yeah. I don’t think they really want to hire veterans. And I said, well, son, here’s, here’s the new normal man. I mean, the chances are great that not even a human being ever even looked at that resume. And so when we’re talking about the disconnect between first responders, veterans, and hiring employers, there’s a gap in there that the enabled vet program bridges. So it’s not like the employers don’t want to hire veterans. But it’s They get a resume that’s filled with Pac AF, AF s GOEFO. If Battalion, they don’t know what the heck that is, and quite honestly, nor do they care, they problem, they have a problem. And they want the employee to solve that problem. And then the veteran will retreat back into Well, you know, this was this, but you know, I can actually do anything. And if you train me, you know, I can probably do this. But it’s not the employers job to train somebody into a skill, they most of them want a Ready Steady kind of person ready to go. But I don’t know what the actual number of seconds is before somebody looks at a resume and throws it away. But if they see all these things, they don’t understand they’re not going to have them get even into that interview. Yeah, well said. One of the things about the enabled vet program is we learned that in order for the veteran to be successful, or the first responder you had To create the right environment for them. In other words, it’s a little bit of getting into their world. And you can do that by having a couple veterans on staff that can help bridge that gap between the two. But I can’t put the veteran unemployment rate all on society and all on the employers for the reasons I just stated, if you don’t know how to write a resume, and if you’re a veteran, and your idea of a interview, consists of your commander saying, okay, in two weeks, you’re going to Afghanistan. Well, that’s not really here, you’re here. And a lot of the soft skills that you have an in in in an interview the veterans just don’t know about and one of those soft skills Well, okay, shirt and tie, perhaps feet icontact Yeah,

Gary Pinkerton 26:45
answering directly.

Jaime Parent 26:48
fidgeting Don’t slouch, don’t look at your phone, keep your hands you know, on top of the table, present a pleasant appearance, unless you’re taught how to do that. You don’t really know so as part of the initial That program and as a template for anybody that wants to use this, you need to have people that will teach those kinds of soft skills. So what we did in our program is we went to job recruiters out in the community. And we said, Hey, can you help these guys with interviews and with resumes? And they should. They said, Sure, no problem. Because oftentimes the veteran just goes to a job fair, and it’s like, okay, change this change this change. Oops, I don’t understand that cross that out here. Here you go. And that’s not what the veteran needs. The veteran needs that one on one help. And so that’s what the program did. And then I would have recruiters say, Well, you know, Jamie, you know, if I place these guys, I gotta charge a fee to the organization. And I’m like, I hope you make a million dollars because that means you’re getting more veterans hired. So that’s where they have skin in the game. If they refine this person, and then they help them coach them and then they go in the job interview with them. Then they get paid. And so it everybody having skin in the game. It helped the veteran, learn Soft skills that aren’t really taught in a book. And they’re not really taught at a job fair. And that was a success of our program to bring that gap together between veteran and employer and create a bridge of understanding between the two. And then everybody is successful. In the end. It’s awesome.

Gary Pinkerton 28:17
Well, gosh, dammit, we blew through the time we had together. What do we not talked about that’s important from the book or otherwise?

Jaime Parent 28:25
I would say that there’s a bias out there. And it’s on both sides. But there’s a bias out there from people that are suffering with PTSD. And they could be first responders or they could be anybody. I want to tell those folks out there who have some type of disability, whether it’s physical or developmental or mental. I want to say that you still have skills, and you still have the ability to contribute. I have noticed many people with PTSD in my program that when they were on their medications, you would never know that they have PTSD and they’ve gone on to be successful. Various Successful. I had one gentleman with PTSD. He insisted on wearing a three piece suit every day. He dressed better than I did. And his job was to crawl under desks and hook up PCs and networks. And I said his name was Sean. And I said, Shawn, you don’t have to wear the suit if you don’t want to. And he said, No, this is what I feel comfortable with every day. So I said, Okay, now you might look at skon as being a weird kind of guy, a three piece guy coming in and help fixing your computer. But if you understand the parameters of what he’s going through, and you understand that he’s not somebody that’s shooting up a yard somewhere or in a parking lot, he’s a quality person. And as long as you made it maintains his medications, he’s fine. So I would encourage all of your listeners, regardless of their status, if they have a disability, don’t remind yourself that you are a person of value, and you can make contributions and keep trying and don’t lose hope. I’d say don’t for your listeners. Don’t lose hope because there are people that are are willing to take a chance on you. Don’t lose hope you’ll find the right job, you’ll be okay.

Gary Pinkerton 30:06
Beautifully said thank you so much, Jamie, for joining our audience. Give your contact information if you would, Jimmy,

Jaime Parent 30:11
you can get my book on Amazon as we talked about past PTSD, Amazon calm. And also I still reach out to people all the time. So if you want to talk to me personally, you can go to my gmail account moving past And I do answer everybody. I’m not getting a whole lot right now. But if you need individual help, let me know because that’s still what I do. Awesome. Thank you

Gary Pinkerton 30:35
so much for joining us and given us a few minutes of your time. Thank you very much.

Announcer 30:40
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