Thursday, Oct. 7, 2010
INSTITUTE FOR HEALTH AND SECURITY OF MILITARY FAMILIES FEATURES PRESENTATION BY TWO FORT RILEY SOLDIERS
MANHATTAN -- Two soldiers, two stories of life and death.
One is Capt. Joshua Mantz: felled by a sniper in Baghdad in 2007, technically dead. He flatlined for 15 minutes before medical teams revived him. "I could feel myself starting to die," he said.
The other is Maj. Jeff Hall: two tours in Iraq, lost troops. He and his wife, Sheri, faced another deadly type of military trauma: suicide, traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Mantz and the Halls will share their personal journeys of trauma and resilience at the second annual Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families lecture. Combat Stress: Redefining the "Wounded" Warrior and Family will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at in Hale Library's Hemisphere Room at Kansas State University. The lecture is open to the public.
Mantz and Hall are currently stationed with the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley.
Mantz was leader of a scout platoon in the 1-8 Calvary when he and his men were hit by an enemy sniper using high-powered, armor-piercing bullets. A hit to his right thigh severed the femoral artery. Five months later he returned to Iraq to complete his tour.
Currently, he is the aide-de-camp to Brig. Gen. David Petersen, deputy commanding general -- rear of the 1st Infantry Division. Mantz speaks about his experience throughout the country and has been featured on CNN, Fox News and BBC Radio, and in the New York Times and other newspapers.
He lives in Milford with his wife, Katie, and stepson, Xander.
Hall commanded A Battery 4-1FA out of Fort Riley. Following his second deployment to Iraq, in which he said he lost troops and a clear sense of mission, Hall became increasingly angry, began pushing away his family, and contemplated suicide until his commanding officer helped him get treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
He had the strength to seek help and today serves as the director of the Resilience Campus at Fort Riley. He has been awarded the Bronze Star.
Sheri Hall was a family readiness group adviser for two yearlong deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The couple has been involved with Defense Centers of Excellence programs addressing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. They work closely with the Real Warriors Campaign helping to break down the walls of stigma associated with getting treatment for the disorder and traumatic brain injury.
Sheri Hall's awards include the Molly Pitcher Award and the Commander's Service Award. The Halls have two teenage daughters: Tami, 17, and Courtney, 16.
K-State's Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families in the College of Human Ecology is the primary sponsor of the annual lecture.
"Capt. Mantz and Maj. and Mrs. Hall made use of the extensive health tools -- physical and psychological -- and resources available for service members and their families," said Briana Nelson Goff, director of the institute and associate dean of the College of Human Ecology. "Today they are advocates for soldier and family wellness and the need for emotional health support for all service members and their families."