An Open Talk about PTSD and Mental Health

May 7, 2024

Episode 319

Listen on PodBean

In our latest episode, Rachel and McKenna discuss the often-challenging world of mental health within military families.  From navigating the complexities of PTSD to fostering open communication and understanding, they share invaluable insights and personal experiences that many can relate to.  

This podcast is made possible by generous funding from the Military and Civilian Spouses’ Club of Fort Irwin. To learn more, visit  

Audio mixing by Concentus Media, Inc., Temple, Texas. 



Why is Dad So Mad? 
Author: Seth Kastle
Illustrator: Karissa Gonzalez-Othon 

Why is Mom So Mad? A Book About PTSD and Military Families 
Authors: Seth and Julia Kastle
Illustrator: Karissa Gonzalez-Othon 

Wounded Warrior Project

Elizabeth Dole Foundation

Military OneSource

988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline   


National Center for PTSD


U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Mental Health

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Crisis Text Line: Text HELLO to 741741  



McKenna is an 8th grader born and raised in the beautiful state of Montana. She lives with her mom and dad, an older brother, and a younger sister and brother. McKenna's dad is a retired combat Army and Air Force Veteran. He was deployed to OIF 2005-06 and was injured by multiple IED strikes. McKenna's work of art "The Tale of Two Lives" depicts the transition between combat and the civilian world and how some aspects bleed over from one into the other.  McKenna has always loved creating! She would much rather rescue something from a garage sale and upcycle it than buy it brand new. Where's the fun in that? McKenna's artistic talents were obvious very early on. The first time she picked up a crayon she held it correctly and just started coloring.   

McKenna's grandfather is a well-known artist, with works of art in the National Archives and many years of drawing the Airman of the Year portraits for the USAF. Aside from her natural talent, McKenna has been able to sit and learn from her grandfather. Her work of art "The Tale of Two Lives" was her first attempt at portrait work. 

Besides art, McKenna is also musically gifted. She was a very early talker and was already singing beautifully by the time she was two years old.  She hasn't stopped talking or singing since! She is currently in the honors choir at school. McKenna also enjoys playing cello and is in the 8th grade honors orchestra. And if she wasn't busy enough, McKenna likes to stay physically active with sports. McKenna is currently the point guard for her undefeated basketball team. She also plays volleyball, runs hurdles, throws discus, and participates in high jump, and long jump.  

Her current plans for when she "grows up" is to become a pediatrician and get to build upon her love of taking care of others. McKenna is a friend to everyone and is always looking for how to connect with and help others. She is a great example to all her siblings. Her mom and dad are especially proud of all that she has already accomplished in her young life and look forward to all the amazing things she has yet to create and achieve in the future.  

Rachel is the wife of a medically retired Army/USAF Veteran, and mom to four children, ranging in age from 15-5.  Rachel was a military child herself, having a father that retired from the USAF after 24 years of active-duty service. Rachel grew up all over the United States and across the world. She has loved the opportunities to learn and experience so many different people and cultures. Rachel is her husband's primary caregiver.  

Along with all the hats she wears taking care of her family, Rachel is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC). She owns a private practice providing mental health counseling to a variety of clients with a wide array of needs. Rachel also works to help parents involved with family services learn skills to improve their lives once their families are reunified.  

In addition, Rachel also works with hospice, providing grief and bereavement services for the local community. She also makes sure to give herself opportunities to do what she loves from time to time. She can often be found singing, crafting, camping, and is a true crime junkie! With all her interests, Rachel's favorite thing is to spend time with her family and laugh as often as possible. 

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