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Rejuvenaging with Dr. Ron Kaiser [Podcast]

Warrior PATHH to Healing: A Conversation with David Nathanson, Former Marine and Executive Director of Eagle Oak Retreat


This week’s podcast features an interview with David Nathanson. David is a former enlisted Marine and officer, served in various command roles throughout his 30-year career in the Marine Corps. Despite being twice nominated for general officer promotions, political reasons led to his sudden retirement, leaving him grappling with the loss of purpose, identity, and mission. Now, as the Executive Director of Eagle Oak Retreat, a Texas-based nonprofit, David is focused on providing combat veterans and first responders with the skills needed to overcome posttraumatic stress and lead fulfilling lives.


Eagle Oak Retreat offers a program called Warrior Path, a peer-led initiative designed to help trauma survivors rediscover their identity and purpose beyond their military or first responder experiences. The program emphasizes reconciliation of past trauma, identification of triggers for post-traumatic stress, and training individuals to respond positively to stressors. Meditation, reflection, journaling, and metaphorical exercises play significant roles in the program. David emphasizes the unique nature of trauma experienced by veterans and first responders, making peer-led programs particularly effective.


The podcast delves into the importance of the Warrior Path program, encouraging veterans and first responders suffering from trauma to explore the available resources for healing. The focus is on helping individuals reconnect with their pre-trauma selves, regain enthusiasm for life, and move forward positively. The conversation underscores the critical role of peer support in the healing process. Many principles that are discussed can also apply to civilians who have experienced other types of stressors.


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