Jeff Decker knows what war can do to a person
JEFF DECKER knows what war can do to a person. He lived it for four deployments, as an Army special operations squad leader in Iraq and Afghanistan who twice earned the Army Commendation Medal for valorous conduct in combat.
So he founded March on Veteran, an organization that supports veterans suffering from mental health issues, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. March on Veteran is a free, online program available to any former member of the military.
Decker serves as a research assistant in the Center for International Security and Cooperation under JOE FELTER, a special forces veteran and a senior research scholar who studies counterinsurgencies, terrorism and political violence for CISAC.
After his military service, Decker struggled with the transition to civilian life due to the anger, anxiety, chronic pain and sleeplessness that PTSD causes. With no access to a Veteran Affairs treatment center, Decker turned to educating himself about mental health treatments available to veterans.
“When I studied for my doctorate in Australia, I cobbled together a mental health program to help myself. Now I’m sharing that and making those resources available to other veterans with the same needs,” said Decker, who earned his doctorate in international relations from Bond University.
So far, about 83 veterans have begun March on Veteran’s pilot program, which is web-based and self-directed. Decker handles almost all of the human contact. He is currently expanding the program to incorporate the veteran-to-veteran peer element with the help of other veteran volunteers.
Read more on the website of the Center for International Security and Cooperation.