Are We Meeting the Mental Wellness Needs of Our Military?

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2015 Warrior-Family Symposium (WFS) "Our Nation's Military: Caring For Our Own, cosponsored by Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and Wounded Warrior Project will be held on Sept. 9 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in D.C.

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We've got to make sure every door our service member goes through for help is the right door with the right answer for care, and we've got to help and not judge.

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, the 2015 Warrior-Family Symposium (WFS), cosponsored by the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and Wounded Warrior Project, will be held in Washington. During the event, "Our Nation's Military: Caring For Our Own,” expert panelists will lead interactive discussions on the responsibilities and commitments of individuals, government and nongovernment organizations and the nation at-large to improve the overall mental wellness of the nation's military and veteran community.

Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, will join Robert A. McDonald, secretary of Veterans Affairs, as distinguished speakers. Cami McCormick, CBS News correspondent, will be the afternoon special guest speaker.

The WFS will be held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. (registration opens at 7:30 a.m.). Isakson will speak at 8:50 a.m., McCormick will speak at 12:45 p.m., and McDonald will deliver the closing remarks at 2:30 p.m.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. Mark A. Graham, senior director of Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care (UBHC) National Call Center, Rutgers UBHC, and former deputy of chief of staff of G-3/5/7 U.S. Army Forces Command, will speak during the event’s first panel. Graham and his wife, Carol, have dedicated their lives to sharing their story of losing their sons, 2nd Lt. Jeffrey Graham and Army ROTC cadet Kevin Graham, within months of each other. Jeffrey died in combat, and Kevin took his own life. The Grahams have become advocates for mental health awareness.

"No matter what rank — young soldiers, NCOs, commissioned officers — we have got to eliminate the stigma," Graham said in a 2013 Army Times article. "We've got to make sure every door our service member goes through for help is the right door with the right answer for care, and we've got to help and not judge."

The morning and afternoon panels are

  •     Connecting for Prevention: Impacting Mental Wellness (moderated by Patrick J. Murphy, partner, Fox Rothschild; anchor, MSNBC show “Taking the Hill”; former U.S. representative and U.S. Army veteran; and undersecretary of the Army nominee) and
  •     Transitioning Nation: Our Response on Mental Wellness (moderated by Tracie Potts, national affiliate correspondent, NBC News/NBC News Channel).

Following each panel, industry experts will join audience members for an interactive, in-depth dialogue. Panelists and speaker biographies can be viewed at

To register and view the complete event agenda with a full panel and speaker list, please visit Registration is free and includes lunch.

Who Should Attend: members of the administration, congressional staff, DoD representatives, military service departments, VA employees, Department of Labor employees, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration employees, and other governmental and nongovernmental leaders and staff members, clinicians (including but not limited to psychologists, physicians, nurses, social workers and counselors), researchers, industry professionals, academics, community leaders, caregivers, service members and veterans and their families and other interested organizations and individuals.

Thank you to our corporate sponsors:

  •     Executive Sponsor: USAA
  •     Platinum Sponsor: UnitedHealth Group and Health Net
  •     Gold Sponsor: Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman
  •     Lunch Sponsor: Fisher House Foundation
  •     Silver Sponsor: Delta Dental, US Family Health Plan, Express Scripts
  •     Continental Breakfast Sponsor: American Physical Therapy Association
  •     Bronze Sponsor: Zeiders Enterprises
  •     Refreshment Sponsor: NAVSO
  •     Media Sponsor:


MEDIA NOTE: All media attendees interested in covering the event can register by emailing; include your name, outlet, email and phone number. There will be a media check-in at the event. Please have credentials. Speakers, panelists and MOAA staff will be available for interviews.

Follow the discussion on Twitter with #WFS2015.

About MOAA:
Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) is the nation’s largest and most influential association of military officers. With more than 380,000 members — active duty, former, retired, and National Guard and Reserve officers from all seven uniformed services and their spouses and surviving spouses — it is a powerful force speaking for a strong national defense and represents the interests of military officers and their families at every stage of their careers. For those who are not eligible to join MOAA, Voices for America’s Troops is a nonprofit MOAA affiliate that supports a strong national defense. For more information, visit
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About Wounded Warrior Project:
The mission of Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) is to honor and empower Wounded Warriors. WWP’s purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members; to help injured servicemen and women aid and assist each other; and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. To get involved and learn more, visit

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