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College of Human Ecology

Soldiers to tell two stories of combat stress at Oct. 14 'wounded warrior' lecture

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Capt. Joshua Mantz

Capt. Joshua Mantz

Two soldiers; two stories of life and death.

One is Capt. Joshua Mantz, felled by sniper in Baghdad in 2007, technically died. He flat-lined for 15 minutes before medical teams revived him. “I could feel myself starting to die,” he said.

The other is Major Jeff Hall, two tours to Iraq, lost troops. He and his wife Sheri faced another deadly type of military trauma: suicide, traumatic brain injury and posttraumatic stress disorder.

At Combat Stress: Redefining the “Wounded” Warrior and Family, Mantz and the Halls will share their personal journeys of trauma and resilience. They are currently stationed at the 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley.

The 2nd annual Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families lecture will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at in the Hemisphere Room, Hale Library on the K-State campus.

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 Brigadier General David Petersen, deputy commanding general – rear of the 1st Infantry Division. Mantz speaks about his experience throughout the country and has been featured on John King CNN, FOX News, and BBC Radio and in the New York Times and other newspapers.

He lives in Milford with his wife, Katie, and step-son, Xander.

Major Jeff Hall

Hall commanded A Battery 4-1FA out of Ft. Riley. Following his second deployment to Iraq, in which “he lost troops and a clear sense of mission,” Maj. Hall became increasingly angry, began pushing away his family, and contemplated suicide until his commanding officer helped him get treatment for PTSD.

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 Advisor for two year-long deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The couple has been involved with Defense Centers of Excellence programs addressing the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder. They work closely with the Real Warriors Campaign helping to breakdown the walls of stigma associated with getting treatment for PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

Mrs. 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.

The Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families, College of Human Ecology, is primary sponsor of the annual lecture.

“Capt. Mantz and Major 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 in 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.”

This article was posted on Thursday, October 7, 2010, and is filed under Family Studies & Human Services, Institute for the Health and Security of Military Families.