The 2007 best-selling book (and 2013 film adaptation) Lone Survivor tells the story of Navy SEAL and Houston native Marcus Luttrell, the sole survivor of a gun battle during a mission in Afghanistan in 2005. Luttrell was badly wounded, and wasn’t rescued until several days after the battle. It’s a harrowing story, but as is true with all veterans, it’s just one episode in Luttrell’s journey through life.
He recovered well enough physically from the injuries he sustained to serve another tour of duty. But ultimately, he was medically retired. It was at that point, while spending time on his Texas ranch, Luttrell feels he truly healed from his wounds. And that revelation — of the need to heal holistically over time beyond what government services offered — is what led him to establish the Lone Survivor Foundation in 2010.
On this edition of Houston Matters, Edel Howlin talks with Terry Jung, the Executive Director of the Lone Survivor Foundation, about how the foundation seeks to help veterans deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and other physical and emotional challenges related to military service. We also talk with clinical psychologist Rebecca Lancaster from the Michael E DeBakey VA Medical Center, about the value of such retreats for service members and their families as they work through the consequences of war.
Also this hour, on this Veterans Day, we learn about an exhibit on display in Houston to commemorate the centennial of World War I. It’s called Postcards from the Trenches: Germans and Americans Visualize the Great War, and it features artistic postcards created by German and American soldiers. Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin talks with University of Houston History Professor Dr. Irene Guenther, a co-curator of the exhibit.
Plus: From an unwelcome passing remark from a stranger to more overt cat calls, we discuss street harassment in Houston, with area psychologist Dr. Michael Winters, and Hermie Escamilla, Director of Hollaback Houston, a local chapter of a global network of activists who seek to highlight what harassment looks like in public spaces. While Houston isn’t the most active walking city, that doesn’t mean such harassment doesn’t happen here.
And: We talk with a Houston author who says dads don't have a lot of tools when it comes to building relationships with their daughters. That's why Alicia Arajuo-Elatassi wrote Querido Papá, or “Dear Dad.” It's a bilingual book in which she shares some of her own experiences with her father as lessons for today's families.