Episode 206 Mike Kim Veteran Readjustment Culture Transcript
This transcript is from episode 206 with guest Mike Kim.
[00:00:00] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for tuning into the Drive On Podcast where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran active duty guard reserve or family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio.
[00:00:18] Scott DeLuzio: And now let’s get on with the show.
[00:00:21] Scott DeLuzio: Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today, my guest is Mike Kim. Mike is a psychoanalyst and an ex monk and retired us department of veterans affairs vet center, site, director, and lead war trauma, readjustment counselor. His research at Columbia university is focused on his original theory of veteran readjustment.
[00:00:48] Scott DeLuzio: And besides being a war veteran Mike’s work has advocated for vets, military personnel and families. Since the early 1990s, he has over [00:01:00] 20,000 clinical hours in facilitating war trauma therapy. His military experience started back in 1986 and. Intermittently served until 2009. He’s a graduate of Norwich, military college of Vermont, where my brother actually also attended a Yale university.
[00:01:19] Scott DeLuzio: And I’m also from Connecticut. So familiar with it, and the Harvard program in refugee trauma. In this episode, we’re going to be chatting about the mental health options for veterans and how transitioning out of the military impacts all of our lives after we take the uniform off.
[00:01:34] Scott DeLuzio: So without further ado, Welcome to the show. Really glad to have you here.
[00:01:38] Mike Kim: So it’s an honor. I mean, I appreciate learning about you through Ryan and I’m a vet with a mic and also just your presence within the veteran community. Your name has passed on, but I was just. All right. How do I locate this guy?
[00:01:58] Mike Kim: And now it all [00:02:00] happened where we were able to meet each other, even though hearing from you indirectly from people. And it’s just, it’s great. It’s great to be here, to talk about veteran issues and the military. I just devoted my whole life to the veteran. Cause I think much like your brother and God bless him.
[00:02:21] Mike Kim: At Norwich having a expensive education was very important as far as not just being someone in the military, but having this expansive mind to learn about Different issues and have like a interdisciplinary type of education. So that’s why I ended up studying theology, spirituality, psychoanalysis history, and right now I’m at Columbia university in two departments.
[00:02:51] Mike Kim: And My advisors from the psych department and then my second advisers from the arts and humanities department. And I’m focusing [00:03:00] a lot on this theory tied to veteran readjustment. And it’s actually, as I name it veteran readjustment culture and yeah, I really appreciate being.
[00:03:14] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And it’s crazy how the the veteran community, it seems like it’s such a small world because there are people like you’re saying how my name came up and how do I get in touch with this guy? But through various connections, you ended up getting introduced to me and, I’m glad that we did.
[00:03:32] Scott DeLuzio: As we get out there and we’re talking to other people and we’re. Getting different episodes recorded for this podcast and other podcasts, like Ryans podcasts that you mentioned, Vet With A Mic I’ve been on his show, he’s been online. We just form those connections and then it just makes it so much easier for us all to spread that network out and help each other out.
[00:03:53] Scott DeLuzio: And I really I really love how all of that came together. It wasn’t something that I initially. Anticipated [00:04:00] would happen with this podcast where I would have such a huge network of people that, that we now can tap into, but it’s really great the way it’s happened in and over the past a little over three years now that I’ve been doing this podcast.
[00:04:12] Scott DeLuzio: I have found so many people that were able to help each other out just through these connections that we make. And it’s really great how all that works out. So let’s get into this a little bit here. So for the listeners and probably myself included I’ve I know I’ve heard of psychologists and psychiatrists and in the introduction, I mentioned that you’re a psychoanalyst.
[00:04:39] Scott DeLuzio: Could you explain what it is that you do that’s different or perhaps even the same for myself and the listeners that might not be as familiar with psychoanalysts as I might be with some of the other Psychology fi areas.
[00:04:53] Mike Kim: Right. And I appreciate your your examined question. So the reason why I [00:05:00] became a psychoanalyst was I was at Yale working on a graduate degree and My, my advisor, there was just like going through the different psychoanalytic areas.
[00:05:13] Mike Kim: I mean, psychological and counseling areas and what intrigued me was psychoanalysis because like you and then thinking about like the military. I want to go through like an extremely rigorous program. I say that because you’re a grunt. And I don’t know if I could fully call myself a grunt.
[00:05:33] Mike Kim: I’ll get into that in the future, but like, yeah. Like I’m, I know I’m a hard charger and the thing about it is psychoanalysis. You have to have an advanced degree for. Before going into psychoanalytic training. So you’ve got to already have like an MD or a PhD or a legitimate, robust master’s degree with [00:06:00] advanced clinical training or a social work degree, but a full-on social work degree, like licensed.
[00:06:07] Mike Kim: I wanted to go into. A deeper understanding of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is the birthplace for for therapy talk therapy and counseling. Not only that, a lot of people don’t realize this, that it is also the home of war trauma treatment because it’s Freud who begins. Treating veterans from world war one in his free clinic.
[00:06:39] Mike Kim: So that’s very important to mention it’s a free clinic where veterans can come in and out to receive care. Freud had three sons in the military highly decorated. One was a pow and he had an investment not just towards healing veterans. [00:07:00] To promote an understanding of what veterans were going through.
[00:07:05] Mike Kim: And he started the first major, like find fronts for veterans. I mean the veteran treatment personnel, clinicians folks like frenzy, I believe, young attended just like the top names. Clinicians back then were involved because of Freud. And to me, it’s important to always look at the routes before going into your practice.
[00:07:32] Mike Kim: And so I went into understanding trauma. At a very early time of my clinical development. And I think it has rewarded me on so many levels because I didn’t have like a shake and bake clinical degree. Not saying that folks who do are bad therapists, I would not say that I would say that I wanted to [00:08:00] really understand Way to provide care for veterans and.
[00:08:08] Mike Kim: One major principle that isn’t offered in a lot of the therapies is to understand resistance, but to do it in a very human kind of way. And you and I, whether it’s a podcast or meeting vets at a social events, you always find vets who are resistant towards either talking about things, either going for help or dealing with their families and psychoanalysis, just helps you as a clinician, look at the other person’s resistances and to find a way to engage that resistance in a very trust filled environment that is aimed at not just looking at someone’s problems. I mean, what I love about psychoanalysis versus like the other types of counseling. [00:09:00] Counseling is.
[00:09:01] Mike Kim: And I know with our good friend, Ryan were talking about this, about counseling and psychotherapy counseling has like, a specific kind of goal. If you’re an addictions counselor, you’re going to focus on addictions. You’re not going to talk about, your childhood or anything that much it’s your treatment goals are like addiction, in psychoanalysis, you will.
[00:09:24] Mike Kim: Kind of like devise a treatment, a plan that would involve the many different faces of that veteran’s life. So you would be looking at, not just the problems, but you would be looking at a lot of root causes to those problems as. And
[00:09:45] Scott DeLuzio: that makes sense to me. And I am in no way trained in any of this.
[00:09:49] Scott DeLuzio: So this could be just, this is just one man’s opinion in it. Take it or leave it for whatever it’s worth for the listeners. But to me, it seems like if you can focus on the overall [00:10:00] picture of what’s going on with someone, right? Like if if the person is going into marriage counseling and they’re having trouble at home, It turns out the reason why they’re having trouble at home is because they’re stressed at work and they have all these problems going on at work and they’re having problems with their boss or not meeting their deadlines for whatever reason.
[00:10:20] Scott DeLuzio: And they’re bringing that home. And now that’s causing tension at home in their marriage and their family life and everything like that. Well, it makes sense to look at the overall picture because yeah, you can try to focus on just the marriage, just at home. You can just look at that one slice of the pie, but.
[00:10:36] Scott DeLuzio: If you’re ignoring the other piece, that the work side of things, then maybe you’re not going to get to the root cause of the issue. And that’s just going to continue to fester like a cancer almost. It’s going to continue to spread through, into other areas of the person’s life. And that’s really what I think you need to do is drill down to the root cause of whatever the issues are.
[00:10:57] Scott DeLuzio: And if you’re talking about substance abuse, if the [00:11:00] person’s abusing certain substances, because. Of some trauma that happened early on in their life, in their childhood or whatever. Well, maybe let’s address that because maybe that will help resolve the substance abuse problem to begin with.
[00:11:13] Scott DeLuzio: Right. So all of this makes a lot of sense to me and I’m really interested again, I am in no way, shape or form a counselor or therapist or anything like that. This is interesting to me to see this hope more holistic kind of approach to the types of issues that we’re talking about today.
[00:11:29] Scott DeLuzio: So, so thank you for that and that little bit of a introduction into what it is that you do and how that differs. Maybe in terms of some of the other practices that are out there
[00:11:39] Mike Kim: and those other practices, they serve a purpose, right? So, with psychoanalysis, One, I wouldn’t say a flaw, but I would say maybe not a strength would be like a meat immediate kind of like, management of like a symptom.
[00:11:58] Mike Kim: So maybe something [00:12:00] like exposure therapy or EMDR could be more helpful. In that. And so I, like, I always liked having an an eclectic approach to therapy and I’ve used, and I ended up training in EMDR, in IPT interpersonal. There are B I had some indirect training for cognitive processing therapy and also rational emotive therapy.
[00:12:28] Mike Kim: So I’m familiar with the different fields of mental health and wellness. I just chose psychoanalysis because the way I work with people. I like to work with them. Long-term and to look at what you’re saying about the whole life of the bed, as we’ve talked about earlier, and this is one of the essential parts of my veteran readjustment culture theory approach, concept, whatever you want to call it.
[00:12:58] Mike Kim: It’s about looking at who [00:13:00] the VA. Before he joined the military. What was that quality of life? The good, the bad, the ugly who were, who was, the person who would end up being Jody later on, Jody Jody boy, the, in the, the guy who takes your girlfriend while you’re like, deployed or in training and then who you are, during the military, whether you’re deployed or not, what are the.
[00:13:23] Mike Kim: Positive parts, what are, what are the ones, the parts that triggered you, while you were in the military and then a post-military life. And that’s why I think I really was able to connect with your different podcasts in an interview. I heard that was done by a university in Australian university that you were in that kind of presented those.
[00:13:49] Mike Kim: Micro narratives that ended up being like a larger narrative that you provided the audience.
[00:13:56] Scott DeLuzio: Right? Right. Yeah. And all of that stuff [00:14:00] pieced together. It helps to make sense of what’s going on in the here and now when you take all of those pieces into consideration, as opposed to just the one subset of, okay.
[00:14:11] Scott DeLuzio: What’s the major symptom that we’re trying to help, right. To me, that it does make sense. So in the intro I mentioned that you have over 20,000 clinical hours in war trauma therapy. And so there’s. An author, Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote about the 10,000 hour rule. And whether you agree with that rule or not in his book called outliers, that he claims that the key to achieving world-class expertise in any skill is to a large extent, a matter of practicing the correct way for a total of around 10,000 hours.
[00:14:45] Scott DeLuzio: And. Again, whether or not that 10,000 hour rule is true, I feel like we’re probably listening to an expert on the topic of clinical or sorry, in, in a war trauma therapy, just due to the nature of how much time you have [00:15:00] invested in this type of thing. So what are some of the trends that you’ve seen throughout your career with the soldiers coming back from war and the traumas that they’ve encountered and how they cope with them?
[00:15:13] Mike Kim: I’m glad you asked that. Because in a lot of my research and reflections, I’ve come up with the main thing that the military does not recognize. And even I think that, I think the VA is starting to recognize, and that is Call it moral injury, but it’s more than that. I would say the inter because it doesn’t have to be an injury.
[00:15:40] Mike Kim: I mean, there, there are injuries, but there are also like moral triumphs to in the military. The thing is that our relationships are not. So when you when someone not you, but well, I could be candid because you mentioned that you, in your other interview that you that you’ve pursued therapy, I have [00:16:00] to and everything.
[00:16:01] Mike Kim: So when we’ve gone through therapy, like at the VA, and I, I know a lot of people that are great and I know some people who are not so great, but I know that when I. I experienced a novice therapist. They’re just focused on the events that occurred in war.
[00:16:21] Mike Kim: They’re just like, like looking for that silver bullet, because from there they could easily try to diagnose you for PTSD. This is not a conspiracy. It’s just that our mass culture. And this is why I got into readjustment culture. Yeah. Interpreting it, in my way, the media PTSD, the government PTSD, everywhere around, you’ve got this whole thing about PTSD and that seem to be the signifier attached to the veteran, but the veteran is so [00:17:00] much more than that.
[00:17:00] Mike Kim: And so what I notice is. The relationships, the interpersonal relationships that you have from day one with your recruiter, like, damn it, I got this promise, I got Hawaii and I got sent to, Greenland, that’s an interpersonal issue that I’ve actually heard people, older folks just older vets talk about as far as like, I didn’t want to be this, I didn’t want to be in admin or I didn’t want to be a grunt or, but I just, I just signed a contract. So these interpersonal relationships, and then when you’re looking at deployment you could have, a real positive first.
[00:17:43] Mike Kim: Or you can have someone who just doesn’t care about you, as a first Sergeant, right. Or as far as his company, he could just be focused on whatever, administrative staff or his his own deployment, but. The bottom line is you’ve got [00:18:00] different people that the person you went to bootcamp with and or basic training with and slept above you.
[00:18:08] Mike Kim: That’s it. That’s a relationship your team members These are relationships. The relationships you have as you’re exiting the military those matter to your relationship with leaders. Different leaders might be very different. Like once you get into Garrison and you’re ready to leave the military, and then those relationships, which aren’t examined really in, in the VA or in like, with fellow veterans, those become unexamined.
[00:18:42] Mike Kim: So, so I think that’s a big Issue. That’s not really covered. And I think that’s like key to get into a lot of the events tied to trauma and the manifestations of trauma, because [00:19:00] relationships you hold on to them, deeply just like, like your family, whether, they were good or bad, they stick with you.
[00:19:10] Mike Kim: And especially in the military. Whether you like it or not. It’s an artificial family, right? With it’s artificial family, with depth for many. And then for certain folks, they just re reject that artificial reality. When I say artificial, I don’t mean fake. I mean, you’re put into something that’s called a brotherhood or sisterhood, and you’re supposed to, treat each other.
[00:19:40] Mike Kim: With family, but at the same time you have the UCM J, which is ultimately daddy, and that’s really, that’s one major thing that I just. Understand why there hasn’t been like a lot of research on, and I think it could help, not just clinicians, but as we deal [00:20:00] with veterans.
[00:20:00] Mike Kim: So the first question, usually when you’re like at a bar and you meet a vet, that is like, what did you do? Or where were you? It’s the conversations never go around like. Do, did you get along with your squad your team leader? Because I thought he was a douchebag, mine was like a douchebag, like, what did you think?
[00:20:18] Mike Kim: Like that’s those, believe it or not, those little micro stories are. Telling of many things within your veteran narrative. And so I would say that’s a major issue. I would say another major issue is
[00:20:42] Mike Kim: normally Emily of origin because I also did I’m probably one of the few and it’s not bragging, but it is. I like to brag. The thing, the good thing is as a clinician, that’s it, but like
[00:20:54] Mike Kim: Our family issues really come out on so many [00:21:00] levels. And when I was doing interviews like more than 5,000 hours or close to 10,000 hours of not therapy of justice sitting down and doing these interviews and that’s what Freud started looking at what’s what’s your life like?
[00:21:19] Mike Kim: And so I went through those different stages with them before, during and after. And what I found so interesting is that their lives in many ways were so good. Then what’s presented in the media. For example, I worked with a lot of Vietnam veterans and, you when you hear about the fifties and about the, the great kind of like, days of prosperity and all that, and world war II guys came back and they, help build America.
[00:21:53] Mike Kim: And that’s all true at the same time, I would say from what I learned. In these many [00:22:00] hours of like with Vietnam veterans who grew up during this time during what I call the happy days, time and at the show with the Fonz, that there were high levels of alcoholism from a lot of their world war, two veteran fathers to cope with world war II.
[00:22:18] Mike Kim: There was a lot of domestic violence. There were a lot of examples of child abuse neglect unemployment on different levels. So it wasn’t like the fifties had everyone in the middle class. It was just very important to like, get that type of data because I got. See something very different than what’s presented in the media.
[00:22:49] Mike Kim: And then how that’s also useful as far as looking at the veteran reality is
[00:22:58] Mike Kim: then the myths [00:23:00] that we have and that we carry on, to war or even after war, after the war, it can be shattered, but having a knowledge of. It’s very can be very restorative. A good example of that is I don’t know if you read the book or saw the movie or have done both born on the 4th of July, Ronnie Kovac kind of gives that narrative that I’m talking about that you gave.
[00:23:26] Mike Kim: And that I’ve given who is the person before, during and after. And he really showed like like his idealic life on long island, as far as like his views on war and the cold war patriotism, which it’s not bad or good. It’s just a historical reality that occurred. And he lived through that and he brought up.
[00:23:51] Mike Kim: With him to war and he did two enlistments. And even after experiencing, being paralyzed from the waist [00:24:00] down, he was still caught up with a lot of those myths. And then those myths were somewhat shattered. Well, my thing is, who’s going to be there to help you. Deal with that shattering when you’re cracked, open that way.
[00:24:19] Mike Kim: And so I think understanding people’s lives. The myths that they live through, before they entered the military while they were in the military and after have to be like examined. So I would say understanding these tropes and myths so that even you and I, like, I don’t know, people were, I’m a big fan of movies, but I’m into those, like, Frenchie put on my beret and smoke my cigarette like that and those type of movies, and so all my friends would make fun of me and stuff like that. And then, so some of them were shocked when I said, man, I want to see top gun [00:25:00] Maverick because you know that. I don’t know, it influenced me when I was, even though I had horrible eyesight, I was like, man, I want to be like, Maverick.
[00:25:10] Mike Kim: And I think it was very inspirational for me, like right before I joined the military. And when you understand myths and tropes, you can see a lot of how, I definitely. Pro Navy recruiting kind of movie and all that, but at the same time, you don’t use miss, I believe to like trash people, but to understand people and a work of art or a literary piece.
[00:25:42] Mike Kim: And by putting my psychoanalytic lens in steadying these myths I could watch. Top gun. I could watch Maverick and also understand. And I don’t want to give away the movie for the audience if they haven’t seen it, but there’s a lingering moral [00:26:00] injury there from the first movie.
[00:26:03] Mike Kim: So imagine this mass media movie w how many blockbuster, sale. And at the same time you’ve got this hidden kind of like message there that if you’re a vet, you can pick that up. And so I would say the recognition of myths and the misrecognition of. I have come up in a lot of veterans and we’ve worked with them, as well as the myths on the enemy.
[00:26:38] Mike Kim: Right? So a lot of my work was involved with Vietnam veterans who I cherish. But I was just like, why do you have to keep on using Gook? I know you like me. I know I’m not going to call you. Racist, I’m not here to judge you. Okay. This is a safe environment, but I just want to know, and if you were in a [00:27:00] group process, group therapy process, I just, maybe they’re interested in knowing, and we’d have like open discussions about it and over and over again.
[00:27:10] Mike Kim: And what I found was I was able to understand their meaning of it of these words. And they were able to understand the myths tied to those words and why those myths were used to dehumanize the enter enemy because they were taught just like we were taught to be focused on if need be kill the enemy.
[00:27:33] Mike Kim: You can’t look at the enemy as a human being in combat. I mean, according to. The indirect messaging that’s given out in the military, I’m not saying that’s protocol or what the generals are planning. It’s just a way a coping survival techniques. So, so I would say those are two things and then I would say another big issue when it comes [00:28:00] to a lot of what’s going on.
[00:28:02] Mike Kim: In the veteran terrain w in, in, in providing therapy is the understanding and misunderstanding of the veteran civilian divide. So I would have That’s come in and they’re just like, almost knocked out disability and this hippie. And I was like, did you know, my, my first Sergeant like named me hippie, and then he was like, well, it was really, and then I was just like, I mean, whatever, I, I always had longer hair and I was always being threatened to be court-martialed even as an officer, that’s just who I am. And And they were like, really? And so what is a hippie and talking about, this whole thing of civilians not being another enemy, because we’ve got enough challenges with our own enemy, ultimately ourselves, right.
[00:28:51] Mike Kim: For being exposed in this unnatural environment called war. When I say I’m natural, I mean, It’s not [00:29:00] like you walk down wall street and there’s a rocket attack happening, right. Yeah. So war is a very unnatural kind of environment for people and readjustment is a natural thing to happen.
[00:29:11] Mike Kim: Symptoms are natural. And I think one of the symptoms that’s not really explored as much as this issue of the veteran civilian divide now, On the veteran’s side where I don’t give a pass with some of these veteran writers who have written a lot on it and have mentioned it in different books and different commentaries in different editorials, I would go against their their position where they think, well, civilians just don’t know what’s going on.
[00:29:47] Mike Kim: And they didn’t, only 1% kind of joining in the military. That’s true. That’s the beginning. But what we need to also understand [00:30:00] is. How did that come about? Like the policies of all all volunteer army in 1973, right. And many ways to not have the whole general public involved in the military.
[00:30:15] Mike Kim: Cause so is it the civilian who is responsible or maybe a higher level? And again, it’s not a conspiracy, it’s just. Try to trying to understand systems like. Who set this policy for a all volunteer army. And how is that set up and what’s involved in a draft I’m part of the New York draft board in Manhattan.
[00:30:40] Mike Kim: So like, if there is a national emergency, I’m going to have to evaluate records of different people who have to be drafted. Whether, we don’t have an active draft, but we have. Selective service. And that’s basically a draft, and most folks don’t understand that veterans don’t [00:31:00] understand that many veterans don’t understand it.
[00:31:02] Mike Kim: A lot of civilians don’t understand it. And so I think it’s easy to just blame a civilian for this veteran civilian gap or divide. And I would also say that. Another contributor to the myth is I don’t think a lot of veterans, I mean, I appreciate your work and the work of other veterans. I shouldn’t say I shouldn’t generalize, but there are certain veterans that only see themselves as veterans when they come back.
[00:31:37] Mike Kim: And there’s reasons for that. There’s reasons for that legitimate reasons for that. And they could possibly have their own resistance towards the civilian world. But I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are deeper problems, like veteran unemployment that has never truly been studied as well as [00:32:00] policies implemented to alleviate veteran unemployment.
[00:32:04] Mike Kim: And so. That’s more of an issue of of a divide, policy divides to help veterans readjust, universal mental health service for all who have served, that is a policy issue that should be brought up. That’s the divide, with. Veterans and society, not because there’s not enough people to join or because these people are insensitive.
[00:32:31] Mike Kim: These civilians. I, yeah. I mean, it’s I see this in a lot of different books and all of them.
[00:32:39] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And I find it interesting that how many veterans have a tough time readjusting back into civilian life. After leaving the military, myself included I was national guard, so it wasn’t as much of a transition, but still that that, that label change from a service member to a veteran.
[00:32:59] Scott DeLuzio: It [00:33:00] play some tricks on you and it was something I. Anticipating as I was getting out of the national guard, but the thing to me. It makes it hard for me to wrap my head around this whole issue with this transition is that we all were civilians at one point before joining the military.
[00:33:17] Scott DeLuzio: So we obviously know what civilian life is like, where we don’t necessarily have your first Sergeant, your platoon Sergeant, on, on your case, telling you where to be, what to wear when you can eat, when you can do this and that and everything. But then on the other hand, for a lot of us, we were 18 or 19 year olds.
[00:33:35] Scott DeLuzio: We joined the military and didn’t have a care in the world. We still probably lived in mom and dad’s house. So we did have that quote unquote, first Sergeant, with your parents there, who were telling you, okay, you gotta it’s time to eat. It’s time to make your bed time to go do all this stuff.
[00:33:51] Scott DeLuzio: And maybe not to that extent, but they still you’re living under their roof that telling you what to do. And then after leaving the military, whether we’re only in for a few years or [00:34:00] stayed in for 20, whatever it is. We get out with real world responsibilities. We’re adults. Now we’re not the carefree kids that we used to be.
[00:34:10] Scott DeLuzio: Maybe we started a family while we’re in the military or have other responsibilities and things like that. Most of them. In regular civilian life, we go through a gradual shift. We graduated high school. We either go to college or start a job and then we slowly work our way into things.
[00:34:26] Scott DeLuzio: And it’s like just slowly walking into the water and getting used to that cold water as you’re walking in and. Is much easier to do than just jumping in the deep end. And it seems like that’s what a lot of people are doing as they’re getting out of the military, sir, the jumping into the deep end of civilian life, expecting that they need to be at that same place as the rest of their peers who have had the opportunity to gradually dip their toes in if you will.
[00:34:49] Scott DeLuzio: So, so it’s interesting to me to see all of the different issues that people have, like you said I wonder that knock that hippie out or whatever, like there’s a lot of different [00:35:00] issues. But what can we do to help make it easier for the veterans who are in this adjustment phase, this readjustment back into civilian life?
[00:35:08] Scott DeLuzio: What can we do to help them along?
[00:35:12] Mike Kim: Well, I think what’s interesting is what Jonathan Shay doctor Dr. Shea Was a pioneer is a pioneer in understanding war trauma, PTSD. What was interesting. And he had I don’t know, 20 to 30 years at the Boston VA and he primarily worked with Vietnam veterans who wrote a very interesting book called Achilles in Vietnam.
[00:35:37] Mike Kim: And in like at the end of the book the question is post. What can be done, after, he spends exp extensive time talking about war trauma and he talks about, the different case studies and all of this what’s really interesting is he pointed out something that I think many in the clinical world, miss, and that’s [00:36:00] the communal realizing, and this isn’t communism, the communalized Veteran readjustment.
[00:36:07] Mike Kim: And so that’s what I’m always intrigued in understanding veteran readjustment culture. Like how do, how did that’s congregate, how, like this is a way of congregating. I mean, we’re connected to two other people, the audience I’m connected to you. You’re connected to me.
[00:36:28] Mike Kim: Those are interpersonal ways of healing. That kind of in many ways I wouldn’t say repair, but they re acclimate because I don’t think we’re, the word repair. I think it assumes that we’re broken. I want to use a word. And any of you clinicians don’t copy me. I use the word reacclimate because we were used to certain bonds in the military, good bonds and bad bonds.
[00:36:58] Mike Kim: But those good bonds to a certain [00:37:00] extent, I feel we’re maybe redemptive in this extreme thing called war and help people. Get through more through these bonds, those that were good bonds, positive bonds. So I think that needs to be we need to create domains for that. So whether it’s the podcast world, whether it’s outings, I mean, for all that you criticize.
[00:37:27] Mike Kim: And my sister and I, we fight, she’s a combat vet too, and all that. She looks like me, but I’m prettier and I’m in the south. We say prettier, like Rick flair, like, I’m prettier than she is and whatever. She’s seven years younger and she deployed to Afghanistan and she was career. But what I find like in, in her narrative is that she uses wounded warrior project because she’s a mother of three and they go to six flags and they have other parents.
[00:37:58] Mike Kim: And I’m just like a dude. I [00:38:00] have my son, I didn’t get married. My son knows, I what the deal is, and we’re just like, whatever, like cool. But my sister’s reality is the uncool mom jeans, and living in the burbs, not in Manhattan like me, and her readjustment is very different.
[00:38:19] Mike Kim: So she needs wounded warrior project to a certain extent because. For whatever sins they had in the past, they’ve always offered activities to get people together, to get veterans and families together. And that’s a way of communicating and they’re authentic and they’re not like hustling money out of vets and they’re just gifts.
[00:38:47] Mike Kim: So that a veteran and his family or her family can like. Experience at a time together and also meet other vets along the way. So I would say [00:39:00] creating domains is one thing I do feel that having a whole more holistic approach to readjustment she’d be looked at as far as that.
[00:39:15] Mike Kim: For psychoanalysis, to be incorporated more on different levels to look at the whole life of the vet. And there’s been some moves. They did a very successful research study at Bethesda and with using psycho analytic practice for some patients who couldn’t adapt to other.
[00:39:35] Mike Kim: To other treatments. But I’m not saying it’s a promote psychoanalysis. What I’m saying is that our outlooks towards veterans need to be more holistic versus man. You were like a sniper. Like my, one of my closest friends was one of the top snipers, Marco and during.
[00:39:57] Mike Kim: Whatever we lost touch in a way [00:40:00] for short period of time, I was going through some issues with my son and it was COVID. The VA had no plan, as you remember, and he took his life and I’m like your mission in helping veterans and civilians become more aware of veteran suicide. I’m fully supportive in what you do.
[00:40:21] Mike Kim: And I believe that. Society. This is where society can be more active. And I would even say the military and the VA can be more proactive as far as identifying someone who’s Marco. And I don’t minimize the company clerk, but Marco stuck in an apartment in Colorado for all those days during COVID a sniper in a team.
[00:40:48] Mike Kim: Who saw a very intimate side of war that a lot of people don’t see now, should the VA flag that to a [00:41:00] certain extent, not negatively flag it, but it’s like to maybe offer more supportive care to this person even during COVID. I think that. Something like that is like needed. And so the context of the veteran has to be like understood when you’re helping veterans treating veterans hosting veterans to different functions is trying to understand the context.
[00:41:28] Mike Kim: You’re not always gonna get that. And we also have veterans have like, you can, we can get lost, which is good too, in that collective reality of fellowship. But to make an effort to understand context is important. Especially if you’re a clinician, especially if you’re a clinician.
[00:41:48] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s true. The context, and I think we’re sort of talking about before, where you’re looking at the overall picture of the person, not just, okay. This person served in the army [00:42:00] for X number of years. What do they do in the army? Again, not to minimize the clerks or the cooks or, people like that, but w what did they do?
[00:42:08] Scott DeLuzio: Were they a sniper? Okay, well, yeah maybe we want to follow up with this person a little bit more closely, because that is a very. Job that you have that’s that is literally the what was the at and T that reach out and touch someone like that is a one-on-one connection. You’re seeing that, that whole process unfold through the lens of your scope.
[00:42:32] Scott DeLuzio: And it is very personal and that can have a significant toll on somebody. And so, looking into people like that, people who have Even if you want to make it easy and categorize people with purple hearts or, things like that, where you can say, okay, these people probably are going to need some additional followup.
[00:42:53] Scott DeLuzio: They may be resistant to reaching out and asking for this kind of help, but [00:43:00] let’s put it out there. Let’s make it as easy as possible for these people to get the help and the services that they they might need. And again, like we were saying before let’s plant those seeds and hopefully those seeds take root and, they may not with everybody.
[00:43:16] Scott DeLuzio: You can lead the horse to water. You can’t make them drink, but at least you’re making that effort and you’re showing that, Hey, we care about what’s going to happen to you and we want the best for you. So let’s work together to make this as good of a process as we can.
[00:43:34] Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. So before we wrap up here I know you have a podcast and some other stuff that you might want to talk about a little bit tell us where people can go. First off, tell us about the podcast and where people can go to find it and and everything like that. Anything else that you might have to talk about as well?
[00:43:52] Scott DeLuzio: Well,
[00:43:52] Mike Kim: thank you so much. Yeah, it’s great because I started podcasting in 2016 with warfighter radio [00:44:00] network and the terrain has just changed the equipment and everything has changed. And you’ve given me a lot of like, great advice. As far as the podcast that I’m going to be a part of the great people at coming home.
[00:44:13] Mike Kim: Well, so coming home well.com you’ll be able to look at, the different shows that I’ll have one show. And the shows we’ll alternate, as far as I’ll have people on the video show on, on, on one episode. And then the next episode, it’ll go into kind of like an individual type of reflection, type of show where I review books.
[00:44:36] Mike Kim: And I talk about different technical issues regarding. Therapy and things within the veteran terrain and other expressions regarding veteran culture. And then it will go back to guests and then it’ll go back to like reflections. And so you’ll have access to me that way you’ll also be able to see the different interviews have done, and this is definitely one of the [00:45:00] best.
[00:45:00] Mike Kim: And I’m not Jack riding that. You’ll be able to just Google Mike Kim veteran and you’ll be able to find my different articles as well as academic presentations. I focus a lot on veteran readjustment culture and I just delivered. Lecture academic presentation at the university of north Texas health science center and for the academic year of 21 to 22 it got the most views.
[00:45:30] Mike Kim: And so, my podcast focuses on veteran readjustment culture. I’ll be having different. Folks from the veteran terrain guy cats like you and others and Rudy Ray is and yeah, and we’re going to be talking about how they’re making contributions towards veteran culture. You can also reach me at Instagram Mike, Kim veteran.
[00:45:58] Mike Kim: And,[00:46:00] I welcome any type of questions in invitations. This has just been a great experience because I felt as though. You are attuned to some of the things that I’ve been researching.
[00:46:17] Mike Kim: And and I won’t give you credit. No, I will give you credit, and I really appreciate being on.
[00:46:23] Scott DeLuzio: Well, I appreciate that and I appreciate you taking the time to come on and join me. It really has been a pleasure speaking with you and hearing a little bit more about what it is that you do in your space and some of the research that you’ve done.
[00:46:37] Scott DeLuzio: So thank you again for coming on and taking the time to join me. I appreciate it.
[00:46:43] Mike Kim: Thanks for having me.
[00:46:45] Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website, driveonpodcast.com. We’re also on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube at drive on [00:47:00] podcast. .
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