Cynthia and Michael Orange

Shock Waves: Learning to Live with Psychic Trauma and the Moral Wounds of War

On average, 22 US veterans kill themselves every day; a suicide every 65 minutes. Michael’s presentation will focus on the factors that result in this daily tragedy of self-directed violence and the moral injuries that result from fighting our country’s wars.

According to the National Center for PTSD, 60 percent of men and 50 percent of women experience, witness, or are affected by a traumatic event in their lifetimes. What isn’t reflected in these statistics is the millions of their loved ones who are affected by “trickle down” trauma. Living in a household affected by trauma and PTSD is a bit like trying to swim through mud, which is what Cynthia’s presentation will cover.

Cynthia OrangeCynthia Orange is an award-winning writer who has published hundreds of articles, columns, and guest editorials in newspapers, magazines, and literary journals. She is the author of several books, including Shock Waves: A Practical Guide to Living with a Loved Ones PTSD (Hazelden, 2010), which won a Nautilus Book Award. She co-facilitates a caregivers support group, and she and her husband (Michael Orange, a Vietnam combat vet) often speak to audiences about the effects of trauma and war in their continuing involvement with veterans and veterans’ issues.

Michael OrangeAs a Marine in Vietnam, Michael Orange experienced combat in numerous search-and-destroy missions during his tour of duty (1969-70). Afterwards, he returned to his former university campus, Kent State, in May 1970, just before Ohio National Guardsmen shot thirteen of his fellow students, killing four. In 2001, he published a memoir of his experiences, Fire in the Hole: A Mortarman in Vietnam and in 2003, he completed nine months of therapy for combat-related PTSD. Michael teaches a class on the history of the Vietnam War, speaks about the moral injury from war in high schools and universities, and is an active member of Veterans for Peace.


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