Upholding Valor

Upholding Valor focuses on men and women from all backgrounds and eras of military service. It is our hope that this series will inspire and educate veterans to use the resources and programs they have earned while spotlighting their spirit and courage throughout our community. It is up to all of us to look out for our veterans. Hosted by Jill Atwood, Chief of Communications of the VA in Salt Lake City, Utah, and sponsored by American United Federal Credit Union, continuously striving to be the difference that makes a difference in the lives of our veterans. Visit Amucu.org/valor to learn more.

Episodes

  • July 15, 2021

    Don't suffer in silence. PTSD is treatable!

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is something roughly 20% of veterans deal with after service or a long combat deployment. VA understands, and has the experts to make a difference in veterans' lives. Don’t suffer in silence! PTSD is treatable.

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  • June 28, 2021

    Pride in Caring for All Veterans

    VA takes great “Pride” in caring for everyone that served. The LGBTQ community is no exception. Our mission is to foster an inclusive and welcoming environment every day, not just during Pride Month. Please listen to one transfeminine Veteran’s story.  

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  • May 31, 2021

    Homeless Veterans

    One homeless veteran is one too many--that’s why VA has teams committed to finding and improving their lives.  Hear from one of those teams and the lengths they go to, to reach a veteran on the street.

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  • May 3, 2021

    The Backbone of VA Healthcare

    VA nurses are the backbone of VA healthcare. They have been tried and tested over the last year, but their resilience and commitment to our veterans is unparalleled. The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System salutes our VA nurses – through COVID-19 and a year of turmoil they stand strong.

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  • March 29, 2021

    Finding Hope after Experiencing Sexual Trauma

    There is life after experiencing sexual trauma in the military. VA can take veterans from victim to survivor with dedicated resources and providers committed to healing those suffering from MST. Don’t suffer in silence. No matter what stage of recovery you're in, there's support and hope for a better future.  We believe in you!  In this week’s Upholding Valor podcast we hear about one MST survivor’s long journey back.

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  • March 1, 2021

    Hope Arrives with the Covid-19 Vaccine

    It’s time for all of us to do our part against this paralyzing virus.  VA is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to all veterans 50 and older and those with severe medical conditions regardless of age. Veterans must also be enrolled in the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System.  Call and book your appointment today.  Please listen to this podcast as it has important information regarding process, but more importantly, the safety and efficacy of this critical vaccine.

    (NOTE) The nurses discuss 65 and older as eligible but since this recording we have dropped the eligible age to 50 and older.

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  • February 8, 2021

    Confront the Past, Define Your Future

    The VA Salt Lake City Health Care System has resources for veterans in every stage of life.  Most importantly, we never want them to be too proud to ask for help.  In this week’s Upholding Valor we listen to one veteran’s story of desperation to triumph.

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  • January 18, 2021

    Surviving COVID-19

    Have you ever spoken to a survivor of COVID-19? Someone on the brink of death who lives to tell about it?  Meet Clare Neff--a Navy veteran who spent a total of 40 days in the hospital with the coronavirus.  When he went on the ventilator he was fairly certain he would never come off.  And then came the miracles. 

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  • January 4, 2021

    VA Video Connect

    The Department of Veterans Affairs wants to make sure you stay connected during these challenging times. VA Video Connect allows you to talk to your provider from the comfort of your couch.  It’s convenient and easy and all your fellow Veterans are doing it. Have a listen.

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  • September 22, 2020

    Suicide Prevention

    Every day, 17 Veterans die by suicide.  That’s 6,205 service members a year.  

    Casualties of a private war, many of these men and women survive the horrors of the battlefield only to struggle with a hidden enemy within. But, as one Veteran reminds us…. there is always hope.  We will hear her story and talk with Dr. Michael Tragakis, a psychologist, and Suicide Prevention Clinical Director with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System on the warning signs and treatments of suicide.

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  • September 7, 2020

    Driving Out the Darkness

    Every day, 20 Veterans die by suicide.

    That’s 7,300 service members a year – more than were killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Combined.

    Casualties of a private war, many of these men and women survived the horrors of the battlefield only to succumb to the hidden enemy locked within their minds.

    On this episode of the Upholding Valor podcast, we’ll journey into the world of darkness that drove Iraq War Veteran Tammy Joy Lane and Vietnam Era Veteran Alan Morris to try and take their own lives. And we’ll hear of how they survived the ordeal and learned that even amongst the bleakest times, there’s always a glimmer of hope.

    We’ll also hear from Dr. Michael Tragakis, a psychologist, and Suicide Prevention Clinical Director with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System on the warning signs and treatments of suicide.

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  • August 10, 2020

    Continuing Conversation on the Call for Change

    VA’s LGBT program is robust in it’s outreach and impact on Veterans.  We are honored to give you a perspective you don’t often hear at a time in our history when many would argue we need a lot more listening.

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  • July 27, 2020

    Diversity - Cynthia and Michelle

    VA sees all color, race and sexual orientation.  We stand together during these challenging times to serve those all who have served. We are a stronger VA together.  Please talk to your provider about resources available to you, and remember, we encourage virtual healthcare appointments at this time. Thank you for your service!

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  • June 29, 2020

    Diversity

    VA serves all Veterans no matter their age, race, gender or sexual orientation. We know embracing diversity makes us a better healthcare organization.

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  • May 11, 2020

    VA and Providers During the Pandemic

    VA providers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.  They balance mission, family, and their own fears as they show up to work every day to serve.

    Dr. Amy Cowan works at the VA Salt Lake City HCS.

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  • April 9, 2020

    On the Front Lines of COVID-19

    VA workers are on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are trained, we are prepared and VA will do everything within it’s power to help Veterans and the community if need be.  We are all in this together.

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  • April 6, 2020

    The Other/Stronger Side of Traumatic Brain Injury

    Treatment and life after a traumatic brain injury is possible with VA experts skilled in poly-trauma and mental health.  A brain injury can be complicated by symptoms of PTSD. Meet Josh Hansen, an Operation Iraqi freedom Veteran, who has come out stronger on the other side of treatment.  First he saved himself, and now he’s saving others.

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  • March 23, 2020

    Veterans and TeleHealth - Covid19

    During these unsettling times, VA is leading the way in caring for Veterans and keeping every one protected.  Virtual healthcare promotes safety, while providing that critical connection so many of our Veterans need right now.  Vet Connect keeps our Veterans safe from COVID-19.  We hope this podcast is helpful and finds you well.

     

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  • March 2, 2020

    The Medicine of Family

    A family’s medicine is the best medicine when it comes to recovery from a serious medical condition.  The Fisher House eases the family burden for those far away from home and allows for hope and healing.  This amazing home full of love and the comforts of home brings families together in support of one another.  This is one family’s story.

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  • February 17, 2020

    Agent Orange

    Decades after the war, some Vietnam Veterans are just now coming to VA.  Dreams of war they can no longer ignore, and physical illness related to agent orange exposure have them looking for answers and peace.  VA has the expertise, research and compassion to make a difference.  There is help.  This is one Veteran’s story.    

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  • October 28, 2019

    Homelessness

    Some of the Veterans who fought for your freedom are now fighting for survival on the streets.  In Utah, Veterans make up 8% of the Homeless Population.  While we have seen an almost a 40% decrease in recent years, across the nation, roughly 40,000 Veterans still remain homeless.  

    These Veterans not only struggle with safety and shelter. Sometimes the legal and financial burdens that come with the harsh circumstances of homelessness prove to be too much to overcome.

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  • October 14, 2019

    Veterans and Opioid Addiction

    As America finds itself caught in the deadly grip of opioid addiction, community leaders, policy makers, and medical practitioners alike have struggled to balance the needs of the infirmed against the growing threat posed by these drugs. On this episode of the Upholding Valor podcast, we’ll hear the personal and heartfelt tales of Veterans whose lives were shattered by opioid addiction.

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  • September 30, 2019

    Driving Out the Darkness

    Every day, 20 Veterans die by suicide.

    That’s 7,300 service members a year – more than were killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

    Combined.

    Casualties of a private war, many of these men and women survived the horrors of the battlefield only to succumb to the hidden enemy locked within their minds.

    On this episode of the Upholding Valor podcast, we’ll journey into the world of darkness that drove Iraq War Veteran Tammy Joy Lane and Vietnam Era Veteran Alan Morris to try and take their own lives. And we’ll hear of how they survived the ordeal and learned that even amongst the bleakest times, there’s always a glimmer of hope.

    We’ll also hear from Dr. Michael Tragakis, a psychologist, and Suicide Prevention Clinical Director with the VA Salt Lake City Health Care System on the warning signs and treatments of suicide.

    Play Episode
  • September 16, 2019

    A New Heart and New Beginning

    Since 2014 Karl Baylor hasn’t had a heartbeat, now as a transplant recipient he is adjusting to waking up every morning with a pulse, and a tremble in his new heart. 

    At the Salt Lake City VA, our nurses play a critical role in ensuring the continued health and welfare of America’s Heroes, Veterans just like Karl.

    On this episode of Upholding Valor, we’ll hear from Karl, and take an inside look into the world of nursing.  The challenges and rewards nurses face while helping service members on their road to recovery.

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  • September 2, 2019

    Working Prosthetic Miracles

    Army veteran, and IED survivor, Bryant Jacobs takes us to the moments before a bomb changed his life forever. Jacobs shares his struggle to return to normalcy after the Iraq war, and of the harrowing decision to amputate his leg.

    However, his story doesn’t end there. In 2015, Jacobs and another Veteran became the first two patients in the U.S. to undergo an experimental procedure, one that could help them — and America’s nearly 2 million amputees — take the literal steps toward a better life.

    Today we check in with Jacobs to see how he’s progressing and speak with Dr. Sarina Sinclair, the prosthetic research scientist at the Salt Lake City VA who helped pioneer this extraordinary procedure.

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  • June 3, 2019

    Serving Your Country and Your Fellow Soldiers

    The VA could not run its daily operations without thousands of volunteers that give their time and energy every day.  Make a difference in a veteran's life today.  Hear from two Vietnam veterans who know sacrifice and continue to give long after their service.

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  • April 29, 2019

    Nutrition

    It's true what they say: You are what you eat. In this week's Upholding Valor podcast, we talk whole health and nutrition. Eating the right foods can literally prevent, even cure, disease. We want our veterans to drive their own healthcare and as ask themselves, "What matters most?"

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  • April 15, 2019

    Timely Care that All Veterans Deserve

    The new Mission Act will ensure veterans get the timely care they deserve.  Access and quality care are the VA’s number one priority--if we can’t get them into a doctor soon enough, veterans may see a provider in the community. 

    To hear more details on the Mission Act and how it impacts you, listen to the Upholding Valor podcast.  Thank you for choosing VA!

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  • April 1, 2019

    Veterans' Healthcare--No Matter the Orientation

    The VA cares for all veterans no matter their race, gender, age or sexual orientation.  Our LGBT Veterans have unique healthcare needs based on their life and military experiences.  We are honored to offer special programs and resources.  Please take a moment to listen to our podcast and then make that first phone call.  

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  • March 18, 2019

    Celebrating Vietnam Veterans

    VA commemorates the Vietnam War 50 years later.  Our service men and women did not receive the homecoming they so richly deserved, but years later VA is trying to make up for that through comprehensive benefits, healthcare and compassion.  Many of these Veterans are coming to us for the very first time some 40 years later.  It is heartbreaking to relive but necessary to learn from and move forward.

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  • March 4, 2019

    Intimate Partner Violence

    VA offers all types of resources for Veterans to include family services.  Intimate Partner Violence is something that may be hard to talk about and confront, but with help families can heal.

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  • February 18, 2019

    Women's Health for Female Veterans

    Women make up 15 percent of our military and today, most don’t even consider themselves Veterans.  VA is committed to your unique care needs and is anxious to serve you.  Visits our women’s clinic today at the George E. Wahlen VA Medical Center.  For more information go to https://www.womenshealth.va.gov/

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  • February 4, 2019

    Whole Health and Life After Your Service

    Transition struggles can happen after military service or a long deployment.  Just know, you don’t have to suffer in silence.  Our psychologists and social workers are specially trained in all aspects of post deployment issues to include: PTSD, family therapy, homelessness, substance abuse, and legal troubles.  Enroll today at www.saltlakecity.va.gov

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  • December 31, 2018

    PTSD: Veterans Helping Veterans

    It takes a strong person to serve, but an even stronger person to ask for help once that service is over.  Isn’t it time to take your life back?  Our two guests talk first steps and coming out on the other side.

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  • December 10, 2018

    Upholding Valor: Stu Shipley

    The holidays can be a rough time for our Veterans, but you are never alone.  VA Salt Lake City is here for you.  Always.  Please contact us at the Veterans Crisis Line:  1-800-273-8255

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  • November 26, 2018

    Compensated Work Therapy

    Veterans should never have to struggle finding work after military service for any reason.  VA Salt Lake City can help.

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  • September 30, 2018

    Homeless Outreach for Veterans

    If you are a homeless veteran, or at risk for becoming a homeless veteran, please take advantage of our walk-in clinic every Monday from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Building 16 at the main VA campus. VA Salt Lake City also has a homeless provider of the day every weekday from 8:00 to 4:00 p.m., available to discuss housing needs with veterans.

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  • July 24, 2017

    When Your Best Cure Is... Play (Audio)

    VA Salt Lake City Heath Care System offers a full range of recreation therapy options.

    These are for veterans with physical injuries as well as psychological and emotional injuries.  These programs help veterans heal from their injuries as well as learn to live independently, even with disabilities.

    Jill Atwood is joined by Heather Brown, a Recreation Therapist at VA Salt Lake City, and wheel chair athlete Wendy Griffin.  Wendy is an Air Force veteran who uses the VA programs.

    There are a lot of amazing opportunities.  National veteran wheelchair games and winter sports clinic are two examples of major events that show the strength of our veterans.

     

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  • July 7, 2017

    Healing The Whole Veteran: Body, Mind, & Spirit (Audio)

    Shella Stovall, VA Medical Center Director, along with Nena Saunders, Associate Director Quality And Safety Systems, join VA Communications Director Jill Atwood for a very candid conversation about health care for veterans.

    The purpose of the VA is to provide top notch health care to veterans.  The Salt Lake VA Medical Center is a four star health care facility and provides comprehensive health services to veterans. 

    The Salt Lake Medical Center also performs a lot of important research to make sure veterans are served as well as possible

    The Salt Lake VA Medical Center competes with private sector hospitals in many areas.  The standard of care is very high.

    They also talk about some areas the VA is making important changes.  This includes in the area of timeliness.

    Of course, Army, Navy, Air Force, and US Marine Corps veterans are welcome.  But also many Reserves and National Guard veterans are eligible depending on active duty history.

     

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  • May 23, 2017

    Introducing Upholding Valor

    Veteran Jen Johnson proudly served in the US Navy. But life after service was tough. She was homeless and desperate before she finally found VA. Hi I'm Jill Atwood, the Chief of Communications for the VA in Salt Lake City. I am proud to introduce Upholding Valor. Our healthcare system is undergoing bold change. So we can provide even better healthcare for our veterans. That also means better access and that lifeline of support when they need it most. Veterans like Jennifer Johnson tell us that they choose VA healthcare because VA knows veterans better than anyone else. To hear Jennifer's full story, get the Upholding Valor podcast by texting VETERANS to 57500 or KSL360.com/veterans

    America United Federal Credit Union is proud to partner with the VA Salt Lake City Healthcare System for Upholding Valor. And continuously strives to be the difference that makes a difference in our veteran's lives. Visit amucu.org/valor to learn more.

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