ReCon: Veteran's Resilience Conference

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Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts

425 W Western Ave #200

Muskegon, MI 49440

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Resilience is one of the pillars to overcoming ongoing life challenges faced by Veterans between their personal and professional, post-military lives. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed by anyone.


ReCon is a Resilience Conference focused on veteran, family and community resilience.

Pioneering a Veteran resilience movement starts with all of us. That’s why ReCon: Resilience Conference focuses on bringing you the best speakers, resources, and practices to equip you with the tools you need to continue encouraging and strengthening others. Veterans, their families, community members, Veteran service providers, and anyone interested in supporting Veterans or gaining skills to grow resilience are invited to attend ReCon.

The conference includes a complete line up of distinguished speakers, informative lectures and panels, collaboration among peers, resource fair, and networking opportunities. Three different breakout sessions will be offered on specialized resilience skills-building training so that you feel empowered to put what you learn into practice immediately upon returning home.

Attendees will gain tools to grow individual and collective resilience, as well as gain specialized information in the following areas:

  • Veteran-Centered Resilience: Understand how to support the holistic behavioral and mental health needs of Veterans, Veteran families, and Veteran services;

  • Veteran Family Resilience: Explore how to foster preparedness for Veterans and supportive services for their families; and

  • Community Resilience: Learn how to increase the capacity to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from traumatic disruptions that pose ongoing risks to communities.


Medal of Honor Recipient James McCloughanMedal of Honor Recipient James McCloughan with U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Brian Gripentrog

Spc. 5 James C. McCloughan was born in South Haven, Mi. He completed his tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969-1970. He distinguished himself during 48 hours of close-combat fighting against enemy forces, May 13-15, 1969. At the time, then-Pfc. McCloughan was serving as a combat medic with Company C, 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, 196th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division, in the Republic of Vietnam.

During this time frame, he saw a wounded Soldier lying on the ground, too injured to move. McCloughan ran 100 meters to the Soldier through an open field, ducking and dodging the crossfire of his company and a charging platoon of North Vietnamese Army. Upon reaching the wounded Soldier, McCloughan shouldered him and raced back to the company, saving his fellow Soldier from being captured or killed.

Dr. Vincent Felitti

Dr. Vincent Felitti

A renowned physician and researcher, Dr. Vincent J. Felitti is one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma. Leading the charge in research into how adverse childhood experiences affect adults, he is co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, a long-term, in-depth, analysis of over 17,000 adults. Defying conventional belief, this study famously revealed a powerful relationship between our emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults. In fact, the ACE study shows that humans convert childhood traumatic emotional experiences into organic disease later in life. Revolutionary at its inception, Felitti’s groundbreaking research remains extremely relevant to today’s healthcare models.

Additional speakers and panels planned for breakout sessions include, but are not limited to:

*** Access the entire list of breakout sessions and speakers HERE***


7-8 am: Registration & Breakfast

8-9 am: Introduction of James McCloughan, Medal of Honor Recipient and a screening of the first half of Project 22

9:05-9:50 am James McCloughan & Brian Gripentrog

10-10:50 am Breakout Sessions

  • Sisterhood Initiative
  • Using Mindfulness and Compassion to Strengthen Resiliency
  • “7 Things not to say to a Veteran”
  • Understanding the different levels of the “VA”

11:30 am-12:50 pm Lunchtime Keynote Address by Dr. Vincent Felitti, co-principal investigator of the internationally recognized Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

1-2 pm Breakout Sessions

  • Veteran Supports (Panel)
  • Employers Panel
  • Tools of Resilience
  • Veterans Treatment Court (Panel)
  • Operation S.A.V.E. for Suicide Prevention

2:10-3:10 pm Breakout Sessions

  • Veteran Supports (Panel)
  • Hiring a Veteran (Panel)
  • Tools of Resilience
  • "7 Things not to say to a Veteran”
  • Transitioning out of the Military (Panel)

3:20-4:30 pm Finish the screening of Project 22 and legislature appreciation

4:30-6 pm Networking session with exhibitor booths and cash bar

**This agenda is tentative and session times and topics may change.

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Frauenthal Center for the Performing Arts

425 W Western Ave #200

Muskegon, MI 49440

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