2023 NATIONAL CONFERENCE
As we enter a new year, Irreverent Warriors wants to highlight the importance of family and community for veterans and their loved ones. Being part of the military family can be challenging, which is why the organization is dedicated to creating a supportive community for veterans and their families.
In January, Irreverent Warriors held its 2023 National Leadership Conference in Dallas, Texas. The conference brought together chapter leaders from across the organization to learn, talk, and grow. The event featured an impressive lineup of guest speakers and panelists from the military, academia, and the private sector.
One of the keynote speakers was The Honorable Patrick J. Murphy, an Army veteran, America’s first Iraq War veteran elected to the U.S. Congress, and the 32nd Under Secretary of the Army. During the 2022 Gala, Mr. Murphy spoke about the importance of Veteran entrepreneurship and called our generation of American veterans the “purpose-driven generation.” He encouraged everyone to continue living in their purpose, no matter what that is.
Mr. Murphy is a big believer in post-traumatic growth and stressed the importance of embracing our similarities and rejecting divisiveness. He encouraged us to give each other grace and support each other as brothers and sisters. He also reminded us of the importance of showing and telling people that we are there for them and the value of leaning on our brothers and sisters for support during tough times.
Irreverent Warriors Chairman of the Board, Danny Maher, AKA “Donny O’Malley,” discussed the importance of driving positive cultural change for the organization. Maher believes that events like these are all about love and respect, and that good mental health springs from the love we have for ourselves and others. He emphasized the significance of cohesion in encouraging positive change and urged everyone to embrace the things that bring them together while moving away from anything that pushes them apart.
In February, Irreverent Warriors will highlight its volunteers in its social media campaign and newsletter. If you know someone who deserves to be featured, please send a note to [email protected] or [email protected] The organization is excited to showcase the amazing accomplishments of its volunteers – and not just in February – We want to highlight them all year long!
Finally, Dr. Craig Bryan, Air Force veteran, leading expert on suicide prevention, and the Stress, Trauma, and Resilience (STAR) Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, presented findings from his 2021 book, “Rethinking Suicide: Why Prevention Fails, and How We Can Do Better.” Dr. Bryan’s book examines how suicide prevention efforts largely fail due to the mistaken assumption that greater mental health awareness is the key to saving lives. Instead, Dr. Bryan discussed how careful analysis of research findings suggests that suicide should be seen as a highly complex problem with many risk factors. He advocates for process-based thinking that may, in some cases, defy or contradict many of our long-held assumptions about suicide.
Dr. Bryan’s book is available anywhere books are sold.
By sharing these insights and updates, Irreverent Warriors hopes to continue improving its mission and better serving veterans. The organization emphasizes the importance of family, community, and positive cultural change in supporting veterans and their loved ones.