Wednesday, December 18, 2019

"Who is Kathie Costos and what qualifies her to come off as an expert?"

Who is Kathie Costos?

Wounded Times
Kathie Costos
December 18, 2019

After moving to New Hampshire, I was asked for an updated BIO. You would think after all these years, it should be easy, but it was not. I sat staring at a blank page for a long time. Then it dawned on me that there are a lot of people reading this site and wondering "Who is Kathie Costos and what qualifies her to come off as an expert?"

So, this is who I am.

I survived life threatening events 10 times, so I understand what it is like to have my life in jeopardy. I know what it is like to have nightmares and flashbacks, mood swings and feel as if the world is out to get me, as much as I know what it is like to take back my life from the "thing" that could have ended it.

In 1982, I met a Vietnam veteran and because of him, I do what I do everyday. I understand what it is like for him as well as what it is like for me and our family. We went through the worst and got into a better peace, so that we celebrated our 35th anniversary this year.

I researched PTSD as if my life depended on it at a local library with stacks of clinical books and a dictionary in whatever free time few had computers back then. The more I discovered about what it was, the more I loved my Vet! Oh, it isn't as if being around veterans was new to me. My uncles served in WWII and my Dad was a Korean War veteran.

Unknown to me, across the country, another Vietnam veteran working as a Seattle Police Officer was doing this work too. He started meeting veterans in 1984 at coffee shops and then created Point Man International Ministries to care for their spiritual needs, and supporting them to get the mental health help they needed from the VA. He also knew how important it was for families to have support too, so he started Home Fronts for them.

I started a lot of websites over the years but it was not until I wrote my first book FOR THE LOVE OF JACK HIS WAR MY BATTLE back in 2002, that I was contacted by an Out Post leader, learned what they did and why they did it, and have stayed with them ever since. That link goes to the three books I wrote and are available on Amazon. For The Love of Jack was republished in 2013.

In 2006 I created the first PTSD video Wounded Minds and was reaching veterans around the world.

That video was followed by about 300 more.

I started Wounded Times in 2007 after many other sites, because I thought that there should be a place to put all the research and reports I was reading, so they could be shared freely. It now has 30,855 posts with over 4 million views.

In 2008 I became a Certified Chaplain with the International Fellowship of Chaplains, specializing in veterans and first responders, crisis intervention, grief and loss, among other things. A video I did earned a Special Achievement award because while it was developed to help National Guards and Reservists, the IFOC was using it to help police officers and firefighters.

I also took every free class being offered to help me help them. I was certified in Critical Incidence and Stress Management and Peer Support in 2008. Disaster and Extreme Preparedness in 2009. The list goes on.

In 2012 after attending Valencia College, I received 5 certifications in digital media. Kind of funny considering that with all of that, I worked regular full time jobs, aside from when I was in college.

During my years, I began in Massachusetts, moved to Florida and currently live in New Hampshire. Now begins the new part of my work. Beginning soon, I will be focusing on female veterans and their families so they are no longer forgotten and going without the vital support they need.

I am a wife, Mother of a brilliant daughter and, if you ever watched the videos on PTSD Patrol, you also know I am a dogmom. This is Murray.

So that is who I am and why I do what I do. Oh, as a Chaplain, you also have to know that since I usually hang around with veterans/bikers, I am far from what you may think a chaplain is like. I drink, smoke and swear, plus I have a wicked sense of humor and bad temper that constantly has to be defused...but the older I get, the easier it is to do it. You may have noticed many of the times I freak out over an article in the press, but glad I do not have the video on as I hit the delete keys to take out a bunch of things that are not fit for public reading.

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