From Navy Bomb Specialist to War Trauma Philanthropist – HPP 33

Ken Falke

Ken Falke, Founder of the EOD Warrior Foundation, discusses life as a Navy bomb specialist and how it led him on a path to helping veterans with psychological trauma from explosive devices. He shares his intimate understanding of what it’s like to hold one of the most dangerous jobs in the military and the therapeutic resources needed for these people.  

With up to thirty-percent of veterans suffering from PTSD symptoms it’s clearly a crisis that needs to be addressed. As discussed in the episode, the military does an excellent job in training service members on active duty and how to regulate the mind and body while on the battlefield. However, where services seem to fall short is in the aftermath.

When things go “wrong” and a service member needs support for psychological trauma their options are very limited to modalities that don’t show high levels of efficacy or patient follow-through. Ken will share about another way of working with veterans who suffer from PTSD. The model he and his team developed relies heavily on coaching techniques and post-traumatic growth orientations.


Show Notes:

How the military trains self-regulation [13:45]

How trauma stacks in service members [18:30]

Why Vietnam POW’s trauma symptoms were less than other veterans [25:15]

Clinical mistakes are made when over focusing on combat [30:45]

An inspiring story of a quadriplegic [38:15]

Ken Falke

Ken Falke spent 21 years in the US Navy as a bomb disposal specialist. After retiring from the Navy in 2002, Ken started and later sold A-T Solutions, a counter-terrorism company. In 2004, Ken founded the EOD Warrior Foundation to support the families of severely wounded military bomb disposal personnel. This work inspired Ken and his family to donate 37 acres of their estate in Bluemont, Virginia and millions of dollars to build Boulder Crest Retreat Virginia in 2013 – the nation’s first privately funded wellness center dedicated exclusively to combat veterans and their families. They have also established the Boulder Crest Retreat Arizona and the Boulder Crest Institute in 2017.