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Alan Peterson, PhD, ABPP

Alan Peterson is a board certified clinical health psychologist, the Krus Endowed Chair in Psychiatry, and Chief of the Division of Behavioral Medicine within the Department of Psychiatry and School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio). He is the Associate Director of Research for the Military Health Institute at UT Health San Antonio.  He is also a Research Health Scientist at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System and a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Texas at San Antonio.  He is the Director of the STRONG STAR Consortium and the Consortium to Alleviate PTSD.  These two consortia include over 150 research collaborators and 40 institutions worldwide. He served previously as the Chair of the Department of Psychology and the Director of the Clinical Health Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at Wilford Hall Medical Center. He retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2005 after 21 years of active duty service including deployments in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom. He has clinical and research expertise in the areas of behavioral medicine, psychological trauma, and resiliency.  He has published 7 books and over 150 scientific manuscripts and given over 300 presentations at national and international meetings.  Since arriving at UT Health San Antonio in 2005, he and his colleagues have secured approximately $140 million in peer-reviewed research funding to support applied clinical research in San Antonio, throughout Texas, and worldwide.  Dr. Peterson has championed a proposal to establish the National Center for Warrior Resiliency in San Antonio. 

 
 
 

craig j. bryan, psyD, abpp

Dr. Craig J. Bryan, PsyD, ABPP, is a board-certified clinical psychologist in cognitive behavioral psychology, and is currently the Executive Director of the National Center for Veterans Studies at The University of Utah. Dr. Bryan is an Iraq War veteran who currently researches treatments for suicide prevention and PTSD, especially among military personnel and veterans. Dr. Bryan has published over 150 scientific articles and several books including Brief Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Suicide Prevention, and is considered a leading national expert on military and veteran suicide.

 
 
 

Profiles in Resiliency: Operation Babylift: An International Journey of Resiliency

Presenters: Regina Aune, PhD, RN (Col, USAF-Ret.) and Aryn Lockhart, BA, MBA

Retired Colonel Regina Aune, PhD, RN, served 28 years as an officer with the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps. Early in her career as a Lieutenant, she was assigned as a flight nurse with the 10th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron and flew medical evacuation missions at the end of the Vietnam War. On April 4, 1975, then Lt Aune was the Medical Crew Director of the first humanitarian evacuation mission flying orphans out of Vietnam, code named “Operation Babylift.” As the plane reached 23,000 feet, the cargo door failed, causing a rapid decompression. The pilots guided the plane back toward Saigon, but without full control of the plane, they had to crash land prior to reaching the airfield. Of the 29 crew members and 284 orphans aboard the plane, 135 were killed. Despite injuries including a broken foot and fractured vertebrae in her back, Lt Aune helped evacuate survivors from the crash until she herself needed medical attention. Following that harrowing experience, she went on to serve 26 more years in the Air Force as a nurse educator, nurse administrator, and squadron and group commander, finally retiring with the rank of Colonel. Aryn Lockhart is one of the orphans who survived that tragic flight. Adopted by the Lockhart family and raised in California and Virginia, she went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in communications and master’s degree in business, entering a career with various positions in the communications field and as an entrepreneur running her own small businesses. Today she is with the 17th Training Wing Public Affairs Office at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. In 1998, Ms. Lockhart contacted Col Aune and the two reunited. That reunion led to a lasting friendship and their collaboration writing the book Mission Accomplished: Operation Babylift. Their story highlights their journey of resiliency as they strove to make sense of their life-threatening and life-changing experience.