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.