Invisible Injuries- Mental health ambassadors

S04E01 - Brian Hopkins (When Therapy Fails) pt1

August 23, 2023

S04E01 - Brian Hopkins (When Therapy Fails) pt1

Invisible Injuries presents season 4 of their successful podcast, kicking off episode 1 with Vietnam Veteran, Tunnel Rat and poetry author Brian Hopkins.

Brians personal “well being” story navigating away from the effects of PTSD, eventuating in a more holistic direction.   Andy kicks off the guest segment with Brian’s background and the events leading  to  a 12 month search  to get Brian into the studio this day.

He signed up and entered conscription service at just 21 years old in March 1967.   Being an apprenticed plumber meant he was put straight into Engineers.  After 3 months of field training in explosives he was transferred from Field Squadron One to Penrith 55, a storage supply squadron sending supplies to Vietnam.  

By all reports  Brian was told Vietnam would be a cruise when it came to deployment and his pre embarkation training began at Canungra.

He  learned the meaning of looking after the guy in front and the importance of the guy “behind having your six.”  Brian gave his story with reference to personal space after military training and his Vietnam deployment.    The  impacts on himself, his family and his extended social activities and connections.   So significant that he wrote about it in his booklet.   

Andy asks for an expansion to the Tunnel Rats title and what that meant to be embedded into  Charlie and Delta companies outside the wire.   Especially difficult sometimes, he recounted where priorities clashed and in the face of a Lieutenant jumping up and down, he  had  to maintain that safety focus regardless of commands.   

By the nature of the Rats tasks they did get exposed to some heavy drama but it goes into a box or gets parked for later.   Brian captured these impressions in his mind by poetry and pictures.

Repatriation and reconnection with family was another issue..   Aggression, anger, immediate actions with defaults to certain types of thinking.   Thinking such as being bulletproof because I survived!      Andy asked at what point does Bryan consider “the wheels really started to fall off?”  

Join us next time for part 2 of the invisible injuries podcast where Brian covers his home life.   What it was like for his wife and children during that time and what were the keys to keeping his marriage together.  

Contact -  Brian Hopkins
Books - When therapy fails via Pickawoowoo publishing group & by contacting Invisible Injuries -
Help Lines Open Arms (VVCS) | Lifeline | RedSix app


Disclaimer: The accounts and stories are "Real lived experiences" of our guests some of the content may trigger Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms in some of our audience. Feedback regarding other organisations, courses and initiatives remains largely unsensored. Whether its good or bad they remain the OPINION of our guests and their experiences it is important in building an accurate statistic on what really happens. 
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