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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Jan. 8, 2013) – Capt. Chris Plekenpol, an author, motivational speaker and former U.S. Army tank commander who has tackled personal issues related to combat stress, will speak at the University of Central Missouri Tuesday, Jan. 15. Everyone is invited to attend his free, public presentation at 6 p.m. in Elliott Union 236.
Capt. Chris Plekenpol
Plekenpol, who is pastor of the Well’s Branch Community Church in Austin, Texas, is the author of “Faith in the Fog of War.” He has also gained national attention as part of the inspirational YouTube video series, I Am Second, which features athletes, musicians, business leaders, and others who share their struggles with everyday life and how they have learned to cope.
Plekenpol’s visit is being hosted by the UCM Office of Military and Veteran Services in cooperation with The Rock@fumc, a faith-based student organization. Immediately following his presentation, The Rock@fumc is hosting a reception with Plekenpol featuring live music and free coffee at 8 p.m. at 305 S. Holden St. This event is also open to the public.
Charles Ambrose, UCM president, expressed his support for the program, noting, “For many active duty military and veterans, making the transition to everyday life can be very difficult, especially for those who endured combat. Programs like this one help the community shed light on post-traumatic stress issues, which often challenge men and women who serve our country. Capt. Plekenpol’s visit will help us create a better awareness of this important issue.”
Lynn Lowder, director of UCM Military and Veteran Services and a combat veteran, acknowledges the importance of coming to terms with one’s struggles and facing those challenges head-on in day-to-day life post-combat. He said, “This captain’s experience and perspective will definitely help veteran attendees, their family members and those interested in helping veterans make the transition back to civilian life.”
Plekenpol, a West Point graduate, was chosen to lead a tank company in Iraq, where, he was responsible for 100 military personnel, six of whom he would eventually lose. His unit played a key role in assisting the 1st Marine Division in taking Fallujah in November 2004, played a large part in the first free elections in Iraq in January 2005, and was responsible of securing and capturing terrorists along the highway that connected Fallujah and Ramadi.
Plekenpol plans to be in Warrensburg, Jan. 14-16. For additional information about his visit, contact Delilah Nichols, coordinator of Military and Veteran Services, at 660-543-8977; or Mike Cassidy, associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Warrensburg, 660-747-8155.