Dr. Gus Kappler (MD)

Retreat Facilitator

Dr. Kappler served with distinction as a trauma surgeon for the Army at the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Phu Bai, Vietnam, during 1970-1971. For more than fifty years, he has been a staunch advocate for veterans. Dr. Kappler has conducted extensive research into the underlying causes of PTSD, substance abuse, and suicide, and has put forth a comprehensive strategy for their prevention.

“As a young trauma surgeon, I bore witness to the profound toll of war, affecting not only the physical being but also the psyche and spirit. While immediate physical injuries were tended to, the deep-seated emotional and spiritual traumas were often overlooked, allowing inner turmoil to persist unchecked. Over time, this untreated mental distress manifested as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), leading many to substance abuse as a means to quiet their inner conflicts, and tragically culminating in suicide for those overwhelmed by their battles. Through my involvement with the Homeward Bound campfires, my mission is to empower these afflicted veterans, aiding them in confronting and overcoming their inner adversities to ultimately prevent such tragic outcomes.”