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Reinforcing a need: UIHC social worker joins Iowa National Guard, offers support to returning soldiers

Dan Grinstead
Photo by Tom Jorgensen.

Dan Grinstead knew he could make a difference to soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. So at the age of 56, he decided to become one.

Grinstead, a social worker at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, had long been troubled by news reports of returning soldiers suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), committing suicide, or struggling to readjust to domestic life. He had often heard of the dire need for social workers from his colleague Mike Gummow, a resident in the Department of Psychiatry, who provides mental health services as a member of the Iowa National Guard.

The issue also hit close to home: Grinstead’s son-in-law is on his second deployment to Iraq. Grinstead’s father also served in the Navy during World War II.

So in August 2007, Grinstead called an Iowa National Guard recruiter. Seven months later—after passing physicals and obtaining an age waiver—he began his service.



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