Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Barbara Van Dahlen

When one meets Barbara Van Dahlen, 52, one is drawn to her seemingly boundless energy, focus and magnetism. I was drawn to her because she is a leader in one of our most complex areas: the mental health of our men and women in uniform and their families.

Through her organization, Give an Hour, she has mobilized thousands of mental-health professionals to volunteer countless hours of counseling for those in need, at a time when there is a critical shortfall in the military and throughout our country.

Barbara has tenaciously attacked the epidemic of posttraumatic stress disorder, helping break through the stigma that prevents many from seeking help. She has also created an opportunity for many who have not served in uniform to make a difference.

Barbara cares for people and is dedicated to making their lives better. She has served thousands nobly and has been an extraordinary example for all of us in her life and her giving.

Mullen is a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff