Captain Shad Meshad U.S. Army
For more than 50 years, National Veterans Foundation Founder and President Shad Meshad has worked as a therapist for Veterans and an advocate for Veterans’ rights. After receiving his master’s degree in psychiatric social work, he enlisted in the army in 1970. Upon his return to the U.S., Shad founded and directed the Vietnam Veterans Re-Socialization Unit at the VA Hospital in Los Angeles, California. It was the first program of its kind, focusing on the readjustment problems of Vietnam Veterans. During this time, Shad was among the first to study the disorder now known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. In 1978, he worked to develop and lobby for the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Bill. In 1979, he founded the Vet Center Outreach Program, which now serves Veterans in more than 300 locations across the country. In the wake of the catastrophic events of September 11, 2001, Meshad was called upon by the U.S. government to help train the critical incident and trauma teams at Ground Zero.