Mental Health Awareness Month Episode - Memorial Day Feature with Vietnam War Hero and Retired Educator Dr. Richard Kimball Watkins
This is a very special series for Breaking Distance in Honor of Mental Health Awareness Month and Memorial Day featuring Dr. Richard Kimball Watkins, Decorated Vietnam Veteran (Purple Heart and the Air Medal with Eight-Oak Leaf Clusters), Activist and Retired Educator, to all of our fallen heroes, their families, all of our active military and veterans. We thank you for your service, your sacrifice and the freedoms you afford us all. We are grateful! "In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." – Martin Luther King, Jr. This candid discussion with Dr. Watkins is near and dear to our hearts as he is the father of our co-host Monica Watkins. They share an important conversation about the experience of African-American members of the military throughout the years and, subsequently, the treatment of many veterans coming home from Vietnam. More About Dr. Richard Kimball Watkins Dr. Richard Kimball Watkins received his Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in 1995. Previously, he received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Texas Southern University in 1975 and his Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Science from Prairie View A&M University in 1965. Dr. Watkins is a decorated Army Veteran who served in Vietnam as an Officer Aviator. His helicopter was shot down during the Tet Offensive and he was missing in action for a brief time. He received the Purple Heart Medal and the Air Medal with Eight-Oak Leaf Clusters. While in the military, he received extensive training and responsibility in training program development and validation along with curriculum design and development. Dr. Watkins has been a research technician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a professional sales representative, business owner, university and public schools administrator and for over 20 years a prison administrator. The Executive Director of the Texas Prison System recruited Dr. Watkins in 1984 to re-design the correctional officer’s training program to make it comply with a federal court order. Dr. Watkins retired February 2005 from his last position at The Texas Department of Corrections as the Senior Warden of the Holliday Transfer Facility, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Division with an annual budget of 9.3 million dollars. Dr. Watkins and his wife operate a training and management consulting firm. He serves on numerous board and councils and truly believes his motto “A life of service is the life that counts!” LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR ANTI-TRAFFICKING ORGANIZATION BEAUTY FOR FREEDOM AT: https://beautyforfreedom.org/ BEAUTY FOR FREEDOM MISSION STATEMENT Art Therapy. Education. Empowerment. This is how we help survivors of human trafﬁcking. We support recovery through creativity and skills training. We nurture our youth by removing potential stigmas surrounding self-expression, legitimizing their ideas, hopes, and dreams. In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we realize it’s our time to step up. Using the platform we’ve built to usher in change in the lives of people across the globe, we hope to help the world heal in this time of crisis. Here’s to paying it forward.