P.T.S.D Survivor and Clinical Psychologist, Marc & Sonja Raciti

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Marc C. Raciti is a veteran and author behind “I Just Want to See Trees: A Journey Through P.T.S.D.” Marc enlisted into the Army in 1989 as a clerk typist. Shortly after completing basic training and advanced individual training, he deployed to Bahrain in the Middle East, in support of Operation Desert Storm with the 47th Field Hospital. It was there where he fell in love with medicine and decided to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant (PA). In 1997, he graduated from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and was commissioned to second lieutenant. In 2001, he completed his Fellowship in Orthopedics through Womack Army Community Hospital.

Marc spent the rest of his army career treating and caring for the sick and wounded. He deployed four more times, twice to Iraq, the Balkans and to Africa; frequently providing good medicine in dangerous places. In 2013, after 24 years of service, he retired from the Army as a Major. His last assignment was in Hawaii where he met his current wife Sonja.

Sonja Raciti specialized in forensic assessment and child maltreatment while working a Kapiolani Child Protection Center in Hawaii and received excellent training to help reunite families and caregivers get the support they need to be successful parents as well as being able to work with children who had experienced traumatic events and were having severe behavioral disturbances.

The more Sonja learned about trauma and its effects on the human psyche (paired her with having attended graduate school shortly after 9/11), she became very interested in the military and helping those services member suffering from the remnants of on-going war on Terror. In 2009 she joined the Hawaii Army National Guard, eventually becoming the program director in charge of all treatment for the families of active duty members stationed there. Through the Guard she was able to see the increased need for psychologists in the military and in 2013 Sonja joined the active duty ranks of the Air Force.

With a sad heart the Raciti family left Hawaii and moved to the sunny city of Phoenix. At Luke Air Force Base Sonja was fortunate enough to direct their drug treatment program and expand its outreach program to include sister services and the Guard/Reserves. She then took over Family Advocacy Program and with the help of the Glendale police, began providing voluntary preventative services for high risk families and victims, as well as mandatory treatment for perpetrators of abuse. Her efforts culminated in a joint award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

The Raciti’s have fallen in love with all that Phoenix and its surrounding areas have to offer and have decided to remain there. Sonja has since joined a private practice in Scottsdale and is teaching adjunct at Grand Canyon University. Marc continues riding his motorcycle with a veteran motorcycle club, working as an orthopedic PA and serving a very active role in the veteran community. They currently reside with their son Marco and baby, Makana, in addition to Douglas, Marc’s his service dog who very happy living out his days basking in the Arizona sun and gobbling down any and all treats.

 

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