Jay Kopelman, veteran and author of the New York Times and international bestselling memoir, From Baghdad With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava and From Baghdad to America: Life After War for a Marine and His Rescued Dog, will share his wartime experiences, discuss social and political issues affecting returning military veterans and their families, resources for vets, and “vetrepreneur” success stories.
From his earliest days on the elementary school playground, Jay Kopelman has championed for — and taken pride in defending — those who could not necessarily stand up for themselves. He continues to champion for the underdog, and has dedicated his adult life to helping others: first, as an officer of Marines for 21 years; then later as the executive director of a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting wounded service members and their families; and, finally, as a health care innovation leader seeking improved patient outcomes. Though he has performed combat operations in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Kopelman (U.S. Marine Corps, retired) has continually managed to demonstrate compassion for those who have suffered at the hands of tyrants.
Kopelman has appeared frequently on both network (Fox) and local television news to discuss breaking stories, events and issues of importance to the military and veterans. He has authored two books, the New York Times and international bestselling memoir, From Baghdad, With Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava; and From Baghdad to America: Life After War for a Marine and His Rescued Dog. He serves on the advisory board of the Virtual Reality Medical Center, a San Diego-based company with offices in Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Calif., that has been using simulation technologies to treat returning combat veterans suffering from PTSD via graded exposure therapy. Kopelman also serves as a member of the board of directors of Freedom Is Not Free, and is a supporter of San Diego-based Challenged Athletes Foundation. He raises funds for their Operation Rebound program, the penultimate program of its type, dedicated to bringing sports and exercise to permanently disabled veterans and first responders.
The John J. Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions in Barrett, The Honors College at Arizona State University, celebrates the career of public service of one of Arizona’s and the nation’s most distinguished leaders. The Rhodes Chair is dedicated to deepening theoretical and practical understanding of the many voices and forces that influence public policy. The Chair honors the values of personal integrity, fiscal responsibility, respect for persons, and international farsightedness exemplified in the Honorable John J. Rhodes’ career.
The John J. Rhodes Chair was named an Arizona Heritage Chair by former ASU President, Lattie Coor. ASU Heritage Chairs honor the achievements and values of Arizona leaders whose life work helped shape the character of both Arizona and our metropolitan area. An archive of John J. Rhodes’s congressional papers is available in the Special Collections at Hayden Library on the ASU Tempe campus.