Debbie Sprague is the author of the best-seller “A Stranger in My Bed: 8 Steps to Taking Your Life Back from the Contagious Effects of Your Veteran’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”. She is an advocate for veterans and their families, speaking, training and providing education to those who care for, and about our wounded warriors. She is an Elizabeth Dole Foundation Alumnus from California, and the Outreach, Engagement, and Training Manager for the Military and Veteran Caregiver Network.
Debbie is a Board Certified Life Coach, specializing in wellness and life solutions for caregivers, and families of veterans suffering from PTSD and TBI. She is a Recreation Therapist, and holds a Community College Teaching Credential in Health and Physical Care Services. She earned her bachelor’s degree in therapeutic recreation, with a minor in psychology, graduating with honors from California State University (CSU), Chico. She also pursued postgraduate work in gerontology at CSU, Chico, and University of Southern California (USC), Percy Andrus Gerontology Center.
Debbie has personally experienced the challenges of caregiving during her son’s losing battle with cancer, caring for her late mother-in-law, and her father and continues to care for her elderly mother who suffers from dementia.
She also cares for her husband Randy, who honorably served 14 years in the USN with two tours of duty in Vietnam. His final position was serving for the Flag Staff in the Pentagon with the Chief of Naval Operations at the rank of Chief Petty Officer. In 2004, Randy was diagnosed with complications from exposure to Agent Orange and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Life dramatically changed for them, and in 2006, Debbie was also diagnosed with PTSD. Debbie then used her gift for creating programs to take on the challenge of finding answers and solutions for spouses who become overwhelmed and lost in the world of caregiving and PTSD.
Some of the highlights of Debbie’s work include the honor to share her story of hope and healing at the Military Officers Association of America & National Defense Industrial Association’s Warrior-Family Symposium in Washington D.C. and at the Rosalynn Carter Institute on Caregiving National Summit, Georgia Southwestern State University. She has been a guest presenter for VA National Caregiver Education Teleseminars and on Easter Seals Military and Veterans Caregiver Training Seminars. She served as the radio show host for Family of a Vet Blog Talk Radio Caregivers Edition Life After Combat: PTSD/TBI, broadcast worldwide on the Armed Forces Radio Network. She has also been featured in the Washington Times, San Diego Union-Tribune, and the Huff Post/50.