Retired Brigadier General Becky Halstead
speaks about the importance of chiropractic
care in her life and her hope that it one day be
available to all U.S. armed services members.
U.S. Army Brigadier General (retired) Becky Halstead spoke to an enthusiastic
crowd March 12 in Lyceum Auditorium in Vickie Anne Palmer Hall
on the Davenport Campus. Though National Boards exams were a mere
week away, many students made it a priority to attend the event.
Brig. Gen. Halstead had a 27-year career in the Army, was the first female
graduate of West Point promoted to Brigadier General, and the first
female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level as
part of the Combat Theater of Iraq. Now she heads the leadership
consulting company Steadfast Leadership, and is a staunch chiropractic
advocate and spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.
“I am a patient of chiropractic care,” she said. “A satisfied patient. I know
first-hand how chiropractic can impact our military.”
Though she suffered chronic fibromyalgia and had been placed on 15
different medications over a four-year period, Brig. Gen. Halstead decided
to go “cold turkey” when she was assigned to go to Iraq. She felt she owed
the 20,000 soldiers under her command to have a clear head, untainted by
the effects of her medication. Though she was in near constant pain, she
refused to let it bring her down. Prior to leaving for Iraq she had begun
chiropractic care, and when asked what she missed most about being away
from home, along with family and friends, she said “my chiropractor.”
After dealing with chronic pain for years, chiropractic changed the
Brigadier General’s life. “And I believe it can make the difference to our
military,” she said. “I also believe chiropractic can help our soldiers with
post-traumatic stress disorder. When I leave my chiropractor’s office, I
feel better, physically and mentally. I really think chiropractic can help
people with PTSD.”
Following her presentation at Vickie Anne Palmer Hall,
Becky Halstead had lunch with veterans and College
administrators. Here, Colonel Craig Cotter, commander
of the joint manufacturing technology center at the
Rock Island Arsenal, Rock Island, Ill., presents her
with a special commemorative coin.
While walking down the halls of Palmer’s Davenport Campus, the
Brigadier General noted that it reminded her of West Point.
“At West Point, I walked the same halls as the greats—Patton, McArthur
and so many others,” she said. “You here are experiencing the same thing
in chiropractic history. This is The Fountainhead.”
It is with tenacity, she said, that students at Palmer can advance the
dream, vision and legacy of chiropractic. As with the military, chiropractic
is about life-long learning and holding yourself accountable.
Brig. Gen. Halstead’s overall message was about leadership and service.
She encouraged the crowd—especially the students—to professionally
and personally be dedicated, serve selflessly and lead by example.