Their War Came Home
A film about returning veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan
View for free at www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKCmu7nsp5Y
“I knew I was different when I came back from war.”
Transitioning from military to civilian life can mean searching for a new identity. Who am I now? Developed to help veterans and their families recognize and understand the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), this 50 minute documentary produced by Korean and Vietnam veterans Norm Seider, Carl Ohlson, and John Drinkard features the voices of veterans who have returned home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“I was angry, distant, and didn’t want to be around people.”
“I turned to booze and violence. I was a warrior.”
“Losing my brothers was something I can never describe.”
“My whole life changed at the tip of the bullet that day.”
“I was just lost in my own mind.”
Brutally honest interviews show how the use of alcohol, illegal drugs and prescription meds to numb and calm the anxiety, hypervigilance and flashbacks that are symptoms of PTSD can lead to downward spirals of depression, isolation, homelessness, and suicide. Often coupled with traumatic brain injuries resulting in memory loss, changed thinking and explosive anger, their combined effects are “the perfect storm” making it difficult to navigate daily life. Asking for help and seeking treatment can be hard because, “No one wants to admit they have a problem.” Various choices for treatment and methods of healing are described by veterans, social workers, and counselors – all searching for a “new normal” after the devastation of war.
The impact of war spreads to the family. The effects of secondary traumatic stress or compassion fatigue can directly affect the physical and emotional health of caregivers. A spouse reveals, “We walked on eggshells 24/7. There we times we did not feel safe.” The emotional pain of what is unfolding on the home front can lead spouses to ask, “What’s happening to me? Am I going crazy?” Those who love and live with someone who has been traumatized can’t help but be affected by it. The process of getting to know this “new person” who has come home from war while saying goodbye to the old person is what is called “living grief” and can be confusing because there is no end to it.
No matter how or where you served as a veteran, no matter how long ago or recently you came home… this documentary is for you, your family and those who care about you.
Please share this link to help all those affected by the war at home.
Your feedback and comments are welcomed by producer Norm Seider at firstname.lastname@example.org