In every war, there are invisible wounds
The suicide the rate among servicemen and veterans continues to rise. Many of them come home from war bearing insurmountable emotional pain. This film takes an honest look at the problem and shines a light on the invisible wounds of war.
From 1861 to 2010 many major wars have been fought in which thousands of men and women have lost their lives during active duty. For those who survived, the effects of constantly witnessing murder leaves scars that hardly ever disappear.
During World War I it was known as shell-shock. By World War II, it was given the name combat fatigue. Today, it is clinically known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and is described as a crippling anxiety that results from exposure to life-threatening situations such as combat.
After the civil war, more than half the patients in mental institutions were veterans. At first, they were accused of being cowards. Very few of them were willing to speak up and share their stories for fear of being misunderstood or judged. But for this film group of veterans agrees to sit together and talk for the very first time. They describe the adjustment to civilian life as extremely difficult and shed tears over the relationships that have been ruined by the ghost of war. Their stories are all similar: they went to fight as brave young men who wanted to defend their country and its ideals, and came back broken and deeply hurt. They feel utterly alone, even though those who love them most surround them.
It has been said that only a soldier who has been to war can understand what they really go through. Most of them see themselves as murderers and killers and are unable to cope with the guilt and shame. After being trained to kill, there is no way to un-train these soldiers to become sensitive again. Their lives feel like one long nightmare that never ends, and sometimes the nightmare merges with reality and becomes blurry to the point of turning once innocent men into common criminals. Such was the case of Nathan Damigo who one month after returning home from Iraq, attacked a Middle Eastern cab driver at gunpoint.
This documentary chronicles the lingering effects of post-traumatic stress on military personnel and their families throughout American history, from the Civil War through the most recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Is it possible to restore these men and women to sanity? Watch this film now.