The new film, Thank You For Your Service, is an incredibly heartbreaking and eye-opening account of life after war and the personal battle that ensues at home after the physical battle has been fought abroad.
This movie looks at the very real effects of war and trauma and focuses on the story of Army Staff Sgt. Adam Schumann, played by Miles Teller, and his experiences in Iraq as part of the 1st Infantry Division. Other soldiers also suffer to return to the life they once knew including Specialist Tausolo Aieti, played by Beulah Koale, and Michael Emory, played by Scott Haze.
Like many veterans, they are confronted with little employment options and a failing Veteran Affairs systems that is both inefficient and lacking in the resources needed to provide veterans the care they need.
There is one scene in the movie in which the waiting room of the VA is crowded with hundreds of men and women with both physical and metal injuries. They are all waiting aimlessly to be called and told if they qualify or can receive some sort of help.
But as it is revealed in the film, medical professionals and rehabilitation facilities are in short-supply and waiting lists are long and discouraging. There are too many veterans that need help and too few who are able to receive it.
It really upsets me that there is not a rightfully funded and specific treatment plan for these veterans once they land back on American soil. How can we expect soldiers to risk their lives abroad when we cannot provide for them once they return?
It is the least we can do to help these selfless men and women; yet so many return feeling isolated, trapped and lost. Many do not have a job and even if they want care, there is no guarantee someone can help them.
The movie reveals the shocking statistic that 22 veterans commit suicide every day. It is truly unacceptable that our veterans are left with untreated injuries and permanent scars that are many times never seen or understood.
Many people do not talk about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but this movie brought it to the big screen and portrayed it honestly and openly. It will hopefully open up a greater conversation about this issue so that our veterans won't be left to suffer alone.
This is a movie that is very difficult to watch but one that needs to be seen. It shows how strong our veterans are and their constant resilience to keep fighting to get better, support their families, and feel at home once again. We need to do more to help them and to truly understand how much of a sacrifice they made and still make everyday for our safety.