There is a part of the war story we often don’t see after our troops come home. Sure, we see the homecoming hugs and the lines of people lined up at the airports cheering our returning battle-fatigued service members. But then the story goes dark.
Until we see the reports on homelessness or suicide.
What happens after our troops come home often goes untold unless there is a traumatic ending. Many experience success. Others trudge through trials until they ask for help – or backup.
The film When War Comes Home tells the story of three soldiers who ask for backup — but only after it gets dicey. Wes Carlile is a former U.S. Army Chaplin’s Assistant during the Iraq War, who was overwhelmed by the death of friends and fellow soldiers. Returning home, his post-traumatic stress endangers his wife Andrea Carlile and their two daughters. Emmanuel Bernandin served as both a Naval Technician in Afghanistan and in a Naval detainee camp in Iraq. He was inflicted with PTS, from the guilt of surviving his 14 fellow brother-in-arms in a massive suicide bombing in Afghanistan, which led him down a path of attempted suicide and commitments to mental institutions. Spencer Milo was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army until an injury from a suicide bomber medically retired him. Despite crippling anxiety and grossly over-medicating, he is attempting to adjust to civilian life with his wife Sarah, his daughter, and the help of a service dog.
All three are helped by the crusading efforts of Seattle’s retired Four Star General Peter Chiarelli, who is working to find better solutions for treating post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Since retiring as Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Chiarelli, CEO of ONEMIND.org, has been on a mission to help veterans and their families find ways to combat PTS and TBI.
On Tuesday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m., a special screening of the film “When War Comes Home” will take place in Seattle. The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion with General Chiarelli, Spencer Milo, Andrea Carlile and Michael King.
Audience interested in attending can reserve their seat by contacting Jenni Riley at 208- 316-6555 or email [email protected] Seats are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.
— By Michael Schindler
Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.” He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs