PTSD: THE WALKING WOUNDED - veterans find community

By Moira Jean Sullivan

PTSD: THE WALKING WOUNDED directed and written by Ash Patino is a new ON DEMAND film that opened October 1, by David Lionheart , founder of ‘Play for Your Freedom’, a nonprofit charitable organization that helps veterans and their families transition from military life to civilian life through fitness and sports and build community. PTSD: THE WALKING WOUNDED shows the efforts of David Lionheart, a civilian in helping his community while healing his own wounds. A victim of sexual abuse he came from a broken home. The story of a friend in the military and his experiences of trauma were instrumental in Lionheart’s creation of wellness camps for veterans and victims of abuse.
Lionheart says that the bridge for veterans to get re-integrated after military service is not enough especially events where veterans meet other veterans. In fact, 20% of veterans suffering from PTSD veterans commit suicide. One of the interviewees, Jillian Nadiak, has raised over 25K to victims of PTSD and volunteers to bring awareness to communities. She believes her brother took his life. PTSD is something that people have become more aware of since the Vietnam war. Soldiers would relive trauma from the battle ground through flashbacks. During the Gulf War there have been more and more soldiers returning that have not been able to assimilate back into their former lives and this has been difficult for them in reconnecting with family and friends.
PTSD: THE WALKING WOUNDED is a film with real stories told by real soldiers - Sergio Agudelo, Matthew Gadomski, and Allan Hershman. The stories are detailed and Ash Patino captures lengthy testimony from the soldiers that creates an awareness of PTSD. One such story was shared about how after combat a veteran got so angry was ostracized from his family and didn’t want to meet anyone. He eventually found himself alone in her room with a gun. Another soldier became a psychologist Allan Hershman and has studied about how PTSD manifests itself in soldiers who are subjected to mortar blasts, machine guns, and other artillery heavy combat, a torment that leaves lifelong scars and painful memories.
Through the testimony of relatives and former combat soldiers the film addresses the affliction of keeping silent about the inner turmoil of combat and returning home, and breaks the silence of the invisible wounds within the military community and community at large today where there are traumatic abuses. The soldiers report how they tried to survive on their own and found community in PFYF – ‘Play for Your Freedom'.
The film encourages veterans and their family members that they are not alone in the unique struggles that come with service.

© 2021 - Moira Jean Sullivan - Air Date: 10/6/21
Movie Magazine International