New Documentary about Psychological Trauma Experienced by U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans
Released in March 2006, Hidden Wounds is a documentary focusing on the high percentage of returning veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who are experiencing psychological trauma, often called PTSD for post-traumatic stress disorder. Produced by Iris Adler of New England Cable News, the film premiered at a screening held at the Kennedy School of Government, where it was introduced by Senator John Kerry and former Senator Max Cleland, who lost three limbs in Vietnam.
There has been some media coverage of the rising numbers of returning soldiers with severe head injuries and amputations, but the condition of PTSD is generally less visible. The results of trauma often take longer to identify and, unlike with physical wounds, those with the condition may not be readily seeking treatment. This documentary profiles three men from the Boston area who fought in Afghanistan, Iraq or both and returned home to continue battle with serious depression and anxiety eventually diagnosed as PTSD.
One young college graduate served as a platoon commander with Recon, an elite Marines unit, and fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. His battles with psychological trauma are captured in a book, One Bullet Away. The second man profiled joined the Army right out of high school and volunteered to go to Iraq. He returned in 2005 and was in treatment for PTSD at the time of filming. The third man joined the Marines after high school and became a truck driver in Iraq. After the Veterans Administration refused to treat him while he was drinking, he committed suicide at age 23. His parents spend their time raising awareness about the dangers of PTSD.
The film is available for rent or purchase in dvd and vhs formats from Fanlight Productions: www.fanlight.com/catalogue/films