American Sniper is one man's story. It is the story of a warrior and a human being who loved his country and his family who bore the burden and paid the price. It could have easily been called "American Tragedy."
Contrary to our intuitions, studies find no consistent link between the extent of on-duty trauma experience and the eventual development of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Some firefighters cope poorly, while others with far more horrific experiences remain symptom-free. Why would that be?
The path forward for returning veterans can be bolstered by treatment, therapy, and medication; but is also too often marked by addiction and suicide. Ultimately, Brandon would find his footing in the same place that his relentless sense of adventure took him as a boy growing up outside Cleveland - the outdoors.
Movies, said film critic Roger Ebert, are like an "empathy machine." Their mission: to help us understand a bit more about others' hopes, their fears, their dreams. Movies allow us to walk in others' shoes. They help us "identify with the people who are sharing this journey with us."
When you've been down the aisle and really bombed, it's hard to believe you'll ever have a happy marriage. When you've put on the tux, chosen the rings, picked out the invites, the flowers, the music, written the vows, made up the guest list, said, "I do," then wound up in the marital shitter.
A bill aimed at reducing military and veteran suicides and improving their access to quality mental health care that was doggedly opposed and blocked by a lone, "support-the-troops" senator was finally signed into law by President Obama on Thursday.
For some of us, AIDS was a call to action. We created support systems, or stormed the FDA with Act Up. We stayed fully in the mainstream of our lives. We continued to work, to have relationships, to build a future around a "new normal." Some of us lost our way.
This is a tough film to watch. But it needs to be to get past a viewer's defenses against what is truly a challenge to imagine for those of us sheltered from war.
The suddenness of our loss shook me to the core. How could this happen when I was doing everything right? I was doing everything I was told to do.
The movie entertains because it follows a standard Western format: Good-guys who are rough-around-the-edges, but lovable nonetheless. And bad-guys who are underdeveloped, one-dimensional foils of all things good and just.
The last two weeks have been very eventful. At long last, I have Galen, a smooth coated, sable Shiloh Shepherd puppy. A friend and I drove to Arizona to pick him up and bring him home to Colorado.
The controversy over the film American Sniper has raised issues of Iraq War veterans and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the public eye. A n...
I have the privilege of making seed grants to social change leaders around the world. Here are the extraordinary people and projects that our community of givers supported this week.
Through the release of American Sniper, Americans unacquainted with the mental trials and tribulations veterans face once home can see, hear and emotionally feel just how powerful these unfortunate experiences are.
Politics aside, what moved me were the human elements of the story. I found myself becoming sympathetic with a sniper who found himself placed in many moral dilemmas.
I see soldier worship as harmful because it so easily morphs into support for wars, no matter how unjust, by letting our affection for our fellow citizens in uniform and our desire to see them come home alive obscure the truth behind what they're supposedly fighting and dying for, which is rarely as black and white as we are told or wish it to be.