Frederick Marx is embarking on his next film project, Veterans Journey Home: an emotionally compelling documentary film that highlights the best practices and people helping veterans heal from the "moral injury" of going to war. The film will document veterans as they go through diverse modern-day and indigenous rites of passage to heal the wounds of war (mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually) and successfully transition back into meaningful civilian life.
Please consider helping by going to the Indiegogo page for “Veterans Journey Home”
Returning home is killing U.S. combat vets.
You read that right. The sad truth is that more veterans are dying after they return home from combat missions than are dying overseas.
How can this be? First, let us paint the veteran social landscape for you:
22% of returning vets are unemployed – 350,000 total.
At least 20% have PTSD or depression
19% have TBI – Traumatic Brain Injury
Almost 50% of those exposed to combat are binge drinkers and at risk of alcoholism; 20% of veterans are confirmed addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.
The prescription drug misuse rate for soldiers coming home is over two-and-a-half times higher than the civilian rate. The problem is particularly acute for women.
There are an estimated 1,000,000 homeless vets. About 11% of the adult homeless are veterans.
181,500 veterans are in prison
And now, the real kicker: 22 war veterans commit suicide each day. That’s right. Almost one every hour. A rate 50% higher than that of civilians. And now, for the first time in U.S. history, more vets have lost their lives after their welcome home than died in the zones of combat.
And those stats don’t include families:
Male combat vets are 4.4 times more likely to have abused a spouse or partner as other men.
If there were no veterans in this country with combat experience, the number of domestic violence cases would drop by an estimated 21 percent.
Veterans are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression and divorce or separation.
Children of deployed military personnel have more school-, family-, and peer-related emotional difficulties, compared with national samples.
Cumulative lengths of deployments are associated with more emotional difficulties among military children and more mental health diagnoses among U.S. Army wives.
In military training, we take ordinary, individual, good men and women, steeped in ethical and moral values and behavior, and turn them into the ultimate team players who will kill on orders from a commander or when they sense their lives and their buddies’ lives are endangered. Boot camp is very good at that. But there is no commensurate boot camp to truly welcome home vets by turning them into healthy, happy civilians afterward.