NNOMY News August 19 2020: Combat soldiers, PTSD, and Moral Injury


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NNOMYnews 1049: August 19 2020: Combat soldiers, PTSD, and Moral Injury

With the United States involved in permanent wars in the post 9/11 era fighting supposed continuous terrorism around the world and with the US now seemingly entering a new cold war with Russia and China, veterans are increasingly experiencing higher rates of PTSD, toxic exposure injuries, and claims of the effects related to moral injury.




Poster Girl Movie

Apple pie cheerleader turned tough-as-nails machine gunner in the Iraq War, Sgt. Robynn Murray comes home to battle her demons and the dysfunctional VA system.

Awards: 2011 Academy Award Nominee, 2012
Winner International Documentary Association (IDA) 2012

EMMY Nominee
Director: Sara Nesson
Producer: Mitchel Block
Executive Producer: Sheila Nevins (HBO)
Executive Producer: Sara Bernstein (HBO)
Editor: Geof Bartz (HBO)
Composer: Miriam Cutler
Cinematographer: Sara Nesson

Age-restricted video (based on Community Guidelines)

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Veterans of Domestic Wars

Mark Foreman never wanted to go to war. From an early age, he rejected violence. Later, as he watched the Vietnam War play out on the evening news, he viewed the struggles of that country’s indigenous National Liberation Front as justified. “They want independence, just like we did,” he thought.

After finishing high school in his hometown of Ames, Iowa, Foreman had dreams of becoming an artist. But he grew up under the roof of parents who prayed at the altars of God and Country. His mother was a Christian fundamentalist, his father a Navy veteran of World War II. Foreman was spooked by the vagaries of a system where an unlucky draft number could send him off to fight, and was “too chicken” to hightail to it Canada. So he opted to join the Navy, just like his dad. At nineteen, as classmates were burning their draft cards, Foreman enlisted as a Hospital Corpsman.

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A soldier is drawn into a war-game with the neighborhood kids. Then he loses control.

Thirty-year-old soldier Max is on his way to another tour of duty when he notices two local children playing a game of war with toy guns. He gets caught up in their game, playing alongside the kids as they venture into the woods surrounding their neighborhood.

But as Max loses his grip on his reality, the game of pretend suddenly feels altogether too real -- and the two young boys lose their innocence.

Director Christian van Duuren has crafted a powerful exploration of the effects that warfare has on the psyche, combining excellent camerawork and finely calibrated performances to delve deep into one man's brief descent into darkness.

The film begins on a light enough note, as a grown man joins a game played by two young boys. It seems innocent, though small moments of dissonance offer some sense of underlying unease. But as the film progresses, it transitions into something altogether taut, dark and tense, and the tonal shift is absolutely seamless.

The hand-held camera seems edgier and more nervous, and the superlative sound design captures the memories haunting Max effectively, evoking the harshness of the battlefield in the middle of a quiet, tranquil wooded area.

The performances are subtle and excellent all around, and both adult and children find perfectly specific moments to communicate their fear -- and the realization that this game is not just child's play anymore, but something much darker and complicated.

"Gamechanger" is a haunting and tense portrayal of the very human cost of warfare, whose images and emotional moments will linger with viewers well after viewing -- much like the invisible scars than many in the military struggle with, long after their battlefield days are over.

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Moral Injury And The US Veteran
- Almost Sunrise

Voices of Resilience: America has been at war in Iraq and Afghanistan for over a decade, and has been slow to react to the thousands of returning vets struggling to overcome their moral trauma and return to their old lives. Voices of Resilience was produced by the makers of Almost Sunrise which tells the inspiring story of to American veterans who chose to take on their demons by hiking 2000 miles across the country. Almost Sunrise is available now to buy or rent from video on demand platforms. Get it now on:

iTunes: https://geo.itunes.apple.com/us/movie...
Amazon: http://amzn.eu/h5hZyTN
Google Play:

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A Most Unusual 2019-20 School Year!

As Trump threatens and acts on bringing in the military to quash the demonstrations and local police forces use military weaponry, questions are being raised in the minds of young people which weren’t previously part of their purview. As we recently heard from a high school social studies teacher with many JROTC students, her population is struggling with the dichotomy of being anti-violence at home, specifically in regards to police violence against their own communities, and just now starting to come to grips with signing up for a military that they are beginning to understand engages in violence in other countries.

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No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was the name given by the Bush administration to their 2001 modification of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Under NCLB, schools and school districts could lose federal funding if they failed to make student contact information available, upon request, to military recruiters and colleges (however, students were allowed to opt out of such releases). This law also required that military recruiters be given the "same access“ to school campuses that is granted to college and employment representatives.

The Obama administration revised this law and renamed it the "Every Student Succeeds Act" (ESSA). The recruiter access provisions remained and were, in fact, made more robust. Instead of all students being able to opt themselves out of schools handing recruiters their information, now only their parents or legal guardians can do so if the students are under 18 years of age.

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The National Network Opposing the Militarization of Youth (NNOMY). 2020


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