Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most significant health issues facing veterans, and the Army recently launched a program that offers a unique treatment method. The I Was There Media Workshop gives soldiers the chance to convey their experience in the battlefield through film, The Associated Press reports.
The program is a joint venture by documentary filmmaker Ben Patton and educational filmmaker Scott Kinnamon. So far about 20 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have participated in the pilot program at Colorado's Fort Carson. Some say the process of making a film lets soldiers share their story in an unconventional way yet still has the same effect as talking to someone about the issues PTSD presents.
"You can put everything into a video or a movie, a small movie about what you want to tell people – your story," 1st Sgt. Jason Gallegos told the AP. "If they want to watch it, great. If they don't, then don't. But I don't have to go through the process of the 'angsting' up to tell somebody something, just for them to be interested for a minute."
The program is one of many targeted at treating PTSD, and for good reason. Though it's difficult to track the specific figures, a 2008 RAND Corporation study found the rate to be 13.8 percent among veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.