Ken (Marlon Brando) loses the use of his legs in the war, and now back at home, he spends his days in the hospital, consumed with self-pity, and making little effort to respond to treatment. Unrelenting encouragement from his fiancée, Ellen (Teresa Wright) and the patient Dr. Brock (Everett Sloane) is the only thing that gets him out of bed. Dr. Brock’s tough-love bedside manner is really the only thing a hospital full of stubborn, discouraged, apathetic vets will respond to. The film’s theme remains relevant today, given the number of amputees coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The focus on the rehabilitation of these severely wounded veterans is at an all-time high — but things can always be improved.
While volunteering at a local veterans hospital to occupy her time, the wife of a Marine serving in Vietnam, Sally Hyde (Jane Fonda) meets Luke Martin (Jon Voight), a frustrated wheelchair-bound vet who has become disillusioned with the war. Luke finds some much-needed comfort in his friendship with Sally, which quickly turns into a passionate romance. Things become complicated when Sally’s husband, Bob (Bruce Dern), returns home unexpectedly, and she must decide between the two broken men. “Coming Home” depicts how wars not only take a toll on the men and women who fight them but on their loved ones struggling with fear and loneliness back at home.
U.S. Marine Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise) comes home from the Vietnam war paralyzed but seemingly optimistic. As time wears on, the psychological damage from the war wears on him and he becomes more and more jaded towards the war that took the use of his legs, ultimately becoming an anti-war and pro-human rights political activist. In the real world, between those who volunteered, like Kovic, and those who were drafted, a lot of American military members came home to a country that did not appreciate their sacrifice, and to a Veterans Health Care System that did not know how to deal with the physical and psychological trauma of the failed Vietnam War.
A tale of three brothers who all leave their father, William (Anthony Hopkins) and their remote wilderness home in Montana to fight in WWI. Tristan (Brad Pitt) and Alfred (Aidan Quinn) survive their tours of duty, but Samuel (Henry Thomas) does not make it home. Soon after they return, both men fall in love with Samuel’s gorgeous fiancée, Susannah (Julia Ormond). The intense rivalry that ensues threatens to tear the family apart. Not the typical film about war or veterans, but a moving story about love and family nonetheless. Plauged with survivor’s guilt, an all-too-common feeling among those who return home when those closest to them do not, and also guilt about his feelings for Susannah, Tristan struggles to keep it together.
The true story of one of the most crucial and costly battles of WWII, the conquering of the island of Iwo Jima. A chance photo of U.S. service members (Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford and Adam Beach) raising the flag on Mount Suribachi becomes an iconic symbol of victory to a nation sick of war and in fear that we might lose. All the men in the photo become unwitting heroes, and the ones who survived are sent home to tell the tale. Even though the men portrayed are technically not veterans but active service members, this film hones in on the burden, and the guilt that comes with being a survivor, of being seen as a hero and shaped into a symbol of victory.
Hank Deerfield (Tommy Lee Jones is a Vietnam War veteran and retired Army investigator in search of his son, a soldier who went missing soon after returning from Iraq. With the help of a local police detective (Charlize Theron), he learns that his son wound up dead after a night on the town with members of his platoon, and the stench of foul play cannot be ignored. The storyline is a little far-fetched but a number of scenes center around real-life issues Iraq and Afghanistan veterans encounter overseas — and back at home. Alcohol abuse, violence, emotional detachment and failure to cope: they can all stem from unrecognized or untreated PTSD.
Best friends Brandon King (Ryan Phillippe) and Steve Shriver (Channing Tatum) return home to Texas after their completed tour of duty in Iraq. Both men, and their fellow service member, Tommy Burgess (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), suffer from severe PTSD, which is only made worse when the Army terminates King’s separation orders and he is ordered back to Iraq — he gets stop-lossed. Shriver’s violent episodes puts a strain on his relationship with his fiancee and Burgess, unable to cope with reality and the loss of his best friend, spirals out of control. The dialogue is a little uneven but the issues portrayed in this film are all too reminiscent of the reality a lot of veterans face when they eventually return home.
Embedded Rolling Stone correspondent Evan Wright tags along with the highly trained Marines of the First Reconnaissance Battalion while they struggle with inadequate supplies, bureaucratic snafus and poor communication. In the seven-part miniseries based on Wright’s best-selling nonfiction book, the cocky, eccentric, foul-mouthed group of Marines lead the drive into Baghdad during the first weeks of the war in Iraq. Portraying active service members, not veterans, the miniseries paints a scary-realistic picture of the generation of young men fighting our wars in the Middle East.
This immersive feature film uses real, dramatic footage to tell the true story of an elite group of U.S. Army troops on a high-risk mission deep inside one of Afghanistan’s most hostile valleys. Embedded journalists Mike Boettcher and his son, Carlos, follow the troops through a fierce, nine-day conflict in the mountainous terrain of Afghanistan where no U.S. troops had gone before. Amidst the intense battle scenes is a deeply emotional and authentic story of brotherhood and sacrifice.
The true story of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle (Bradley Cooper), one of the most lethal snipers in American military history. Over the course of four tours of duty in Iraq, Kyle struggles to keep himself and fellow service members alive, as well as cope with being an absentee father and husband. The majority of the film portrays his exploits as a SEAL sniper, but the last few scenes give us a glimpse of his real-life struggle with PTSD, and attempts to cope with his new life as a civilian. The film’s tragic ending is a strong depiction of just how troubled and disillusioned some veterans suffering from PTSD can become.