As we discussed in episode 76, war is a part of life. Always has been, always will be. In fact, in that episode, we even discussed how sometimes, war is seemingly justified – a necessary evil. But regardless of your personal stance, or the stance of anyone else, we can no longer deny the lasting effect that war has on the human psyche. Only within the past few decades have we began to understand the after effects of war and, more specifically, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). So this week, Jon and I decided to open up a painful subject, to learn more about what happens to soldiers after they return from duty.
However, as you probably know, we usually go straight to the academic when discussing any topic – especially one involving the brain. But this week, we decided to go a slightly different route. We wanted to hear from someone who could explain our soldiers journey in a way that we could feel the emotion. We wanted to get a glimpse of what these brave men and women go through – so we enlisted the services of a masterful story teller, Alivia Tagliaferri.
Alivia is the author of Beyond the Wall: The Journey Home (November, 2009). Formerly titled ‘Still the Monkey, What Happens to Warriors after War,’. Tagliaferri’s debut novel is receiving recognition from the veteran, military and mental health communities for its stirring and non-biased portrayal of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the long-range affects this mind injury has on the psyche of self and family.
She is the producer and director of Beyond the Wall: Homeless Zone, a short documentary exploring the issue of homelessness among veterans. It was co-produced by Nancy E. Mantelli, a film and video educator. The film first premiered at the Woodrow Wilson Center in November 2008, and again at the 2010 GI FILM FESTIVAL.