After nearly 12 years of continuous warfare, the United States finds itself still struggling to understand the effects warfare has on our warriors. Perhaps embarrassed by the results of past wars and how those veterans were treated upon their return, the Department of Defense, along with the Veterans Administration, is placing a lot of focus on issues related to Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury and Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury. I don’t think you will be able to find anyone willing to say that those organizations are doing a good job with that focus but at least there is an effort being applied. Stigma and improper treatment/diagnosis may still be a part of the military community, but it certainly is a more understanding environment than it used to be.
Many veterans go untreated or misdiagnosed for years, which generally leads to many other issues in their life such as unemployment, broken families and homelessness. We all know those organizations are trying. We all know politicians in Washington talk about how these issues are being addressed. But, ultimately, we are still failing our veterans. One Hollywood actor, a man you will know from his role as Mack Gerhardt on The Unit, is doing what he can to bring awareness to these issues and aid related charities in their cause.
To be up front and honest, I am not a regular viewer of television programs. Therefore, I was only aware of The Unit in passing. That changed for me once I found myself in Northern Afghanistan. Without television or radio, it was a struggle to find a way to relax after long days on duty. A fellow soldier loaned his portable hard drive to me one night and recommended I watch The Unit. I did. In fact, over the course of that deployment I watched every episode of the series. Of course, I was then informed that it was no longer on the air. Go figure.
Fast forward to today and through a very complicated series of events, I give you my conversation with actor, shooting enthusiast and patriot, Max Martini. Max is trying to get support for a film project titled Will Gardner. The film will help promote awareness of the effects of PTSD and TBI on our veterans and 50% of the profits will go to specific charities that help veterans in need. You can catch Max in the recently released sci-fi film, Pacific Rim.