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Beginning Sunday September 9 through September 16, 2007 HBO will be airing the very special documentary by Executive Producer James Gandolfini Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq. I had the opportunity to see the film this weekend and was struck by how unsentimental it is. Filmed on a black, blank stage, Mr. Gandolfini quietly interviews some truly tough men and women about what lead them to enlist in the service (Army or Marines), what they remember about the day they almost died, and the aftermath. There are no cheap attempts to manipulate our emotions. There are no judgments about the right or wrong of war or this war in particular. There are just ten human beings, aged 21-41, unique, full of life, energy, love, ideas, desires, hopes and dreams sharing their stories with Mr. Gandolfini.

Interspersed with the interviews are videos of the servicemen and women at home or at play or in Iraq before they were injured. There are videos of them in the hospitals and rehab centers or dancing after the injuries. Each has a story to tell.

Some of the facts Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq educates us about:
  • 90% of the wounded of this war survive their injuries
  • the majority of the wounded cope with amputations, traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • this war is seeing the highest percentage of amputees since the Civil War
  • 50% of those wounded suffer from PTSD
  • 33% of the injured suffer from TBI
Mr. Gandolfini calls them "True American heroes." And as HBO has observed, their fight has just begun. For the 30,000 wounded troops among us, and no doubt many more who will return to our shores, we need to rally round them, and help them with this fight. Watch this movie to gain a better understanding of their struggle.

See previous posts: War of Disabilities: HBO's Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq Tells the Stories
Home From Iraq: HBO, James Gandolfini Focus on New Veterans
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