War Trauma Documentary Screens at Hamilton Stage Theatre

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders will co-sponsor a special screening of “Thank You for Your Service,” an award-winning documentary that explores the nation’s superficial understanding of war trauma, including PTSD, and the flawed policies surrounding it. The movie will be shown on Wednesday, September 7th beginning 6:30 p.m. at the Hamilton Stage Theatre, 360 Hamilton Street, in Rahway.

“This documentary succeeds in calling attention to the mental health issues that many of today’s Veterans face upon returning from war, as well as calling for a new approach to these problems,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce Bergen. “It’s a film all Americans should see to gain an understanding of what our Veterans are going through, and to begin a dialogue on what we can do to help.”

The film is being presented as part of Chairman Bergen’s UC HERO initiative for 2016, which assists Veterans. For more information, please go to: http://ucnj.org/uc-hero/

Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion involving involving the film’s Director Tom Donahue, Producers Ilan Arboleda and Matt Tyson; Janna Williams, the founder of VET4U and a resident of Roselle; Richard Thompson, Union County Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs; Lt. Steven Brozak, a Westfield resident and retired Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps, having served in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and the Caribbean. The panel will be moderated by Chairman Bergen. Admission is free, however, those wishing to, may make a suggested donation of $3. The theatre is located at 360 Hamilton Street in Rahway.

"Less than 1 percent of the population serves in the military now, and that is part of the reason why the public is so largely unaware of the issues they are facing,” said Donahue, who hopes the film creates enough awareness to spark the creation of a Behavioral Health Corps as a Division of the Department of Defense.

In fact, Donohue has created a website dedicated to the creation of the agency (and about “Thank You For Your Service) and hopes everyone who sees the movie will visit www.bhcnow.com to get involved.

“I believe very strongly in the power of documentary filmmaking to affect change,” Donahue said in a recent interview.

The issues that many of today’s Veterans face, including PTSD and suicide, are personal ones for Donahue, whose father and many relatives were Army Veterans. Also, one of Donahue’s closest friends committed suicide when he was 21-years-old."