Frederick Marx, the man who brought us the film Hoop Dreams, is finishing up two films that pertain to men’s emotional health. Veteran’s Journey Home is about our vets returning home from the Middle East.
In the next few years 1.7 million vets will return home from the Middle East. Whether official PTSD victims or not, until they cathartically release the pain and stress of combat these soldiers will remain at war with themselves and others. Perhaps ending up homeless (like 500,000 other vets), in prison (like 250,000 more), suicidal, divorced, alcoholic, or worse.
The short clip I saw had me in tears. This is a huge problem—that doesn’t have to be a problem. First, as Marx states, we need to honor these men and women when they return home–and I mean really welcome them back. Then we need to care for their PTSD, and not with drugs or standard therapy. As someone who has worked with people with PTSD for decades, I can say there are now proven and very effective therapies to not just treat, but heal PTSD.
The second film is about Boys to Men, a free program mentoring boys to become men. In Marx’s film, Boys Become Men, he documents the transformation these boys go through and the impact on their families.
What would you do if someone told you your son would never become a man? That your nephew would never experience maturity? That your cousin or grandson would never know manhood, feel from the inside the beating heart of what it really means to be an adult male? Well, it’s happening right now, in our country, today. Millions of boys – black, white, Asian, Latino, rich and poor boys, good boys – smart, sensitive, and loving boys, vulnerable and open boys, are not fully growing up, are not accomplishing the transition from adolescence to adulthood.
As we learn what it is to be a man, we need to teach our boys to be men. A strange thing happens when we do this: men become more. More responsible. More loving. More open. More manly.
These two films address two of the biggest male issues of today. I can’t to wait to see these films on warriors coming home and boys becoming men. Marx is asking for donations, you may want to support him in his noble causes.
What are your feelings on these two topics?