RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A new documentary called ‘Thank You for Your Service’ sheds light on challenges military veterans face after years of intense training and war. William Rodriguez lived it.
“I came home and I didn’t want to look at how I had changed, and I didn’t really know how I had changed. All I knew is that other people knew that,” he remembers.
That was three years ago after Rodriguez completed three Middle East deployments over four years with the U.S. Army. Life as he knew it would never be the same because of what he saw, what he heard and what he felt.
“There are as many kinds of war trauma as there are physical injuries,” explains the documentary Producer and Director Tom Donahue. “The diagnosis of post-traumatic stress is a very simplistic way to look at war trauma.”
Donahue began investigating what he calls a military mental health crisis after learning more U.S. troops died by suicide than in combat in 2012. Two hundred interviews later, including those with defense officials, counselors and those suffering, Donahue brought their story to Richmond’s Byrd Theater in February.