A standing room only crowd watched history unfolding as the Pentagon opened its doors to premiere a very personal film for the military: the new HBO Documentary Film WARTORN 1861-2010. The film chronicles the history of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder through the eyes of American servicemen and women, and their families.
It was a poignant evening as the families featured in the film walked their own red carpet to share their experiences with PTSD. The film is executive produced by James Gandolfini and HBO Documentary Films President Sheila Nevins. Ms. Nevins attended the premiere, along with filmmakers Jon Alpert, Ellen Goosenberg Kent, Matthew O’Neill, Lori Shinseki and Sara Bernstein.
Opening remarks were made by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey, Jr. and HBO Co-President Richard Plepler. A special panel discussion followed the screening to bring attention to the serious efforts of the military and the Veterans Administration to help fix these problems. The panel was moderated by Doug Wilson, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and Tammy Duckworth, Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs| Department of Veterans Affairs. Panelists included General Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army Vice Chief of Staff; Dr. Kathleen Chard, Director PTSD and Anxiety Disorder Division | Cincinnati VA Medical Center; Lt. Col. Gregory E. Harbin (Ret.), Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom; Paul “Buddy” Bucha, Medal of Honor Recipient; Gregory Goldstein, Headquarters Marine Corps Combat and Operational Stress Control Program Manager.
The audience included the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, the First Lady’s Chief of Staff Susan Sher and Darienne Paige, White House liaison.
WARTORN 1861-2010 premieres on HBO this Veteran’s Day: November 11, 2010.