DOCUMENTARY NOW WIDELY AVAILABLE ACROSS NORTH AMERICA ON VIDEO ON DEMAND
PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY A TWO-TOUR VETERAN OF THE IRAQ WAR, ALONG RECOVERY IS AN AUTHENTIC AND COMPELLING FILM ABOUT THE IMPACT TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURIES HAVE MADE ON A GENERATION OF AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ VETERANS.
In honor of Veterans Day, over 100 VOD operators are offering Along Recovery (www.alongrecovery.com) Produced and directed by an Iraq War veteran, Along Recovery chronicles the two-year recovery of four US soldiers evacuated from combat with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), the signature wound of Afghanistan and Iraq. The film is now available across North America on leading VOD platforms including Apple iTunes, Amazon VOD, AT&T U-Verse, Charter, Dish, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft Xbox, Rogers Cable, Shaw, Sony PlayStation, Verizon FiOS, and Vudu.
Along Recovery is an award-winning documentary that provides an unprecedented perspective of a soldier’s medical treatment. The film was produced and directed by Justin Springer, a former Army Officer who served two tours in Iraq with the First Infantry Division. Mr. Springer was compelled to produce the film after witnessing the impact brain injuries had on his colleagues and his unit altogether. Concerned about the state of military medical care following the 2007 scandal at Walter Reed Medical Center, Mr. Springer endeavored to produce a film that would feature a soldier’s perspective throughout the difficult recovery process. The Department of Defense granted Along Recovery unrestricted access to film inside their flagship hospital, the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Along Recovery chronicles the recovery of four US Army soldiers; two wounded in Afghanistan, two wounded in Iraq. Equipped with an HD movie camera, Mr. Springer shadowed each of the soldiers daily for nearly two years while they received treatment at the hospital and depicts the exhaustive regimen of therapy and mind altering medications that each soldier is prescribed during treatment. Away from the hospital, each soldier readjusts to post-combat life under the foggy haze of a brain injury. Relationships with family and friends are tested as each soldier struggles with headaches, cognitive deficits, and other symptoms of their injuries, including post traumatic stress. Following months of treatment, a medical review board determines each soldier’s fate; return to military service or reintegration into civilian life. With the aid of his military background, Mr. Springer was able to build a rapport with each soldier that elicited unfiltered commentary throughout the recovery process.
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY IN AFGHANISTAN AND IRAQ
In over ten years of war, traumatic brain injury (TBI) has emerged as a signature wound for Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq. Vast improvements in armored vehicles, body armor, and battlefield medicine have made it possible for soldiers to survive the destructive blasts of improvised explosive devices and other battlefield explosions. But the pressurized shock wave created in a blast can violently impact vehicles and soldiers exposed in the open, often causing concussions, also referred to as traumatic brain injuries (TBI.)
TBI can affect several areas of brain function, to include impaired cognition, sleep disturbance, anxiety, and other behavioral disturbances. Because of the stigma attached to mental health in the military and the acute nature of diagnosis, particularly in a combat environment, the Department of Defense estimates that fewer than half of those afflicted with a TBI receive appropriate treatment. Beyond a difficult screening process, evidence-based treatment for combat related TBI are limited. US casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq have a 300% improved rate of survival compared to previous wars. A consequence of modern combat’s high rate of survival is that our nation is now tasked with the care of thousands of Veterans with a complex and often invisible injury. Continue reading