What inspired me to write this play?
I was inspired to focus on this issue after learning about the alarming rate of veteran suicides from PTSD and the increasing amount of veterans who are living on the streets. A particular story that really touched me was a video of an Iraq veteran who had served 29 months in Iraq, three tours.
He would sit at his computer and click on pictures of casualties from battles that he had been in. As he clicked on these pictures, his entire family sat in the kitchen and watched him relive his experiences in combat. You could see and feel so much loss and pain in his family. And what really got me was his son sitting up on the kitchen counter rocking back and forth with tears in his eyes saying- “I wished my dad would play with me the way he used to, I really miss that. He’s home but he’s not home. It sucks!”
As I watch this, I could not help but imagine what if those were my children crying for me. What if my Austin or Stella, who I love with every fiber in my body, lost me either physically or spiritually as their father. What if the intense love and joy we share together, playing with each other, was stolen from us. That video inspired me to “try” give back in some way.
My goal to show the bravery and challenges our veterans and their families face on a daily basis as they return home after putting their lives on the line for our country. When our veterans return home, often with PTSD, they find it difficult to find jobs, re-adjust with their families and re-enter civilian life. I will never really know the intense experiences veterans go through while in combat or how they feel when they come back home. But I hope this play honors them and their families, and shows the sincere admiration and appreciation we have for them and for what they have given.
Did I serve?
I did not. I do have a sister who is a Sergeant in the army, two nieces that have done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and a nephew in the Marines.