The mission of The American Soldier is give a sincere thank you to all of our veterans and to their families for their incredible sacrifice. To raises the awareness of the intense sacrifice our men and women and their families have made, and make for all of us. And help us understand why it is so difficult for men and women in the armed services to re-enter our pedestrian life when they come home.
I believe story telling helps us rejuvenate, they educate us and more importantly they heal us. And I truly believe veteran stories are the most compelling and moving stories out there.
I saw 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 dead bodies and 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. They wanted their husband, father back – spiritually and emotionally at least.
His wife said “even though he was not shot or blown up, his soul was left over there.” His 8 year old son sitting up on the kitchen counter rocking back and forth by himself said “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.” I was so moved by this story, that I wanted to do something that would be this little boy’s voice, this families voice that I started to research and create The American Soldier.
Did I serve?
I have never served in the military but I have a sister who is a retired sergeant in the army, two nieces who have done multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and my nephew who has just become a Marine.
Taurel has been nominated for Innovative Theater Award and Amnesty International Award. He’s appeared in numerous television shows including The Affair, Mr. Robot, The Americans, Blue Bloods, Person of Interest, The Following, Damages, NYC 22, Believe, and Nurse Jackie. In the indie world he has appeared in numerous films, including The Cobbler (starring Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman directed by Tom McCarthy), Delivery at the HBO Latin Films Festival and the upcoming The Kindergarten Teacher (starring Maggie Gyllenhall and directed by Sara Conlangelo).
Taurel was commissioned by the Library of Congress to write and and perform his second solo show, An American Soldier’s Journey Home which commemorates the ending of the First World War and tells the story of Irving Greenwald, a soldier in the 308 Regiment and part of the Lost Battalion. He performed the play twice at the Library of Congress on Veterans Day and Memorial Day of 2017. He’s recently finished filming his Web TV Series Landing Home, which he wrote and directed. It tells the story of a Veteran having a hard time to adjusting out of the Military.