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‘POV’ doc “Almost Sunrise” explores impact of “moral injury” on vets

PBS indie doc strand ‘POV’ will look at the impact of soldiers transgressing their deeply held beliefs during war in Almost Sunrise. Veteran suicides have spiked in recent years, with many ...
October 27, 2017

PBS indie doc strand ‘POV’ will look at the impact of soldiers transgressing their deeply held beliefs during war in Almost Sunrise.

Veteran suicides have spiked in recent years, with many deaths blamed on “moral injury” caused by violating one’s own ethical code. “Moral injury” is an evolving diagnosis with no fixed treatment regiment.

Haunted by their combat experiences, Iraq veterans Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson embarked on a 2,700-mile walk from Milwaukee to Santa Barbara, seeking redemption and acceptance of the moral issues opened by war. Director Michael Collins made that trek the focus of Almost Sunrise.

The hike proved to be challenging, with the vets facing challenging weather and physical duress, along with the constant mental replays of what Voss and Anderson call their “deployment reel”—memories of combat experiences brought to life in vivid detail. The duo kept a blog, social media presence and answered emails from supporters and vets encouraged by their example as they walked the arduous trek. Voss and Anderson also followed the news that about 22 veterans were killing themselves each day.

Collins hopes the film will raise awareness of moral injury and help reduce veteran suicide.

“We bring our passion for impact, awareness and action to an engagement campaign that ignites this timely and much needed international dialogue around mental health, healing and war,” Collins said, in a statement.

Almost Sunrise premieres on ‘POV’ and all streaming devices Nov. 13, at 10 p.m.

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