The Patton Veterans Project initiative “I Was There” Films will have a free, therapeutic video workshop for active-duty and retired service men and women dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder from Monday through Thursday on Fort Stewart.
“When you have post-traumatic stress, you need to unpack and repack a lot of these overwhelming memories. I realized that’s a lot like film editing,” Project Executive Director Ben Patton said.
Patton is the son of Maj. Gen. George S. Patton and grandson of World War II Gen. George Patton.
“I Was There” engages service members through filmmaking, using the collaborative and narrative nature of the medium to help them heal. During the four-day program, participants are introduced to theoretical and practical aspects of filmmaking. They then collaborate with other veterans to conceive, shoot and edit short films, which help them express and gain control over aspects of their military service experience.
“I Was There” has had more than 30 free workshops for soldiers and their families struggling with post-traumatic stress since 2011.
You can watch “My Addiction,” a short film made at an earlier “I Was There” workshop on Fort Stewart, at bit.ly/1TeAXlo. More examples of workshop-produced films can be found on the I Was There website, IWasThereFilms.org.
— Special to the Courier