Advice to a 21-year old girl prior to her wedding day in the mid-sixties: “You’re marrying a man who’s going off to war, and you’re going to live with this for the rest of your life.” What a profound statement! We have heard about soldiers suffering from PTSD and TBI…exhibiting hypervigilance, quick temper, isolation, ongoing emotional escapism, and guilt to name a few. THEY NEVER GO AWAY! What about those spouses and families who have to live with this veteran? This documentary focuses on 11 wives of combat veterans who tell their stories.
I Married the War: Women fight for their loved ones who live with the trauma of war
(Boise, Idaho, November 29, 2021) Idaho filmmaking team Betty and Ken Rodgers at Syringa Cinema have announced their documentary film, I Married the War, a story of war, homecoming, loss, resilience. A story of love.
As long as mankind has waged war, women have waited and welcomed their warrior’s home, only to discover that the conflict dogs their husbands’ footsteps, bringing with it hypervigilance, isolation, anger, substance use, and emotional escapism—all manifestations of posttraumatic stress.
I Married the War gives voice to Anne Ohki of Santa Rosa, CA, and 10 other wives of combat veterans from World War II to present-day Middle East wars. They are known as military caregivers, and they represent more than 5.5 million such caregivers in our nation alone.
Listen as these remarkable women expose the emotional cost of war and its painful impact on their families. Learn how they cope, how they heal, and how they protect those they love. Share their struggle to hold on to their own hopes and desires.
We see clearly how they’ve learned to adapt to life with their husbands’ physical and/or mental injuries. We see them caught in the middle, protecting their children from their father’s sudden outbursts of anger.
We also see their strength, their commitment, and their love.
The women in “I Married the War” share their personal struggles while not losing sight of their own hopes and desires.
Their heroically candid and sometimes wrenching stories bring to life the ways in which families are impacted and forever changed by the unique personal struggles, victories, and defeats experienced by our country’s veterans.
Betty and Ken married nearly forty years ago, Betty knew nothing about Post Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, and the many other manifestations of the trauma of combat. Ken had served as a Marine and experienced the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh during the Vietnam War.
While producing and showing their award-winning film Bravo!, Common Men, Uncommon Valor, a documentary about the men who lived through that siege, Ken and Betty met hundreds of military caregivers. Betty recognized herself and her own marriage and personal experience in the lives of these women. The pair realized how silent and unseen the plight of military caregivers is, and they were determined to make it visible.
Six years in the making, I Married the War is now available. The Rodgers are former long-time residents of Sebastopol, CA, where they were very active in the Sonoma County literary arts community.
“…a nuanced, heartbreaking, and, most of all, magnificently inspiring film.” — Siobhan Fallon, author of You Know When the Men Are Gone
“A moving, fascinating, informative, haunting, inspiring film. It’s utterly stunning.” — Jean Hegland, author of Into the Forest
“I Married the War is must viewing for military wives and their war-veteran husbands.”
– Marc Leepson, Arts of War
“The two filmmakers have done more than make a film. They have drawn attention to a heart-breaking problem, and are calling for much more support for spouses of combat veterans.”
– Don Schwartz, film critic
For more information about this film, please click on the following link: https://imarriedthewar.com/
If you are interested in reading an earlier article about this groups’ first documentary, Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor, you’ll find it here: https://cherrieswriter.com/2014/11/20/the-bloody-battle-of-khe-sanh-77-days-under-siege-guest-blog/
Information for this article was obtained from a press release by Katrina Markarian/Segue Entertainment and Betty Rogers. Photos copied from the film FB page: https://www.facebook.com/imarriedthewar
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