When War Comes Home


Friday, Nov. 11 at 7:30pm

A documentary complement to “The Sand Box,” “When War Comes Home” focuses on the lives of three soldiers returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. The men soon discover that post-traumatic stress affects not only their own lives but also those of their wives, children, and friends. In the heartland of Indiana, Wes Carlile, a former U.S. Army chaplain’s assistant in Iraq, feels overwhelmed by the death of his fellow soldiers. When his PTSD endangers his wife, Andrea, and their two daughters, Wes attempts to find redemption from his violent behavior through his church and local VA hospital. Andrea and the girls, in turn, seek relief from the secondary trauma caused by Wes’ return. Florida resident Emmanuel Bernandin served in both Afghanistan and Iraq. He suffers from the guilt of surviving his 14 brothers-in-arms after a suicide bombing, and PTSD leads him to attempt suicide. Feeling like a burden to both his family and his girlfriend, Emmanuel finds solace only with his dog. Now living in the mountains of Colorado, Spencer Milo was a sergeant in the U.S. Army until an injury from a suicide bomber forced a medical retirement. With the help of a service dog, he now attempts to adjust to civilian life with his wife and daughter. Plagued by crippling anxiety and grossly over-medicated by his doctors, Spencer hopes that he can begin to cope with his own trauma by helping other returning veterans. Witnessing these powerful stories and far too many others, retired Four-Star Gen. Peter Chiarelli leads the search for better treatment of the invisible wounds of war.

96 min.

Directed by

Michael King

Film Category

Leon & Mary Strauss Documentary Spotlight Race in America: The Black Experience
With subject Andrea Carlile and an intro and post-film discussion with scholar Sara van den Berg (Saint Louis U. professor of English).

Plays on a double bill with The Sand Box.