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Published On: Wed, Oct 25th, 2017

‘Thank You For Your Service’ highlights PTSD struggles for Vets but falls short on the ‘thank you’

The struggles of returning soldiers never appeared on screen in the way Thank You For Your Service highlights PTSD, the incompetence of Veterans Affairs and the arrogance of military leadership. American Sniper writer Jason Hall gets to helm his script, packing full of great acting and dramatic scenes, but delivers very little entertainment or redemptive elements.

Miles Teller stars in the film, adapted from the 2013 nonfiction book by David Finkel, following several members of the 2-16 Infantry Battalion after they return home from Baghdad in 2008. The characters have all served together, riding in a Humvee when the mission goes bad, very bad.

Adam Schumann (Teller), their sergeant, who found purpose in war, and after three tours of duty finally returns to his wife, Saskia (Haley Bennett), and their young daughter and infant son, in Topeka, Kansas. They’re already struggling financially, renting out their house and on the surface, Adam appears to be grateful to be alive. “I’m here,” he says with a grin. “I got all my limbs…It’s perfect.”

Michael Emory (Scott Haze), gets shot in the head, and as Adam is frantically trying to carry him down a flight of stairs, dripping with the wounded man’s blood, he drops him on his head. He blames himself and has suppressed his emotions.

Tausolo “Solo” Aiete (Beulah Koale), an American Somoan soldier who’s desperate to be drafted into another tour of duty, because the Army saved his life, is denying the mental issues he has brought home. Drug use is often just cliche in a war, but Solo is the best part of the film, a warrior, damaged and heartbroken not to serve.

Michael Emory (Scott Haze), gets shot in the head and the death pf Doster (Brad Beyer) looms over the entire film as the audience gets a harsh dose of reality. Veterans have a shocking and pathetic reception at home with a government incapable of serving these heroes as they served their country.

Hall captures the agony and bravery of the soldiers but never offers up a true “Thank You,” despite the film’s name. Thank You For Your Service never resonates like the great films of the last decade or so. This no Oscar caliber film, but Hall showcases a talent which will be tapped for bigger and better projects.

The film also stars Joe Cole, Amy Schumer, Beulah Koale, Keisha Castle-Hughes, Omar J. Dorsey and Jayson Warner Smith.

Thank You For Your Service receives 3 stars out of 5 stars

The target audience are Veterans and their families, so add a star if there’s a military tie deep in your heart. Deduct a star if you think this will be the next Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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