Film focuses on returning soldiers

By Christopher E. Epling

Two programs at UK are attempting to bring awareness to military families.

The School of Human Environmental Science and the Department of Family Studies are presenting “Brothers at War,” a documentary film by director Jake Rademacher, at the Center Theatre inside the Student Center on Tuesday, April 19, at 7 p.m.

The film focuses on the lives of two American service members as they deploy to Iraq. The film delves deep into what experience the brothers have with their “boots on the ground,” and then, ultimately, what effect war has on their transition back into their families here at home.

The lack of information available to the general public about the issues and problems facing veterans with reintegration into communities is something that one particular department at UK is taking seriously.

According to UK’s School of Human Environmental Science, a major factor of successfully reintegrating service members back into their families and communities depends on the understanding of such issues at the level of local community.

President Barack Obama recently revealed a proposal labeled “Strengthening Our Military Families: Meeting America’s Commitment,” which called for government agencies to broaden each department’s focus towards preserving the fighting force of the United States Military via programs directed primarily on the issues and conditions facing military families as a whole.

Raising the general public’s awareness of issues facing military families has developed as a major concern for the current administration after recent data suggested the general public’s awareness of issues concerning our veterans mirrored that of 1960s Vietnam Era statistics.

The School of Human Environmental Science, along with the Department of Family Studies, are spearheading efforts aimed at conducting programs such as remote soldier outreach through Operation Military Kids (OMK), ongoing training for Cooperative Extension agents to reach out to rural military families in their communities, several research projects specifically targeting military couples and a graduate level course offered to students, FAM759: Working With Military Families.

The development of Rademacher’s film began when his two brothers, the subjects of the documentary, received orders to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Rademacher set out to answer the question “why did my brothers go to war?” but ended up answering more than what was expected concerning the effects of reintegration on today’s veterans.

During the 2008 G.I. Film Festival, Rademacher took home the award for “Best Documentary Feature.”

The film’s executive producer is Academy Award Nominee and long time USO supporter Gary Sinise.

This particular showing will be available to all on a first come, first served seating arrangement.

There will be a panel available to take questions from the general public immediately following the presentation.