THE BROTHERS AT WAR RESILIENCY PROGRAM evolved from the real world experience of screening the documentary for numerous groups of returning American Service Members and their families. The overwhelming positive response to the film and to the filmmaker made it clear that the Rademacher family had become a microcosm of all of our war fighters and their families. As such, it became apparent to us that creating a Resiliency program as a supplement to and an inducement to the utilization of existing veterans resources, was a logical next step.
Emotional Ice Breaker
BROTHERS AT WAR makes tough subjects easier to talk about. The film and the DVD extras serve to emotionally jumpstart the session because participants see incidents in the film that often mirror their own experiences. Through candid interviews and real life scenes, a spectrum of experiences and issues which military families face are explored including: call to service, long separations, changes in life routines, impact on children, adrenaline rushes, fatigue, extreme environmental sensitivity, anger management, wounded comrades, and the death of a family member or fellow Service Member.
The film and DVD Extras allow participants to get to the heart of the matter quickly, and then the Companion Workbooks provide a safe place for Service and family members to record their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences privately. Journals are specifically tailored for either the Service or family member.
After journaling on a subject, a group discussion ensues. Veterans and families learn they are not alone in the issues they face. Both the positive and negative impact of their experiences is explored. Not only does this get the ball rolling for individuals and families, the burden of sharing the experience is spread across the group and shared.
Effective Healing Tool
“I can categorically state that the BROTHERS AT WAR documentary is the most honest, effective and comprehensive overview of the individual and family experience as it relates to the modern deployment cycle. The idea that this movie “softens the target” to erode barriers and decrease the stigma of seeking help is an important outcome. The Companion Workbook takes it a step further and acts as a catalyst to stimulate in-depth discussions potentially to prevent illness from beginning in the first place.”
Extremely Popular With Participants
Service and Family Members find the program “honest, worthwhile, engaging, deep,
powerful, strong, sympathetic, and energized”, with 94% willing to recommend it to
For Service Members and/or Families struggling with intense readjustment issues, the workshop offers discoveries, assurance they are not alone, and the opportunity to access confidential help. The confidential journals can be utilized during counseling sessions, and the characters and situations in the film can be used to help Service and Family Members express and articulate their own situations.
Healing Extends Beyond the Session
Service Members can bring the DVD home, and use the film to help educate extended family members, co-workers, and other members of the community who constitute their support groups. The Companion Workbooks can continue being used at home to further exploration and communication, and preserved as a personal keepsake from this critical period of their lives.