Wanting to hear your stories

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Wanting to hear your stories

I lost a friend in Iraq. He died on a dusty road in Anbar Province. There was no warning. There was only anticipation, and then, death.

I was affected deeply by this loss. The conflict was no longer thousands of miles away. It was real and it was tangible. I got drunk and I shaved my head. I thought at the time it honored his memory.

I knew, even then, that my suffering paled in comparison to that of his immediate family and closest friends, and I felt compelled to say something – to do something – in his honor.

I was a singer/songwriter living in Los Angeles at the time, and I thought that maybe this statement could be realized in a song – but the song never came. The words I wrote just never seemed to do it justice.

Flash forward. Eight years later, as I walked through a forest cut into a cliff facing Lake Washington, struggling with the purpose of a screenplay I was writing about an urban Seattle family, everything came full circle. This was the story I had to tell.
The loss was indeed tragic. When we lose soldiers in our many conflicts throughout the world, we speak mostly of the loss of life, but we forget about the lives they leave behind. Long after we’ve counted the numbers and honored the fallen, the families live on, and their trauma exists.

Sacrifice. What is it? Time? Life? We measure it in numbers. Lives lost. Lives forever changed. The sheer magnitude of this is beyond our comprehension. Think of your family. Think of your friends. Think of how they all would be affected if you suddenly were killed or emotionally changed. It’s a ripple affect. No one is immune.

I’m writing a script about a soldier affected by war, and about a family dealing with loss created by war. I am sharing this because I wish to improve this story. I intend to create and share the most compelling and accurate story possible, so if you or someone you know has been impacted by war, I would respectfully love the chance to hear your story. There are no expectations on your identity being revealed. Your persona and story will remain as private as you wish it to be.

Please feel free to share this. I respectfully thank you for your time.

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