If you were in a car wreck once a week for twelve months, that's what it's like. That is one of many candid descriptions veterans give in the documentary film called "The Mark of War". FOX 7 Care Force took a look at this portrait of the impact of war on several Central Texas Vietnam veterans.
The Mark of War was ten years in the making.
That's how long director Ricardo Ainslie has known some of the veterans he interviewed. Seven shared some of their experiences and traumas from Vietnam. "The message is really not that we are pro or anti war, but when we send people to war we should know what will happen to those who come home. all will bear that mark of war in some way or another. One of the men in the film says to survive you had to become an animal, leave ordinary life, and once you do that how do you come home, how do you leave that behind."
Gordon Fowler, a native Austinite and now an artist, was 1 of the seven veterans interviewed.
He was a Marine combat correspondent, which meant he followed the fighting. "Somebody asked me what it's like to be in combat and i said what if you were in a car wreck once a week for 12 months, that's what it's like. you go along boring and then it's chaos everywhere, a lot of blood and guts."
The director who is a UT Professor in Education Psychology, says many combat vets carry their stories inside them but don't share them, he hopes with films like this, that will change. "When we have a rough cut screenings for the vets and their families on several occasions their children would say I've never heard these stories before, I had no idea he'd been through what I just saw."
Despite the combat footage the director also says the film isn't about the history of the Vietnem conflict, but rather a psychological portrait and hopefully a means for other vets heal.
Fowler says,"If it can get them to open up and go get help and not just bottle it up because you can't hold that stuff forever without something you know."
The film has already screened around the country with the help of Texas Humanities.
And you can watch The Mark of War online, just go to themarkofwar.com.