“Voices of Resilience: Insight From Injury” short film further explores moral injury 

Following two veterans’ 2,700-mile walk across the country, Almost Sunrise is a remarkable story of healing and hope that sheds light on moral injury, the psychological reaction that veterans might wrestle with after committing actions they feel guilty or shameful about.

To expand the conversation, the filmmakers Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco created “Voices of Resilience: Insight From Injury,” a 15-minute wraparound piece that examines the practices and policies around moral injury.

It draws on several other veterans’ experiences with moral injury, as well as opinions from politicians and experts in veterans affairs and moral injury.

In the clip we hear from veterans such as Mike Ulanski and Leila and Jermaine Catching, each grappling with an unsettled feeling that they betrayed their moral principles when stationed abroad. Leila Catching pushes back against representations of a hardened warrior: “In truth we’re human as well. We have our breaking points.”

U.S. Representatives including Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and Tim Ryan of Ohio also make appearances, as well as those representing veterans groups. All offer a holistic view of the support systems available (and unavailable) to returning soldiers. Others critique recent and ongoing interventions themselves.

Paul Reickhoff of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, for example, offers a particularly scathing portrait of contemporary American military intervention.

“The way we are engaging in war as a nation now is unprecedented. We have never been at war this long in this many different ways with this small a percentage of the American people. We essentially have a warrior class.” He continues, “The American public has sent two and a half million people off to a place they don’t understand, to do something they’re not ready to accept, [and] to come home to a country that’s not prepared.”

You can view the entirety of “Voices of Resilience” here.

UPDATE: Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco also created a short clip called “Women in the Military,” and it examines the unique challenges women face as veterans and members of the armed forces. You can view the clip here:

Published by

POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.