An estimated 9.1 million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam War, August 5, 1964-May, 1975. It was the most controversial war in American history spurring protests and anti-military sentiment lasting long after the veterans returned home. Never before has the military been treated with such hostility and indifference on American soil.
This film features Vietnam Veterans from all over the country who have struggled not only with the expected post-traumatic stress of experiencing combat, but possibly struggled even more so with the completely unexpected aftermath of coming home to a country that didn’t seem to want them. The first clue was when they were instructed to change out of their uniforms before landing back in America so they would not be seen in public as members of the U.S. Military. It is difficult to even imagine a time when America would treat those who serve us with such disdain, or at best, indifference. Today, America reveres its warriors and welcomes them home with a full embrace of gratitude, in large part because Vietnam Veterans themselves personally carried the flag high as today’s troops came home. They vowed it would never happen again—and it hasn’t. The America of today has learned to separate troops from policy, vowing never to repeat its shameful treatment of veterans.
In “The Journey Home” we explore how Vietnam Veterans—representing communities from around the country—have been able to reconcile and heal from their return fifty years ago. Many still struggle. Many, though, have come to terms with this pain by serving, contributing, meditating, loving, remembering…and forgiving.