Friday, May 3, 2013

KLRN Staff Review SERVICE | When Women Come Marching Home

One program through the eyes of KLRN Staff Member, Rachel R.

The documentary film Service: When Women Come Marching Come Home describes the life of the modern, female, U.S. veteran. We are introduced to the individual women who have undergone challenge, injury and trauma in the line of duty. As they recount their personal experiences it becomes clear that many of these women have been poorly repaid for their contributions.

Although the U.S. continues to debate when and how females should serve in the military, these women have their own opinion on the matter. Whether interacting with civilian women and children, or forming enduring and supportive friendships, it is clear that in many ways they feel they have an edge over their male counterparts.
Yet, despite any advantages, they continue to struggle in their transition to civilian life. This was, for me, one of the most revealing aspects of the film: the strain placed on these individual daughters, wives and mothers as they attempt to reintegrate themselves into their families and previous lifestyles.

Another eye-opener was the shocking way that rape cases were handled by the military. The lack of support, and in fact ostracism, described by a number of the women interviewed is a call for action and perhaps legislation.

It is clear however, that not all legislation made in support of these veterans has had an impact. For example: the laws protecting a disabled veteran's right to bring their service dog into stores, restaurants and other businesses is largely unknown and therefore frequently ineffective.

One of this documentary’s strengths is that it indicates a number of such flaws in the current support system. It offers viewers a very subjective overview of critical weak points. In my mind the next step would be to more concretely and objectively define how that system needs to be reworked.

Service: When Women Comes Marching Home begins an important discussion by questioning how we support our veterans and repay their sacrifices. It presents a conversational and direct picture of these individual women and their personal experiences.

The program airs Monday, May 6 at 10pm on KLRN.