Viewers’ Revelatory Reactions to ‘Where Soldiers Come From’

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Where Soldiers Come From

Where Soldiers Come From

Over the past week, viewers have been posting their reactions to Where Soldiers Come From, a four-year journey of childhood friends who join the National Guard and are deployed from a snowy town in northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan.

Read reactions from Facebook, Twitter and the Where Soldiers Come From film companion site

“…It’s brilliant. One of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen and perhaps the best one about the effects of war on working class families. … I will never forget this film.”

“Wonderfully accurate and well done. Gotta love PBS. I too am a veteran of the service. 3rd bn 2nd Marines I Co. I did 4 tours in 4 years, 2 of those in almost constant enemy contact in the Anbar province of Iraq. It took me at least 2 years to start to reintegrate to society and attempt college again. Its definitely not easy and God bless those who served before me those who are serving and will serve in the future.”

“The film did an excellent job of portraying deployments. It’s hard to talk to people about the environment and then people who haven’t gone through it don’t get it.”

“I was glued to this documentary. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more real. Thank you to the men for their service and thank you for bringing it to us through your film.”

“I watched Where Soldiers Come From last night. It left me feeling such sadness for how war changes the lives of those who fight.”
@nortman (via Twitter)

“There is such a divide between the military and civilian world in the U.S., Heather Courtney has done a wonderful job of trying to bridge the two. … The most stunning scene of the entire film for me was the outpouring of emotion and thanksgiving of the entire Michigan home town at the soldiers’ return.”

Where Soldiers Come From is a picture of our time, a movie made about and by people from rural America.”
@laurieezzell (via Twitter)

“Being a Yooper and the mother of a son who was deployed for 3 tours in Iraq, I watched this film sharing the same tears, fears and joys of the family members of each of the soldiers. I did, surprisingly, learn a lot from the soldiers’ experiences which my son has not, at this point, shared with me. The openness of the soliders brought me a greater understanding of what my son felt and experienced during his tours.”

“This documentary was absolutely awesome! It made my heart drop in certain parts, mostly when they were in Afghanistan, but most of all it was eye opening to why most young people are enlisting, which I felt someone needed to reveal.”
Shovondia Sainvil (via Facebook)

“This was an incredible documentary… the cinematography was breathtaking, the guys were so compelling, and… it really opened my eyes (as someone who doesn’t personally know anyone in the military) to what these soldiers go through. I also bawled my eyes out every time Cole’s mom started crying.”
Sara Miller (via Facebook)

Watch Where Soldiers Come From free online for a limited time, and tell us what you think about this program on the Where Soldiers Come From companion site, on Facebook or on Twitter.

POV Staff
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 300 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.
  • NnWilson

    Having spent most of my childhood in Hancock, I was very impressed how Heather captured the beauty of the area and at the same time how hard it is to live in such an isolated part of our country. I learned a lot on the young soldiers experiences and feelings.  Thank you for bringing this project to the public it is very moving and eye opening to those of us who have not served our country

  • Reynolds_polly

    I hope EVERYONE involved with the making of this film puffs with well deserved pride :

  • Anonymous

    Special thanks to everyone who commented on my long post. I really felt a connection with these guys and that’s why I wrote what I wrote. It’s very nice to know there are non-service and service members alike out there who continue to care. Thanks, and Semper Fidelis.

  • Koltrayne

    I have a little different take than everyone else on this interesting documentary. (And thanks to PBS because no one else would do this type of film.) It didn’t seem to me that these kids were the military “type” (it’s all volunteer now) with a plan and a vision – they seemed to have needed education and jobs right out of high school not volunteer for tour of duty in a war zone. And they didn’t seem attitudinally prepared for what they were getting to and appeared to be talking themselves into PTSD. But I’m glad they all returned at least physically sound.

  • Lori

    This was such an inspiring and moving documentary, really among the best I’ve seen.  Heather Courtney provided an excellent insider’s perpective showing the anxiety of upcoming deployment and the constant, unrelenting stress of finding and deploying IEDs.  It makes sense how so many veterans have difficult reintegrating to American society and culture after living on the edge for a year or more.  Thank you to those soldiers who allowed us into their 2 worlds for this documentary which drove home the point how much we really owe to all the soldiers and veterans who’ve served.

  • Ellingson1941

    As a former long time resident of Hancock, Mi in the UP, the seans of the Copper County made me home sick. The isolated area, with good schools, little crime, raises  such well rounded youth and produces such moral, responsible individuals our country  can be proud of. Hoping this group of outstanding individuals have all the success and happiness that they deserve. They have earned our countries respect and graditudes for their service to this country. Hopefully with the great leadership our country has now, such individuals will not have to go to war ever again.