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Where Soldiers Come From

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Get Involved With Issues Facing Veterans

The young men featured in the documentary Where Soldiers Come From face a variety of issues while trying to return and reintegrate into their community, from dealing with traumatic brain injury (TBI) to receiving education benefits for their service. Learn ways you can get involved with veterans and educate your communities about the issues they face in returning to civilian life.
  • Host a screening of Where Soldiers Come From as part of a Veterans Day observance. Use the opportunity to raise awareness of local agencies and organizations that support returning soldiers and their families.

  • Host a panel discussion with veterans of different eras of service and combat experience to discuss the utilization of an all-volunteer force and its effects versus other military service options used in previous wars, such as the Vietnam War. Compare and contrast the experience of soldiers returning after Vietnam with the experience of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq.

  • Arrange to correspond with and/or send care packages to troops serving in Afghanistan.

  • Convene a panel to discuss the relationship between economic status and military enlistment.

  • Host a debate about the pros and cons of using National Guard units for regular and repeated deployment overseas. Include a discussion of the differences between National Guard service and service in other branches of the military in terms of pay, benefits and requirements.

  • Host a caregiver summit to discuss community support, response and resources for families of military veterans and those wounded in war.

Get informed about the issues in the film and lead a discussion in your community.

Discussion Guide

Discussion Guide

A documentary about growing up, Where Soldiers Come From offers an intimate look at some of the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown, director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access, following these young men as they grow and change from teenagers stuck in their town to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home. As an outreach tool, Where Soldiers Come From looks beyond guns and policy to examine the effect of an ongoing war on soldiers, parents, loved ones and a whole community when young people go off to fight. This film provides one of the first and only available snapshots of the effects of combat from mobilization to deployment to return and reintegration.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Plan

In this lesson, students will investigate traumatic brain injury (TBI), which has become the signature injury of military service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students will watch video clips that illustrate issues related to TBI, research additional information and create fact sheets to educate soldiers and their families about TBI and direct them to organizations that can provide support.

Reading List

Delve Deeper

This resource list, compiled by Gina Blume of the Monroe Township Public Library, includes books, films and other materials related to the issues presented in the film Where Soldiers Come From. Learn more about the Upper Peninsula, enlisting, veteran mental health, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Frustrated with how small-town America was often portrayed in the mainstream media, I wanted to tell a story about my rural hometown that countered those stereotypes.”

— Heather Courtney, Filmmaker

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