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‘Where Soldiers Come From’ Tells Wartime Coming of Age Story

Heather CourtneyWhen filmmaker Heather Courtney returned to her hometown in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, she was hoping to make a film about rural America.

But over the next four years, she instead discovered a coming of age story that took her from the U.P. to Afghanistan and back again.

Where Soldiers Come From follows a group of recent high school graduates and childhood friends who join the National Guard mostly because, as one character says, “I just felt like I needed to do something with my life.”

Desire to fight in battle did not appear to factor into their decision to join. When the group is deployed to Afghanistan, they spend their days searching for improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Courtney returned home with the unit to continue to tell the story of the now 23-year-old combat veterans who are recovering from psychological and physical impacts of war.

Art Beat talked to Heather Courtney at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C.:

“Where Soldiers Come From” will air on PBS stations in the fall.

Watch the trailer for

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