Reality TV series proposed project — click here to read about HEALING OUR HEROES.
Solomon’s Justice TV drama backstory:
The blog post “PTSD-Connected Wall Street Journal Article Ignites My Writer’s Imagination for a TV Drama Show” — written by Phyllis Zimbler Miller for the site PhyllisZimblerMiller.com — quoted from the beginning of a front-page Wall Street Journal article by Michael M. Phillips titled “Convicted Combat Vets Watch Each Other’s Backs to Stay Out of Prison”:
SAN DIEGO—In Iraq, Chris Stavran relied on his buddies to keep him alive. On the streets back home, he relies on them to keep him out of prison.
Two years after leaving the Marine Corps, Mr. Stavran has become part of a judicial experiment, one of a group of homeless Iraq and Afghanistan veterans convicted of criminal offenses and sent to a new veterans-only court that takes into account their wartime scars. He’s living with eight other vets and undergoing treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, anger-management and substance abuse—with a lengthy prison term waiting if he slips up on probation.
The article describes the special veterans courts being experimented with throughout the U.S. to deal with crimes committed by veterans suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury).
PTSD can be deadly for the vets who have PTSD as well as their spouses (spouse abuse is very high), their children, other family members and friends, and the community at large because of the crimes sometimes committed by these veterans. PTSD is often undiagnosed, frequently because it can be triggered years after the trauma event.
As reported in an LA Times article:
There recently has been a sharp spike in California combat veterans enrolled in healthcare services — which include counseling — through the VA. The number jumped to 47,819 last year from 3,609 in 2003, when the Iraq war began. There are waiting lists.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of PTSD often go unnoticed: “Wife of accused of 17 murders; He was ‘big kid himself’”
And when the symptoms do not lead to murder, they often lead to suicide: “O.C.’s Combat Veterans Court helps ex-warriors fix their lives”
(Suicide can result from constant exposure to combat even when the military personnel are watching on a drone video screen, as described in “I worked on the US drone program” article in The Guardian.)
And then there are the struggles to get help: “Army sergeant was accused of ‘exaggerating’ the stress of war”
What all these true stories add up to is incredible conflict in drama story lines for a TV drama while making more Americans aware of this potentially exploding issue.
(Here is an article about the L.A. County Veterans Court — “First defendants graduate from L.A. County Veterans Court” — as well as a blog post about my visit to the Los Angeles County Veterans Court.)
The proposed TV drama SOLOMON’S JUSTICE centers around Judge Robert Solomon, a fictional judge of the L.A. County Veterans Court who often needs the wisdom of Solomon to deal with these cases.
The show also showcases the affects on an entire family from a parent suffering from PTSD. While the seven-year-old boy is fictional in SOLOMON’S JUSTICE, this subsequent real-life account of a seven-year-old boy severely impacted by his father’s “invisible wounds” demonstrates how important this topic is. Click here to read the compelling article “How Did a 7-Year-Old Boy Catch His Father’s PTSD?” by Roxanne Patel Shepelavy.
The TV drama is being created by Phyllis Zimbler Miller with legal and military advice from Mitchell R. Miller. The pilot script has been written by Phyllis and forms the basis of the short story SOLOMON’S JUSTICE that can be read for free on Wattpad or bought as a Kindle ebook on Amazon or borrowed for free via Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription program.
Phyllis is a member of the Department of Defense’s Bloggers Roundtable and the Military Writers Society of America.
She was the co-host for a year of the BlogTalkRadio show Your Military Life, which frequently dealt with the topic of PTSD. And for the past several years she has been involved with online projects to promote PTSD information, including the PTSD info at her site www.InSupportOfOurTroops.com
Mitch is a lawyer and a U.S. Army veteran. During law school at Temple University he had a summer clerkship with a Philadelphia judge, first handling criminal cases and then switching to civil cases. Mitch is a member of the U.S. Naval Institute, the National Military Intelligence Association, and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers.
Email Phyllis at firstname.lastname@example.org about the proposed TV drama SOLOMON’S JUSTICE.