I am very concerned about American men and women suffering from combat-induced PTSD as well as the families and society to which these men and women return home.
I have known about special veterans courts that judge vets who break the law differently if the vet’s offense appears influenced by the symptoms of PTSD.
I have known about the extremely high incidences of spouse abuse from vets suffering from PTSD.
I have also known that many people suffering from PTSD do not know this about themselves or, if they do know, do not seek treatment for a variety of reasons.
Thus I welcomed the front-page March 24th Wall Street Journal article by Michael M. Phillips titled “Convicted Combat Vets Watch Each Other’s Backs to Stay Out of Prison” as a good overview of the special courts, spouse abuse and the long-term effects of PTSD.
The Wall Street Journal article begins:
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.
Yet, after reading the entire article, I kept returning to what I also knew:
Many, many veterans (as well as others suffering from trauma-induced PTSD) do not get the help they so desperately need.
Then I read something about Suzanne Collins, author of the immensely popular YA trilogy “The Hunger Games,” getting her ideas from putting together two disparate subjects.
I also thought about how fiction can sometimes get across ideas much more successfully than nonfiction can.
The light bulb went off! And the idea for a TV drama series based on a TV drama pilot script that my husband and I wrote years ago popped into my head.
The original TV drama was “Solomon’s Justice” with the first episode titled “The Wisdom of Solomon.” This drama concerned a children’s court judge in San Diego. (Years ago when my husband was a law student – thanks to the GI Bill – at Temple University in Philadelphia, he had a summer clerkship with a children’s court judge.)
The idea occurred to me now of taking that same drama series title/setting and transposing it to a TV drama about people dealing with PTSD.
A couple of hours after the light bulb went off I had mentally developed the main characters as tweaked from the original characters my husband and I created for “Solomon’s Justice.”
Now here is my challenge:
• I know that much more has to be done to help people suffering from PTSD, and a weekly TV drama could help get out the information — and keep that information — in front of the public.
• I believe that my idea for a TV drama could be very successful as a show on network television or on cable television or even on sites such as Netflix that are starting to develop original TV series.
• I need help to connect with the people who can make this project happen.
I am going to start writing the treatment for this proposed TV drama.
And if anyone reading this post has contacts to help move this project forward, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s do more than nod our heads after reading about this terrible problem of PTSD – which affects so many Americans and their families. Let’s try to actually do something for these people.
Are you able to help with this project?
(c) 2012 Miller Mosaic LLC
Phyllis Zimbler Miller (@ZimblerMiller on Twitter and @ZimblerMiller on Pinterest) is the author of fiction and nonfiction books/ebooks and is the co-founder of the online marketing company www.MillerMosaicLLC.com
Her screenplay DR. SOAPY can be downloaded for FREE at Amazon Studios at http://studios.amazon.com/projects/8259 and the techno-thriller ebook LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS she wrote with her husband can be downloaded for FREE from Amazon’s Kindle store.
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