Simpson University to Host Free Screening of POV Film on Veterans

For Immediate Release

12.06.2017

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University’s Veterans Success Center, in partnership with KIXE-TV, will host a free screening and discussion of the POV documentary “Almost Sunrise” at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 in the James M. Grant Student Life Center.

The film focuses on a 2,700-mile walk—from Milwaukee to Santa Barbara—undertaken by Iraq veterans Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson as a way to deal with the combat experiences that continued to haunt them.

From the film’s description at pbs.org/pov/almostsunrise:

Tom Voss came from a military family and joined the Army at age 19. He was deployed to Iraq from 2004-2005. "You really don't know anything about war," he says. "You're naïve about the whole process." Yet soldiers often experience searing events that transform their lives, though the effects often do not reveal themselves until they return home.

Anthony Anderson did two tours in Iraq, and like Voss experienced mental anguish after his deployment ended. "I had a hard time getting out of bed in the morning. I was breaking down." Both men experienced sleep disorders, chronic anger, and suicidal thoughts. Alcohol and prescription drug abuse added to their problems.

Voss finally had enough. "I needed to do something to help myself. I needed to take a stand." He decided the walk - which would help raise funds for a Milwaukee veteran gathering place--would help him come to grips with his wartime experiences. Anthony, who had also concluded that his survival required drastic action, agreed to join him.

The hike was no stroll in the park. Massive blisters, snow and a blazing sun were accompanied by constant mental replays of what Voss and Anderson call their "deployment reel"--memories of combat experiences brought vividly to life in graphic detail. As they walked, they kept a blog, maintained a social media presence, and read emails from supporters and veterans encouraged by their example. They also followed the news. Some 22 veterans were killing themselves each day.

The film has lighthearted moments, too, and chronicles the men’s quest for spiritual healing on their journey. Filmmakers Marty Syjuco and Michael Collins hope the film raises awareness of and helps reduce the number of veteran suicides.

For more information, contact Julie Driver at 243-5493.

 

###

 

Simpson University opened a Veterans Success Center in November 2016 to better serve student veterans with educational and career-planning resources. Learn more about the university’s veterans services at simpsonu.edu/veterans.

 

Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduate, graduate, and teaching credential programs. The university celebrated its 25th year in Redding and the completion of a Science and Nursing Center in 2014. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings, including degrees in psychology and organizational leadership. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit simpsonu.edu.

 

Contact: SU Public Relations
mediarelations@simpsonu.edu
(530) 226-4737