HBO documents the lives of wounded soldiers

By Christy Ross
September 27, 2007

Everyday a new solider is injured in Iraq. Families fear about their loved ones fighting for our country. We hear about the deaths and the injuries but never see the obstacles that these wounded soldiers will face when they come home from Iraq.

Last week, under the direction of Soprano’s star, James Gandolfini, HBO ran a week-long documentary entitled “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq.”

This documentary went inside the lives of 10 wounded soldiers to see how their injuries and experiences in Iraq have changed their everyday life.

The inspiration for the documentary came from his first visit to Iraq back in November 2004.

“My dark memories are inescapable, they are the fibers that shape the threads of my new life and I must accept them for what they are and persevere through them,” Lt. Halfaker said in her HBO interview. For most, like Halfaker, who’s now attaining her masters degree at Georgetown University, the journey has been a struggle but a blessing too. For others the journey hasn’t been so easy.

“One of the greatest challenges since I came home is learning how to live independently and recuperating in a life without vision.” Marine Corporal Jernigan said in his HBO interview. Jernigan is now a spokesperson at a guide dog school, he continues to live one day at a time and is thankful just to be alive.

Like Halfaker and Jernigan, these wounded soldiers have found other things to fill out their day. For some, family is their biggest priority. For others, going back to school and getting their degree or starting up their own programs and events for wounded soldiers to be part of is important to them.

“My list of ‘I could be doing’.is quite long,” Lt. Halfaker said. All of these soldiers have other ‘things’ they could be doing, but for now the most important thing to them is surrounding themselves with loved ones and never taking one single day of the rest of their lives for granted.

Want to hear more? HBO will continue to replay the “Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq,” until October 7. HBO online also offers several resource websites where you can go and learn more about the victims of Iraq and ways you can help.

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Christy Ross

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