Per the National Center for PTSD, eleven to twelve (out of a hundred) veterans will suffer from PTSD. Roughly 250,000 men and women return home from war each year – meaning approximately 30,000 of these men and women will experience some level of PTSD. This is a staggering number – and as depicted in Thank You For Your Service, a number the US Government is ill equipped to properly treat and heal.
Based on a true story and a David Finkel novel of the same name, Thank You for Your Service follows three Iraq War veterans as they readjust to civilian life, pushing back the traumas of war albeit rather unsuccessfully. Miles Teller stars as Adam Schumann, a decorated war hero who still feels responsible for the death of a fellow soldier, the guilt threatening to tear his marriage, his family and even his own life apart. Thank You for Your Service though isn’t just about how Adam and his fellow soldiers cope with trauma, but the systems in place (Veteran Affairs, Trauma Counseling) to treat these men – and how difficult it is for them to get help even when they know they need it.
In the following interview with the real life Adam Schumann and writer/director Jason Hall, the duo discuss how to improve PTSD treatment for suffering veterans, adjusting the film’s script to reflect reality and the careful balance between fact & fiction for the film. For the full interview, watch above.
Jason Hall & Adam Schumann:
- What was Adam Schumann’s reaction to seeing the finished cut of Thank You for Your Service?
- What is the balance between creating a narrative yet remaining true to what actually happened?
- How did talks with Adam and other soldiers influence how Jason Hall approached the script?
- What notes did Adam give on the script?
- How does the duo think Veteran Affairs and PTSD Treatment Centers can be improved?