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Powerful Movies, Powerful Memories: Viewing Advice for Military Men and Women

Movies such as the “The War Tapes” and the HBO special “Baghdad ER” have received critical acclaim for their moving portrayals of our servicemen and women such as yourself. While these films highlight heroism and action, they also graphically depict the ravages and anguish of war. Watching these films may stir powerful emotions in you ranging from sadness, worry, fear and anxiety, to actual pain and flashbacks. These feelings are usually temporary but they may become disturbing and last for hours or days after the movie is over. Military psychiatrists, alert to the possible effects of such viewing, have prepared this fact sheet for returning war veterans, other active duty members, National Guard, and reserve forces, as well as their families. The fact sheet addresses important questions: Should I watch? If so when, and with whom?