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Before it was called PTSD, soldiers traumatized in war were described as "shell-shocked" or "battle-fatigued." The new HBO documentary Wartorn, directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Jon Alpert, chronicles the history of PTSD on the American battlefield from the Civil War to the present.
The actor has been nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of a solider disarming explosive devices in the Iraq war thriller The Hurt Locker. Renner describes what it was like to spend hours a day in a Kevlar suit — as well as how it felt to portray a serial killer in the movie Dahmer.
In 2001, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology began conducting autopsies on all slain service men and women. Captain Craig T. Mallak describes how the physical (and sometimes virtual) autopsies of soldiers have assisted in the design of body armor, helmets and vehicle shields.
Filmmaker Ari Folman was a 19-year-old Israeli soldier serving in Beirut at the time of the 1982 massacre of Palestinian refuges. Though he has no memory of the time, he revisits the mission in his new film, Waltz With Bashir, a surreal, animated documentary of the terror.
Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill recently won a coveted Peabody Award for their documentary Baghdad ER, which takes viewers inside the 86th Combat Support Hospital, the U.S. Army's primary medical facility in Iraq. Sometimes unflinchingly graphic in its reportage, the film tells the stories of the hospital's doctors and wounded soldiers. (5/29/2006)