Quiet Explosions Screens at The Texas Capitol in honor of Veterans Day 2021 and Makes Immediate Impact on Active Duty Major in the Audience
Austin, TX – Last week at the Texas State Capitol, State Representative Alex Dominguez hosted a screening of the feature documentary film QUIET EXPLOSIONS: Healing the Brain [Watch Trailer] followed by a Live Q&A Panel [Watch]. The cast and crew participating in the panel discussion included EMMY Award-winner JERRI SHER, Jerri’s Husband ALAN SHER, Author ANDREW MARR, Former Army Green Beret and Co-Founder of Warrior Angels Foundation, 9/11 NYC First Responder Sebastian Raspanti, and Dr. Mark Gordon of the Millenium Health Center. The impact of the work can best be summarized by the last question of the night from an audience member, active duty Fort Hood Army Officer Major Joshua Shaver. Emotional, and overcome by the stories of hope & healing recounted in the film, MAJ Shaver felt compelled to share his own story at the end of the night to offer up just what this film and the work of those involved means to someone suffering and hearing about it for the first time.
In this post we will explore the following about the screening of Quiet Explosions at the Texas Capitol:
- Why it is important
- What exactly in the movie is impacting so many people on so many levels
- What does it mean for someone struggling to find this information (as captured by comments made from Major Joshua Shaver)
- Whats next
- How to get Involved in the movement
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
Quiet Explosions was originally set for theatre release just prior to covid last year for a planned premier in Hollywood with Q&A panel set to be moderated by Joe Rogan. Like many films, Quiet Explosions had to cancel the premier and pivot to a “streaming” only release. Over the last 18 months a ground swell behind the film continues to build and is now making its way to the doorstep of legislators, state governments, and military advocate organizations. These entities have been looking for solutions to combat and implement against the Veteran suisicide epidemic, with much of the causality of these associated deaths coming from mistreatment or mis-diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury or Post traumatic Stress. Billions of dollars in funding has gone to programs, symptom masking medication, and talk therapy that do not properly address the root cause of a head injury, neuro inflammation and trauma.
Quiet Explosions is helping to shape and reshape the conversation, allocate new funding, and drive new policy for Veterans, Athletes, and Civilian care. For the first time organizations that have been leading in the New Frontier of brain health, neurorestoration, and trauma care for the last 5 years like Warrior Angels Foundation, are being consulted to help drive this much needed change. Adam Marr Co Founder of Warrior Angels Foundation recounted just how their own families personally struggle has become the message of hope for so many,
“from Andrew’s personal struggle, from our personal struggle, from the struggle of everybody that suffers from these symptoms, to the answers that come to the hope and ultimate healing that comes. And out of that came a book (Tales from The Blast Factory). And then out of that, Jerri, came a movie (Quiet Explosions). And out of that movie, Alex, came a bill (HB 1802)… And we are just getting started! We’ve got a lot of work to do, and the mission continues. And so we are just incredibly grateful and humbled to be here with these folks and share this room in this space and infinitely excited for what we collectively can do together.”
WHAT EXACTLY IN THE MOVIE IS IMPACTING SO MANY PEOPLE ON SO MANY LEVELS?
Qualified for OSCAR® Consideration for Best Documentary Feature and Music Score by Omri Lahav. The film is a story of healing and hope. It showcases a cross-section of civilians, athletes, and military members, 10 personal journeys who have suffered from Traumatic Brain Injury and or Post Traumatic Stress. The film recounts the similar symptoms they all were experiencing and how that led each of them to the lowest point in their life where suicide seems the only option left to take the pain and suffering away.
Director Jerri Sher recounted during the Q&A panel about the selection of the cast for the movie, and how to accurately portray the film as representative of just how far and wide the effects are being felt, “regardless of their geography, age, profession, socioeconomic level, all 10 characters in the movie had the exact same symptoms and everyone was susicadal – so it was very important to touch on the whole population.”
Quiet explosions doesn’t leave you hanging and feeling hopeless through these stories but rather continues through each character’s journey while showcasing the pioneering doctors on the new frontier of brain health, neurorestoration, and trauma care like Dr. Mark Gordon, who uses innovative methods to treat this silent illness that affects millions worldwide. Dr. Gordon himself the recipient of multiple head traumas recounted his own path to enlightenment and the eventual medical offering to help others,
“I had multiple head traumas myself, which led me through a depressive pathway on antidepressants and my escape was with reading and in reading, I came across some articles that encouraged me to look at hormone assessment. I went and had my hormones done and I was deficient in three. Jumping ahead, I was working with NFL retirees and I didn’t really didn’t like that atmosphere and thought that if I was going to apply the science to any group of people, the ones who earned it the most were the military.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR SOMEONE STRUGGLING TO FIND THIS INFORMATION
The impact of this film comes from the interwoven stories told throughout that brings the viewer full circle; from injury, to answers, to hope, to healing, to finding new purpose. This was made evident by the final statement of the night from Major Joshua Shaver. In his own words here is what he had to share after watching the film;
“…First of all, I want to just validate what all of you are doing by [sharing] my story. I was in Iraq 2020. I’ve been deployed eight times. I’m a conventional [US Army] Infantry officer and prior enlisted, my wife and I were born and raised in Northeast Texas. We’ve been through the wringer, eight deployments, and my shortest ones were 9 months. My longest one was 15 months, and every day I wake up, I’ve got a TBI, I’ve got PTS. I’m taking eight pills a day. I take two every morning so I don’t get a headache.
All the stuff that you all just said up there. I go to bed every night thinking I’m dragging my wife through hell. But then I wake up every morning and I know she’s pushing me through it, and I give her hell every day. I can’t figure out why.
I go to the TBI clinic on Fort Hood. I get seen three times a week. They want to do rapid eye movements where I push a button every time they think of something I’ve been through for therapists. Nobody can figure it out. But what you are doing, thank you, I validate it. I need what you got. And there’s a lot of us out there. The Army’s doing great what they can. They’re being overwhelmed right now, but we need it. I’ve never heard of the stuff Dr. Gordon that I saw today.
Just by chance, I’m volunteering as an intern for Dr. Brad Buckley, House District 54, and he’s the vice chair of the Defense of Veteran Affairs. I reached out after our son went to West Point and I said, hey, do you need help with the Veteran Affairs committee? He said, get on to Austin, TX right now. So I’ve been with him for about 8 months as I’m transitioning out [of the Army]. Of course, I get your emails and everybody’s. And they said, hey, there’s a movie on [TBI screening at the Texas Capitol in honor of Veterans Day], and I emailed it to my wife. She’s like, hey, we’re going no matter what.
I swear this thank you for what you’re doing. This is exactly what we’re talking about. I’m putting my wife through hell, my son through hell. He’s at West Point trying to do great and I’m bothering him every day. My daughter can’t figure it out. I can’t figure it out. And, yeah, I wanted to kill myself when I came home. That TBI, we got hit, I was in Baghdad when we killed Solomoni. I was in Baghdad when Iran fired back, and we got close to 107 millimeter rockets, and they rocked us. And I ain’t been the same since.
I didn’t want to do this [tonight]. I just got overwhelmed by emotion and I love what you guys did, thanks. And, brother, I appreciate your sacrifices. And, Sir, God bless you.”
Because of the Work of Jerri Sher, Andrew & Adam Marr, & Dr. Mark Gordon we are hearing more and more stories like this on the impact that their respective work is having on individuals. Andrew and Adam have been huge advocates for helping individuals so they can turn around and help the person behind them. That night, Major Shaver got real answers for the first time, and hope, and a follow up schedule with Dr. Mark Gordon.
Major Shaver is now working with his Texas Representative Dr. Brad Buckley, House District 54 and Fort Hood senior leadership to bring a screening of Quiet Explosions to Fort Hood, the largest military base in the Army. It is amazing to see how the ground swell continues to build. We can’t wait to see who will be impacted next and the doors that will open to true healing for the people.
HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
- Host A Movie Screening Fundraiser – Help make an impact in your community and host a Quiet Explosions screening fundraiser to help raise funds and awareness for someone struggling. Help Warrior Angels foundation provide more support and treatment for these modalities:
For inquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Donate Directly to Warrior Angels Foundation Mission – Which provides answers, hope, and healing that returns proven leaders back to life by delivering brain injury prevention and care through proven nutraceuticals, personalized treatment protocols for U.S. Military Service Members and Veterans, Traumatic Brain Injury education, and research for all who are affected.
- Have another idea to get involved