One of the many ways that Film Annexe supports the community is through the ‘Global Initiative for Veteran Enterprise’ (GIVE) program. GIVE helps to re-introduce Afghan veterans into society after they return from war.
Deployment to warzones is known for its crippling effects on the psychology of returned soldiers. According to Medicine.net, up to 30% of American veterans will experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some stage in their lives. Symptoms of the disorder include anxiety and hyperarousal (heightened sensitivity to normal life experiences) as well as avoidance of events that remind them of the battlefield. Little has been done to effectively treat and re-intergrate veterans who continue to suffer long after their return.
GIVE encourages returned soldiers to develop their business skills and focus on the future in order to successfully contribute to society. A blind-spot, according to Michael Sweeney, Director of Online Strategies at Outsideln Research, of the government’s current approach to finding veterans work is that they don’t take into account the effect that war has had on the soldiers ability to operate functionally:
“They lived a life where the were forced to perform under extreme pressure…you can’t just ask them to walk into a normal office setting”
He goes on to say that GIVE is an excellent idea not just from a charitable perspective, but also as a business move for veterans.
GIVE is an effective model for moving forward and re-establishing solders into normal lives post-war.