The Second Front. Vietnam: Combat Veterans Stories

This film depicts stories told by Vietnam combat veterans for combat veterans. Each shares one thing in common: the Second Front — the internal battle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This can manifest itself as impaired driving on American roads. Upon returning home, these soldiers suffered with the effects of combat trauma in a society where they no longer felt welcomed. Many drank, like the veterans before them, to live day-to-day, for an adrenaline rush, to quell their nightmares. Some also drove drunk, again and again, pushing the limits of safety of themselves and loved ones, pitting themselves against anyone on the road. A few were stopped by police and found the system lenient. After years of living life in extremes, they sought help — and now give help in return.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the result of direct personal exposure to an extreme stressor, known as combat stress or combat trauma, which develops into characteristic symptoms of re-experience, avoidance and increased arousal. For those combat veterans who suffer from PTSD, the need for safety and relief dominates their actions and choices. Too often self-medication with alcohol and/or drugs is seen as the only option, which can lead to dangerous decisions like driving under the influence. Even in the absence of alcohol and drugs, flashbacks can induce dangerous behaviors like aggressive or erratic driving on American roads.(2012)

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