In honor of Veterans Day, filmmaker Chantelle Squires Olsen updates BTB on some of the characters she profiled in her film Reserved To Fight. The documentary is available online for free until November 30.
Since the premiere of Reserved To Fight, we have received numerous stories from veterans and their families who have been affected by this film.
Bryan Catherman, a young veteran, shared his story with us: “I went to an early screening of Reserved To Fight. It was at that moment that I realized that I wasn’t alone in my battle with my demons. The next day I walked into the VA to get help. It was this film that saved my marriage, my career, and even my life.”
Although it was often difficult for the veterans to participate in the film, they have expressed that sharing their story with the world has helped give them a sense of purpose in the midst of their struggles.
Since the completion of Reserved To Fight, Mark Patterson has continued to work for the government as a civilian advisor to senior commanders in Iraq. Matt Jemmett, who used his passions for the wilderness as a way to process the experiences he had in Iraq, moved to the deserts of Utah and proudly serves his community as a Law Enforcement Ranger for the Forest Service in Southern Utah.
Earl Simmons has continued on a path in the National Guard and he and his wife, Holli, are proud parents of two children. His family continues to support his commitment to the Armed Forces, specifically his career choice to be an Apache helicopter pilot.
A year after Reserved To Fight was completed, Chris Nibley, who was working as a contractor in Iraq, decided that he wanted to start fresh with his life by cutting off communication with everyone from his past. We reconnected with Chris and learned that he has married and is now working on his college degree to support his new family.
Reserved To Fight aired on PBS nationwide in 2008, since then it has been broadcast in nine countries around the world. It has screened in various film festivals across the nation, and has been utilized in military mental health symposiums, in the Salt Lake City VA, as well as the University of Utah student soldier’s integration program. The Montana National Guard also uses the film in their suicide prevention treatment program. We hope that more veteran groups will use this film to create the necessary dialogue of returning home.
We are forever grateful to the veterans in this film for sharing their stories. We know that it was difficult at times, but the strength that their stories have given to so many, is immeasurable.