in service

February 25, 2010

Throughout the country, service people have been returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with tons of video footage and accompanying commentaries on their experiences.  Still, few of us have an idea of what the war looks like for them.  Nothing can completely capture that experience, of course, or help us feel the fears and exhilerations, joys and sorrows they feel.  As a result, we go about our daily lives not caring about their sacrifices, barely even aware that fighting is going on.  The reason is that this lack of attention to the wars seems to suit the purposes of the government and the major media outlets.  But it doesn’t serve our interests.  So we in the Pittsburgh region are very fortunate that people here have thought to collect this footage, interview the vets about what it means to them, and present it to us.  Filmmaker Ralph Vituccio undertook the monumental task of editing 75 hours of raw footage into a one hour film that powerfully relates the experiences and feelings of local vets and others involved in the fighting and helping us care for them as individuals doing their best in impossible circumstances.  Productions like this can help us come together, listen to each other, and find our way through this ordeal.  In Service: Iraq to Pittsburgh shows the courage and wisdom of those who’ve been asked to give the most.  It’s time that we listened.  I hope you feel like sharing what in the film had meaning to you.



  1. The film gave me a different look on things in Iraq. I knew there were some issues they were facing but I had not known the chance of them being killed daily. The story the guy who lost his leg told was evidently full of emotion and it really struck me. I was also surprised that the kids wanted a pen or pencil from the soldiers. I’m not sure if they just wanted one because they were few and far between for them or what for sure. The fact that they like candy so much I was already aware of.

  2. I enjoyed this film because it gives civilians a different look on the war. The media tends to sugar-coat things so we don’t get the real idea of what is going on, but part of that is due to what they are allowed to film and document. I liked hearing the different stories and perspectives of the soldiers because we hear so many people argue for or against the war without knowing all about it, but it is also nice to know that even the soldiers who are right in the action have mixed emotions and feelings about whether or not the US should be overseas. The part that meant the most to me was the willingness for someone to care enough to want to hear the soldiers’ stories and do something with them. I know many men and women who are both vets and currently in the military and each one has a story to tell and part of coping with what they have been through involves talking to others and telling their stories. Something that means a lot to them is when someone is interested in hearing what they have to say; so for a producer to be interested in sharing the soldier’s stories through film is extremely meaningful.

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