GI FILM FESTIVAL SCREENS INSPIRING DOCUMENTARY ON CHILDREN OF THE FALLENGroundbreaking Film about Gold Star Children Shows Journeys of Two Generations of War Orphans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – May 12, 2011
WASHINGTON – It’s an unimaginable loss - the death of a parent in wartime. Now the journeys of two generations of children who’ve lost parents to war can inspire others, through a new documentary film, “Gold Star Children,” premiering this weekend at the GI Film Festival on Saturday, May 14 at the G.I. Film Festival at the Navy Memorial. Tickets are available at www.gilfilmfestival.com.
The film includes several scenes involving families of our fallen military who are involved with TAPS, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, who find comfort and support in sharing their journeys together. It also includes footage from the TAPS Good Grief Camp, where children of our fallen military connect with a caring adult who served in the military and learn coping skills for dealing with their grief.
The one-hour documentary chronicles the experiences of today’s war orphans and the now-adult children whose fathers were killed in the Vietnam War. Watch the film trailer.
“The inspiration for this film came from the many children I mentored or met through the support group TAPS, who had lost a parent to war,” said Mitty Griffis Mirrer, who wrote and directed the film. “My own father, a Marine, was killed in the Vietnam War hours after my birth. At that time, there were no support groups in place for the 20,000 American children of that war.”
It was rare for children who lost a parent serving in Vietnam to talk about the death or its impact on their lives, or to even know other children with common experiences. “I would fully realize the impact of that silence after spending time with a 7-year-old child whose father was killed in the Iraq war. I interviewed almost 100 women, children and widowers of two generations while researching the film,” said Mirrer.
Today the families of our fallen military can find strength in connecting with each other through TAPS. In 1994, surviving families founded TAPS to offer comfort and care to all who are grieving the death of someone who served in the Armed Forces. The organization offers good grief camps for children, grief seminars for adults, peer mentoring and emotional support, grief and trauma resources, casework assistance and a 24-7 resource and information helpline.
At its core, “Gold Star Children” is a film about hope that will inspire countless viewers. There is power in sharing and hearing stories from two generations of children of war. The courageous journey of a few, can inspire millions to face their own battles in life.
The film includes interviews with now adult children of those who died serving with the military in Vietnam, children coping with the death today of a parent serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, a widow of a fallen service member, and others. “It’s a rough road, you stick with it. It stings. It hurts. I can’t imagine what it’s really like for her,” says widow Crystal Becker, in the film’s trailer, as she discussed her young daughter’s struggle to cope with the aftermath of her father’s death in Iraq.
Yet through the power of connecting with others shown in the film, gold star children inspire viewers and offer hope that things will be different for this new generation of children of our fallen military.
Learn more about TAPS and its work to help the surviving children left behind by our fallen military at www.taps.org. Follow TAPS on Twitter and Facebook at TAPS4America.
Learn more about the film at www.goldstarfilm.org
Media contact: Ami Neiberger-Miller, 202.588.8277, email@example.com
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