Sgt. Will Gardner

Who doesn’t like to watch movies on a lazy summer day? Well, today that is just what I did, in fact I watched several; not because I knew I had a deadline to meet, but because I wanted to be lazy, to be comfortable. I just wanted to lay across the bed and flip through Netflix for that next great find. I even watched a Quentin Tarantino movie and still wondering if I should even talk about it to anyone. But I will tell you about the one I watched titled SGT. Will Gardner. My youngest was in the room as I flipped through the many choices under my fingertips when the titles under the section “Continue Watching for Stacey” popped up and he noticed that I had started this movie once, but as I did my best to tell him that I just couldn’t get into it, he was adamant that I finish it, so I did.

The premise of the movie is to raise awareness of the veterans who come back home to the U.S. after they have served their country well, yet not ever “making it home” per say but find themselves homeless. Some that come back find it fairly easy to get reacquainted into society, yet others find it laborious, problematic and even painful, not necessarily because they come home with visual injuries, but because they suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

Many displaced and at-risk veterans live with these lingering effects and that can lead to substance abuse, which can be compounded by a lack of family and social support networks. Also, military occupations and training are not always transferable to the civilian workforce, placing some veterans at a disadvantage when competing for employment.

SGT. Will Gardner, was written, directed and starred Max Martini. He played the main character “Ghost” a nickname or call-name that the character SGT. Will Gardner went by. The film is about a troubled Iraq veteran who struggles to get back into society and feel normal, whatever “normal” really is…

There were a few things in the movie that I didn’t think flowed well and some scenes that wouldn’t have been missed had they not been included. There were also a few really off the wall, hard to believe cycle of events that left me scratching my head. I think it was filled with many great ideas, but it reminded me of writing a paper in school and having my teacher tell me that I needed to expand my thoughts and give my characters more depth. I think this movie could have used a lot of that, but I do think there was a huge abundance of good messages that really make you stop and think. My children were raised to share with people who don’t have as much, or anything at all. Now I am not saying that everyone on the streets holding signs asking for money are on the up and up, but I still try and give what I can when I can, because you can see in this movie just how easy it is to be a “good” guy who needs a little help or who might be in a position he never thought he would be in…but isn’t that possible for us all?

I won’t say this is a must see and I won’t tell you that it’s one you shouldn’t. I will tell you that when it ended and the credits rolled, I felt such a tremendous urge to give more, to listen, to help those in need a little more than I do, and to have the patience and kindness we all sometimes lack in the event I am in the position the movie revealed about the civilian society.

Homeless veterans have served in just about every single war, I have had family serve in WWII, Korean, Vietnam, and my ex-husband served in the Persian Gulf War. A top priority for homeless veterans is secure, safe, clean housing that offers a supportive environment free of drugs and alcohol. Hopefully someday very soon that will be a reality instead of just a wish.

This movie has a running time of 2 hours and 5 min, it is not rated but if it were up to me, I would probably give it either PG-13 or R, it does have profanity, sexual content and scenes of violence. It was released in January of 2019.


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