Conflict & Justice

"Gene Boy Came Home"

In her film, Gene recounts how he got called to VIetnam: we were called into the office and told we were shipping over. We spent a year and eight months in the front line. and I lived through. (What's remarkable is how Gene's story can be told by so many veterans. I wonder what drew you to this man?) I come from the same community and I knew him all my life. (We also hear him talk about how his life deteriorated. He grew up on a reserve, moved to the US to take a job in construction and then joined the Marines.) Also he was only 15. he was drinking and working very hard jobs and someone told him about the Marines and thought he didn't have the courage. (He was in the frontlines for one year and eight months. And we hear him talk about his job as a scout sniper.) [clip]. (What was the nature of his wounds?) I never found out. I knew he had a limp. He didn't want to play the victim card, he just felt lucky for coming out alive. (Which is the case of many veterans. He said if you didn't become numb you wouldn't survive. So he makes a move to come back to Canada.) He was so depressed and he didn't want to live and he told me he started to worry about his daughter. He decided to try to come back to his Indian reserve. So he came back home and as soon as he walked on the land he felt different and peaceful and this big weight came off his back. (How he got there was amazing. He scraped up bus money from Albany, New York and then he had to walk the rest of the way.) Which was 25 miles to this small town. He kept hitch hiking to the reserve. People were worried about him and obviously he was totally destroyed. He said you come out of the killing zone and you never get help being reintegrated into normal life. He finally got medication which he had to take for the rest of his life otherwise he felt he couldn't function. (He did function and was a school bus driver eventually which kept him going.) the children loved him too, they knew when it was his birthday for example. (How did he die?) There were a lot of things wrong: he had a bad liver and bad digestion. (What would you have wanted him to see and what do you want the audience to see?) The fact that it's an honor for us that he got to come back home. And that it was his way of taking care of his community by getting to drive the bus.

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