The challenges of soldiers returning home from war are many – but women warriors have their own unique trials: returning to children who do not know their mothers; readjusting to roles of wives and mothers; and, in some cases, dealing with sexual trauma that occurred while on duty.
These issues – and the women veterans who face them – are the subject of two Santa Monica College student-made short documentaries.
“We Are Strong” and “Real Women Real Vets. . . making a real difference” were made by students in Roxanne Captor’s short-form media class at SMC. The students were divided into two teams of 10 to create the films, which run about 10 to 15 minutes each.
“I’m very proud of my students for capturing so well the plight of returning women soldiers,” Captor said. “These women display courage, leadership and heroism in their work and personal lives, no matter what physical or emotional obstacles they may face”.
Captor said this is a subject she has wanted to explore for some time, particularly with the extensive media coverage of “sexual trauma” that some service women experienced.
“Many women were afraid of repercussions, looking weak among their peers or risking loss of promotion,” she said.
In addition, she said the soldiers who were wives and mothers had particular challenges returning home, and mothers with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome face problems raising their children.
“Working with the SMC Veterans Resource Center and other veterans’ centers, my students were able to meet the women and honestly tell these veterans’ stories in their own words,” Captor said.
This is the second time Captor has assigned students. Last fall, students in her class, in conjunction with the SMC History Department, made five fascinating historical videos of the Westside, covering such topics as the gambling ships of the Santa Monica Bay and the World War II women workforce of the Douglas Aircraft Co.