Theater of War

Tuesday January 26, 2010

What is it?

"Theater of War" is a DoD project designed to remove stigma related to psychological injuries by illustrating that many of the bravest war heroes in history have lived with the psychological effects of battle. Performances include a dramatic reading of selected scenes from the plays "Ajax" and "Philoctetes" by Greek General and playwright Sophocles, performed by a rotating cast of acclaimed film and stage actors. The reading is followed by a town-hall discussion with the audience and a panel of members from the local military community.

The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) recognized the project's potential for military audiences to confront and discuss the emotional and psychological effects of combat and war, and the challenges of homecoming. 100 performances in 50 military venues are scheduled in the next year throughout the United States.

What has the Army done?

As part of its ongoing efforts to de-stigmatize the pursuit of behavioral health support, the Army has sponsored performances at the following facilities and bases: Walter Reed Army Medical Center, U.S. Army War College, Fort Drum, N.Y., Fort Knox, Ky. and Fort Riley, Kan.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Look for future performances at Army bases across the United States. The performance schedule is available at Theater of War and is updated regularly.

Why is this important to the Army?

Behavioral health is just as critical as physical well-being in maintaining individual Soldier and unit readiness. The primary goal of the "Theater of War" project is to facilitate active conversation about the challenges faced by servicemembers, veterans, families and caregivers, while reducing the stigma of psychological health issues resulting from combat by demonstrating their prevalence throughout history.

If we are successful in removing stigma and encouraging Soldiers to get the behavioral health help they need then we can maintain a more resilient, ready force of Soldiers and families to support the mission of today's Army.

Resources:

Defense Centers of Excellence

DCoE Outreach Center, available by phone: 1-866-966-1020; email: DCoE Outreach Center and Live Chat

Real Warriors Web site

Theater of War

Post Deployment Healthcare

INFORMATION YOU CAN USE

A CULTURE OF ENGAGEMENT

SOCIAL NETWORKING

PROFESSIONAL WRITING

Army Professional Writing

WHAT'S BEING SAID IN BLOGS

ABOUT THE ARMY

OVERSEAS OPERATIONS

OF INTEREST

WORLD VIEW

SPORTS

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Events

February 2010

African American Heritage Month

Feb.1-7: National Patient Recognition Week

Feb. 15: President's Day

Feb. 24- 26: AUSA Winter Symposium

SENIOR LEADERS ARE SAYING

"Silence does not equal strength. We need to embrace the psychological and spiritual pain of war on a par with physical injuries. The ‘Theater of War’ is a powerful public health tool for joining today's warriors, their loved ones and our nation with the lessons of ancient Greek culture - we are not alone."

- Brig. Gen. Loree K. Sutton, director, Defense Centers of Excellence

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

"My God, that’s exactly how I feel. That’s exactly how I acted, and it dawned on me that this has been something, an issue, that’s been going on for 2,500 years and the Greeks, this is the way they dealt with it through these plays, and they would bring in their regiments to watch these things so they could cope."

- Maj. Jeff Hall, G-3, 1st Inf. Div., connected with 'Theater of War,' a play put on for military communities across America, as he recognized and associated with the plight of Ajax, the main character. Maj. Hall and his wife, Sheri, use 'Theater of War' as a vehicle to reach out and convince other Soldiers and their families to get help for dealing with psychological injuries.

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