Most of you already know that I filed a lawsuit on behalf of M/SGT Sarver against the producers of the movie “Hurt Locker’. I have represented a number of veterans over the years, but this lawsuit is particularly important because it not only addresses an injustice to one man, but to generations of veterans who have sacrificed their lives honorably and courageously only to be forgotten and exploited by our society.
Recently, a local news station broadcast a story about a couple who purchased a home and found a shoe box full of pictures and medals from a veteran of WWII. It had been left in the attic when the veteran had died years earlier. I thought to myself what a symbol of how combat veterans live after they come home from war. The real hurt lockers are stashed in the closets and attics of millions of American homes. They are full of pictures of men in the prime of their lives, buddies (some of whom did not come back) and medals reflecting an act of heroism among thousands of unrecognized acts of heroism.
Hollywood has made billions from exploiting the courage and sacrifices of veterans for generations. In many cases they portray veterans as sadistic or emotionally unstable – you know the stereotypes. In many cases glorify something that invariably leaves the participants changed forever. Any combat veteran will tell you that war is not glorious, if they even talk about it. Most of the time, the veteran keeps that experience hidden away in their own particular “hurt locker”.
It’s about time our society began to appreciate their sacrifices and, in particular, it’s about time Hollywood shared some of the wealth they have reaped off the blood and tears of veterans.