“Thank You for Your Service” follows a series of true events of a group of U.S. soldiers after returning home from Iraq. The movie, directed and written by Jason Hall, shows the struggle these soldiers face while trying to go back to civilian life, all while living with the memory and guilt of war. Although they may have survived the war, it’s clear they are struggling to survive a life that isn’t war.
The movie casts Miles Teller as Adam Schumann. Typically, Teller is known for less serious acting jobs such as “That Awkward Moment” and more recently “War Dogs.” However, Teller depicts real-life Adam Schumann in a raw and frankly heartbreaking way. Beulah Koale depicts the suffering of Schumann’s comrade, Solo. The anxieties of both these soldiers show the desperation many soldiers have to blow out their memories of the war. This was an excellent film that was able to expose the psychological scars of our soldiers.
Throughout the entire movie you see the pain soldiers like Adam Schumann face everyday. The movie doesn’t sugar coat any of the sadness, anger, fear, PTSD, stress, depression, suicidal thoughts, or loneliness – which is the main reason it is rated R. Hall didn’t make this movie for a young audience. He showcases the general ignorance that can be present in Americans when it comes to helping and honoring our veterans.
A particularly impactful moment in the movie for me was Hall’s depiction of the emotions the soldiers endure and the impact on their families. Haley Bennett plays Saskia Schumann, the wife of Adam Schumann. Bennett’s performance gives some in the audience the goose bumps and many in complete tears. “Thank You for Your Service” spends some time showing families who realize that their loved ones are struggling to adjust after returning from war. They address sadness and fear felt in finding a new life. A life these soldiers were not expecting to have.
“Thank You for Your Service” is a hard movie to digest. There is a calling to do more for veterans, many say it, some preach it, but there isn’t much that has actually been done. This movie calls us out in a harsh, real, and heartbreaking way. Many thanks to all who were involved in the production of this movie to raise awareness of this widespread situation, and a special thank you to the men and families that allowed Hollywood to depict their struggles for the world to see.