Long Road Home
American Public Television is proud to make this WQED documentary available to public television stations nationwide.
Winner of the 2011 Media and Mental Health Award from the Entertainment Industries Council for accurate reporting of behavioral health issues.
Honored by Mental Health America of Westmoreland County with a 2012 Innovations Award in the Recovery category.
Recipient of four 2012 Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award nominations in the categories of Health, Human Interest, Public Affairs and Writing.
Winner of the 2012 Best Documentary Golden Quill Award from the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania.
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When Tony Canzonieri returned from his tour of duty in Iraq, he struggled with nightmares, flashbacks and alcohol. His marriage fell apart. He lost his job. But once Tony acknowledged the symptoms and was treated for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), his healing began and his life changed. Now in his role as director of Vets4Vets in Western Pennsylvania, Tony is helping other veterans who are now dealing with the problems he once faced.
A 2008 RAND Corp. study estimates that nearly 20 percent of all military members who returned from Iraq and Afghanistan reported symptoms of PTSD or major depression, yet only about half went for treatment. As Tony and other Iraq War veterans are finding out, many others have gone before them. The documentary also includes the compelling stories of veterans who served in Vietnam, Korea and World War II - yet still feel the emotional wounds of war.
As America addresses the PTSD issue, there are successful therapies now, and promising research into future treatment - as viewers will see in a segment that focuses on a unique study at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center where doctors are exploring the sleep and brain patterns of veterans who are coping with PTSD.
Long Road home is brought to you by WQED's Emmy Award winning team of writer/producer David Solomon and photographer/editor Paul Ruggieri, narration by Michael Bartley, with funding from The Staunton Farm Foundation.
WQED would like to share stories from other veterans and their families who are coping with combat stress and similar issues. Please use this form to post your thoughts, or offer suggestions on where people might find helpful treatment or counseling. You may remain anonymous.
Left: Vietnam veteran Dan O'Grady of Sheraden, Pennsylvania battled with flashbacks and addiction, but found support at the Vet Center. Right: Korean War veteran Fred McGee of Smithfield, Ohio had nightmares about the war. He attends group therapy sessions at the VA.
Resources & Related Links
Personal Stories & Suggestions
Help for Post Traumatic Stress can be found at EFT.com, a website with links to learn a technique which is a combination of accupressure and psychology, and helps to reset the brain. It has been introduced to many VA Health Care Centers, with great success. -- Deborah G. Rhodes, VAPHS
I was part of the life-changing Vets4Vets Weekend that Tony, Shawn and Michelle took part in. If you are out there and you know you need help but don't know where to turn, get yourself to a Vets4Vets gathering! There is nothing like peer support - just being with others who've been where you've been and are willing to just be there for you. -- Sharon, Cedar Creek, NE
Service members and Veterans, the best I can do as a thankful civilian is to honor you by ensuring that the services we provide at the VA are worthy of you. I sweat each day to try to make this a reality--best care, anywhere. -- Anonymous, PA
i have never served in the military. i would just like to say that the long road home was one of the most moving shows i have ever seen. i so much appreciate what these men and women did for this country. i wish the best for them. i usually don't comment like this, but the show really moved me; really made me think of the sacrifices my own father made in WWII, but was too young to understand what he did. good luck to everyone. -- michael kleer, pittsburgh, pa
Left: World War II veteran Walter Popatak of Baldwin, Pennsylvania waited 50 years to begin PTSD treatment at the VA. Right: Michelle Wilmot's experience while serving in Iraq led to anger issues. She's now a veterans advocate in Tuscon, Arizona.
WQED would like to share stories from other veterans and their families who are coping with combat stress and similar issues. Please use this form to post your thoughts, or offer suggestions on where people might find helpful treatment or counseling. Please view our policy on sharing ideas in the Rules of the Road section. (Fields marked * are required)
Left: Iraq War veteran Shawn Pirl of Ruffsdale, Pennsylvania suffered with extreme PTSD symptoms. He attended his first Vets4Vets Retreat in March 2010. Right: Army Chaplain Paul Dordal of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania is taking part in a unique study at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center for veterans with sleep problems.