Film Aiming To Help Veterans Debuts At Tulsa's Circle Cinema

Thursday, June 4th 2015, 11:45 pm
By: News On 6

Veterans who have gotten help dealing with suicide are now helping others, in the form of a documentary film.

Thursday night at Tulsa's Circle Cinema, 160 people came from across the country to see the documentary. The showing meant the most to the person who brought it here, an Owasso veteran who's in the film.

Tulsa-born Marine Anthony Marquez is in the film, Project 22  22 because that's how many veterans commit suicide each day.

It's full circle for Marquez. He did the movie interview a year ago when two veterans who went on a cross-country mission to talk about military trauma and suicide gave him a call.

"It's not, like, about forgetting, it's about, like, moving on. But you're always going to live with that and remember that, but trying to live a positive life," he said.

Marquez said the film helped him heal. It's also connected veterans and gotten them talking.

"We're all going to beat it together. We're not fighting alone. We're not sitting alone. We're not sitting in our rooms alone anymore. We're sitting with a team again," said Aaron Childress with Chili Off The Grid.

Veterans, like Charles Mahovlic, drove ten hours to see the film. That statistic, the 22 number, is personal for him because, at one point, he too was suicidal.

"We gotta drop the number; 22 is way too much. Zero would be where we want it. I think coming and doing this will help bring those numbers down," Mahovlic said.

He said any American can help by speaking these simple words.

"Let them know, ‘I think you're struggling, and I care about you, and I want to do whatever I can to make you get past this,'" he said.

The film has changed many of these men, especially Marquez, and he hopes it changes statistics.

"Helping is healing, so like, you feel better when you're helping others," he said.

Marquez and the other men hosted a Q&A after the showing. They said if there's a big demand to see the film they'll schedule a second showing in Tulsa.