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Wyoming Veterans Commission invites public to film screening

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LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Wyoming Veterans Commission announces the premiere screening of short films crafted by regional veterans who participated in a recent film workshop on Thursday, Jan. 25, at 6 p.m. at the University of Wyoming Union, 1000 E. University Dr., Laramie, Wyoming.

The Patton Veterans Project at the University of Wyoming organized the event to showcase the creative endeavors of servicemen and women, providing a unique insight into their meaningful service experiences.

The event is open to all veterans and civilians. RSVP is encouraged. Please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/free-community-premiere-of-films-by-area-vets-at-u-of-wy-all-are-welcome-tickets-780218022107?aff=oddtdtcreator.

Led by Benjamin Patton, grandson of World War II’s General George S. Patton, Jr., and a team of professional film instructors, PVP’s free 3-day “I Was There” film workshops offer veterans an opportunity to learn a new skill while collaborating with their peers. The films produced during these workshops are a powerful means for veterans to share their stories and promote understanding within their families and communities. Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon will be in attendance to show his support.

The screening will be followed by a meet-and-greet reception, fostering connections between veterans, guests, and community members. Patton emphasizes the impact of film as a universal language, stating, “The video camera is the most powerful and widely used communications tool ever invented. Virtually everyone, Soldiers and civilians alike, understands the medium. What better way to connect people — film is a language we all speak.”

Since its establishment in 2012, PVP has empowered approximately 1400 veterans to create over 300 films at major military bases and colleges across the U.S. and abroad. The workshops, free and open to veterans of all ages and service branches, have proven highly therapeutic, particularly for those dealing with service-related post-traumatic stress, isolation, and the transition to civilian life.

Dr. Chuck Drebing, a longtime Cheyenne Veterans Affairs psychologist and co-author of a clinical study on the film program, praises its transformative impact, stating, “In my 30+ years of working with veterans, I’ve never seen anything as transformative and powerful as this.” The VA-sponsored study revealed that 80% of participating veterans not previously enrolled in mental health care sought support within two months of completing the workshop.

PVP will continue hosting film workshops throughout the year at colleges across Wyoming and Colorado. Interested veterans can inquire or register at pattonveteransproject.org, call 970-657-5500, or email workshops@pattonveteransproject.org. Space is limited.