"The Ground Truth: After the Killing Ends," takes an unflinching look at the training and dehumanization of U.S. soldiers, and how they struggle to come to terms with it when they come back home.
This film overrides familiar images of heroic soldiers in battle, and overjoyed returning faces, reunited with their families with one effortless stroke. Instead, we see a scenario that can include illness, amputation and injury, depression and post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), of which Iraq has become a fertile breeding ground. While America's poor treatment of veterans is not news to most, "The Ground Truth" makes it so personal and real, it is impossible to dismiss its characters simply as war statistics.
The film gives us glimpses into a Marine Corps boot camp that allows us to comprehend how a man or woman can kill as part of their job. We get hit with more understanding of our soldiers' dehumanization by seeing Iraq combat footage that shows routine indiscriminate killing. Their jobs over, the confusion, guilt and shame that comes home with these "killers" is the tip of the iceberg. Left with few resources and families that cannot understand what they have seen or done, their anguish only intensifies. Foulkrod's graphic footage and still-photographs of the ground conflict in Iraq, should forever shatter the sanitized images found on the nightly news and provide a much needed wake-up call for all of us.