“A Matter of Duty,” a documentary produced by Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s host Jennifer Rooks and filmmaker Charles Stuart, treats its topic — Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among veterans — with remarkable sensitivity.

In Waterville recently, audience members at a screening of the documentary were drawn directly to the experiences of central Maine veterans who have been traumatized either by horrific combat or sexual assault while in service.

County Sheriff and retired Sgt. Maj. Randy Liberty of Benton is the initial subject of the documentary; he oversees inmates in the Kennebec County Correctional Facility. After seeking assistance for his own combat-related PTSD, Liberty considered the ways in which PTSD was connected to Maine veterans serving jail sentences. He arranged for supportive programing for veteran inmates — with assistance from Veterans Affairs and a special veterans court.

I encourage folks to attend a screening of “A Matter of Duty”; one is planned for Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Williamson Center in Fairfield. People also can watch the documentary at home on television (check MPBN for rebroadcast times), but the experience of viewing it with a live audience adds to viewers’ understanding of the problem, and gives us an opportunity to talk with veterans about their service and any needs they have.

Toward the end of the documentary, Liberty says, “We have a moral duty to help people re-integrate [into civilian life.] We must continue to invest in individuals so they can fully recover.” Liberty’s assertion and the message of “A Matter of Duty” are terrific thoughts to hold into the next legislative session.

Rep. Karen Kusiak, D-FairfieldRepresenting District 84

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