DVD Release Date: March 12, 2013
Marine Sergeant Terry Pulaski, a once proud man, is now a broken shell of himself having returned from Iraq with both PTSD and a disabling injury. Terry struggles to be a good father and husband, but his challenges leave him feeling like a burden to his wife and daughter.
With his dog Duke in tow, he decides to leave his family behind. Years later, a homeless Terry needs help for an aging and ill Duke, so he leaves him in the care of a veterinary clinic. Will Duke be able to help Terry face his demons and reconcile with his estranged daughter?
As soon as my daughter brought this movie to my attention I had to see it! It has two of my special interests, the first (of course) being dogs and how they relate to their two legged friends, the second the mental and physical aspect of any returning soldier.
PTSD (or Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder) is (finally) recognized around the globe yet has existed for as long as warriors have been in active duty. It can be summarized also that it is not only soldiers but anyone who has undergone dramatic experiences as well as their immediate families which often suffers the consequences.
I have seen first hand PTSD resulting of four years of trench fare (grandfather), WW 2 labour camp (father) and soldiers who have come and gone (ret. AFES caseworker for ARC). I hope you will join me later this week as I return to this subject with another review!
Terry Pulaski's story related in the movie 'DUKE' will introduce anyone to the struggles even the most dedicated and well trained soldier feels when faced with such challenge as PTSD and disability. Some do recover, some struggle their whole life and some lose the battle.
Four years in the trenches left my grandfather with only one lung (mustard gas) and the fear of any whistling sound. An honour soldier standing at 6' 3', no one guessed his fears but his closest loved ones as he flinched at the mere sound of the wind!
Back to Terry and Duke though! This is the warmhearted story of one veteran struggling to deal with flashbacks and his fears at no longer fitting amongst family and society. He finally leaves his wife and daughter, living for a decade on the edge of society with an amazing dog as his only companion. 'DUKE' is a breathtaking recount of one's man struggles and his four legged friend. As for Duke himself, this beautiful collie will pull at your heartstrings with his show of unconditional love!
Based on a true story, this movie shows Terry coming back from Iraq, wounded both in the leg and in spirit. He loses everything but Duke's steadfast love (as only four legged friends gives), until one day tragedy strikes and they are separated.
I would not spoil this story for you so I will refrain to say anymore. This is a movie with a heartfelt message, one based on love and hope, but also duty and honour and a reminder that a soldier's duty is to never leave any man behind!
Steven Weber as Terry Pulaski and Mark Jean as director are to be applauded for a fantastic rendering of DUKE, a dog like no other!!
5 Stars and people, grab a copy and enjoy with the whole family!
Per Ardua ad Astra
Note to Readers:
PTSD has gained more media attention sadly due to dramatic results but this problem often is not acknowledged by the victims or their families. And there is help out there albeit it is not always welcome and tragically, not always enough of it.
Still, for more information please address yourself to reputed sites such as AFEC-ARC, National centre for PTSD, and Steve Sparks' Families Living with PTSD, a blog addressing these issues with an amazing amount of information and well worth a moment of your time!
And of course, remember that unless stated otherwise, reviews are only a reflection of my opinion!