Project 22 Documentary at Canton Palace Theatre
by Evan Chwalek
A documentary highlighting veterans coping with the devastating mental, physical and emotional toll of war will play at the Canton Palace Theatre on March 26. Project 22, directed by Doc King and Daniel J. Egbert, recounts their story and the stories of countless other veterans who struggle to acclimate back to civilian life. The film is presented by King and Egbert’s nonprofit organization, Medicinal Missions, and aims to bring awareness to the 22 veteran suicides that occur daily.
King and Egbert are veterans themselves, serving as an Army Scout Medic and Marine Corps Infantry respectively. Like many other veterans, their reorientation to life outside of war was rife with depression, substance abuse and suicidal thoughts. Prompted by their suffering and the knowledge of innumerable others affected by similar problems, they took to their motorcycles to promote the plight of veterans on the brink of suicide. Project 22 documents King and Egbert’s 6500 mile road trip across the United States to connect with veterans and showcase various forms of healing. San Francisco and New York City serve as bookends for Project 22’s trip and along the way Egbert and King go for rides with motorcycle clubs, gain attention from national media and eventually end their campaign at One World Trade Center.
Therapeutic techniques practiced by veterans are a main focus of Project 22, and they are as varied as those who utilize them. More well-known practices, such as art, meditation and therapy dogs are covered in concert with experimental practices including Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. An equally diverse group of experts are interviewed throughout the documentary, including a veteran that runs a nonprofit that takes returning soldiers surfing and sailing in San Francisco. Another veteran finds his passion in building custom motorcycles. Psychologists are a featured throughout the film, including a veteran that studies the return from war and healing in different cultures. Capturing both professional and deeply personal perspectives, Project 22 forces the viewer to consider own role in creating a climate of healing for veterans.
The documentary is an inspiring story of resilience and hope, showing how damaged people can overcome unfathomable pain with natural and holistic practices. The directors’ intimate familiarity with the brutality of war and gives a perspective that few others have, making Project 22 something truly special. Project 22 will play March 26 at the Canton Palace Theatre. The movie begins at 3:00pm and is free to the public.