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“The Journey Home”
Written by Abigail Clifford, Correspondent
2017-12-27

             Capturing the unspoken strained life of a veteran can be a difficult task, but to a local organization, this is the raw lesson that community and family

members need to learn.

            Clyde Hoch, Vietnam Veteran and founder of Veterans Brotherhood of Pennsburg, has recently teamed up with Films-4-Good to create a documentary called "The Journey Home".

            The documentary primarily focuses on telling the bigger stories of veterans who are or have been affected by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the effects of integrating back into society.

            "It is very hard for a veteran to talk to family members about their experiences. We want a film, so family members can somewhat understand what their son, daughter

or family member may be going through and look for warning signs of suicide," stated Hoch.

            Veterans Brotherhood is an all-volunteer, tax exempt organization funded by donations with a goal to help veterans get off the street before getting in trouble with the law.

            In their first year, Veterans Brotherhood helped 18 veterans relocate off the streets.

            "We put them up in a hotel for a few days and we evaluate what is best for them and their future long-term; I feel we are very successful," stated Hoch.

            The organization also helps those who have relocated with taxes, payments, rent, food, and car repairs.

            "The mission of the Veterans Brotherhood and my company, Films-4-Good are identical: to save lives … so it's great that we get to work together on this project," stated Gary Chilutti, owner of Films-4-Good.

            Filming for the documentary began in the early summer of 2017 and all personnel filmed have been from local areas, including the reenactment of a mock trial with Montgomery County District Magistrate Catherine Hummel Fried.

            Judge Hummel Fried's collaboration with Veterans Brotherhood in 2015 produced a success story and an emotional reenactment was ensued for the documentary.

            "Lee Kulp came into this system as a veteran, he was at a pretty low base. He was pretty much abandoned and felt as if he didn't have any reason to live as an older gentleman," stated Judge Hummel Fried. 

            Lee Kulp, veteran, had three citations for public drunkenness and a warrant issued when Judge Hummel Fried directed him to the Veterans Brotherhood in hopes of changing his lifestyle. Though Kulp was never professionally diagnosed with PTSD, his alcoholic tendencies was the first red flag.

            "I am extremely proud of how Kulp turned around," stated Hoch.

            Kulp, now sober for 13 months and making amends with broken family ties, wishes to become a mentor for other struggling veterans through Hoch's organization. He credits his success to Judge Hummel Fried and Veterans Brotherhood.

            "I can't say enough about Judge Hummel Fried, Hoch, Rick my veteran mentor; it all started right here in this court house," stated Kulp.

            The Journey Home is projected to be completed in the summer of 2018. The documentary will be available to stream online upon completion.

            "The idea of this film is not meant to be glitzy or glamourous; it is meant to be authentic for veterans … this is not just regional or local, this is the veteran experience across the country," stated Chilutti. 

            The documentary hopes to bring awareness to a misunderstood issue to police, EMTs, hospital staff, the public, and veterans and their families who don't fully understand PTSD.

            "If we can save on life through this film, it will be worth it," stated Hoch.

            Hoch is also an award winning author, to learn more about Hoch's personal experience with PTSD as a veteran, check out his book "God Help Me! Cause No One Else Will".

             Donations to the documentary production can be made online at www.veteransbrotherhood.vet or thejourneyhome.video. Veterans Brotherhood would like to thank local community members Ernie Cressman, Tammy Crossin, Roland and Ruth Bashore, Debra Hoch, and Tosco's for all the donations thus far. Hoch will also like to acknowledge Veterans Brotherhood Vice-President Robert Pullen and member Dimitrios Kaparos.

            Questions on the documentary can be sent to Hoch, hochclyde@yahoo.com, or to Chilutti, Films4Good@gmail.com.


 

 

 

 

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