From a snowy small town in Northern Michigan to the mountains of Afghanistan and back, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM follows the four-year journey of childhood friends, forever changed by a faraway war.
A documentary about growing up, WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM, is an intimate look at the young men who fight our wars and the families and town they come from. Returning to her hometown in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula, director Heather Courtney gains extraordinary access following these young men as they grow and change from restless teenagers to 23-year-old veterans facing the struggles of returning home.
Enticed by a $20,000 signing bonus and the college tuition support, best friends Dominic and Cole join the National Guard after graduating from their rural high school. After persuading several of their friends to join them, the young men are sent to Afghanistan, where they spend their days sweeping for roadside bombs. By the time their deployment ends, they are no longer the carefree group of friends they were before enlisting; repeated bombs blowing up around their convoys have led to the new silent signature wound of the Afghan war, Traumatic Brain Injury, and they have all become increasingly disillusioned about their mission.
The challenges really begin to surface when they return to their families and communities in Michigan and try to fit back into their daily routines. WHERE SOLDIERS COME FROM looks beyond the guns and policies of an ongoing war to examine the war’s effect on parents, loved ones and the whole community when young people go off to fight.