Relationships are a huge part of what we do at AO Films. We love telling meaningful stories and the bonus is the relationships we get to build along the way. We were reminded of the importance of these connections this week while filming in Arizona.
Nine months ago, while in Arizona filming for a Life of Duty documentary, we met a young veteran named Ben Lunak. He came to dinner with one of the principals of our story and we were amazed at what he told us. He is a Marine, and lost his leg in Iraq in 2005 when an IED blew up his Humvee. But Ben was one of the lucky ones. Two of his friends were killed in the attack.
We were impressed with Ben’s resolve and perseverance. He came home, began recovery, and tried to adjust to life back home. He felt worthless, struggled with substance abuse, and even contemplated suicide. At one point, he sat in a Starbucks parking lot with a gun in hand, ready to take his own life. He heard God tell him to ‘hold on for one more day.’ Thankfully, he did. He’s been holding on ever since. He’s been sober for over 8 months and is currently pursuing his dream of owning his own gym. His goal is to train people and help them achieve their goals.
We spent Monday with him and his family to capture his story. We plan on making his story a segment in a documentary we’re working on about bringing our warriors home correctly – bridging the gap between civilians and veterans.