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Three Veterans Went Back To Iraq To Conquer A Mountain In The Film ‘Adventure Not War’

Stacy Bear in Iraq in the film 'Adventure Not War'

Adventure Not War, a documentary directed by Max Lowe that recently screened at Tribeca Film Festival, follows three Iraq war veterans as they return to Iraq to climb Mount Holgard. The trio battle through the brutal weather, landmines from the Iran-Iraq war, and their personal demons that have driven them to return to the war-scarred country.

What drew me into this story was the first 30 seconds of the film. Stacy Bear’s satirical, rapid fire, energy filled monologue about what war was like was the perfect answer to the question from director Max Lowe, “What was war like?” The film then transitions into a montage of Iraq invasion footage, set to President George W. Bush’s speech announcing the invasion of Iraq which then jumps to U.S. Army veteran Stacy Bear walking out of his house in suburban Utah to pull his recycling bin to the curb. As Stacy goes through motions of comfortable American life, the divergence from the chaos and frantic energy associated with military movements and activities could not be more pronounced.

Adventure Not War

Stacy Bear in Iraq in the film ‘Adventure Not War’

The circumstances that lead to Stacy’s embrace of the outdoors as a method for treatment of PTSD for veterans stems from his own experiences with addiction. Stacy bears his soul to the world. As he talks about how he was headed towards suicide, a friend of his reached out to him and asked him to “put off killing myself for a week or two and come climb with him,” to which Stacy responded:

“You know what, I can wait a couple of weeks before reenlisting or killing myself, so I’ll go climb with him and see how it goes.”

This climb changed Stacy’s life, putting …read more

Read more here:: Task & Purpose

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