The Heritage Foundation and National Review are co-hosting a screening of “The Last Patrol” on Thursday.
The film explores how combat veterans readjust to civilian life after returning home from war.
In an interview with The Daily Signal, Junger said that after the death of a colleague, he, two veterans and another journalist decided to hike from Washington D.C. to Philadelphia to Pittsburgh—following train tracks and living off the land. They filmed the experience.
“It’s a very raw portrait of America, an intimate portrait of men and how they communicate,” Junger said.
Following train tracks, he decided, would allow them to see an accurate glimpse of America.
“Roads go around everything, train tracks go through everything,” Junger said.
The film sheds light on the “difficult transition” to civilian life. Junger said this is often an “isolating” experience.
“It’s a weird idea for civilians that soldiers and journalists would miss war,” Junger said.
Junger said that in combat, there is “intense intimacy, closeness and inter-reliance,” whereas civilian life is often isolated and “alienated.”
Veterans often miss the camaraderie, he said.
He said there is a “gap” in understanding between civilians and veterans. Civilians often hesitate to ask questions about war out of shyness or fear of bringing up an unpleasant memory.
Veterans often hesitate to share their experiences due to the belief that someone who hasn’t been through combat couldn’t understand.
He said that while only some fought the war, the rest of the country authorized and paid for it.
“The war is owned by our entire society,” Junger said.
The “Last Patrol” is the conclusion to Junger’s trilogy on war, following Korengal and Restrepo.
More details about the event, to be held in Heritage’s Lehrman Auditorium, are available here.