“Echoes from Afghanistan” is a documentary film, currently in production with WRF and Special Affects. This film features Hank Goff, a veteran and college football player, along with his fellow combat Marines Delfino Martinez, Jr., Sonny Hutchinson, Paul Reimund, and Jimmy Grimes from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines (2/7), who deployed to Afghanistan from 2008– 2009. Goff, who is featured in this documentary film, was presented with the 2015 Disney Spirit Award on ESPN for being an inspiration and mentor to multiple veterans and a survivor of posttraumatic stress disorder
This battalion was engaged in heavy combat from the time they landed in country. It is said by many that Echo Company, 2/7, was “the hardest hit battalion in the Corps that year.” During 2/7’s mission in Afghanistan, 20 men were killed and 160 were wounded, 30 of which were amputees.
Since their return from Afghanistan, this unit has lost a staggering number of 25 Marines to suicide –two suicides during the first few months of production. “Echoes from Afghanistan” is the story about the impact of war on the human spirit and how these five friends, these Marines, continue to find support in one another, how they have found purpose in their lives, and how they refuse to be a statistic to suicide.
This documentary allows these Marines to tell their lived experiences about this very impactful time in their lives and it allows us to learn how we can best support veterans returning from combat.
WRF and Special Affects started this documentary project as a result of the continued increase in veteran suicide over the past two decades and the constant news reports about the number of active, separated, and retired military, who continue to take their lives at a staggering rate. WRF’s motto is that “suicide is not an option, it is not a solution.” As such, we decided the best way to bring awareness to the issue is to allow veterans to tell their stories, so that we may hear what they have to say and learn how we can be of support to them. We are very familiar with the numbers related to increased veteran suicide within the past decade, but now it’s time to listen to their stories. Their stories will allow us to be better informed about their condition and what their specific needs are and how we can help support the urgent needs of our veterans.