Soldier On: Documentary explores difficulties female soldiers face after coming home from deployment

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana’s Department of Veteran Affairs will host a free, public screening tonight of Soldier On: Life After Deployment.

The movie features three American women who are desperately trying to reintegrate into civilian life--“a new normal”--as local service member Deborah Ryan calls it.

The VA says there are 36,000 female fighters from Indiana alone. Officials say while a lot of military members struggle when they come home, it can sometimes be more difficult for women. We’re told a lot of females feel like they don’t have the time to readjust and put their emotional and mental challenges on the backburner.

“They have to assume the role of this certified tough girl in the desert and then they’re coming home, heels and a skirt, pushing toddlers around,” Ryan said.

Ryan, who is an Air Force reserve, will deploy soon. She plans to attend Friday’s screening.

“Some camaraderie there is key. Having that communication open and a new friendship is valuable,” she said.

The film’s director will attend, too, for a discussion. The screening begins at 6 p.m. at the Indiana War Memorial.