La Grange Scout hosts film for veterans
Jonah Reardon, 12, of La Grange, has invited Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Bowman, commander of the Illinois National Guard and Reserve ground forces in Illinois, to speak on a panel about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Nov. 24 in La Grange. | Photo courtesy of Jonah Reardon
Showing: “On the Bridge”
When: 10 a.m., Nov. 24
Where: La Grange Theatre, 80 S. La Grange Road
Afterward: Panel discussion at La Grange Public Library, 10 W. Cossitt Ave.
Cost: Free-will donations will be accepted to cover costs, and support veterans groups.
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:21AM
LA GRANGE — Park Junior High School seventh-grader Jonah Reardon is hosting a showing of “On the Bridge,” a documentary by Oliver Morel about the difficulties of military veterans experiencing post traumatic stress disorder.
Jerome McDonnell, who hosts the Worldview program on Chicago’s National Public Radio station WBEZ-FM 91.5, will moderate the panel, which includes Iraq war veteran and songwriter Jason Moon, who shared his struggles in the film.
A third member of the panel is Command Sgt. Maj. Mark Bowman, commander of the Illinois National Guard and Reserve ground forces in Illinois.
Jonah admits the film and discussion of post traumatic stress disorder, including veteran suicides, are weighty matters for a 12-year-old to consider as his project to earn the Eagle Scout rank, the Boy Scouts’ highest honor.
“I had another project in mind to add a flag and flagpole to the library, which a veteran put in the suggestion box at the library,” he said. “But it turned out that wasn’t needed.”
Still, Jonah said he wanted to help veterans in some way. He heard about the movie and the screening became the focus of his project, he said. The film focuses on veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jonah posted additional information about veterans coping with post traumatic stress disorder on the website of Troop 14, hosted by the First United Methodist Church in La Grange. More information is at www.troop14.info.
Vietnam veteran Jerry Nichols, who worked 37 years for the La Grange Public Works Department, said he experienced post traumatic stress many years after combat in 1969.
“I was busy raising a family, and then life slowed down and I had time to start thinking about it, Nichols said. “It works on your mind more as you get older. You think of the guys you left there.”
Jonah will be one of the youngest members of his troop to earn his Eagle Scout rank. He said he wanted to work on it now to have time for additional homework and activities in high school.
The son of Kathleen Weber and John Reardon, Jonah has a twin sister, Sarah, and a brother, Noah, who became an Eagle Scout in 2011 by replacing a fence at the library.