Battlefield of Mind

On April 24, The Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood helped host an event of music and awareness for something that people overlook every day., and the Boot Campaign came together to help raise funds for a new documentary entitled Battlefield of the Mind, a film about veterans living with PTSD.

The film is directed by Fran Strine and co-directed by Aaron Lewis (Staind) and narrated by David Ellefson (MEGADETH), and looks into the lives of veterans who’s lives changed after the war due to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We got to preview the film at the Whisky, and within the first minute of the preview, we were touched by an emotional story that was told from a homeless man. Throughout the preview, we were saddened and informed about the lives of a few veterans who are either homeless, or need help in order to live with PTSD.

After the film, a few people who made this film possible were there to talk about the film and answer any questions pertaining to the film.

“I was walking around San Francisco and stumbling all over these homeless people…”

Said Fran Strine, when asked about his inspiration for the film. He had talked to a few homeless people and came up with the idea to put together a documentary about his discovery of this tragedy.

Larry Murray of the Boot Campaign was there to talk about how the organization has been helping, as well as shed some more light on what we as citizens can so to help.

“It’s not a slam on our government, but we all need to pitch in,”

says Larry, when explaining about not pointing fingers and working together for a great cause. Later on in the evening, Larry was handed a certificate of appreciation by the Los Angeles City of Attorney.

Megadeth’s David Ellefson spoke about his involvement and contribution to the film and the soundtrack. When he was asked by Fran Strine, David immediately agreed to join forces in the project, even before Fran was able to finish his pitch.

“We all need to pitch in and help,” said David,  “This movie is a call to action!”

It was with that call to arms that lead an anonymous man match any donations to the boot campaign that night. We spoke to David and asked him if there was a possibility of touring the film and doing a benefit concert to help raise money, and he said

“you never know, but that sounds like a great idea.”

After the Q&A, we were treated to a night of many one night only performances from members of Megadeth, Staind, Evanescence, Lo Pro, and Eye Empire. A few of the songs played were featured on the Battlefield of the Mind soundtrack, which means this night will be the first and possibly only time anyone will ever hear these songs performed live with the original members. Everyone sounded phenomenal for only having practiced only a few times prior to the event. The highlight of the night goes to Eye Empire for not only putting on a killer show, but for being inspirational in between songs and reminding us why we were there.  Make sure to check them out, they are a small band with a global sound; think Sevendust with Morgan Rose doing Vocals and then make it heavier, and you got Eye Empire.

1 in 3 homeless people are veterans, who have suffered from PTSD symptoms that have lead them to a life of drugs, homelessness, and other struggles. Like Larry Murray said, we need to come together and do our part and help out the people who have fought for us. Check out and purchase the documentary; it is truly riveting and needs to brought to people’s attentions. Also, check out and find out how you can help donate to their great cause.

Review and photos: Alex Lucero

The magic of the Iphone5 since our photographer wasn’t able to make the show: