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a3dc5560-05b6-4d9f-add2-5a2856094632Project Healing Waters is honored to play a small role in this powerful film. The production team joined us at The 5th Annual Battle at Boxwood in Shawnee, Colorado on August 15, 2015 to capture our unique form of therapy in action as well as film interviews with many PHWFF Veteran participants, volunteers, and staff members. Our Program has helped ease the burden of PTSD for many of our veteran participants since our inception in 2005 and this important work continues amongst our 200+ Programs nationwide. Veterans and volunteers from PHWFF Twin Cities Programs will be in attendance at the World Premier this October 22nd.

Billy Bob Thornton lends his voice to this powerful documentary told from the veteran’s perspective.  

 Film explores life-altering impacts from post-traumatic stress and promising new therapies.

MINNEAPOLIS — October 3, 2016 — Everyday America loses 20 veterans to Post Traumatic Stress (often referred to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – PSTD). Now a moving, new documentary film — IRON WILL:

Veterans’ Battle with PTSD  provides a powerful, personal look into the lives of several Veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea, Kuwait and Vietnam wars, suffering from post-traumatic stress, their remarkable bravery in the face of the struggle, and the promising new treatment therapies being deployed to help prevent suicides, debilitating flashbacks and other devastating PTS issues.

Directed by Iraq war veteran Sergio Valenzuela, who is making his directorial debut, narrated by Academy Award winner Billy Bob Thornton, and produced by Zac Adams, and Minnesota native Tim VandeSteeg, Iron Will celebrates its World Premiere at the Twin Cities Film Fest (TCFF) on Saturday, October 22 at the

Showplace ICON Theater in the West End in St. Louis Park (625 West End Blvd, St. Louis Park, MN 55416). Show times are at 7:15pm and 7:30 p.m. Single tickets are available online at:

“We’ve approached the film from a Veterans’ perspective, which immediately sets Iron Will apart from other documentaries about PTSD,” says film director Valenzuela. “And we explore the new and unconventional alternative treatments of PTSD, from brain treatment (stellate ganglion block), to Operation Song (using songwriting as a treatment too), Project Healing Waters (fly fishing as a coping/treatment exercise), Horse therapy and other methods.”

“Iron Will is more than ‘just a film’ to us filmmakers. In fact, many of us have lost dear friends, loved ones and family to PTSD (mental illness/depression via suicide), adds Producer Tim VandeSteeg, a Minnesota native.

“It’s painful and heartbreaking. As filmmakers and, most importantly, human beings we asked ourselves, what can we do? Our answer was to make this documentary.”

Candid interviews with past service men and women, their families and doctors, combined with several animated re-enactment sequences and cinematic portrayals of the intense anxiety, depression and frustration of PSTD, give viewers a full spectrum view of PSTD’s victims and their challenges. Cameo appearances by musicians Charlie Daniels, Big Kenny, wounded warrior musician Sal Gonzales (who appeared on “America’s Got Talent”) and former UFC Champion and veteran Randy Couture, add additional support and insight into the issue. But the movie also offers hope, not just to veterans, but to civilians who face similar struggles.

“Post-traumatic stress (PTS) occurs in 11-20% of Veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, which is a huge issue for the military. However, that doesn’t include the 7.7 million American adults who are affected by PTS in the United States each year. This is also a big problem,” notes General Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army (Retired), Chief Executive Officer, One Mind. “That is why there is an urgent need to find better diagnostics and treatments for PTS, and all brain diseases and injuries. Although challenging, we must come together to demand a new incentive system that rewards team science, collaboration and data sharing. This is the only way we will find the answers needed to help Veterans, their families and civilians who are suffering.”

Having the World Premiere of Iron Will is a true honor,” explains Jatin Setia, Executive Director of TCFF. “We find it our duty to spotlight causes and social justice issues each year and in 2016, we’re putting our attention on Veteran Support. The conversation about PTSD and how we as a community should do whatever we can to help our veterans is a crucial one.  We are ready for the conversation and the World Premiere of IRON WILL!”

For more information, please visit their website:

  • See the Iron Will trailer and website:
  • The film trailer has garnered over 1 MILLION VIEWS and been shared over 23,000 times on Facebook alone. The fan pages include and
  • The Filmmakers have teamed up with WagTree Global Give Network (GGN), an innovative, turnkey marketing program focused on creating a network of passionate people committed to giving, fundraising, and helping others.  The mission of IRON WILL campaign is to raise awareness about Veterans battling PTS, along with their families, to provide education about alternative therapies and how to move the needle to evidence-based therapies, and ultimately save lives.
  • For more information, go to: IRON WILL’s Global Give Campaign, or contact:
    Judy Diethelm, 615-544-5839,
  • Iron Will Media Partners include the PSTD Journal, PTSD Journal, Victor Nichols, Publisher and Christian Benedetto, Jr., Veteran / Founder
  • Non-profit organizations featured in IRON WILL: