Student ID: 480212339, Word Count: 459
I am writing to propose an idea for a podcast on the long-standing effects of war on soldiers, featuring Vietnam Veteran, Michael Smart, and his experience before, during and after the war, to publish on Salience. Michael is still seeking treatment for depression and Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) even after 45 years of returning home to Australia from the war.
I already have 49 minutes’ worth of audio footage with Michael from an interview I did with him for a story on ANZAC Day. My questions were centred around ANZAC Day, but because I know Michael as one of the patients at the medical centre I worked at for 5 years, he was comfortable enough to tell me about his experiences before, during and after the war.
Michael served as an engineer in the Vietnam war from 1964-1973. I learnt about his thoughts on war as a young person from the impression he received from his father and grandfather who were in the Korean and second world war respectively, the two-year training he underwent for Vietnam, the alcoholism, depression and PTSD he developed, the strife he faced returning home and what it was like going back to Vietnam decades later.
What was particularly interesting was the fact that Michael is still suffering 45 years after returning home and is still being treated for depression and PTSD.
Upon interviewing Michael and learning how much depression/PTSD still effects his life, I researched studies into Vietnam Veterans and mental health. It was there I found Vietnam Veterans Family Health Psychiatry Specialist, Dr. Brian O’Toole from the Sydney Medical School Brain & Mind Research Institute.
I found a podcast interview he did with the ABC and then discovered his study, published on the Journal of Psychiatric Research, which conveyed the suicidality rates linked with PTSD, depression alcohol disorders, phobia, and agoraphobia in Vietnam veterans and their partners.
Dr. Brian O’Toole is a professor at Sydney University, so I will reach out to him for insight into his study and if he’s currently working on any further studies on this topic.
For further insight on how predominant PTSD is amongst Vietnam Veterans, I will reach out to the National President of Vietnam Veterans Associate of Australia, Ken Foster OAM JP.
The target audience for this story would be current veterans, veterans that have recently come back home, Vietnam veterans and veterans from older wars, friends, and family of veterans and medical professionals.
I don’t have access to Pro Tools, but I can edit audio only on Premiere Pro and have done so successfully in the past. I plan to use my own voice to narrate any reports and/or figures.
This idea is therefore not only feasible in production but also highly newsworthy in Australia.