(Photo courtesy of Central Oregon Veterans Ranch)
The Central Oregon Veterans Ranch will screen its newly released documentary Cover Me, The Path to Purpose in Bend at Open Space theatre April 29 with two showings for veterans, their families, and community members.
Cover Me, The Path to Purpose is a gripping documentary that tells the story of how the Veterans Ranch, a 19- acre farm in Oregon, is challenging veteran suicide and changing the paradigm of veteran care. The documentary was filmed on location at the Central Oregon Veterans Ranch in June 2022. It was written by the Veterans Ranch Founder, Alison Perry, alongside Dale Fabrigar; directed by Dale Fabrigar; and produced by Suzanne DeLaurentiis and Alison Perry. A screening was held in Los Angeles September 17, 2022 and the movie was released on Amazon streaming services early 2023. The film has been recognized by IndieEye Film Awards as ‘Best Documentary Short’ and Pure Magic International Film Festival as ‘September 2022 Best Documentary.’
The documentary highlights the Veterans Ranch’s innovative and “organic” approach to healing veterans with military trauma. Perry, a military family member and former trauma therapist in the Department of Veterans Affairs, has a vision that engages veterans in farming, agriculture, and peer support as a way of building community for an often marginalized and misunderstood population. The documentary features Perry’s articulation of the methodology of healing and the differences in a holistic approach vs. the traditional medical model, as well as the stories and testimonials of veterans who come to the Veterans Ranch. The film captures the beauty of the working farm in Central Oregon, an essential element to the sense of sanctuary.
“This is a model of care that transforms lives,” Perry said. “It’s about building community for a marginalized population. The military is like a family; when servicemembers leave the service, it can be challenging to lose that brotherhood and sisterhood. The Veterans Ranch works to bring that camaraderie and kinship back, to restore their sense of purpose.”
Marv Kaplan, a board member at the Veterans Ranch who is interviewed in the documentary, said “This film gives you a glimpse of the appalling effects of what combat veterans experience… those ever-present feelings of hopelessness and despair along with being despondent are the basis for PTSD. The Central Oregon Veterans Ranch allows us to find ways to cope and redirect those negative feelings through camaraderie of men and women with similar experiences in all conflicts. The ranch gives us a sanctuary where we have found a sense of belonging and purpose.”
Numerous businesses and donors supported the filming and release of Cover Me; Virtue Recovery Center, Joe Florio, St. Charles Health System, Blue Moon Design, HR Toughguard, New Moon Aviation, Leading Edge, MX13 Jump Show, Rotary Club of Redmond, Bend Film, Wild Ride Brewing, Cascade Lakes Brewing, and many individual donors.
“This documentary is yet another step in developing recognition and awareness around challenges unique to military veterans,” said Lauren Grigsby, Central Oregon Veterans Ranch director of development. “We appreciate all who supported the filming, gala, and screening of Cover Me. And we are honored to have veterans within our community, who were willing to share their own experiences with authenticity, vulnerability, and intention. We hope these stories will reach other veterans who may be struggling for a sense of purpose or meaningful connection, and we look forward to sharing their perspective along with the foundation story of the Veterans Ranch with Central Oregon. Our ranch is a welcoming place for all who served, no matter their time or era of service, their background, or occupation. Support and deep connection are essential for a thriving life outside the military, and we welcome the opportunity to facilitate connection for veterans within our Central Oregon community.”
The film screening at Open Space will be free for veterans and their immediate spouse, partner, or caregiver. Community members will have the opportunity to buy tickets for the screening. Each showing will have space for 120 people to attend. Doors open at 1:30pm for the first showing and the film starts at 1:45pm. Doors open at 4:30pm for the second showing and the film starts at 4:45pm. After each showing, there will be a short discussion panel with veterans from the Veterans Ranch and the film, as well as light appetizers and refreshments. For more information about the film and for ticket purchases, visit: bendticket.com/events/film-premiere-central-oregon-veterans-ranch-documentary-cover-me-the-path-to-purpose-4-29-2023.
The Central Oregon Veterans Ranch is covering the cost of all tickets for veterans and their loved ones; community members can help offset that cost by ‘Sponsoring a Veteran’ film ticket and making a donation at dashboard.dipjar.com/sparkvirtual/3c0b4c31-df04-11ed-a586-4909c363d63d All proceeds from this event will go toward supporting Central Oregon Veterans Ranch.
A small nonprofit with a grand vision, Central Oregon Veterans Ranch is transforming the lives of veterans tormented by the wounds of war and other military-related traumas.