Amanda Plachek and Steven Weber

[cnn-photo-caption image=

caption=”Amanda Plachek and Steven Weber produced the documentary ‘War at Home.'”]
We’ve heard a fair share about the problems troops face when they return to civilian life: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, sometimes suicide. But, it’s rare for us to actually hear from the troops living — and sometimes suffering — through that. Sometimes, it’s not a news reporter or a government official that will get to the heart of the story. In this case it was actually two students at Norwich University.

Amanda Plachek, 21, and Steven Weber, 22, haven’t been to war yet, but they know what to ask people who have. As students, they devised a set of 30 questions to ask veterans about their experiences back home. They are in the process of putting those interviews into a documentary, “The War at Home.” A goal for the film is to educate people about all aspects of military life. For example, they say, “Some civilians don’t understand what questions they should and shouldn’t ask when someone comes back from tour. Don’t ask someone how many people they’ve killed. Don’t ask ‘were you wounded or blown up?’”

Amanda is going into active combat duty with the U.S. Army as a transportation officer with the 82nd Airborne, 1st Brigade Combat Team. Steven is commissioning in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Both feel honored to be serving and to be able to tell these stories before they do.

Update: Watch the Live interview

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17 Responses to Amanda Plachek and Steven Weber

  1. Mica says:

    I commend these students for their effort to demystify the post-war experience for veterans. It is so critical that soldiers not only have outlets, but also examples to draw from in terms of processing their shared experiences. These are people who need to return to their loved ones, their daily lives, and society in general, but it has been time-proven that such transitions are often difficult and sometimes perilous. If we ask young people to serve, to give their lives for greater causes, the very least that we can do as a country is help them to heal the wounds incurred through that service, whether those be physical, emotional, mental or spiritual wounds. It is also helpful to those waiting at home to understand better the reality these young soldiers face. We all benefit from this type of exploration.

  2. Marty Callaghan says:

    I just interviewed Amanda, Steve and other cadets at Norwich University who are working on “The War at Home.” They are fine individuals, producing an important documentary.
    Wouldn’t it be great if colleges and universities across the country got into the habit of producing programs about their local veterans? Mainstream media focuses on troops in combat; they usually don’t do follow-up pieces on how veterans re-adapt to the civilian world.
    Professor Bill Estill at Norwich University is also to be commended for the guidance and leadership he’s provided to these student producers.

    Marty Callaghan
    Managing Editor
    The American Legion Magazine

  3. ken says:

    I could’nt agree with Mica’s comments more! We need to provide for our brave men and women in the healing process, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I also believe that while many americans are acutely aware of the problems our soldiers face coming back home, there are more americans that do not understand. I remember, as a young boy, nightly coverage of the war in Vietnam and a sense of continual concern as a citizen of our great country. Unfortunately, I don’t get that same sense of continual concern amongst the public at large through the two wars that we are in now. I commend the current administration for allowing family’s to choose whether or not to have their loved one’s, who gave the ultimate sacrifice: to have there return home be telivised. However, I think we all need to do a lot more to show our appreciation, concern, and admiration!

  4. Deb Hudak says:

    On behalf of the Norwich University Parents and Family Association I congratulate these two fine Cadets on this accomplishment. I’ve had an opportunity to discuss this project with Amanda and I know she is humbled by the experience, and I’m sure Cadet Weber feels that way also.

    We are extremely proud of these young people and thank Professor Estill for granting them the opportunity to learn from this experience. I am certain they will be fine military leaders and serve our country well.

    Deb Hudak
    President, Norwich University Parent and Family Association
    Proud mother of a Norwich Cadet, Class of 2010

  5. Bob. says:

    It’s rather interesting to see all the attention giving to returning veterans from Iraq and Afgan. When the returning veterans from Vietnam cam back home they really got a heros welcome. Spit on, cursed at, called baby killers and I could go on and on about how our waunderful American citizens welcomed home their service members. Many of those vets still hold those memories solid in the core of their soals. We did have email or cell phones, yet we held our head high as we were the best America had

  6. Michael Debraska says:

    As a former VA worker, I would enjoy seeing a copy of their completed work; questions that they are asking the soldiers returning from war. I believe the hard work they are putting into this could prove to be invaluable in assisting those veterans who suffer from PTSD or are contemplating suicide and help the VA treat those soldiers more effectively.

  7. Bill Mitchell says:

    What can individuals do to help our military members returning home? Will their families let us know if they need help? American citizens want to know.

  8. Marvin Solomon says:

    most of our troops dont return to a normal life when they get back. They get a lot of benefits but its hard for them to get jobs. A typical eample is a former u.s. marine carrying a gun and posing as a police officer

  9. Trump Ttutor says:

    we have feature this blog to two of our websites.

    title under “How to do magazine, TV, media interview”

  10. Steven Weber says:

    I would like to thank you all for giving us such a great response to our work. The project is moving along nicely, and I can not wait until the final documentary is put together. Unfortunately Amanda and I will not be able to see the end result because we graduate May 9th.

    Thank you again for your kind words and if you want to contact us directly we can be reached at

    or email myself at

  11. soma shekhar jha says:

    Kindly plat! Tot up to favorite

  12. Matthew Kaye says:

    I don’t know how veterans, specifically Norwich veterans, come back to Norwich, and are willing to go through the whole military college routine over again. Sgt. Henrie lives on my deck in I Co. and Sgt. Silver was my sqd leader for awhile. I’m glad to see they got a grant and have the opportunity to take this to the next level. I’m sure it will help the new group of Norwich cadets preparing to deploy as well as the new group of officers that will be commissioning next week. I also nominate Steven Weber for president of America 😉

  13. ALAIN RJ says:


  14. ZeldaSuperstar says:

    wow cool nice sweet awesome fantastic spectacular beastly jdjdjk;lsdjl

  15. Kendall says:

    I have always wonder what it would be like in the army{although I dont want to be in the army} I think everyone who does go into the army are strong people in the inside to leave there family and risk there lives for us. If I see the movie maybe I will finally get some image as wat it would be like in the army.

  16. twilightgrl4eve says:

    yo can some one please tell cnn to make a show all about twilight or something that would make younger people like pre-teens and teens want to watch the news because i am 13 and i think its boring so try paying attention to the teens as much as adults. plus

  17. twilightgrl4eve says:

    some things us teens like is harry potter and twilight and magical romance stuff so just try some of my ideas

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