Granger Smith Talks About His Self-Produced Documentary, ‘They Were There’
Granger Smith has taken on a new role as film producer. The country singer self-produced the upcoming They Were There: A Hero’s Documentary, which tells the story of five fallen soldiers and seeks to pay tribute to their heroic sacrifices and infinite legacies.
Country fans can view the film on Smith's YouTube channel beginning Nov. 30. In an interview with Taste of Country, Smith details one of the film's most poignant scenes.
"This is about five fallen soldiers, and it's about the sacrifice they make that represents the life that I get to live," Smith explains. "One of the stories of these five fallen soldiers is suicide. I learned a lot about PTSD and results of suicide, and the staggering statistics of that."
He notes that this was an eye-opening experience for him: "I learn on this film as the viewer learns. It was really mind-blowing."
He continues, "I think that the misconception a lot of times is these people were mentally unstable before they went into the war. The story of this particular guy was he was just a normal guy—a very likable, pillar of the community kind of guy—and he saw some things that injured him mentally. All injuries, I've learned, are not physical. He saw some things that he was not able to recover from. The people around him...didn't know the warning signs before it was too late."
Smith says producing the documentary has changed many of his preconceived opinions on war and gun control. He admits that he feels guilty that he gets to travel the world playing country music for a living when there are others who have "volunteered for a much nobler cause."
"We tend to forget that there are sacrifices being made every day and the purpose of this [documentary] for me is to try to live a life worthy of that sacrifice," he adds. "The end result of this, if it only means that five families feel better that their story is now retold, then that is a success for me.
"But, if it turns into something bigger and it turns into something we can do every year and we do five new soldiers every year and tell these stories...ultimately it's a mission to remind people to thank a soldier, to remember we're still a country at war and to live a life worthy of the sacrifice being made."
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