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Review of From Pain to Purpose - Her Second Service Story Directed by Eva L Fulton

Eva L Fulton’s documentary about the homelessness of women war-veterans deals with a topic seldom talked about. While the problem of homelessness in the US have been discussed, documented and reviewed a lot, the life challenges faced by the women veterans are not something the common man is aware of. And this is where this short documentary leaves a mark on its audience.

From Pain to Purpose' is Eva’s Capstone project for the University of San Francisco Master's in Public Leadership program. Being an Army Veteran herself in the Gulf War, Eva shares her story, along with the stories of other women veterans like herself who are not recognized and venerated as much as the male veterans and left on their own mostly. As mentioned in an inter-title in the documentary, ‘about 4,300 women veterans experience homelessness each year…’. Eva, through her own story and that of others, has offered something that similar films seldom do - hope.

Through “From Pain to Purpose” we come to know of how Eva has managed through a host of physical disabilities, grief of losing two husbands, raising her four kids while battling multiple instances of homelessness.

And at the end of it all, how she has come out triumphed. As she narrates in her film, the only thing that has been a constant in her tumultuous life has been Faith, and that has guided and motivated her through her life. After experiencing multiple accidents and trauma, she has gone from nowhere in life to attaining her degrees in BA & MBA in Business Administration. She also tells the story of Julie, a Navy Veteran who has gone through the trauma of homelessness, racism, and thereafter physical diseases, and how she succeeded in getting back to a normal life after going through it all.

As Eva states it herself, the women veterans seldom receive help as there is not much awareness about where to go and who to ask for help. Hence community solutions are essential for these women to receive help and reach out to each other when they need it. A couple of years ago, when Eva shared the stage with others on Veterans Day, the topic of 'Women Veteran homelessness solutions' was discussed.

It was concluded unanimously that community solutions, raising awareness and spread of information were the solutions to this problem. Through her film, Eva is trying to do exactly that by sharing her own story and sharing information. She is helping these veterans out with resources and get them off the streets as much as she can, as these women are out there in significant numbers, ignored and unseen by most.

Project submission link:

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