Anita Sugimura Holsapple

U.S.M.C. Military Brat – Vietnam

Mental Trauma


Military Family Advocate

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

2018 SAMHSA VOICE Award Winner

Best Documentary

Award-winning Japanese-American filmmaker, Battlefield: Home – Breaking The Silence was inspired by her own experiences as military child during the Vietnam War, and the realization of despite years, today’s generation of military families are continuing to face the same challenges and stigma surrounding mental injuries and trauma.

Anita Sugimura Holsapple is a survivor of war. As the daughter of a Japanese mother who survived the bombing of Japan, and a combat U.S. Marine of the Vietnam Conflict, Anita is very experience with mental injuries and trauma when the remnants of war came home.

During her 20 years under the military umbrella, Anita’s insight into the military community brings an often forgotten perspective of how war impacts every family member.

“PTSD and mental injuries leave a legacy, a fingerprint and an emotional imprint, not only on the injured, but the family members as well.”

Battlefield: Home – Breaking The Silence became a mission.

A celluloid story of our journey, the military family members who for generations maintained a code of silence.

Anita shares her expertise of that journey. The fear, the anger, the confusion, not only from those who are living with the injury, but for those who love and support them. She stresses the importance of communities, corporations, society and our nation to get “skin in this game,” of understanding the uneven emotional path from war to ‘home.”

“Those who have endured mental injuries and trauma know this journey, they live it every day. The memories, emotions and residual impact of trauma can last a lifetime.”

Anita speaks openly and candidly about the generational impact of trauma and how together, we can alter the course for so many affected by mental injuries.

Unless the issues and challenges are understood from the perspective of those suffering, the “help” falls short of the needs regardless of preventative or post care initiatives.

In 2018, Anita was awarded the SAMHSA Voice Award for Best Documentary from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration for bringing full attention to PTSD, recovery and Mental Health Awareness.

Anita holds a Master’s of Science in International Conflict Analysis & Resolution and undergraduate degrees in Sociology/Psychology, as well as a degree in the culinary arts.

She has spoken at several events and organizations, including UCLA Friends of Semel Institute on Neuroscience and Behavioral, and recently presented at the U.C. Neurotrauma Conference in San Jose about the crucial role family members play in recovery and emotional healing.

Authentic and raw, "Battlefield: Home" masterfully articulates and drives home the deeper issue of "why" the PTS issue has perpetuated itself in restricting the successes of our service members and their loved ones who attempt to transition back into our communities.
All of our transitioning programs fail to address the more pressing and timely issue with the cultural shift from a structured, socialist military lifestyle back into the civilian sector where identity and purpose fall well short of expectation.
Failure to preventatively generate workable solutions will leave our nation with exponential consequences both in human and social capital for those left behind.
This film will change the way you look at veterans and their families. Highest recommendations.

Maj Michael S. McDowell, USMC (ret.)The Valor Club

Film Synopsis

Battlefield: Home – Breaking the Silence, has received several awards and numerous accolades for its unflinching honesty and unfiltered insight into the effects of war long after the warriors return home.

Inspired by her own family’s experiences during the Vietnam War, filmmaker, Anita Sugimura brings a unique perspective in the only documentary of its kind created by a a military child of war.

In 2018, “Battlefield: Home – Breaking The Silence,” received the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 SAMSHA Voice Award for Best Documentary for its honest insight into the the journey of PTSD and the aftermath of war.

Interviewing family members from multiple generations, Sugimura exposes the impact of mental injuries, and the failing systems that perpetuate a legacy of trauma from generation to generation.

This film reveals the challenges of Transition, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Suicide, and Over-medication by following the experiences and struggles of several warriors including John Keith, a Navy Gulf War veteran, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and dealt with the challenges of navigating VA health care benefits, while struggling to stay alive.

 This film exposes the disturbing side of life after war in a visceral experience.

Battlefield: Home – Breaking the Silence discusses the problems our veterans and families face and the obstacles they endure, but it is also displaying the hope and perseverance of the human spirit to return to being whole again.

Sugimura experienced the mental trauma and the fallout of war.  She brings an often-forgotten reality of the sacrifices for every family member. From her vantage point, she tells that story, and shines a light on the social divide between the families of those who serve and civilian world they protect.

Sugimura saw her dad physically survive two combat tours, but witnessed the challenges he faced afterwards. She wears her dad’s dog tags as a reminder that the war doesn’t end on the battlefields, it always comes home.

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