As a Veteran himself, Joe Manns has been thinking on ways he can uplift those who have served our country and address the struggles that they face. His contribution is to create a film that brings those often private struggles to light. “The purpose of DISMISSED is to bring mental health awareness and support to Military, Veteran and First Responder communities. There’s a lot being done but we can never do too much. The numbers are still going in the wrong direction,” Manns says.
According to the 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Report published by the Veterans Health Administration, Veteran suicides account for 14% of suicides in the United States. This number is alarming since Veterans represent less than 10% of the US population.
DISMISSED is based on real events that Joe Manns either personally experienced or observed while serving in the US Army.
In the film, the main character joins the Army after tragically losing his father. He finds purpose in serving his country, a purpose that is amplified by the 9/11 attacks. Addressing the effects of survivor’s guilt, PTSD and adjustment disorder through stories of love, loss, friendships, trauma and healing – this movie offers something for everyone. Most importantly, Manns hopes to spark a larger national conversation about mental health and the military, while offering a sense of understanding to those who share the experiences of the movie’s central characters.
Manns, now a successful entrepreneur and respected coach, tells us that joining the Army was one of the best decisions he ever made. He joined the Army with a 9th grade education and a GED. Today, he has a master’s degree in Marketing & Communication and owns multiple businesses. Manns has worked for some of the largest advertising agencies in the world, on global brands, and with an extensive list of celebrities. While Manns offers one-on-one sessions as part of his coaching practice, he is committing his experience, connections and resources to support his brothers and sisters in arms is his way of continuing to serve on a larger scale.
Directed by Austin Spicer, of Spicer Productions, the film is currently in pre-production with a projected wrap date in the fall of 2022.