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Dexter Pitts on Alive Day Memories

Published September 12, 2007 in Television
By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
Alive Day Memories: Home from Iraq features many veterans with visible war wounds. It's easy to see a lost limb, or several, but U.S. Army Pvt. Dexter Pitts bore more internal injuries.

Army Pvt. Pitts on Alive Day Memories

"I have physical injuries but the big thing with this war that the media is giving a lot of attention to now is the PTSD that soldiers are coming back with," said Pitts. "It's been kind of hidden and it's out there. I'm proud to be that person because I'm a voice for a lot of people who are afraid to stand up and say what's on their minds, what happened, because some injuries go away but memories are forever. I don't mind playing that part and being that person."

In revealing interviews, the soldier shared what may be a surprising perspective on the war. "There were times over there where it was fun but while you're doing it, it is not fun. It's when you come back and you have time to think, reminisce, laying in your hospital bed when you think I did have some good times. But war is 90% sitting around and not much happens a lot. It's that 10% of the time that something does happen that you will never forget that's not fun. It makes you curl up like a ball sometimes."

Speaking with interviewer James Gandolfini, Pitts was totally comfortable telling all. "I never felt more at home. From the moment we got to New York City, they took great care of us. That just made me feel like a person. they didn't look down on me like a lot of people do look down on us sometimes. They made me feel like I can be me, I could open up everything, say what's on my mind without having to worry about backlash."

While Alive Day Memories brings many buried issues to light, Pitts is not down on the armed services. If he spoke to an aspiring recruit, he would be positive. "Personally I would tell somebody what you're doing is very honorable. We need more people like that, that are willing to step up. Whether you think the war is right or wrong doesn't really matter. You do what you feel is right in your heart. I took a stand for something I believe in. If you don't stand for something, you fall for anything. if anybody wants to sign up, I will not tell anybody not to join the military because if you told anybody that, nobody would join and there would be nobody left to fight this country's battles."

Alive Day Memories airs this month on HBO.

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Fred Topel
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