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Annapolis is “True North” for Veterans in Upcoming Documentary on MPT

| April 11, 2022, 04:05 PM

“Annapolis is the first place I’ve lived that truly felt like home,” states Veteran Army Aviator Meagan Bryant in the new documentary, TRUE NORTH: Sailing to Salvation, which has its broadcast premiere on Maryland Public Television on April 21st, at 7:30 pm. For someone who has lived in five different places in 10 years, that is no small feat. It’s also a testament to the sailing community in Annapolis that welcomed Bryant and her fellow veterans with open arms as they sought healing from their war experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. The film is part of the station’s Chesapeake Bay Week programming.

TRUE NORTH: Sailing to Salvation centers around the veterans’ search for belonging after leaving military service. Michael Wood returned from a combat mission in Afghanistan feeling disconnected and alone. At the insistence of friends concerned about his state of mind, Mike resumed a pre-war pastime, sailing on the Bay, where he discovered a sense of purpose that had all but vanished. Mike soon realized that if competitive sailing could pull him from the depths of isolation and despair, it may help other veterans as well—and the Valhalla Sailing Project was born. Sailing to Salvation tells the story of this group of veterans’ resurgence from the dark recesses of PTSD.

Shot in and around Annapolis, the film is a sort of “love letter to Annapolis,” said Suzie Galler, the film’s director, and executive producer. “I found my True North living on the Chesapeake Bay and wanted to explore what that concept – of finding belonging in a specific place or community — might mean for others. Ultimately, we found that True North lies at the intersection of people, place, and purpose.”

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Her research led her to the Valhalla Sailing Project (VSP) and she reached out to Mike Wood to learn more about his journey in starting the group.  Not only has Mike’s life changed as a result of founding VSP but so have the lives of many of the veterans who’ve participated in the program. The film showcases that transformation.

“It’s wonderful to know people find Annapolis to be such a welcoming community, said Mayor Gavin Buckley. “We’re proud to have impacted their lives so profoundly.”

Sailing to Salvation is only one episode in a larger series: True North: Honest Stories of Finding Home that Galler intends to make. “The concept of True North is really about people from all walks of life finding their calling in a place they can call home,” she said. “This story is just the beginning. Ultimately, this is a series of happy endings – but authentic ones. When you meet someone who’s found their True North, their story is invariably inspiring. We are looking for more people who want to share their stories with us and invite them to contact us through our website.”

The documentary was recently screened as an official selection in the  Annapolis Film Festival’s Sailing Showcase.

If you have a True North story to share or would like more information about viewing or sponsoring the series, contact: [email protected] or visit: www.studiotruenorth.com

Category: Annapolis Gives, Boating, Events, LIFE IN THE AREA, Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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