Synopsis: Former Vietnam war infantry soldier Frank Romeo had been suffering with PTSD for 50 years when, for his 70th birthday, he decides to walk across New York State to help heal other veterans while confronting his own demons once and for all.
Frank’s journey started when he was ambushed and critically wounded in the jungle, setting him down a dark spiral of drug and alcohol abuse, prison, and family discord. Since then, he has been trying to understand and embrace his own issues, while working to change the cultural conversation surrounding mental health and post trauma. Once he learned to embrace his past and not run from it, Frank was able to finally take his first steps toward healing.
The first step is often the hardest, and Frank’s experience creates a space for people to open up and share their personal stories in an intimate way. On his walk Frank presents his Art of War exhibit to students and other survivors of PTSD and talks about how art therapy helped him out of his darkest times. He also makes amends with the people he has alienated in his past including his brother, his children, and his best friend and combat buddy Peter.
Walk With Frank is a film about self-discovery, mental health, and a truly honest look at how PTSD and mental health impact our society.
Matt and I are not veterans, but mental health is an issue that has been prevalent in our personal lives. We’ve honestly had a difficult time discussing it openly until we met Frank.
We had the privilege of following Frank on his journey across New York State, sleeping with him in homeless shelters, and eating with him in soup kitchens. Frank’s ability to connect with other veterans allowed us to get a truly honest look at how PTSD and mental health impact our society. We believe that the result is a unique film which allows the audience an inside look at what a veteran truly deals with when suffering with PTSD, as well as how it impacts the friends and family in their life.
Frank’s philosophy that mental health is not something to be ashamed of changed how we approach our own lives, and is a message that we feel is important to pass along.
Since they were boys, Ryan and Matt Mayers have been making movies together, and bring that same passion to their films today. Ryan is an Emmy award-winning editor known for various film and television projects, including the hour-long documentary series Oprah’s Next Chapter and A&E Biography. Matt has produced films for national brands and musicians, and his original series of family friendly shorts have received national attention. Their goal is to make films that find an emotional truth while telling an entertaining story.