BOISE, Idaho — Colin Sesek joined the army as a combat medic straight out of high school, in 2006 he deployed to Iraq with the 82nd Airborne and now there's a play about his experience.
“As a medic, I treated American soldiers, I also treated Iraqi civilians and I also treated enemy prisoners of war, and that was always a challenging thing because three minutes ago this guy was shooting at me," said Sesek.
Bent Compass debuted on Wednesday night on the University of Wisconsin Green Bay campus.
“The term bent compass is about when you are exposed to things that will change you and bend your compass," said Sesek. "A compass is what you use to navigate life.”
After returning from combat as a 22-year-old Colin had to deal with everything he saw, but it helped that his mother worked as a post-traumatic stress nurse at the VA, she told Colin he needed to face his problems and not bury them.
“It’s ok to not be ok, if you are struggling with something think about it and talk about it with somebody,” said Sesek. “The intention is that maybe someone can watch this play and they can be reminded that it’s not all bad.”
Sesek told us the purpose of the play is to raise awareness to help veterans, but also help civilians recognize some of the issues that combat veterans deal with.
The play was made possible by veterans services from UWGB who received a grant to fund the play, actor Neil Brookshire played Colin Sesek.
"He has a very positive outlook and a very proactive attack on life," said Brookshire. "There’s a part in the show where he talks about wanting to be an army medic because they help people. I’ve spent a lot of time with this because that is a core part of Colin as a person.
Colin still works as a combat medic in the 19th Special Forces Group, but he also teaches EMT classes at Skyview High School in Nampa.
“It's the best job in the world teaching medicine to the next generation of medics," said Sesek. "Quite a few of them have joined the military, but I have had some that have gone on to be firefighters and nurses.”
The Weidner Center on the UWGB campus will stream Bent Compass starting on Monday at 6:00 p.m. until Wednesday at 11:00 p.m.
Both Sesek and Brookshire hope to do a tour of Bent Compass including a stop in Boise, but that will have to wait on what happens with the pandemic.