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Real Stories

Client: The Ad Council

“It’s hard to imagine that an ad would have that kind of power.”  – Sgt. Rey Leal, Jr.

In his early 20s, Marine Corps Sgt. Rey Leal, Jr. was kicking down doors in Falluja, routing out insurgents during the Iraq War. A recipient of the Bronze Star, he returned to his small home town in the southern tip of Texas feeling alienated and suffering from PTSD and insomnia. As part of a series of videos commissioned by the Ad Council to show the positive impact public service advertising has on individual lives, we traveled to Texas to tell Rey Leal’s story in this 3-minute video. Unable to sleep one night, Leal turned on the TV and saw a PSA produced by the Ad Council for the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). The video encouraged returning veterans to connect with others through the IAVA website and that is just what Leal did. Over time, the support Leal found through IAVA served as a catalyst for the positive steps Leal credits with turning his life around. “It opened up my eyes and…made me realize that there’s a lot of people out there going through the same thing I was,” Leal says.

Director: Mike DeWitt
Producer: Amanda Spain
Cinematographer: Nick Higgins
Editor: Ali Grossman Baron
Sound: Damion Haux
Production Assistant: Megan Doyle
Music: konsonant/

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