Ben Patton’83 was invited to Deerfield by the Senior Class this past Sunday as one of 9 alumni presenters at PATHWAYS. The program, which was created by the Alumni Association in 2001, shows how a Deerfield education might prepare you (or not) for the road ahead. Other presenters were Asha Echeverria ’96, Josh Greenhill ’96, Rob Hale ’84 P15, Leslie Hotchkiss ’06, Sean Keller ’86, Stephanie Lazar ’94, Adam Lubinsky ’89 and Rafi Mottahedeh ’02.
Ben spoke of his average academic record, his perceived pressure to join the family business and his desire to tell stories…and how they have all come together in his current work with veterans suffering from PTSD. It was a conversation with journalist and brain injury survivor Bob Woodruff that set him on his current path. Ben learned from Bob that to cope with the jumbled memories that come from severe injury, it helps to unpack them and order them in a way that makes sense. Ben recognized immediately that the process mirrors film editing and the work he had been doing with Fred* film workshops. Ben began making movies with PTSD veterans to help them tell their stories. Clearly the process is therapeutic for the veteran and helpful to their families as a way to understand the issues. Learn more at pattonveteransproject.org.
Thanks for making the time to talk to the students Ben, and for being available to them along their pathway..