Thomas Brouns is a 20-year U.S. Army veteran and a seasoned diplomat who has lived most of his life outside the United States. He is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. He and his wife, a graduate of the same program, hope to launch a media company focusing on international human rights abuses.
“The Search” is his first film.
Derêka K. Bennett is the co-producer of The Search as well as a reporter at the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. She has a master’s degree from UC Berkeley in video journalism and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in screen studies and journalism.
additional cinematography: eleonora bianchi
creative advisors: jennifer redfearn | richard koci hernandez | mike shen
content advisor: michael friedman, m.d.
technical advisor | color: chris o’dea
music: william ryan fritch
additional music: adrian sood music | piano passion | manrique delara
archival photos: the lovett family | connie slater | the andersons | the u.s. air force
post-production sound: imrsv sound
sound supervisor: jacob bloomfield-misrach, mspe
recording mixer: greg francis
sound design: william sammons
project manager: michel holbrook, cas
I learned about Jasmine Lovett while researching a larger project looking into the noncombat deaths of women in the military. Every parent or loved one I reached out to had an important story to tell; but my Connie Slater’s was especially impactful.
Like many survivors, Ms. Slater questioned whether her daughter had died by suicide. Over the coming months, I would find explanations for many of her concerns–but not all of them. And in speaking with Jasmine’s family members, as well as family members of others whose military daughters, wives or sisters had lost their lives under noncombat circumstances, I recognized much of their suffering was unnecessary and could have been avoided with more complete or more timely information.
At a time when we lose 22 veterans or servicemembers to suicide every single day, I was struck by the scope of the loss we must experience as a nation. I understand the Department of Defense is not only looking into the causes of this epidemic, but is also working to improve outreach to survivors.
But they need to do better.