After the Uniform | A Mark On Your Soul

This past March, I got out of the United States Marine Corps. After taking three or so months to travel internationally, I returned back to the states and as you often hear with recent Veterans my life started to spiral. Losing my community, sense of purpose, and financial security was difficult. I started to face depression and suicide ideation. I asked around to other Veterans and found that this was very common for those recently out of the military. Unfortunately, around this time a Marine I served with and was very close to took his own life.

This difficult state of mind that I found myself in and my friend taking his own life, led me to make this series. After the Uniform is a collection of six different short films that feature a different Veteran and her or his story in each. Each episode is an independent story that can be shown with or without the others.

"A Mark On Your Soul" is about Sophie Funderburk and her experience transitioning out of the United States Marine Corps. She discusses her decision to join the military, what it was like to be one of the first females in a combat unit, and how she is feeling now that her time in service has ended. Near the end of her Active Duty contract, Sophie also served as a Company Commander during the withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021 and she shares some of her experiences from that pivotal event in history.

Sophie's words in this episode have greatly inspired me. I believe that they can inspire others whether they served in a uniform or not.

  • Ben Steele
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    February 21, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Ben Steele

Ben Steele is a Colorado native, first-time filmmaker, United States Marine Corps Veteran, and life enthusiast.

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Director Statement

I started making these short films during one of the darkest moments in my life. They gave me inspiration and I believe they can inspire others as well.