Wheels of Thunder: Stories of Community and Courage

From the dirt tracks of Missouri to the deserts of war-torn Iraq, Wheels of Thunder is a story that spans more than a decade and a half. Against the backdrop of a steamy summer night in Missouri, this tale actually begins on a cold winter morning in 2003.
Ted Welschmeyer and his unit of Army Reservists have suddenly been deployed to Iraq’s Sunni Triangle. Their mission would be convoy security – making sure soldiers moving around the country would be safe. Knowing the enormity of that responsibility, Ted reached out to a friend to help secure the steel needed to make armor plating for the military vehicles they would be using.
Through the lens of fellow unit member and film-maker Alex Turley, Wheels of Thunder documents the veterans and community members who took extraordinary action to help keep an Army Reserve unit safe in the war zones of Iraq. This story will take you through the streets of Baghdad with footage captured by unit members during the deployment. But Ted Welschmeyer’s mission has continued beyond that warring desert arena. Today that happens on the dirt tracks of Missouri, where he himself races to honor his fellow veterans. Whether it was in Iraq more than a decade ago or today racing around a track in Missouri, his focus is the same – raising awareness and keeping his troops safe and cared for.
Wheels of Thunder shines a light on the untold stories and ongoing contributions of veterans, like Ted Welschmeyer, who continue to serve veterans and the communities where they live and work.

  • Alex Turley
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Non-Fiction, Drama, Military History
  • Runtime:
    31 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Iraq, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Canon C100M2 Pro-Res
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Saint Louis Film Festival
    Saint Louis
    United States
    July 28, 2023
    Official Selection
  • Veterans Film Festival
    San Francisco
    United States
    October 5, 2023
    Official Selection
Director - Alex Turley