PITTSFIELD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A soldier from Maine makes his big screen debut this week.
Matthew Pennington lives in Pittsfield with his wife. Matthew survived a devastating bomb explosion while serving in Afghanistan. He lost his left foot and needed major reconstructive surgery on his right leg.
Together, they survived the difficult transition back to civilian life, one that Matthew says can be lonely and dark.
Now he's the star in a short movie depicting the very challenges he experienced of reacclimating to a non-combat lifestyle. In it he plays Connor, a soldier who returns to work in the dock yard one year after the day he almost died while fighting overseas.
"I left the war but I carried the same attitude, the same presence, when I looked at people I didn't look at them kindly, I looked at them with, I kept a very serious face. I was serious all the time," said Pennington. "Because to me, you know, life isn't a game and it's not a nice thing. It's a life or death situation."
Pennington says working on the movie with director and writer Nicholas Brennan helped him regain confidance and drop his guard that kept him from enjoying life back home.
The movie, "A Marine's Guide to Fishing" will be shown Wednesday night, March 16, at the Nickelodeon in Portland. It's part of an evening of local Maine filmmaking called the "Maine Frozen Shorts."