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Fractured Family Restored and “Indivisible”

Army Chaplain Darren Turner and his wife, Heather, discuss the new movie “Indivisible,” which tells their story of marriage struggles during deployment. Read Transcript

- Well, one moment DarrenTurner's mind wandered

to the dozens of men wounded and killed

while he was deployed in Iraq.

The next moment Darrenhad his kids begging him

to go to the park and play.

As an army chaplain, Darrenwas a strong anchor of faith

for his fellow soldiers, but he struggled

to do the same at home.

- [Reporter] Darren Turnerand his wife Heather

had no idea how the war in Iraq

would shake their rock-solidmarriage, to its core.

In 2007, Darren, a Regent University grad

spent 15 months as an Army chaplain,

encouraging servicemenand women in their faith.

But when he came homethings quickly fell apart.

- I began to snap at little things,

and it didn't matter ifshe was right or wrong,

that wasn't the point.

It was an opportunity for me

to let some of my angerand frustration out.

- I knew something deeper, supernatural,

that we could notmanufacture had to happen

or else this was gonna gonowhere, was gonna get worse.

- [Reporter] Darren and Heather'sstory hits the big screen

in the movie, Indivisible,playing in theaters

starting October 26th.

- And the movie's amazing.

Well, Darren and Heather Turner,

the real Darren and HeatherTurner are with us now,

and welcome to The 700 Club, guys.

- Thank you for having us.- Thanks for having us.

- Wow, it's so weird, because I just,

you know, saw the movie last night.

I got finished watching at midnight

and then they had the pictures

of the real family come on afterward.

And so now, here you are.

Darren, you had severaltours of duty over in Iraq.

The one depicted in themovie was your first tour--

- Correct.- Which was incredible.

Can you even tell us, whatwas that like for you?

- Ya, so I actually went to seminary here.

I was a Regent student, graduated 2006,

and then went on activeduty the beginning of 2007.

Deployed for 15 months,

3 months after my firstday on active duty.

So it was fast.

It was part of President Bush's surge,

if you recall that back in 2007 and 2008.

And so we went to Iraq for 15 months.

- And I remember in the movie,

it's like, "We're called to this."

You were gonna just take it on.

And you get over there and it was totally

not what you expected.

Or worse than you expected.

- Ya.

I'm not sure I expected,

I had no idea what to expect, honestly.

I knew we were gonna go intoa pretty hot combat zone

and it was--- And it was.

- [Darren] It was pretty wild, ya.

- And you ended upministering to some soldiers

who ended up losing their lives

and that really affected you.- It did.

- And, Heather, you'rehome, raising three kids.

And you guys are communicating a lot,

and at first everything seems fine

but then you start tonotice he's not sounding

like himself anymore.

What was going on with you?

- I think for me, I just wantedto be able to connect to him

in a way that I felt likehe was hear and I was heard.

But there's just practical issues.

Back then, during the deployments,

you did just get yourtwo minute phone call

and there's this long delay.

And so, we would get off the phone

feeling like we hadn't reallysaid anything to each other.

- [Wendy] Two minutes.

Oh, I didn't realize it's only,

that's tough, that's really tough.

- Before Skype, before smartphones they had call centers

at some of these deployed locations.

And you had a limited amount of time.

- Wow.

Well, at least you called.

Guys just text today.

But, so, when he got home after,

it was 15 months, right?- 15 months.

- He wasn't the same man, Heather.

How did that make you feel?

What was going on?

- Ya.

Neither of us were the same people.

You know, you change anywayover that period of time.

But having been in stressful situations

just compounded that problem.

And so, he came back and I,

the same thing, I didn'treally have an expectation.

I didn't know what to expect,

but I did expect that atleast we would come back

and be glad to see each other

and sort of reconnect in a way--

- [Wendy] But he was angry.

- Yes.

He was just angry and disconnected.

- And, Darren, why do you think

you were taking yourfrustrations out on Heather?

- That's the million dollar question.

(Wendy laughs)

As you mentioned, itwas a tough deployment.

I lost a lot of guys.

She was there with the family,

so I didn't fully appreciatewhat she had gone through

on that deployment, I only saw what I saw.

And vice versa.

You didn't fully appreciatewhat happened with us.

And so we came backfeeling almost competitive,

like we both had a betterstory than the other one

and that kinda fueledthat anger a little bit.

- Sure.

And the kids, they'recaught in the crossfires.

How are they coping during this time?

- Ya, Ellie, I remember,and we have pictures

where she actually pulledall over her eyelashes out.

And not consciously.

She would not know that she had done it,

but we have pictures where she literally

is missing all of her eyelashes.

And she would say if youasked her that she was fine,

but clearly there's a stress.

- [Wendy] And she was thedaughter who has the asthma.

- Right.- Yes.

- And that was depicted sobeautifully in the movie

and brings you to tears.

That little actress wasamazing, I loved her.

You two actually separatedfor a little while

after you got back.

You'd already beenseparated for 15 months,

and then you get separated.

Did that help or hurt?

- Well, that's, for us, it was God's,

that was God working in us.

We had looked to each other for answers

and neither of us had answers.

We were both empty,and so it took a season

of being in the desert,almost like Gomer and Hosea,

where I had to go faraway to really figure out

what was going on in me,

and so that I could come back to Heather

and offer her something insteadof trying to take something.

- And, Darren, what was the turning point?

- So, one afternoon,

I took the kids to meet Heather

and that was the first time inlike a public setting where,

we were separated, and sothat was the first time

I had to like release the kids.

I stayed back and they ran to mom

and then I turned aroundand got in the car and left.

And so just the weight, thegravity of that situation

finally slapped me in the face

and woke me up, so to speak.

And from there, I was readyto fight for my family.

And that's when, I had to getout of the Army to do that.

The Army wanted me to stay in

but I knew that I needed timeand space outside of that

if I was gonna have a fighting chance

to win my wife's heart back and the kids.

- And, Heather, how did youlearn to trust Darren again?

Because he had completely changed

and, I guess what you didn't realize

was that he was feeling guilty

for not being able to save the men,

at least that's what'sdepicted in the movie.

- [Darren] Right.

- [Wendy] But, how did youlearn to trust him again?

- I think for me it was less

about learning how to trust Darren

and more about learninghow to trust the Lord

in difficult situations.

And so for me, it was more of

the Lord really just kindof revealing His will to me

for marriage and thatis He's for marriage,

how can we undo whatGod has put into plan.

And so, for me it wasjust an obedient choice

to follow what the Lord's will was

and trust that God was going to

keep me in his will and bless my children

out of an obedientdecision to stay married.

And eventually my emotionscaught up to that.

But it did take some time.

- So many military familiesgo through divorce.

Now you counsel military families.

What's the number onething that you tell them

when they're in the situationthat you guys were in?

- Ya, and my counsel to them

is that I don't understandevery couple's situation.

They're so drastically different.

- [Wendy] Sure.

- But the common denominatoris one or both want out.

And so, just one more day, one more day.

Let's keep talking about this.

Let's create some spacefor God to break your heart

for your family, instead of

you chasing after other things

and deciding that thisis the best thing to do

is leave your family.

It's not.- It's not.

- It's not.- It's not.

Well, your story is nowheaded to the big screen.

It's called Indivisible.

It is a powerful movie.

I loved it.

I did cry a few times.(Darren and Heather laughing)

And I love that, well,I love so much about it.

We don't have time to talktoo much about the movie,

but it comes out when?

- October 26th, just in a couple of weeks.

- Okay.


At theaters across the country?

- Absolutely.- Okay.

- Go to

and you can type in your zip code

and it'll pop up theclosest theaters to you.

- I really think it's a right now movie

and it's a great movie for military

and anybody, any--- Anybody.

- Anyone to see.

Thanks for sharing your storywith us and with the world.

For more informationyou can go to

Again, Darren, Heather, thanks.

God bless you guys.

- Thanks for having us.- Appreciate it.

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