Niagara County Iraq Veteran Walks Oscar Red Carpet

March 1, 2011 Updated Mar 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

March 1, 2011 Updated Mar 1, 2011 at 8:21 PM EDT

Hollywood, CA (WKBW-TV) -- Most of us were watching the Oscars from home, but one Niagara County native was there.Robynn Murray is the focus of an Oscar nominated documentary called "Poster Girl."
Murray jokes that the closest she thought she'd ever get to the Oscars was working security. Instead, she was surrounded by celebrities as the focus of an Oscar nominated movie herself. A designer who was impressed with her story created a dress for Murray to wear. "It felt very odd. I felt like a poor kid on a scholarship to a really fancy school." Murray tells us just a day after the Oscars.
It was that kind of honesty and charm that inspired director Sara Nesson to make Murray the subject of her controversial documentary. Poster Girl is about what happens when an all American cheerleader from Niagara Wheatfield High School trades her pom poms for a machine gun when she joins the Army. Nesson followed Murray for two years as the Iraq war veteran coped with post traumatic stress disorder with art and poetry. "After seeing her film, it was very hard to see what I was going through. What I still go through with breaking down." Murray tells me over the phone. She is on her way to Santa Barbara, CA for a private screening of the movie. "At that moment I could touch so many people so I was excited."
The movie didn't take home the Oscar, but it has generated a buzz. Murray hopes to build on that attention to get her message out. She wants to let the public know that a veteran's story doesn't end when they come home from war. "I want people to care more about their veterans. I want to make sure every soldier, sailor, and marine gets the treatment that they deserve."