Beneath the Flag - A Tribute to America's Fallen
Beneath the Flag - A Tribute to America's Fallen
An intimate look at the lives of U.S. service members who made the ultimate sacrifice through photos and stories from family & friends.
An intimate look at the lives of U.S. service members who made the ultimate sacrifice through photos and stories from family & friends. Read more
About this project
Project Overview: As of December 1st, 2012, the U.S. Central Command has confirmed over 6,600 casualties during Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation New Dawn. Too often, when we learn the news of another life lost in service to our country, we don’t have an opportunity to know these brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms. The goal of Beneath the Flag is to highlight the lives of some of these members of the armed forces through photos and stories from the people who knew them best - their families, friends and those they served with. Beneath the Flag is a look in to their lives; a glimpse at who they were, the legacy they left behind and the lives they touched.
Why We’re Doing This: November 2nd, 2012 marked the six-year anniversary of the death of a young Recon Marine, Lance Cpl. Luke Holler, who was killed in combat in Iraq. I did not know Luke at the time of his death but since that time, I’ve had the honor of getting to know his family, friends and some of the men who were fighting at his side the night he died. Each of these people have shared stories with me about Luke; his character, his sense of humor, his life-long dream of becoming a Marine and his unwavering commitment to the Corps. Hearing these stories and seeing the pictures from his life makes me feel like I knew him, but more importantly makes the value of his sacrifice all the more real.
Recently, I saw a compelling image of a widow, masked in shadows silhouetted by a bright blue sky as she stood, weeping alone, in an airplane hanger, one hand gently touching the flag draped coffin of her husband who had been killed in action and I wondered, who was this man. I don’t mean his name and rank but who was he really. What drove him, what were his goals, did he have siblings, children, a nickname? Who was the man beneath the flag?
These are stories that need to be told. Told so we, as a grateful nation, have the opportunity to truly know the depth of the sacrifice made to ensure our safety and freedoms. Told so the families of the fallen will know their loved ones will be remembered as more than a name, rank and place of death, a momentary sound bite on the news.
Beneath the Flag also salutes the hidden heroes - the mothers, fathers, siblings and children of the fallen. It’s much easier to recognize and thank members of the Armed Forces when we see them in their uniforms, they stand out and their service is evident. But what about the parents, siblings and children of those who sacrificed? More often than not, the families of the fallen carry on their lives in anonymity, they bare their loss in quiet dignity. We pass these people on the street, or sit at the table next to them at a restaurant and never know what they have given, what they have endured. Beneath the Flag is an opportunity for them to share their stories as well as be recognized and thanked for what they gave.
This is not a commentary on the war and there is no political agenda here. The only goal of this project is to create an opportunity for the American people to better get to know the brave men and women who have served our nation so honorably.
Beneath the Flag is a way to memorialize America’s fallen heroes through film and print. The project will spend several months traveling the United States and visiting with the families, friends and comrades of some of these heroes.
Once these interviews are complete, the stories and imagery will be compiled in to a documentary film for limited release and a beautifully bound and printed “coffee table book”. The film and the book will bring together photos, short stories, poems and personal interviews with those who knew these heroes best. Through these stories and images, Beneath the Flag will weave a portrait of their life and examines the ripple effect of their loss. In addition to the printed book, e-book versions for the iPad, Kindle and Nook offering interactive content will be available.
The funds we raise through Kickstarter will go to pay for a portion of the costs associated with travel, design, printing and distribution of the book as well as archival footage and final editing of the film. The amount associated with the travel component of this project is only a portion of the actual cost. A large portion of the budget will go in to printing of the book and the archival footage. All products are produced in the United States and unfortunately that increases our costs, substantially, but we feel it is simply the right thing to do.
Your support is extraordinarily important:
To complete this project, we need your help. If you’re not familiar with how Kickstarter works, it’s an “all or nothing” deal. That means if we don’t reach or exceed our financial goal, we get exactly ZERO dollars. No credit cards are charged, no money changes hands and Beneath the Flag fails to become a reality.
Your financial support is crucial but we also need your help in spreading the word. We hope that you believe enough in this project to support it financially but we also hope you believe in it enough to tell other people about it; friends at work, at church, on Facebook or Twitter. The more people who know about this project, the greater the chances we will reach our goal. The simple reality is that without you, these stories may never receive the attention they deserve.
If you have questions about the project or would like to learn more about Beneath the Flag, you can use the “Ask A Question” button below or visit us at beneaththeflag.com.
Risks and challenges
The time it will take to complete this project is a challenge. We have scheduled a four-month window to complete filming and finalize the book design. We've planned an additional three months to fulfill production of the book and complete editing of the film. While we feel this is a realistic time frame for completion, it’s important to recognize that we are be asking families to provide photos and stories about a loved one who has passed. This is an emotionally charged process and it’s difficult to put a hard deadline in place.
Travel adds cost to our budget but it is necessary. We are asking these families to share deeply meaningful and intimate stories and imagery with us. You can’t ask someone to seal that kind of thing up in an overnight pouch and send it off. The importance of meeting these people in their homes, in the rooms where the fallen once ate, slept, played, can’t be measured. This is the type of raw emotional connection that makes Beneath the Flag unique.
To meet these challenges, we have a core group of highly motivated people engaged in this project who have all been touched by the loss of a loved one in the service of our country. Additionally, they bring to the table a diverse skill set and range of experience in design, publishing, printing, media and public relations to help ensure this project achieves its goals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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