Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 15, 2013.

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Welcome to a poignant story of honesty, tragedy, and adventure. A homeless veteran documents life with his animal companions.

The Project

This photo book appears at first glance to be a simple story about three beautiful souls, a dog, a cat, and a man, living in the foothills of Grant's Pass, Oregon. Stunning color photographs illustrate life in the wild - giving access to the humor and beauty of living in the backcountry.

However, a closer look reveals an intimate portrait of a man living on the edge of everything: civilization, community, and want.

After his return from the Iraq war, Stephen - like many other veterans - battled deep depression and anger; he struggled to find his place in society. A claim to the VA for Post Traumatic Stress was denied repeatedly, and Stephen slipped into a kind of despair. By 2012 he was homeless and living in Southern Oregon's rugged outdoors, focusing all his energy on survival of the mind and spirit. 

He turned to running in the high mountains as a way to satisfy his need for adrenaline-filled adventure, and he documented the harsh lifestyle with thousands of photos. Although every day is a challenge, Stephen says, "This lifestyle has become a therapy, and has given me immense hope for the future, and a newfound determination to overcome this situation."

His friend, author and U.S. Marine veteran Lydia Davey, was moved by Stephen's transparency, and by his determination to see good in the world around him despite his circumstances. Together, Lydia and Stephen created this book to add a voice to the conversation about the dignity and humanity of those who are homeless - particularly those who have served our nation in times of war.

What the Money is For

The money being raised will help us produce an initial publishing run of 250 books. Printing one book at a time is cost-prohibitive, so your help will allow us to tap into a bulk publishing rate.

Each book includes 35 pages of color photographs, and measures 7x7". The book will be available for purchase as an e-book, and in softcover and hardcover.

The money will also be used to buy Kickstarter rewards, and to pay miscellaneous Kickstarter fees. 

Stretch Goals

Stretch Goal #1 

$15,000 = A run of 2014 Adventure Cat calendars - just in time for the holidays! 

Stretch Goal #2 

$20,000 = Launch an official website to host The Adventures of Puppi & Burma, plus our future projects! 

Stretch Goal #3 

$40,000 = Publish Stephen's story - a collection of his journal entries, art, blog posts, and new work.

Rewards

Our rewards are pretty awesome. We've got a ton of them available too!

Every backer who pledges more than $10 will get their name printed in "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" as a supporter of this project!

About Stephen Simmons and Lydia Davey

Stephen and Lydia met during an Outward Bound dogsledding expedition in 2012. The trip was designed to help combat veterans reintegrate into civilian life, and both Stephen and Lydia learned key lessons about compassion during the expedition.

Nearly a year later, Lydia was writing a piece about homeless veterans, and she thought of Stephen. So she flew to Oregon and wrote about/photographed Stephen and his animals. She was impressed by his determination to see the best in a dark situation, and when she saw the beautiful photos he'd taken with his phone, the idea for this book was hatched.

Stephen joined the U.S. Army in 1986, and served several enlistments, including one tour to Iraq as an infantryman. He currently lives out of his jeep in the foothills of southern Oregon, but looks forward to having a real home again.

Lydia served as a U.S. Marine combat correspondent, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2006. She left the Corps after eight years with an honorable discharge and earned her BA in Communication Studies from Indiana University in 2013. She now owns a PR firm, Moriah Creatives, and lives in San Francisco.

Her work has been published in Stars & Stripes, Military.com, Marines.mil, Penthouse Magazine, and many other forums.


Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This project is fairly simple, but the main risk is potential slow delivery of your rewards. The rewards won't be purchased until after our funding goals are met.

However, the book itself will be easy to produce, and shouldn't be much of a challenge since a Marine is working on it.

FAQ

  • Yes! Because we're self-publishing and crowdfunding, we're able to skip the expensive process of hiring an agent and paying a publisher. Instead, the money we raise through the sale of this book will directly benefit Stephen.

    Last updated:
  • If we aren't able to fund the $10,000 goal by Sept. 15, all of the money will be refunded to our backers. Essentially, in order for Stephen to benefit at all, we need to raise the entire amount. We know the goal is a pretty lofty one, but we're relying on our backers to help spread the word about this project, and we're remaining optimistic that as people hear about Stephen and his animal companions, they'll be moved to support this project.

    Last updated:
260
Backers
$14,126
pledged of $10,000 goal
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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    Feel great about helping out a homeless veteran.

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $5 or more
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    2 backers

    A sticker gets mailed to you!

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    10 backers

    "Feet" PDF + A sticker + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $15 or more
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    13 backers

    "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" PDF version (when the book is completed) + "Feet" PDF + A sticker + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $20 or more
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    17 backers

    "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" e-book (when the book is completed) + "Feet" PDF + a sticker + your name listed in the book as a backer!

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $25 or more
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    46 backers

    "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" softcover PRINT version (when the book is completed) + "Feet" PDF + a sticker + your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $35 or more
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    43 backers

    "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" hardcover PRINT version (when the book is completed)! + A Burma cat pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $50 or more
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    49 backers

    A signed hardcover PRINT version of "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" (when the book is completed)! + A Burma cat pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $75 or more
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    11 backers

    A special landscape print signed by SP Simmons! + A signed hardcover PRINT version of "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma"! + A Burma pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $100 or more
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    22 backers

    Write a post for our blog about how this story impacted you! + A special landscape print signed by Stephen Simmons! + Two signed hardcover PRINT versions of "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma"! + A Burma pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

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    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $200 or more
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    3 backers

    A "Feet" T-shirt! + Write a post for our blog about how this story impacted you! + A special landscape print signed by Stephen Simmons! + Three signed hardcover PRINT versions of "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" (hardcover)! + A Burma pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $500 or more
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    2 backers

    A photo of you or a service member you would like to honor in a special section on our Facebook page! + A "Feet" T-shirt! + Write a post for our blog about how this story impacted you! + A special landscape print signed by Stephen Simmons! + 7 signed hardcover PRINT versions of "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma" (hardcover)! + A Burma pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    2 backers

    Stephen or Lydia will fly out to you and buy you a beverage of your choice! + A photo of you or a service member you would like to honor in a special section on our Facebook page! + A "Feet" T-shirt! + Write a post for our blog about how this story impacted you! + A special landscape print signed by Stephen Simmons! + 10 signed PRINT versions of "The Adventures of Puppi & Burma"! + A Burma pin! + "Feet" PDF! + A sticker! + Your name listed in the book as a backer!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships within the US only
Funding period

- (30 days)