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$8,330 pledged of $50,000 goal
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By Powderhouse Productions
$8,330 pledged of $50,000 goal
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About this project

COMING BACK WITH WES MOORE

America has been at war for more than 12 years, first in Iraq and then in Afghanistan. By the close of 2014, all combat operations for Afghanistan will cease, marking the end of our nation's longest continuous period of war. 

No matter what our personal politics may be as to why they deployed, more than 2.6 million soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since the events of 9/11. These men and women have, and will continue to have, a profound impact on American society for decades to come. 

We want to tell their stories. Please support us in creating a national dialogue that will continue to have an impact beyond this series.  

With your tax-deductible contribution, we'll be able to help the public understand that the fight does not end when our veterans come home.

Iraq War veteran, Brian Taylor Urruela, being interviewed in Tampa, FL.
Iraq War veteran, Brian Taylor Urruela, being interviewed in Tampa, FL.
Coming Back is a new documentary series on public television, set to air nationally on PBS in May 2014. Through three one-hour programs, you'll experience the personal stories of returning U.S. veterans, the challenges they face readjusting to life at home, and the strides they make in finding meaningful ways to serve their communities.

Hosted by combat veteran and New York Times bestselling author Wes Moore, Coming Back will dive in headfirst with a diverse group of veterans. We'll be with them through their ups and downs, going beyond the statistics and stereotypes to get as much of the whole story as we can. The men and women who make up our series are all veterans who are at various stages of navigating the very complicated process of what to do with their lives post-service.

We have some powerful stories to share with you, and we hope that you'll support us in creating a deeper understanding of what our veterans face and conquer when they come back.

WHAT WE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH

  • Foster a national consciousness about our veteran issues.
  • Tell the personal stories of returning veterans and service members.
  • Celebrate the victories of veterans who are continuing to create meaningful service.
  • Humanize the struggles of our returning veterans and their families.
  • Create an ongoing movement of concerned citizens who can and will make meaningful, sustainable change.
Our host, Wes Moore, going deep with veteran Andrew Clark in Charleston, SC.
Our host, Wes Moore, going deep with veteran Andrew Clark in Charleston, SC.

WHO'S INVOLVED

Our production team is headed by executive producers Joel Olicker, Molly Fowler, and Wes Moore--who is also our host and inspiration for doing this project.

We've been traveling all over the country documenting the most incredible stories. Along the way, we've met a diverse array of inspiring people--men and women who have opened our eyes to the very complicated process of what it's like to come back.

One of the veterans you'll meet is Bobby Henline, a burn survivor of an IED blast in Iraq who is working to heal himself and others through stand-up comedy. You'll also get up close and personal with Representative Tammy Duckworth of Illinois' 8th Congressional District. She is the first female double amputee from the Iraq War, and she still serves in the Illinois National Guard to this day.

We'll also be working closely with Stacy Pearsall, a veteran combat photographer whose military service took her to over 40 countries, including the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stacy will be creating portraits of each of the veterans in our series to be a part of her ongoing Veterans Portrait Project. Click here to see Wes' portraits by Stacy!

Stacy taking Wes' portrait during a visit to her studio in Charleston, SC.
Stacy taking Wes' portrait during a visit to her studio in Charleston, SC.

WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP

As U.S. forces begin to fully withdraw from Afghanistan next year, our country will be welcoming home this group of extraordinary men and women. They have a long road ahead of them with their reintegration process, and our support must be alongside them. To understand their service means understanding their entire service--in and out of the war zones. Coming Back gives viewers a full perspective of their achievements, their struggles, and their lives as a whole.

For us to do that, we need your support. We're committed to hearing what these veterans have to say and truly seeing how they live. We're filming in Denver, Los Angeles, Charleston, Baltimore, and Indianapolis--just to name a few, and we've still got a ways to go.

We are lucky enough to have received grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Diversity and Innovation Fund and from PBS, but we need to raise additional funding to complete the series. Right now, we're looking to raise a total of $250,000 through a combination of sponsorships, grants..... and Kickstarter!

So this is where you come in! We are hoping to raise at least $50,000 on Kickstarter to help us carry the impact of this series past the air date. The funds will go towards building community engagement, and creating a deeper understanding of the issues for the public.

We've come up with what we think are some exciting rewards to express our gratitude for your support. All of your contributions are tax-deductible, as we have partnered with Filmmakers Collaborative as our 501(c)3 fiscal sponsor. 

This is an opportunity to be a part of a production that will create a national dialogue, and we need you!

Baby River saying hello to her mother Capt. Star Lopez, who is stationed overseas.
Baby River saying hello to her mother Capt. Star Lopez, who is stationed overseas.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Please remember, Kickstarter campaigns are ALL OR NOTHING — we don’t receive a dime unless we meet our entire goal during our project window.

1. JOIN & CONTRIBUTE Join the Coming Back Team and pick your contribution level and reward on the right.

2. SHARE & ENGAGE Help us share our story. Spread the word face-to-face or via Facebook, Twitter, email and more. 

3. PARTICIPATE Do you know of other ways to get the word out about our Kickstarter campaign? E-mail Emily Chou at echou@powderhouse.net

REWARD HIGHLIGHTS

As a sign of our appreciation and greatest thanks for your support, we've put together some special rewards that we think you'll like. We're especially excited to be able to offer copies of Wes' own memoir, The Other Wes Moore, as well as Stacy Pearsall's stunning photography books. You can get Stacy's practical techniques, guidance, and inspiration needed to succeed in photojournalism--all based on her own experience as a combat photographer--from A Photojournalist's Field Guide:

Get your copy of 'A Photojournalist's Field Guide' by Stacy Pearsall at the $75 reward level! (Image courtesy of Peachpit Press)
Get your copy of 'A Photojournalist's Field Guide' by Stacy Pearsall at the $75 reward level! (Image courtesy of Peachpit Press)

You also have the option of getting a copy of Stacy's collection of war photography, Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera. Shooter is a visual portrait of war--the perseverance, heroism, and survival--narrated through stunning photographs and powerful essays by Stacy herself.

Get your copy at the $75 reward level! (Image courtesy of Globe Pequot Press)
Get your copy at the $75 reward level! (Image courtesy of Globe Pequot Press)

Take a look to your right, and you'll see all the other special rewards we've put together for you. Every little bit of support helps, and we are excited to get started on delivering!

A COMING BACK SNEAK PEEK!

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Let us know what you think! We'd love to hear from you. And...

THANK YOU!

Risks and challenges

There are many risks and challenges to any documentary project, and we're certainly no exception:

WILL WE FINISH? We are working crazy hours and putting maximum effort into making sure that we do. As with many documentaries that follow the lives of real people, one of our biggest challenges is being able to work around our veterans' schedules and events. That's why we need to raise enough funds so we have the flexibility to allow our crew to be there when life happens.

WILL WE REACH A WIDE AUDIENCE?
That's a risk we're willing to take. How will we make sure that people will be able to watch our documentary series? Well, we're lucky that PBS will be airing our series across the country (check your local listings!). But we'll still be tackling the challenge of making sure that people know about this, and getting people engaged in the issues. We have a plan in place.

WILL WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
One of our biggest goals is to kickstart (if you will) a national conversation about the issues veterans face when they come back home. And we're hoping that the stories we're telling and the amazing individuals we will introduce you to will help bring that about. But we'll need your help to get the word out!

Our team is composed of experienced and talented folks who have been telling stories and putting their all into creating documentaries for a long, long time. We're up for the challenge, but we just need your support to help us make it to the finish line! So THANK YOU!

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A GREAT BIG THANK YOU - Sincere thanks from Wes, Molly, and the rest of the team. We'll give you a social media shout-out and your name will be included on our website. (Please include your Twitter handle or send us a photo to post!)

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    YOU'VE GOT MAIL - A thank-you postcard from Wes, featuring a unique production still from the series. PLUS "A Great Big Thank You" (everything at the $10 pledge level)

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD - A digital download of the entire series when it comes out. PLUS "You've Got Mail" (everything at the $25 pledge level)

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    OFFICIAL DVD PACKAGE - The complete "Coming Back" series on DVD. PLUS "Digital Download" (everything at the $40 pledge level)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    COMBAT CAMERA - You'll receive a beautiful, autographed edition of "Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera" by the award-winning combat photographer Stacy Pearsall. PLUS "Digital Download" (everything at the $40 pledge level)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    PHOTOJOURNALIST'S FIELD GUIDE - You'll receive a beautiful edition of "A Photojournalist's Field Guide" by the award-winning combat photographer Stacy Pearsall. [The FIRST 100 BACKERS will receive an autographed print copy; everyone else will get a handy eBook version - perfect for those quick reference moments!]

    PLUS "Digital Download" (everything at the $40 pledge level)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    WES MOORE FANS - A copy of the New York Times' bestselling memoir "The Other Wes Moore," written by our host, Wes Moore. PLUS "Official DVD Package" (everything at the $60 pledge level)

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    ULTIMATE WES MOORE FANS - An AUTOGRAPHED copy of the New York Times' bestselling memoir "The Other Wes Moore," written by our host, Wes Moore. PLUS "Official DVD Package" (everything at the $60 pledge level)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    THE COLLECTION - Your choice of Stacy Pearsall's stunning photography books "Shooter: Combat from Behind the Camera" or "A Photojournalist's Field Guide." [Please specify which one you'd like!] PLUS "Ultimate Wes Moore Fan" (everything at the $150 pledge level)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    INDUSTRY PACKAGE - The opportunity to have a 30-minute Google Hangout conversation/mentoring session with your choice of one of our Executive Producers: Wes Moore, Joel Olicker, and Molly Fowler.
    PLUS "The Collection" (everything at the $150 pledge level)

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    RED CARPET NIGHT OUT - Two tickets to join Wes Moore as an honored guest at a "Coming Back" cocktail party + screening in a city near you. (Transportation costs are not included)
    PLUS "Industry Package" (everything at the $1000 pledge level)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    SCREENING PARTY - We'll arrange a private, catered screening of "Coming Back" for up to 20 people in your hometown.
    PLUS "Industry Package" (everything at the $1000 pledge level)

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    HONOR A VETERAN - Give a veteran in your life the gift of having his or her portrait taken by award-winning combat photographer and series participant Stacy Pearsall for her Veterans Portrait Project. This includes a round-trip ticket plus 2 nights' accommodation near shoot location.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    VIP SCREENING PARTY - Wes Moore will host a private screening of "Coming Back" for up to 20 people in your hometown. You will get to have dinner with Wes beforehand, and get the inside story on how this series came together.

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Funding period

- (30 days)