UPDATE: To answer the numerous questions I've received on this topic, yes, you can give in the name of a fallen soldier or Marine. Enter the name when you are donating or send a message with the name, and I'll make sure it is represented appropriately. -- Michael.
You may have seen "The Hurt Locker" and "Restrepo." This film chronicles what happens when troops return home injured.
In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the troops were in life-and-death situations daily. Many lost friends, but they survived. These survivors are coming home as changed individuals, rediscovering themselves as they recover from their injuries -- not only lost limbs, but invisible injuries, including brain trauma and PTSD.
This documentary not only highlights the struggle of wounded warriors coming home from brutal wars, it will show that with every crank of their pedals they are deeply human and alive, not just surviving, but thriving.
My objective with the target amount is to cover a ride that starts at Arlington Cemetery on Memorial Day and to follow two riders home afterwards to further delve into their stories. Additional funds beyond my target amount would allow a crew to cover more location shoots, events and interviews of veterans, experts, and family members.
On the year of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, I will lead production of a documentary film telling the story of soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with lost limbs and "invisible" injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Some of these vets have turned to road cycling, an apt metaphor for the ups and downs of their new lives back home -- the heartache and joy of recovery. This film will capture a timeless human drama, highlighting the will to persevere in the face of staggering adversity.
Focusing on a few riders, male and female, the film opens at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day. Veterans will pay their respects and then ride their bicycles for several days in a meandering, but challenging series of rides to Virginia Beach. From there, I'll film the featured riders after they have returned home, chronicling their daily family lives, personal stories and aspirations, and spirit to thrive as they train for additional rides in France and in New York City on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
I plan to film health experts and advocates who help war vets transition to civilian life.
The film will be shot in full HD, capturing the drama of tires crunching on pavement and the riders' sweat, toil and jubilation through incredibly scenic panoramas. The film will also capture intimate moments with the veterans and their family, friends and supporters.
As an award-winning investigative journalist who has spent the last several years covering veterans issues, I know the public needs to see a film that chronicles the lives of a generation of young Americans who fought in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Help me to begin filming a movie that will make a difference. Thank you,
Michael de Yoanna
- (17 days)