I am Tim Lawson and with my company, Lawson Entertainment, I am creating a series of twelve podcasts that will tell the stories of veteran suicide. It has been well reported that a U.S. military veteran commits suicide every 1 hour 5 minutes and that active duty suicides (349 in 2012) outnumber combat deaths in Afghanistan (295 in 2012). This epidemic has gained public attention, but the people caught up inside it have remained largely silent. The purpose of this podcast series is not to raise awareness for a cause – though awareness of the prevalence of veteran suicide in our country is an inevitable byproduct. Instead this project aims to introduce listeners to veterans who have survived their own personal struggle, to friends and family who have lost someone to suicide, and to professionals who assist veterans with these issues.
The title of this project is 1, 2, Many because we have lost one too many service members this way without changing course in how we deal with the issues at hand. But it is also called 1, 2, Many because the veterans battling depression and suicidal thoughts often hide their struggles; yet once we discover there is one person in our life who has been affected by this, we find that we know a second person, and a third, and many, many more.
Podcasting is my medium. I am an award-nominated podcast host. My original three podcast series receive thousands of hits each month. Fortunately, podcasts lend themselves well to this particular subject. Veteran suicide is a sensitive topic. Many of my guests would not feel comfortable exposing their raw emotion in front of a camera, but that emotion, so critical to the stories they have to share, cannot be captured fully in print. I will use my conversational expertise and my experience as a podcaster to literally give the people inside this crisis a voice.
*Note: I'm still conducting interviews. If you have a story or experience related to veteran suicide you are willing to share, I'd be honored to talk to you.*
This project will be limited to this set of twelve podcast episodes.
This will not be a continuing show. The episodes will be released weekly starting the first week of June. After the series is complete, I will not create any new content for this specific project. It is meant to be a packaged set of audio that can be referenced when it’s done but not expanded on.
What the money is used for:
- Online hosting fees for the podcast
- Show art
- Recording time, software, and engineering.
- Possible travel to special interviews.
- Materials to give this project ultimate exposure when released
All backers of $5 or more will be thanked by name on the podcast.
Veteran Empire has been nice enough to offer this limited edition shirt exclusively for this project. The tee will be black w/ a yellow logo:
If I make it past my goal to produce this podcast, I will use all raised money after $6k to take this conversation across the US. I will coordinate with local organizations to set up live panels in select cities so we can have this discussion together. Below are the tentative locations for these panels and the amount needed to accomplish them. Ultimately, Kickstarter backers will be able to communicate to me where they'd like to see one of these panels conducted.
$7,500: A live panel event in Nashville, TN. We will hold a live panel in June in Nashville. All backers that would like to attend are welcome. The event will be streamed live for everyone to watch. The audio from the panel will be released as a bonus podcast along with the project's original episodes.
$10,000: A second live panel event in San Francisco. We will hold a live panel in July in San Fran. All backers that would like to attend are welcome. The event will be streamed live for everyone to watch. The audio from the panel will be released as a bonus podcast along with the project's original episodes.
$12,500: A third live panel event in Salt Lake City. We will hold a live panel in July in SLC. All backers that would like to attend are welcome. The event will be streamed live for everyone to watch. The audio from the panel will be released as a bonus podcast along with the project's original episodes.
$15,000: A fourth live panel event in Seattle, WA. We will hold a live panel in August in Seattle. All backers that would like to attend are welcome. The event will be streamed live for everyone to watch. The audio from the panel will be released as a bonus podcast along with the project's original episodes.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge of this project will be discovering the appropriate people to involve and opening them up to talk about the issue. This is a very sensitive subject and not everyone will be comfortable about exposing that part of their lives. However, I've already started collecting audio and the content I'm getting from involved parties is great.
Another challenge will be artfully formatting each show to have a coherent story arc. I can't force content out of interviewees, especially with this subject matter, so I don't know what their focus will be. It'll take great editing and awareness to put out twelve unique episodes after all of the audio is collected.
Lastly, there's the challenge of marketing podcasts and convincing an audience to engage with this new media. Because of my experience with my other shows, I'm confident my network will prove that podcasts can capture and sustain listeners’ attention.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)