2009 in numbers:
• Bankers paying themselves $140 billion in bonuses.
• U.S. economy grew at to $22 billion in actual growth.
• The bankers, after causing the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression, are rewarded with six times the growth accomplished so far in the much heralded "economic recovery."
• Seven million families face foreclosure and 25 million Americans can't find full time work.

From: Dr. Peter Morici, Professor of International Business


Those Who Have Never Seen War

Excerpts from "The Pictures of War You Aren’t Supposed to See" by Chris Hedges at TruthDig.com:
If we really saw war, what war does to young minds and bodies, it would be harder to embrace the myth of war.
In Peter van Agtmael’s “2nd Tour Hope I don’t Die” and Lori Grinker’s “Afterwar: Veterans From a World in Conflict,” two haunting books of war photographs, we see pictures of war which are almost always hidden from public view. These pictures are shadows, for only those who go to and suffer from war can fully confront the visceral horror of it, but they are at least an attempt to unmask war’s savagery.
For those of us who have not been to war, who have not lived in a war zone, it is impossible to understand what it is like. We must take this into account when deciding whether our nation should go to war, and just as important, how to help those who are returning from war.

Another book I've just read and highly recommend to anyone who wants to have a better understanding of the experiences our soldiers face both in combat and when returning home is, "In Conflict: Iraq War Veterans Speak Out on Duty, Loss, and the Fight to Stay Alive"
Capturing the voice of men and women whose voices, surprisingly, are rarely heard in the din of discussion on this endlessly analyzed subject. They speak from veterans' hospitals, homes, army bases, and homeless shelters. While their viewpoints are as diverse as their backgrounds — some supportive, some opposing, some simply confused — "In Conflict" captures one thing these eloquent commentators share: all have been irrevocably changed by their experience.


Helping Veterans #7

For the Veteran... By a Veteran

They don't tell you everything, which is where "For the Veteran... By a Veteran" comes in. SSG Mike Mills (retired) has lived the trauma of war and injury, depression and guilt, but is on the path to recovery and has set up an organization to help other vets like him do the same.

If you are looking for assistance or a way to help those that do please check them out.
"I broke my foot, my hip, I actually shattered my hip and I broke my shoulder," Mills said. "Along with the burns, I lost a pinky on the left hand, my thumb on my left hand, part of my nose, but my nose has been rebuilt."

After the explosion, Mills blamed himself for his injuries. He hated himself. But he quickly got over those negative feelings with his family's support and help from his psychiatrist.

To help other soldiers do the same, he has started For the Veteran, By A Veteran.

excerpt from: Minnesota Public Radio online news


Helping Veterans #6

PBS and Bill Moyers offer a list of government and non-government resources for veterans as well as a look at how combat changes a person's life.


VA Aims To Curb Homelessness

From the Washington Post:

The Department of Veterans Affairs laid out Tuesday an ambitious five-year goal of curbing the number of homeless veterans, pledging $3.2 billion to an issue that is more rapidly affecting those who served in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars than by any from past conflicts.

"No one who has served this nation as veterans should ever be living on the streets," VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki said.

"In the past, VA focused largely on getting homeless veterans off the streets," Shinseki said. "This plan is different. It aims as much, if not more, on preventing as it does on rescuing those who live on the streets."



Pour will be showing at the Anchorage International Film Festival which runs from December 4 - 11, 2009.


Helping Homeless Vets in Philadelphia

From Gathering of Eagles:

Our short range goal is to find as many vets as we can and get them off the street, but we fully intend to develop this into a national program once we work the bugs out here in Philadelphia. If anyone is available on Thursdays from 1100-1300hrs and wants to help please contact us and we’ll get you into the mix. If anyone has other availability we can always use volunteers on site to sort clothes, assist with paperwork, etc.

Unfortunately they don't have any contact info or directions for those interested in volunteering. Will update if I can get any info.