Over the course of this project we have created some promotional and press materials to hand out to those companies, organizations and individuals who have expressed an interest in what we are documenting, collecting and the overall mission of the Graffiti of War. Starting earlier this year, we began to create a Press Packet that showcased the images we have acquired both through individual submissions and more recently during our Summer Expedition to Iraq and Kuwait. Our goal for these materials is to offer a preview as to what the finished book will look like as well as provide a summary of the mission and goals of the project.
As with most creative designs it has gone through a number of edits and revisions, with this being the most recent version (3.1). This book includes images of art from Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan with artists ranging from American and International warfighters, civilian contractors and local nationals in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The images we included offer a taste of the entire collection we have gathered throughout the 18-months we have been working on it. It also includes detailed information on our mission to ensure no one is left behind on the battlefields of the mind and to raise awareness of all who suffer from the invisible wounds of combat, PTSD. Our goal is to work with a handful of non-profit organizations to help develop both alternative and traditional treatment methods for everyone affected by these global conflicts. This art showcases the experiences of those enduring the conflicts of our generation and provides a constructive outlet for the emotions of war.
Though we are very proud of this Press Book and would love to share it with everyone, the costs are quite prohibitive which is why we only offer this to prospective partners and organizations whom we feel would help us to promote and expose the world to this unconventional view of history.
However, have received an influx of interest from several of our fans who wish to purchase this promotional creation, though we strongly urge the fans of this project NOT to purchase this book for a few reasons. First, this is only an example produced to showcase our project mission and lacks the essential text and details which are a vital part of the final book. Next, unless we purchase a few hundred of these books we cannot offer a reduced price nor can we create any revenue to offer those artists and organizations we work with. Finally, the costs associated with this Press Packet are extremely expensive for what you get. At 40 pages and with less than 170 images, the price of $58 with shipping is outrageous. In comparison, you can purchase a 100 page photo book from your local bookstore at half that rate.
With these facts in mind, we hope you understand why we are not urging our fans to order a copy. This is also the reason why we are not using MyPublisher or other so-called "self-publishing" outlets to create the final book. Our goal is to secure a major publishing house and hopefully sell hundreds of thousands to perhaps millions of copies instead of a few thousand. The better we do and the more successful this project, the bigger difference we can make in the lives of those so affected by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, both civilian and military, US and international.
We are actively searching for a company that can provide the solutions for publishing future versions of the Press Packet at a more reasonable rate which will make it more available to those who do wish to purchase it ahead of the final book. Until then, we encourage our fans and supporters to visit the link provided to view the Digital Copy. It exhibits exactly what the book looks like in vibrant colors without having to pay the high price of the physical book. For those who must have a copy, regardless of price, you can purchase the book through the digital copy link but we do suggest you wait until at least we find a more suitable company for the needs of our project and our loyal fans.
For more information, interviews
how to be a part of this multicultural project
The Graffiti of War Project will be featuring guest bloggers a few times each month showcasing the stories, experiences and insight of our veterans, service members and their families. Our hope is to introduce new perspectives on the lives of those suffering from the invisible wounds of war, PTSD, and how they have overcome.
This article features the combat experiences of Scott Lee, a Operation Desert Storm veteran and military blogger for www.PTSDASoldiersPerspective.blogspot.com and is a first in a series coming in the weeks and months ahead.
This 4th of July was especially hard, one of those days where the struggle to do anything overshadows everything. I have been out of focus since and ruminating over my recent stay at an inpatient PTSD program and a new meaning unearthed within my War Trauma. The most profound lesson I learned in Iraq was from 5 Marines who made the ultimate sacrifice. I remember the people who gave their lives so that I may go on. For those of us who experience these selfless acts of compassion and unabashed brotherhood; they have forever changed us. Can you imagine what it feels like to have someone forfeit their life so you may live? How can one live up to a sacrifice so profound? I carry this weight every day, but this past 4th of July I felt it especially deep and heavy. Through an introspective and haunting two weeks I have came to realize a new personal meaning for the holiday; healing the sense of loss I feel by mourning the Marines who gave their live and honoring their sacrifices.
On or around February 22, 1991 we had been getting reports all day that regular infantry soldiers in Saddam’s army where surrendering in droves, it was the following day when we saw this phenomenon for ourselves. An incredible sight to see thousands of people surrendering and milling about lost in the shimmering heat and billowing clouds rising to a red tinted sky as our tracks rolled by. That night we received an after-action report detailing how a Marine armored vehicle had been hit and five Marines were killed, with the amount of enemy soldiers surrendering no wonder they hesitated. A Marine Stryker brand spanking new out of the box, straight to the sandbox came across an enemy tank with its turret faced in the opposite direction; Geneva Convention Rules of War for “surrender.” When the duped Marine Stryker came into firing range it was outgunned and gunned down, they used a creative and unlawful means to kill my brethren. To say the least I wanted my just dues; I would waste a couple of decades to the futile attempt to keep their memory alive with my anger.
For many years I failed to recognize how their deaths served as a valuable lesson the next night during a convoy down through a wadi; a low lying basin in the desert perfect for an ambush. I kept seeing movement on the left flank and reported to my Track Commander Sergeant T. He acted like he commanded the entire Army and while I hated him for it in garrison; we loved and respected each other in the field. I would have given my life for him if I didn’t kill him first; we had that kind of a private-sergeant relationship. I trained on recognizing hundreds of pages of shapes, the size of dimes for months leading up to the Ground War, as an infantry armored vehicle driver on point for the brigade as I was tightening, buckling and shinning my skills. I was heavily trained and felt invincible, little did I know those tiny silhouettes on the horizon would haunt my sights and nights since that hour of darkness over 20 years ago.
Our first engagement of the war, dubbed Surrender Hill in honor of 5 Marines who never surrendered and my finally coming to terms with that night. Two sides of surrender, one where I will never give up the fight, the other knowing when to love myself and others. With their sacrifice I was able to have the necessary frame of mind to lead a brigade safely through the largest tank battle in the history of war without a casualty. Their loss was necessary to teach me the gravity of the incredible weight I was to bear in the 100 Hour Ground War. The Republican Guards were a highly trained armored mechanized division under Saddam and did not know the meaning of surrender. My vehicle was chosen to lead the 3rd Brigade of the 1st Armored Division to lead 5,000 men into battle. Over 45,000 enemy soldiers were killed in the Ground War; my brigade was attributed with over 20,000 enemy deaths. I was a Mechanized Infantry Soldier driving a Bradley Fighting Vehicle on point for the brigade; my job was to lead our M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tanks into the fiery fray. I drove for 172 hours straight in the largest tank battle in the history of war, so I saw it all. But, that’s another story for another time.
Scott Lee is a Milblogger at PTSD: A Soldier’s Perspective and an Internet Radio Personality at VOW Talk Radio: Veteran’s Edition on BlogTalkRadio. He writes and speaks out on the Hidden Cost of War to educate the public on how an Army veteran navigates life with Combat PTSD and how it interrelates to his everyday existence.
The nature of Combat PTSD leaves us with great conflicts within that can overwhelm our cognitive machinations and not only confuse others, but many times ourselves. He hopes that by reading his story the general public will begin to understand the situation that our Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans will face in the coming years.
For more information on Scott Lee, his efforts to raise public awareness for those suffering from the invisible wounds of war, visit his website, www.ptsdasoldiersperspective.blogspot.com or Fan his page on Facebook, www.Facebook.com/CombatPTSDBlog.
Artist: Matt Burmeister
This project is about more than documenting the images created in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan during the recent conflicts. This art, this individual perspective on unconventional canvases showcases the emotions of a generation and provides historical perspective for the world today and for generations to come. However, this project is also about the face behind the art and the men and women who created these windows of insight. Our ultimate goal is to help them use this emotional outlet to heal and soften the scars of the soul for the conflicts this world endures now, and those of the past. In addition to the healing, we hope to see these artists from the extensive dimensions that art defines evolve into a living for hundreds, even thousands of the tens of million veterans and warfighters in the world today.
Artist: N. Moreno
With that in mind, this project and our staff wants to begin providing these outlets to veterans, current service members and their families and to offer the stage in which to unveil to the world. Through some contacts we have made we have been alerted to the interest of art galleries in multiple states around the country. However, we are still in the planning stages and cannot officially release exact dates we can “unofficially” share that we are negotiating with a few galleries in New York, Pennsylvania and Minnesota for a November date in Minnesota and possibly a late September date in Pennsylvania.
As we continue to negotiate with our gallery contacts we need some insight and feedback from our fans and supporters. Since the beginning we have always stated that this project is a collective effort and that your input guides us in the required direction. We want to showcase artists from across the spectrum of military service, both the warfighter and the civilian family that served with them. We also want to include the art from contractors serving in a war zone, civilians and local nationals affected by not just the events of the past decade but from all conflicts, past and present, across the entire globe.
Submitted by R. Zimmerman - Artist Unknown
How can you get involved? If you are the artist we seek please reach out to us so we can provide you the stage in which to exhibit your canvas, both traditional and unconventional alike. Contact our Creative Design Director, Melissa Parsons at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a gallery please contact Doc Parsons at email@example.com to discuss plans to tour the US this fall and next year as well. We currently are discussing options with 4 galleries and we are reaching out and being contacted weekly with interest of displaying the talents of this unique military culture.
Finally, if you are simply interested in being a part of something worthwhile and growing and helping our veterans, warfighters and their families please email or call any of the given contacts throughout our website and this article. Many of our staff members have been instrumental in the focus of this project and all of them came through these channels.
Artist: K. DeVries
If you are from the US or Australia, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 304.841.8203 (US) or 0011+1 304.841.8203 (AU) to speak to Doc directly. If you are in Europe or the Middle East please contact email@example.com call 00+31-619408360 to speak with Inge Bakker, our European Director of Operations. If all else fails, please send your inquiries through our Website, www.GraffitiofWar.com/submit-photos1.html or our Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/graffitiofwar.
Though November or even September may seem far in the future, the next few weeks and months will be gone before you know it. With that being said, please do not delay as we are counting on the support and participation of artists, galleries and our fans to ensure the success of this new facet of the project for years to come. If you have questions, comments or ideas please feel free, perhaps even obligated if that will motivate you, to send them to any of our staff, their full contact info and bios are on the “About Us/Partners” tab.
We have already accomplished some absolutely amazing feats during the past 18 months, all with the help, input and direct involvement of our fans and supporters. All of us are forever changed from what we have witnessed and experienced and grateful for the opportunity to serve again through seeing the creations of our fellow veterans. Our hope is to help fashion this project to change their lives as they have changed ours.
Jaeson "Doc" Parsons