First, let me apologize for the absence of updates on this page. We have been going through a staffing shortage over the course of the past couple of weeks. As it turns out, we haven't had much success in acquiring new talent due to the fact that people, (and this is shocking so prepare yourself), wanted to be paid for their hard work. Flip me over and call me Nancy. Furthermore, they wanted time away from work so they could spend time with their families and even....sleep, if you can imagine. Well, those of us working on the project don't know what planet they come from, we haven't thought about sleep since January.
So, although we haven't been updating this blog as we should have been, we have been working our fingers and toes to the bone, straight down to little nubs. We have made some very important contacts within the VA, media organizations and veteran/service member support organizations. Since beginning this year, we have been receiving increasing amounts of praise, exposure and much needed support of the project and foundation. I will do my best to update everyone on what my burned out brain can remember. If I don't answer all of these questions you may have been thinking about, you can check our blog out on the website, www.graffitiofwar.com/blog.html or you can ALWAYS contact any of us working diligently on this endeavor. I have listed ALL of our new emails at the bottom of this blog update for your convenience. We would truly love to hear from each one of you.
First of all, we have made the change from our old main URL (www.unconventionalmilitaryart.com) to our new main URL, www.GraffitiofWar.com. We feel this better describes the project and is much easier to remember and pass along. Let me repeat the last few words in that sentence, Pass Along. It is our hope that since it is much smaller, easier to spell and rather "catchy" it will increase our chances with you and your fellow fans/supporters in terms of spreading the word about our project. I have 5 bucks riding on it, so please, don't let me down!
Next, we were asked to participate in a Podcast with Jim, David (J. Bjorn) and Gar at www.StandAtEase.org. This podcast went great and we were able to reach out to their fans for additional exposure for the project. In the process, I believe, we made some lifelong fans and friendships with our hosts. This Podcast will be posted quite possibly on Sunday (tomorrow) but no later than Monday. As soon as it becomes available, we will post it here, on Kickstarter, and through our website. It will also be available on their website, www.StandAtEas.org. We encourage all of our supporters and followers to visit their website, listen to some of their podcasts. They have some amazing guests on their show and there is plenty of knowledge to go around for everyone, make sure you get seconds!
This weekend we also are anticipating the article, published in the Charleston Gazette, to run on Sunday. Jenn conducted this interview with us last week. We spent a couple hours with her discussing the project, our focus, our goals and what we have been able to accomplish this far. The article will be published in the Lifestyle section and can be read online at, www.wvgazette.com. We will be reposting on our website, if possible. If not, we will be scanning the article to post on our website. We are very encouraged with the upcoming article and hope to get picked up by the AP (Associated Press).
Later this week, we will be doing a major presentation to West Virginia University. They have invited us to present to them and do use their communication assets to do an official press release for us. Although we have limited experience with press releases, we have done our homework and have created quite a presentation for them. To include our video (possibly a new one if time permits this weekend), a Power Point presentation and we have specially created several hardcover books with detailed information about the project, example photos as well as our work with the foundation. We anticipate a resounding yes in terms of their willingness to get involved with the project and foundation. I will be doing an AAR (after action report) on Thursday night's blog. This blog will be the same on both the website and here on Kickstarter.
As we enter our half-way mark, we wanted to refocus on exactly why we are doing what we are doing. In addition, we want to explain the reasoning behind the original figure of $1,500 and what we need from our fellow Americans and citizens of this world.
Our goal is simple, to collect, capture and document the artistic creation of service members and local nationals who are enduring these conflicts. These images reflect the minds of these brave men and women who have been asked to do violence on the behalf of a nation and what it stands for, Freedom. You may not agree with the politics, or the reasons behind why we are where we are. One principle we can agree on is our nation's promise to its warfighters that each and every one of them will come home to their families. Some never made it home. Physically they are here, but their minds are scarred from the horrors they witnessed, horrors they were asked to do on OUR behalf. Our book will give you a glimpse into the horrors, a glimpse into the minds of those who endured and those who were taken away. This book will be a bridge over the thousand yards stares that separate warfighters from civilians. To start a dialog that has been for years pushed down inside or off to the side.
Without your help through donating to this cause, many of these now treasured images will be lost for all generations to come. We have less than a year to ensure we capture as many that we can, as many that are left. Once 2012 is here and our troops are home, or sent again on our behalf, we will never get the chance to document this emotion on canvas.
When we started this campaign one month ago, we were not even sure if we had the ability to raise $1,000. We had never done this before, had no experience in raising capital. With the rules behind Kickstarter and their policies, if we were to come up short of the set amount, we would not get to keep a dime of it. It was in our logic to set the bar low, so we can ensure we got to keep it. Looking forward to the costs associated with my travel to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan and then looking back to the beginning of this campaign, I could kick myself for not shooting higher. Again, I was trying to be conservative, smart and realistic (that's where I went wrong). I didn't follow my own advice, which is, "Shoot for the Stars, than at least you'll hit the Moon."
All of that to say, we still need your support. We still need your help in spreading the word about this project and this campaign. We are looking into alternative ways of covering these costs. If worse comes to worse, believe me there is no way on earth I will not find a way to get over there before it is too late, that I can promise you. I just hope that it doesn't come to that, we all do. So, please if you haven't contributed, just donate a couple of bucks. Don't have the money to spare? Then help us spread the word to those that do. Your voice matters, your help really does make a difference here!
We have 30 days left on this campaign. We have 2 1/2 months left before my slated travel plans. We are swiftly running out of time. Again, we know money is tight, we are feeling the squeeze pretty hard with our obligations to our families and this project. All we ask is for a bit of your money or a bit of your time to ensure these culturally significant works of art are forever preserved for future generations to reflect on. 30 days.
Jaeson “Doc” Parsons
Director, Project Operations
The Graffiti of War
Project & Foundation
If you want to know more on how you can help or get involved, visit our Facebook page, our Kickstarter.com page or if you need to speak to someone, please feel free to call me at: 304.841.8203 and we can talk about how you can support this project.
Melissa Parsons: firstname.lastname@example.org
Travis Campbell: email@example.com
Jason Deckman: firstname.lastname@example.org