Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Project Worth Supporting

Cold War Salute- http://www.indiegogo.com/ColdWarSalute

Chances are that you have a dad, grandfather, uncle, or know an old guy (or gal) down the street who is between 39 and 82 and who served our country during the Cold War.  Also, chances are that no one has ever thanked them for serving our country.

Over 20 Million men and women served in uniform from 1945 to 1992.  During that time tensions and the threat of nuclear war hung over America for so long it was taken for granted.  When the Cold War ended - those who served received no recognition... and for almost half that time they and the uniforms they wore were shown active disrespect.

Cold War Salute is dedicated to changing that.  This documentary will be made covering 8,000 to 20,000 miles of America in a road trip that will expand at the pleasure of the people of the United States.  As "Crazy Horse, Cutter, and the Minuteman" criss cross the country awarding the US Cold War Commemorative Medal to veterans from almost five decades of un-sung service the movement will expand.  The team will continue until the money runs out!

What We Need & What You Get

Here's how it works:

To shoot the first leg of the trip (8000 miles) and to award the minimum 2000 medals to veterans we need $250,000 (medal sets, vehicles, miles, hotels, gas, crew... it adds up). A lot for a documentary?  Well, most don't have the "props" budget we have (over $150,000 for medals alone!)

While we would love to have large donors foot the bill, this campaign is about letting the men and women who served our country know that the love Americans show for our current active duty personnel is love we feel for ALL of our veterans... whether we showed it at the time or not.  So, for that reason, we would MUCH prefer 100,000 tiny donations ($20 Sponsor a Mile or $50 Sponsor a Mile and a Medal donations) to show the veterans THE SIZE and SCOPE of the support.  

Believe me when I say that receiving the medal and a little recognition is powerful (watch the video footage from presentations we've done already). But, knowing that the people... Americans... are thanking them (and not just a veteran support group) - well, that is a gift without a price tag!  And THAT is the footage we want to capture and the story we want to tell: The healing of a wound created by a giant gap in good sense for a generation that put on a uniform when it was shown no respect. 

We are setting the goal at $50,000 through this funding method (2,500 donors at $20) and will be seeking sponsorships (corporate) and grants as well.  But how cool would it be if America stepped up to thank these great veterans together?  We think a massive response at the $20 to $50 level would send a much richer message.  

While getting something like 50,000 participants sounds like a lot, there are over 20 Million Veterans of the Cold War and almost 100 million Americans who are directly related to those veterans.  These friends and family have never had anything they could do to acknowledge their loved one's service - until now.  If we just spread the word... even at the lowest contribution level... we can do all 20,000 miles and all 10,000 veterans that we want to award and record for the film.  At $20 a mile 20,000 subscribers would put us at $400,000 - well over our minimum and enough to complete the trip for the film AND to continue giving the medal in additional filmed-for-webcast ceremonies for another year!  If we get less than $50,000 - we'll go as far as we can and keep seeking support.  Fewer dollars mean fewer miles - fewer vets honored - fewer medals awarded.

The Impact - You can help right a wrong - and set a record!

As a crowd funding source, IndieGoGo has never raised over $375,000 according to our research. Kickstarter has done a million dollars on three occassions and on two of those the money came together in less than three days!  If America stepped up to break the IndieGoGo record and to support both the honoring of Cold War Veterans AND the production of a film to tell their story - that would send a HUGE message and make for a really remarkable motion picture with great music from the periods of the conflict, participation from "big names," and so on.  But most importantly - it would validate to the veterans that this gesture is REAL and HEART-FELT on behalf of Americans.

When you contribute $20 you take the trip a mile farther.  When you contribute more, you make it possible for us to exceed our basic goal and to reach out to tell the story of vets who can't make it to an award ceremony on our path - vets in VA hospitals or nursing homes.  If we can hit $500,000 - we can make a real change in the nature of the movie - and the vets who get honored.  If we hit the magic $1 Million - we set records and can honor over 20,000 veterans with this medal.

Why Now?

  • This is the 20th anniversary of the end of the Cold War. It is TIME.
  • 1000 Cold War Vets pass away every month.  That is getting faster as the early vets move into their 90's.  We must act NOW.
     
  • Though Congress has voted a medal for Cold War Vets twice, the Department of Defense will NOT award these medals.  DoD has no mechanism for awarding the keeping of peace and doesn't have the $40 million needed to fund them. A campaign like this is the ONLY thing that might change that... but even if the DoD NEVER validates the medal, we as Americans CAN!

  • Today we honor vets and shake their hands in the airport.  Cold War vets couldn't even wear their uniform in public for fear of protests.

  • These medals mean a lot to the vets and their families.  Check out a few of our presentations on the main website (ColdWarSalute.com).   

  • If this is to get done - We must do it - as individual Americans.

Other Ways You Can Help

Some people may not be able to contribute, even $20... We put the $5 option in so EVERYONE should be able to help a little financially.  In fact, our first donor was a broke college student who scraped up $7 to help honor one of her old teachers.  But, if you don't even have a "Lincoln," to spare, that doesn't mean you can't help:

Please tell EVERYONE you know to check us out.  Those unable to afford to give money CAN HELP by letting their circle of friends know about the project and by getting the veterans in their lives to register on-line to be a medal recipient (send them to ColdWarSalute.com).  

Some people will be able to help us in much bigger ways.  They just need to know what we are up to.  Share using the IndieGoGo social marketing tools and your own FaceBook, Twitter, and email resources.  

Check out our great THANK YOU awards for your contributions.   But if you do nothing else, when you see an older person with a Veteran or Vietnam cap on or wearing an Army, Air Force, Marine, Navy, or Coast Guard emblem... just thank them for their service.  You will be shocked at what a difference it makes to them.  

It makes for a pretty great day for you, too.



--
Sean P Eagan

Former Chairman American Cold War Veterans
Life Member Veterans of Foreign Wars
716 720-4000