NEVADA CITY, Calif. August 16, 2012 - I am Suzanne Warren, a local filmmaker, and I am in the process of raising money to make a film about veterans using equine therapy. I feel this is an important story that needs to be told as the general public has no idea of the struggles our veterans face as they return home and begin to reintegrate into civilian society. More awareness equals more support for our veterans and their healing. And more awareness of what amazing creatures horses are could mean a better life for them!
"In war, there are no unwounded soldiers." Jose Narosky
Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD. In 2011 the number of PTSD diagnosed cases rose by 50%. Many more cases are not diagnosed or treated. 18 veterans/soldiers commit suicide every day (Department of Veterans Affairs). For every American soldier killed in combat this year, 25 will commit suicide (NY Times). The unemployment rate for veterans is over 12%, larger than the general population average of 8.2%. 23 % of the homeless population are veterans.
"Through Their Eyes" will be a documentary film that tells the story of how equine therapy works and how it is allowing veterans to heal from PTSD, put the past behind them and return to their lives restored. Watching them overcome their struggles while working with horses in order to heal will be an inspiring, hopeful experience. Please help me make this film so we can get this story out there to as many people as possible.
As our soldiers return from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, they bring with them wounds they suffered in our service. The unseen wounds of war are just as debilitating and devastating as the ones we can see. Participating in war changes people in ways they couldn't haven't imagined and many veterans find themselves unable to leave the nightmare of what they've seen and heard and done behind.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an insidious psychological condition that is caused by exposure to constant risk, fear and uncertainty. It's called a disorder but really it's a normal reaction to experiencing traumatic events and unrelenting extreme stress. Veterans living with PTSD feel on edge all the time, sudden noises make them jump out of their skin, they suffer terrifying recurring nightmares and they avoid talking about their war experiences because they are too painful to recount and too horrible to share with someone who has not been to war.
Though traditional therapies have helped some to overcome this debilitating condition, many others have found no respite from the anguish they suffer every day.
Working with horses in an educational and therapeutic way began as a formalized practice about 20 years ago in an evolution of humankind's relationship with the horse. Now equine therapy is being increasingly used with veterans to help them heal from the psychological effects of warfare. And it's working beautifully. By their sheer presence, horses are able to bring people into the present where all true healing takes place. Through their incredible energy and sensitivity, they have the ability to restore a person to balance. And through their non-judgmental, non-verbal communication, they can enable a person to speak from their hearts and unburden their souls. And it is an accessible treatment as veterans are able to participate in most programs at no cost to them. The every increasing number of practitioners and programs for veterans all around the country in urban, suburban, and country settings means more veterans can be reached.
The film will bring portray the story of the many challenges veterans face after returning from the battlefield as they try to reintegrate into civilian life, forever changed by their experiences of war. We'll deal with the stigma of PTSD that keeps veterans from seeking help and the military culture that tells its soldiers to suck it up and not admit weakness. And people will never look at horses the same way again. We'll tell the story "Through Their Eyes". And we need your help to do it.
HOW WE'LL SPEND THE MONEY
If we make our modest goal of $30,000, we will be able to begin pre-production to find our film's subjects and start shooting. Our total budget for the film is $250,000 (it just takes a tremendous amount of time and talented people to make something good) so the more we raise on Kickstarter the more we will be able to do on the film (and not spend most of our time fundraising!). We are pursuing additional sources of funding in addition to the Kickstarter campaign but money raised here will, well, kick start the film!
Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food and other creative fields. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL?
If we don't raise the amount of our goal, we don't get anything. Donors pledge amounts throughout the time period but don't actually pay anything until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has passed.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Make a contribution! And please spread the word. Everything you do will help! You can be a part of the team that gets this project off the ground!
Tell your friends about the project.
Like, tweet, and share the video at the top of the page.
Post a link to our Kickstarter page on Facebook and Twitter
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CAN DONORS INCREASE PLEDGES ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN MADE?
Absolutely! If you have already donated, and are signed into your account, then instead of a green "Back This Project" button on our page, there should be a blue "Manage Your Donation" button. Click that and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive!
CAN I GIVE AN INCENTIVE AS A GIFT?
Yes, you can, it's a wonderful idea. After the campaign, when we contact you for details on getting you your incentive, you can then give us the information for the person you wish to gift.
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