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The Invisible Ones

February 17, 2010

The The Invisible Ones is a documentary brought to my attention by Patty Mooney from a comment she left after reading my post Rest In Peace My Friend – Ronald Philip Sr.

My husband and I recently produced a documentary called “The Invisible Ones: Homeless Combat Veterans” The Invisible Ones and one of the people whom we met while videotaping interviews, John Smith, a decorated war veteran, recently passed. And still young, like Ronnie. These Vietnam vets are slipping away almost as fast – and at the same time – as the WW2 guys. It’s like our history is seeping away before we can get a grasp on it.

This documentary is so important to share and spread the education with others. Please think about what you can do to help the problem too!

Help the Cause!

VETERANS VILLAGE OF SAN DIEGO, Home of the Original Stand Down

NATIONAL COALITION FOR HOMELESS VETERANS

HELP AMERICA FOUNDATION – Info to Start a Stand Down in Your Town

RESCUE TASK FORCE – Military Backpack Project for Wounded Veterans

SO OTHERS MIGHT EAT – Washington DC Homeless Outreach

American War Heroes Are Sleeping On Our Streets

With all the vehicles on the streets of America sporting those little yellow “Support Our Troops,” ribbons, it is truly ironic that we have more than 200,000 veterans who are homeless.  But not many Americans realize it. 

Mark Schulze and Patty Mooney, of Crystal Pyramid Productions, a San Diego video production company, shot footage at the 20th anniversary of Stand Down in 2007 for the Veterans Administration (VA).  Stand Down is a three-day event that allows homeless veterans to come in off the streets for a shower, hot meals and a change of clothing.  Additionally, the veterans receive medical, dental and holistic treatment, as well as counseling and legal advice from caring volunteers.  The San Diego Stand Down became the model for dozens of other Stand Downs that have been generated across the country by people who thought it a tragedy to have our war heroes sleeping on our streets.

Schulze and Mooney were shocked to learn of the huge number of homeless veterans in the U.S.  After spending two days interviewing and getting to know some of the men and women who had served our country, some without limbs, and all without homes, Mooney broke down in tears.  “Three days of reprieve from the streets and now they have to go back out there.  We have to do something for them!” Schulze said, “Why don’t we do what we do best?  Let’s make a documentary.”

It took a year for the couple to make “The Invisible Ones: Homeless Combat Veterans.”  They interviewed Congressman Bob Filner, Chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee; Congresswoman Susan Davis, Chair of the Military Personnel Committee; Gary Becks, Director of Rescue Task Force; Dr. Jon Nachison, Co-Founder of San Diego Stand Down; Al Pavich, Former Commander and Retired CEO of VVSD (Veterans Village of San Diego); Darcy Pavich, Chaplain and Stand Down Coordinator; Brigadier General Bob Cardenas; Robert Schmidt, Director of Vince Lombardi Association; Jessica Brian and Michael Kilmer, Veterans Administration Outreach Therapists, and several homeless veterans.

All contributions to this documentary have been pro bono, even down to the music, box cover graphics, website creation and DVD replication.  Mooney edited at night and on weekends, grappling with technical difficulties, and whenever she thought of quitting, she remembered, “there are veterans who are homeless tonight and we have to help them.”

The documentary has won several national awards: a Platinum Ava, a Gold Aurora, an Accolade Award of Merit, a Gold Hermes Award and a Telly Award, in recognition of its contribution to profound social change.  It was also featured at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival in May 2009.

Churches, veterans associations, philanthropy clubs and others may request the DVD for free and share it with their members.  Several local church groups have shown the DVD to their members and collected sizable donations for VVSD. All revenue generated from sales and showings of the documentary are given to VVSD so that they can continue their valuable work in assisting homeless veterans. Learn how you may be of assistance to homeless veterans.  Money is welcome; volunteering your time is priceless. Walk the Walk!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2010 11:54 pm

    Yes, History needs to be written now or forever it will be lost. Vietnam May, 1968. U.S. Army Lt. William Sproule, Folcroft, PA. Awarded DSC, second highest honor. KIA laying down cover fire for his severely outnumbered platoon. Saved 80 men and should have been awarded Medal of Honor according to his fellow soldiers that survived.

    • February 18, 2010 12:15 am

      What an honor to have U.S. Army Lt. William Sproule remembered here. Thank you for documenting his sacrifice. Truly amazing and humbling.

  2. February 18, 2010 10:27 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I thought you might also be interested in seeing this blog post about Steve Mason, a Vietnam veteran who was considered the poet bard of the Vietnam War. He died at the age of 65 from Agent Orange poisoning (cancer). “The Wall Within” is the poem he read at the dedication of the Vietnam Wall.
    http://sandiegovideoproduction.blogspot.com/2009/02/steve-masons-wall-within-story-and.html

    • February 18, 2010 11:33 am

      I will follow up on that information….thank you for all the work you do on behalf of the Military Veterans!

  3. May 18, 2010 5:42 pm

    I have to say that livingdocuments.wordpress.com is really a good website

  4. May 27, 2010 4:28 am

    You are so nice to share these with us.

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