Daily Archives: November 11, 2008

Donahue Documentary Takes On The War


by Richard Huff – New York Daily News

If he were a senior in college today, he probably wouldn’t pay to see his film, “Body of War.”

“Body of War” is a tough film that follows the story of U.S. Army soldier Tomas Young, whose spine was severed when he was shot after being in Iraq just five days.

The film was produced and directed by Ellen Spiro and Donahue. It hit festivals and theaters early this year, and will air tomorrow night(tonight) at 7 on the Sundance Channel.

“It’s tough, it’s hard-hitting and has a strong message,” said Laura Michalchyshyn, general manager of Sundance. “We wanted to be able to tell a story that’s real, honest and true and hasn’t been manufactured.”

Donahue met Young on a visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also spoke to Young’s mother during her bedside vigil for her son, who is paralyzed from the chest down.

“I couldn’t get him out of my head,” Donahue said. “The first thing you think is, why him and not me?”

The former TV host remained in contact with Young and his family, and the film emerged.

Donahue has been against the war in Iraq since the start, and lost his show at MSNBC in 2003 because of his nightly stance against the war and the Bush administration.

“Body of War” blends footage from the debate in Congress on the war with scenes from Thomas’ struggle to adapt to life without the use of most of his body.

“This is the most sanitized war of my lifetime,” Donahue said. “We do not see the pain. Less than 5% of us have sacrificed for this war. What you see in this film is the drama that’s taking place in thousands of homes in this country occupied by young soldiers who have come home with hideous injuries.”

The film, however, focuses on just one. Young’s life involves pain, multiple health problems and trouble dealing with the sort of activities most people take for granted.

“The American people do not see this,” Donahue said. “This war is over to them. Less than 10% of us identified the war as a the major reason we were voting.”

Sundance’s decision to air the documentary on Veterans’ Day is not an accident.

“It’s not just about Iraq, it’s about how we’ve treated these veterans,” Michalchyshyn said. “I don’t think a lot of people have conceived of the Iraq war veterans the same way as World War I or World War II veterans.”

In addition to Sundance, where “Body of War” will get multiple plays, the film is out on DVD. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam wrote two songs for it, and part of the proceeds of the DVD sales at Pearl Jam’s Web site go to Young.

“Before the next President swaggers in front of the camera with a big lone-star belt buckle and says, ‘Bring it on,'” Donahue said, “I want them to meet the honorably discharged Army Spc. Thomas Young.”

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Filed under Body of War, Documentary, Iraq War, MSNBC, NY Daily News, Phil Donahue, Sundance Channel, Tomas Young, U.S. Army, Veterans Day

Donahue Documentary Takes On The War


by Richard Huff – New York Daily News

If he were a senior in college today, he probably wouldn’t pay to see his film, “Body of War.”

“Body of War” is a tough film that follows the story of U.S. Army soldier Tomas Young, whose spine was severed when he was shot after being in Iraq just five days.

The film was produced and directed by Ellen Spiro and Donahue. It hit festivals and theaters early this year, and will air tomorrow night(tonight) at 7 on the Sundance Channel.

“It’s tough, it’s hard-hitting and has a strong message,” said Laura Michalchyshyn, general manager of Sundance. “We wanted to be able to tell a story that’s real, honest and true and hasn’t been manufactured.”

Donahue met Young on a visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also spoke to Young’s mother during her bedside vigil for her son, who is paralyzed from the chest down.

“I couldn’t get him out of my head,” Donahue said. “The first thing you think is, why him and not me?”

The former TV host remained in contact with Young and his family, and the film emerged.

Donahue has been against the war in Iraq since the start, and lost his show at MSNBC in 2003 because of his nightly stance against the war and the Bush administration.

“Body of War” blends footage from the debate in Congress on the war with scenes from Thomas’ struggle to adapt to life without the use of most of his body.

“This is the most sanitized war of my lifetime,” Donahue said. “We do not see the pain. Less than 5% of us have sacrificed for this war. What you see in this film is the drama that’s taking place in thousands of homes in this country occupied by young soldiers who have come home with hideous injuries.”

The film, however, focuses on just one. Young’s life involves pain, multiple health problems and trouble dealing with the sort of activities most people take for granted.

“The American people do not see this,” Donahue said. “This war is over to them. Less than 10% of us identified the war as a the major reason we were voting.”

Sundance’s decision to air the documentary on Veterans’ Day is not an accident.

“It’s not just about Iraq, it’s about how we’ve treated these veterans,” Michalchyshyn said. “I don’t think a lot of people have conceived of the Iraq war veterans the same way as World War I or World War II veterans.”

In addition to Sundance, where “Body of War” will get multiple plays, the film is out on DVD. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam wrote two songs for it, and part of the proceeds of the DVD sales at Pearl Jam’s Web site go to Young.

“Before the next President swaggers in front of the camera with a big lone-star belt buckle and says, ‘Bring it on,'” Donahue said, “I want them to meet the honorably discharged Army Spc. Thomas Young.”

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Filed under Body of War, Documentary, Iraq War, MSNBC, NY Daily News, Phil Donahue, Sundance Channel, Tomas Young, U.S. Army, Veterans Day

>"We Can’t Let This Bank Fail!"

>Bruce Springsteen wants to make sure one bank remains solvent: the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

The singer will appear in a newspaper ad for the state’s largest food bank that says: “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail!”

Springsteen has been a supporter of the food bank for 23 years, often donating proceeds from concerts or encouraging fans to bring food donations to his shows. This is the first time he’s lent his image to the anti-hunger campaign.

The Community Food Bank says the economy has resulted in a 30 percent increase in those needing food and could lead it to ration supplies for the first time in its 26-year history.

The food bank assists charities serving a half-million people each year.

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Filed under Associated Press, Bruce Springsteen, Community Food Bank Of New Jersey

"We Can’t Let This Bank Fail!"

Bruce Springsteen wants to make sure one bank remains solvent: the Community Food Bank of New Jersey.

The singer will appear in a newspaper ad for the state’s largest food bank that says: “We Can’t Let This Bank Fail!”

Springsteen has been a supporter of the food bank for 23 years, often donating proceeds from concerts or encouraging fans to bring food donations to his shows. This is the first time he’s lent his image to the anti-hunger campaign.

The Community Food Bank says the economy has resulted in a 30 percent increase in those needing food and could lead it to ration supplies for the first time in its 26-year history.

The food bank assists charities serving a half-million people each year.

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Filed under Associated Press, Bruce Springsteen, Community Food Bank Of New Jersey

>President-Elect Obama: Honor Veterans By Ending the Iraq War

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nationwide – November 10 – Military Families Speak Out, an organization of 4,000 military families opposed to the war in Iraq, and its national chapter Gold Star Families Speak Out, are calling on President-Elect Barack Obama to honor the sacrifices of Veterans and their families by ending the war in Iraq. Military Families Speak Out issued the following statement on the eve of Veterans Day, 2008:

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, an armistice ended the slaughter of World War I along the Western Front. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a national holiday to honor the sacrifice of the U.S. troops who fought in that war. Since then, on November 11th, people across the United States and around the world have historically given thanks for peace, and observed moments of silence to remember those who fought and died during times of war.

Tomorrow will be the sixth Veterans Day that finds U.S. troops fighting and dying in Iraq, in a war based on lies. Our troops, our Veterans, our families, and the Iraqi people need to know that it will also be the last.

President-Elect Obama, you had the courage and the vision to oppose this war before it started, and you have pledged to end it. As Commander in Chief you will have the power to do that. But leaving U.S. combat troops in Iraq well into 2010, and leaving tens of thousands of additional troops in Iraq indefinitely, is not ending this war – it is continuing it..

4,193 U.S. troops and over a million Iraqis have already died as a result of this war. Countless others will struggle for the rest of their lives with devastating physical and psychological injuries. Each day that this war continues, new tragedies occur.

The war in Iraq was wrong from the beginning and it is wrong today. There is no justification for continuing to risk the lives of our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, and the Iraqi people.

President-Elect Obama, please honor the sacrifices of our troops, our Veterans, and our families by committing to the immediate, orderly, and safe return of all U.S. troops from Iraq and assuring that they receive the care they need when they get home.

CONTACT: Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)
Sean Donahue, Communications Director
617-983-0710 (w), 978-809-8054 (c), press@mfso.org

Military Families Speak Out is an organization of 4,000 military families opposed to the war in Iraq, with loved ones who are serving or have served in the U.S. military since fall, 2002. Gold Star Families Speak Out is our national chapter of families whose loved ones have died as a result of this war. Members of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families Speak Out are available for interview — including members whose loved ones are now serving in Iraq, members whose loved ones will soon be deployed to Iraq, and members whose loved ones were killed in Iraq.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Iraq War, Military Families Speak Out, President-Elect, Veterans Day

President-Elect Obama: Honor Veterans By Ending the Iraq War

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nationwide – November 10 – Military Families Speak Out, an organization of 4,000 military families opposed to the war in Iraq, and its national chapter Gold Star Families Speak Out, are calling on President-Elect Barack Obama to honor the sacrifices of Veterans and their families by ending the war in Iraq. Military Families Speak Out issued the following statement on the eve of Veterans Day, 2008:

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, an armistice ended the slaughter of World War I along the Western Front. A year later, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed a national holiday to honor the sacrifice of the U.S. troops who fought in that war. Since then, on November 11th, people across the United States and around the world have historically given thanks for peace, and observed moments of silence to remember those who fought and died during times of war.

Tomorrow will be the sixth Veterans Day that finds U.S. troops fighting and dying in Iraq, in a war based on lies. Our troops, our Veterans, our families, and the Iraqi people need to know that it will also be the last.

President-Elect Obama, you had the courage and the vision to oppose this war before it started, and you have pledged to end it. As Commander in Chief you will have the power to do that. But leaving U.S. combat troops in Iraq well into 2010, and leaving tens of thousands of additional troops in Iraq indefinitely, is not ending this war – it is continuing it..

4,193 U.S. troops and over a million Iraqis have already died as a result of this war. Countless others will struggle for the rest of their lives with devastating physical and psychological injuries. Each day that this war continues, new tragedies occur.

The war in Iraq was wrong from the beginning and it is wrong today. There is no justification for continuing to risk the lives of our sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, husbands and wives, and the Iraqi people.

President-Elect Obama, please honor the sacrifices of our troops, our Veterans, and our families by committing to the immediate, orderly, and safe return of all U.S. troops from Iraq and assuring that they receive the care they need when they get home.

CONTACT: Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)
Sean Donahue, Communications Director
617-983-0710 (w), 978-809-8054 (c), press@mfso.org

Military Families Speak Out is an organization of 4,000 military families opposed to the war in Iraq, with loved ones who are serving or have served in the U.S. military since fall, 2002. Gold Star Families Speak Out is our national chapter of families whose loved ones have died as a result of this war. Members of Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families Speak Out are available for interview — including members whose loved ones are now serving in Iraq, members whose loved ones will soon be deployed to Iraq, and members whose loved ones were killed in Iraq.

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Filed under Barack Obama, Iraq War, Military Families Speak Out, President-Elect, Veterans Day

>Veteran’s Day: Keeping Faith With The Original Intent of Armistice Day

>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON – November 10 – A veterans’ organization ask the nation to remember the original intent of Veterans Day.

The original Armistice Day ended World War I on November 11, 1918, but not before nearly 30 million soldiers had been killed or wounded, and over seven million taken prisoner.

Congress responded to a universal hope that this would never happen again and passed a resolution calling for “...exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding…inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches…with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” Congress later resolved November 11 was to be “…a day dedicated to the cause of world peace.”

Of the many veterans’ organizations in the U.S., one exists specifically to carry out the original purpose of Armistice Day, now celebrated as Veterans’ Day. In word as well as action, Veterans For Peace, a national organization with 120 chapters, is dedicated to the cause of peace.

“Unfortunately Veterans Day has turned into a day to support war rather than a day to reflect on the horrors of war and the need to work for peace,” said Veterans For peace Executive Director Michael McPhearson. “Veterans For Peace has over 120 chapters around the country, many of whom will be commemorating veterans day by marching in traditional parades, conducting solemn ceremonies and vigils to give an alternative view about war and the meaning of the day,” McPhearson went on to say.

“Our statement of purpose is clear and direct when it says we intend to ‘abolish war as an instrument of national policy.’ We want this generation of veterans to be the last,” said VFP president Elliott Adams.

The former Army paratrooper and Viet Nam veteran added, “We not only speak out for peace, our organization works towards it every single day. We will continue to do so and in fact increase our efforts as VFP seeks to raise awareness of the human and monetary cost of war in the face of the global economic crisis.”

Please visit www.veteransforpeace.org to learn more about VFP Veterans Day activities.

CONTACT: Veterans For Peace
Michael T. McPhearson, 314 303-8874
Elliott Adams, 518 284-2048

Veterans For Peace was founded in 1985 and includes veterans of all eras and wars from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39), World War II, the Korean, Vietnam, Gulf and current Iraq wars as well as other conflicts cold or hot. It has participated in every major demonstration against the war in Iraq. Our collective experience tells us wars are easy to start and hard to stop and that those hurt are often the innocent. VFP is represented at the UN as an official Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

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Filed under Gulf War, Iraq War, Korean War, press release, Verterans for Peace, Veterans Day, Vietnam, World War II