“Forever changed from this conversation”

with 2 Comments
MC DJ Schneider, Edward Jones Challenge Coin, and Host Juli Johnson

Earlier this month, Ken and I had one of the best moments of our film journey when my former employer of almost 30 years, Edward Jones, hosted us for a presentation about our work. The program, titled Deep Wounds – The Healing Power of Film Making, took place via Zoom and was attended by over 500 people from around the country. The event was hosted primarily by their Military/Veteran Business Resource Group, and was held in honor of Memorial Day, National Military Spouse Appreciation Month, and National Mental Health Awareness Month.

It all started when my longtime Edward Jones colleagues, Juli Nulph Johnson and Carol Foust Smith, attended our screening of I Married the War at the YES! Film Festival in Columbus, Indiana. They believed our work aligned well with the company’s goal to better serve their military and veteran associates and clients.

The goal for the program was “to elevate awareness of military service and sacrifice…on the challenges that combat veterans and their spouses face as they adjust to life after war.” We talked about our motivation and unique path to becoming filmmakers, the actual experience of combat, its aftermath, as featured in our documentary Bravo! Common Men, Uncommon Valor, and about how spouses and families are impacted when the combat veteran returns home, which is the major focus in I Married the War. These films are powerful testimonies to resilience after major trauma, about the struggles and unexpected consequences, and about love and commitment.

After our presentation, we enjoyed a thoughtful Q&A session wherein we discussed concerns, listened to comments, and offered resources available to veterans and their families.

The responses in the chat, one of which is the title for this Update, were very gratifying. Big thanks to event MC, DJ Schneider (pictured at left), who concluded the program with four takeaways:
– Better understanding of the long-term sacrifices our service members make to defend our country and our freedom
– Additional appreciation and sensitivity for military spouses or anyone living with someone who has experienced major trauma
– The importance of giving veterans and their spouses the space to share their stories if they choose, and
– Feeling better equipped to assist veteran and military clients.

We especially wish to thank the Edward Jones folks who had a hand in developing, producing, and approving the presentation:
– Annette Russ
– Juli Johnson (pictured)
– Nicole Edmonson
– Emily Rumiano
– Emily Stewart
– Penny Wattier
– Jennifer McLaughlin
– Connie McFarland

And thank you for the beautiful Edward Jones Challenge Coin (pictured)!

If you would like to help raise awareness about military life and veterans, and know of a company that would benefit from a similar presentation, please invite them to reach out to us today.

2 Responses

  1. Barb Brownlie
    | Reply

    Awesome movie with true combat wives who support a combat veteran in their Activities of daily living. Sharing the stories of the 11 combat wives who now live the combat life too is very powerful. Sharing their experiences with communities across America is very eye opening story. One that needs to be shared often.
    Thanks Ken and Betty Rodgers for the love and time you spent in making of this film. It truly shines!!! You know I never put myself in the combat wife role….being married to a Vietnam combat veteran we didn’t know or were taught the signs and symptoms of a veteran who fought in Vietnam or for that matter, any war.

    My biggest sadness is when our Vietnam veterans returned home….no homecoming, no welcome home or any family member asking what their job was during war….those wounds of the veterans are deep, deep down in their soul….and raise their ugly head every once in a while….the wife/husband of the veteran is not prepared to handle this huge wound.

    Thanks Ken and Betty for showcasing the life after war with our combat families.

    • Betty Rodgers
      | Reply

      Thank you, Barb, for your insightful and caring remarks. Your support of military and veteran families is beyond compare.

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