Military Veterans Want to Talk With Civilians

06/01/2010 12:18 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011
  • Jeff Norman Founder of Homefront Rising, a cultural revival led by veterans and their allies

After he heard about Vet Mentor, a new program run by The Veterans Project, which connects military veterans seeking a career in the entertainment/media industry with experienced professionals, Marine vet Rick Reyes contacted me about his creative aspirations. We quickly found common ground. Rick told me of his interest in comedy, and I told him I felt it necessary to infuse our advocacy with a dose of humor so as to humanize post-combat warriors and reach as much of the public as possible.

Rick agreed and added he's reluctant to express anger about anything, because many people mistakenly see it as a scary byproduct of war when he gets agitated in even the most ordinary way. Struck by his longing to just be treated as a normal person, I suggested we take a camera out on the streets and present passersby with the opportunity to interact with a recent combat veteran.

We only had time to chat with a few people, but it got us thinking about producing a series of "Talk to a Vet" videos as a means of promoting dialogue between civilians and veterans in everyday life. Thanks to filmmaker Robert Corsini for shooting the footage.

Jeff Norman blogs at