11/11/2013 10:55 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Best Laid Plans

Happy Veterans Day! And a Happy 238th Birthday to the Marine Corps.

The admiration of a grateful nation is with all our veterans today. Though there is no way to adequately convey our appreciation for their irreplaceable service and personal sacrifice in protecting our country, our freedoms and our hopes for the future, we promise to do better.

This blog, is the first from OPS-USA since July 4th,,so I looked to the ages for inspiration and insight beyond my own abilities to explain our absence. So the blog is not only full of news about the project, it's literally bursting with wisdom from some of the world's great thinkers and philosophers whose names are italicized throughout. So please, read on.....

In 1786, Robert Burns penned "To a Mouse", an apology to the mouse whose nest he upturned while plowing a field. To quote the germane couplet (which rhymes better in the original Scottish vernacular):

The best laid schemes of mice and men
Often go awry
And leave us naught but grief and pain,
For promised joy.

The poem is the source for the title of John Steinbeck's 1937 novel - Of Mice and Men.

The meaning of Burns' words are not lost on us at OPS-USA. But the reason it's been a while since you've heard from us is not because of plans gone awry, but rather because of increased clarity along the path to our goal of creating a television series featuring real veterans continuing their service in peacetime by traveling the country and putting their military experience to work solving America's problems. So, to paraphrase Mark Twain, "the rumors of our demise are greatly overstated", and we are reemerging with a deeper appreciation for the sacrifices made by our brave veterans and a better understanding of the challenges they face transitioning back to civilian life.

But before I tell you about our "new and improved" plans, let me tell you about what else we've learned.

• We've learned that our veterans are truly exceptional, not just for their training and their sacrifice, but also, most importantly, for their heartfelt love of country.
• We've learned that some people talk a good game but don't walk their talk. And that there are other people - veterans - who are longing to talk and walk with us.
• We've learned that if we listen before we talk, we can talk less and do more.
• We've learned that rather than honing our ideas till they're perfect, we have to do something about them even if they have some flaws.
• We've learned that "Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." -- James Baldwin
• Finally we've learned to "Do or not do. There is no Try." --Yoda
Armed with this accumulated knowledge, we are full speed ahead on OPS-USA with a heightened resolve, renewed vigor and a better appreciation for the value of our veterans and of an exciting idea whose time has come.

We are in the midst of creating a revolution within a revolution. We are the first television series that's trying to fund and create our pilot without network money or input. The revolution that is Kickstarter allows us that freedom. Many successful Kickstarter users like Spike Lee, Zach Braff and most recently Elzhi, have articulated the freedom Kickstarter represents to create a pure product that fulfills their creative vision without interference from corporate interests.

We know that there's a change in attitude going on in the world which the American mainstream media have not entirely got their heads around, because like many other corporations they've become risk averse rather than fully embracing innovation. An idea like OPS-USA that's a positive, uplifting, inclusive and solutions-focused concept about heroic journeys, would be seen as a glitch in the traditional world of reality based series which is focused on 'amping up' the arousal level of the audience through shocking them, creating conflict and artificial drama often humiliating and denigrating participants because they're not good enough. IT'S SO 2000's!

The Bill Clinton-like belief that "we are all is this together" is the wave of the future that can sweep the audience into a much deeper level of engagement and turn a passive viewer into an active participant. OPS-USA wants to take Kickstarter to a new level asking our donors, not just for their help with funding but also with their ideas about formatting, casting, storylines and even the title. That's the "revolution within a revolution" part.

Our original schedule had us launching our Kickstarter campaign today, on Veterans Day. Our revised schedule - and thinking - is that it will begin as soon as it's ready. Please visit our website at and join us for a great ride that will lead to an even better future.

Let me close with one more quote. "Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle." -- Abraham Lincoln

We're close and we're on it. Stay tuned. Support our Veterans today and everyday.

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