The War Tapes at Yearly Kos
Zack Bazzi, soldier/cameraman, Chuck Lacy, Executive Producer, and I went to Las Vegas last weekend to screen The War Tapes at the first Yearly Kos Convention. This was the second conference/convention where we've screened the movie- the first was at the Miliblog Conference in April. As with that conference we received a great amount of support and feedback from the attendees. Zack reports on Yearly Kos:
I arrived for the Yearly Kos Convention in Las Vegas with a mixture of anxious anticipation and curiosity. Up to that point, I was neither familiar with blogging nor had I met any “bloggers.” The term itself does not conjure up the most positive of impressions. For all I knew, many of these “bloggers” would be the geeks that spent a lot of their time stuffed in lockers during high school.
This could not be further from the truth. Every single one these “progressive” bloggers that I met was a concerned and extremely patriotic American who wanted the best for their country. They were intelligent, thoughtful, well informed, certainly not “wimpy,” and very fun to drink beers with after a day of work.
I had the pleasure of meeting some very fascinating people. I spent sometime with Paul Rieckhoff who is an Iraq War veteran, founder of IAVA (Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America) and author of Chasing Ghosts: A Soldier's Story of Fighting the Iraq War from Baghdad to the Beltway. I also met Kael Alford, who is a brave independent photo journalist whose great work is featured in the book Unembedded: Four Independent Photojournalists on the War in Iraq. I was introduced to General Wesley Clark who requested to see the film in his room, afterwards I met up with him at an evening event and he was full of praise about the film and adamant in his opinion that “every American should see it.”
Executive Producer Chuck Lacy screened the film to a packed audience, and afterwards I fielded their questions. Every one of them was gracious, supportive and balanced. Even though many did not agree with the War in Iraq, they were extremely supportive of the members of our great military. I also had the pleasure of interacting with other concerned veterans who want to bring more light on issues concerning Veteran. It was then that it dawned on me that this film has the potential to be an effective vehicle to bring much needed attention to returning veterans as well as the challenges they face. Partisan war politics aside, if a project like The War Tapes can help force the politicians to “support the troops” by voting for V.A. budget increases instead of decreases; to back-up rosy rhetoric with real action; to bridge the disconnect between civilians and soldiers; to make “support the troops” a verb not an adjective, then as far as this proud soldier is concerned, the film is a great success.