Jerry Tovo: Homeless Veterans Project
Posted on July 25, 2012
Years ago, during my time working for Eastman Kodak Company, I met a guy named Jerry Tovo. Jerry was a photographer, former Drill Sergeant and all around interesting guy. A few weeks ago I got a call out of the blue, a deep voice that sounded both unknown and familiar. Turns out it was Jerry calling me about his latest project, book and plan. Take a look at this book below and just let it sink in. This subject really chaps my ass. Homeless veterans. I feel the same about homeless Native Americans. When I even hear that description my brain stops for a minute as I ask myself, “Wait, what?” Jerry is trying to do something about it with his “They May Have Been Heroes” project, something I think is WELL WORTH the effort to support. One of the things that stung me was the idea of 12,000 homeless women veterans. I don’t know about you, but my life is about as far from sacrifice, hardship and the front line as you can get, so I have a tremendous appreciation for ANYONE who is out there putting it on the line. Could be a sniper, mine sweeper, mechanic or cook, all the same to me. They deserve more.
Last week I was at the gym and decided to hit the sauna on the way out. This should tell you about the stress level in my life. I enter the sauna and I’m alone. A few minutes later a guy walks in and I can tell by his movements he is jacked up, not in a bad way, just in an energy way. “Hey, how you doing?” he asks. “Fine, how about you?” I reply. He looks at me and says something along the lines of, “Look, I was a soldier, I just moved down here away from my wife and kids and I haven’t had a lot of interaction, so sorry about this but I need to talk.” “Go right ahead,” I said and he started talking. I felt good about being there to talk with him, but I also felt his pain. I felt, and feel, like I need to do more. What “more” is I don’t know, but this project is a great place to start, an easy place to start, so if you can, take and use this film and post it to your channels. This issue isn’t native to the United States, not by any means, so those of you reading this in the far reaches of world, I’m talking to you as well. Let’s see if we can make something happen. We walk past these folks to stand in line for the latest gadget, or to see what Hollywood has for us, so why can’t we direct more attention their way? Post, post and repost this thing.
This last photo is tied to the letter at the end. An interesting take from the man in the image(80-year-old Korean War vet) in regard to his story and the photographer.