Why should we care about Vets? / by Anthony Schmiedeler

Last year I created a pair of advocacy posters focused on the problems that disabled U.S. military veterans and their families encounter when trying to obtain benefits earned through military service. I used the Disabled American Veterans organization as a way people could help, donating to the charity so that they can continue to provide free, professional assistance during the claims processes as well as other services dedicated to improving veterans' quality of life. 

The problem with these posters is that they don't address the bigger question: Why should anyone care about veterans? 

It's hard to encourage someone to donate to a cause when they don't see how it relates to them.

The answer that can be explored through this message is that veterans are you and me. Veterans want to be everyday people and contributing members of society when they leave the service. But when veteran's can't obtain the benefits they deserve or the help they need, they can't transition properly and live the same lives as you and me, nor can they continue to contribute as many do in vital community positions like cops, firemen, teachers, and politicians.

This project can be expanded to deliver this message through a combination of interactive installations and a web site or app. The installations will use literal red tape to "obstruct" these vital community positions, for example: covering a police car or blocking school doors. Prompted by signage, a viewer could visit a web site or app that allows them to view and "meet" the vets that occupy these important jobs, learn their story, and be given the option to help and donate.

Expansion coming soon.