What is it like when your parent goes to war? Watch “Veteran Kids” and hear American kids talk personally about the impact of war on them and their families. We shot this short film in Indiana, as part of the “A Child’s Guide to War” project. Watch the six minute film here.
We are proud of the outstanding leaders and thinkers who have joined the Advisory Board of A Child’s Guide to War. We are excited to announce two new additions to our Advisory Board: Dana H. Born and Martha White Jackson.
Dana H. Born is a lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard University and a retired brigadier general, with over 30 years of service in the U.S. Force. Born served two terms as the President-appointed Dean of the Faculty for the U.S. Air Force Academy, where she was also a professor and head of the Behavioral Sciences and Leadership Department. Born has also served as the Assistant Director for Recruiting Research and Analysis in the Office of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Force Management Policy, aide to the Secretary of the Air Force and Deputy Chief of the Personnel Issues Team in the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel. She commanded the 11th Mission Support Squadron at Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C., was an Exchange Officer with the Royal Australian Air Force, and served in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. A 1983 graduate with distinction of the U.S. Air Force Academy, Born holds two master’s degrees and a doctorate in industrial and organizational psychology. We are so excited to welcome her to the board!
Martha Jackson, an educator and mother of an active-duty Army Ranger who has deployed twice to Afghanistan. Jackson is a member of Blue Star Mothers, a non-political, nonprofit organization of mothers of active duty service men and women and veterans. Blue Star Mothers provides support to deployed soldiers and assistance to veterans organizations. She has had a long career in teaching English to international students beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. She has taught at Northeastern University, Boston University and Show Women’s University. She was a Teaching Fellow under Professor Robert Coles at Harvard University. She has served on many educational boards, including The Brookline Educational Foundation, Facing History and Ourselves New England Board, and Beacon Academy. We are thrilled to have her support for this project!
Thank you to everyone on our Advisory Board and all of our supporters!
This article by Producer & Project Director Susan Hackley is from the July 2015 issue of Negotiation Journal.
In debates about war in the United States, voices in the conflict resolution community are too rarely heard. Those of us who work in the field think a great deal about conflict—how to prevent it, manage it, resolve it, recover from it, and learn from it. We examine conflicts around the world, but do we in the negotiation and conflict resolution field look carefully enough at the conflicts of which we are an important part?
I believe civilian and military Americans are vastly divided in our experience of war, and until we bridge that divide we civilian Americans in the conflict resolution field will be excluded from some of our nation’s most consequential discussions.
To bridge that divide would require that civilians must come to understand and appreciate what soldiers experience, and that military Americans be willing to engage the rest of us in conversations about that experience. We civilians may not have been to war, and we may sometimes ask dumb questions, but we want and need to understand the soldier’s point of view.
In my fourteen years as managing director of the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, I have been privileged to be part of a vibrant community of scholars,authors,teachers,and students who are … Read the full article here.
Jack McLean is the author of Loon: A Marine Story, the memoir about his service as a young Marine Corps infantryman in Vietnam. Jack is joining our project’s Advisory Board and we are thrilled to have his expertise on our board.
Jack writes that he was “honored to be asked by Susan Hackley to serve on the Advisory Board of “A Child’s Guide to War”. As a former combat veteran, best selling author, and not-for-profit and for-profit CEO, I bring a wide range of experience and skills to this important effort. The Advisory Board, as now constituted, represents an extraordinary breadth of talent that will help lead to the ultimate success of this vital project.”
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly of Indiana is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. In January, he spoke to our film crew about the importance of learning from veteran families about the impact of war on them.
“The media have focused on the struggles of veterans, but little has been said about the impact on their children and families. The subject is current, underreported and extremely important. I think this film offers a new perspective.”
Read the Next Avenue interview with Susan Hackley on her mission is to make a film about the impact of war on America’s children and families.
Hackley and Moulton shared their personal stories and why they believe it is vitally important for Americans to talk about war in a way that honors the experiences of veterans and allows those who haven’t been to war to be part of the discussion. In the audience were ardent peace activists and veterans. While there wasn’t always agreement, there was a candid and respectful exchange of views.
Hackley showed the 8.5 minute rough cut trailer of her documentary film project, A Child’s Guide to War, which focuses on the impact of war on America’s children and families. She noted that most of us don’t realize that nearly two million American children have a parent who has been to war, and the impact on these children can be significant. We need to support those families, raise awareness of what they might be enduring, and factor in their experiences when we are talking about the true costs of war. She recalled when her son went to war, and how lonely she felt in a community that did not share her experience.
Moulton recalled his days at Harvard and the impact of seeing the names of veterans who had died in our wars at Memorial Church. He joined the Marines before 9/11 and served four tours of duty in Iraq. He said that veterans react to their war experiences in different ways, noting that they are “disproportionately CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and disproportionately homeless.”
This event was part of the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution. It is sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Boston area members of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. The theme for the Kelman Seminar is “Negotiation, Conflict and the News Media.”
Massachusetts Congressman Seth Moulton plans to make veterans health care a priority while in Congress.
Susan Hackley is managing director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. She is a past chair of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and she is producing the documentary film, A Child’s Guide to War, focusing on the impact of war on America’s children and families.
Meeting some wonderful families in Indiana this week for A Child’s Guide to War! Here Producer Susan Hackley talks with a mother and her daughters about the impact of war on children and families.
A wonderful group of kids asks former Marine Silouan Green thoughtful questions about what it’s like to be a soldier.
Cameraman Tom Corey gets ready to start filming at WFYI studios in Indianapolis.
Join us on Monday, December 8, for a talk with Seth Moulton and Susan Hackley on why it’s hard to talk about war. Seth is Congressman-elect, MA 6th District, and a Marine Corps combat veteran. Susan Hackley is managing director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and producer of A Child’s Guide to War.
We have started filming—in Indiana and North Carolina—and we hope to film in Texas and California soon. If you know of families we could talk to about possibly being interviewed for the film, please contact us at email@example.com.
Here is an endorsement of our project from one of the experts we have interviewed for the film. He shares our belief that we need to show the impact of war on America’s children – a story that has not been told.
“Military children serve our nation every day, but they aren’t issued uniforms. Your focus on military children and their families addresses one of the largest segments of American society – and one of the least visible. Thank you for helping us bring information to the public in ways we never could otherwise.”
— Dr. Harold Kudler Associate Director, VA Mid-Atlantic Mental Illness Research, Education and Clinical Center Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine
Crew is heading to North Carolina for the next round of interviews! Now through Dec. 20. Looking for kids and families at Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune to share their stories. Contact us if you’d like to participate (or know someone who might be interested) at firstname.lastname@example.org!
A Child’s Guide to War will start interviewing kids and families right after Thanksgiving. In the coming weeks, the crew will be headed to Indiana and North Carolina. If you would like to learn more about the film and would be willing to be interviewed, please contact us at email@example.com.