Welcome to our new site: we have great news to share:

Over the last couple of years, I have been keeping a low profile about the work we have been doing with Service Members and their Families, until now. I have conducted BROTHERS AT WAR RESILIENCY WORKSHOPS  for over 12,000 Service and Family Members, and because of their success, Gary Sinise has urged us to make these important materials (which we have been utilizing in the workshops) available to the public.

The heartfelt, positive response of Service Members and their Families to the BROTHERS AT WAR film, and the communication it generated within military families made a profound impression on me. I began to wonder if there was a way to take the family building impact of the film one step further. I had done a great amount of journaling upon my return from war and found the process helpful for my own reintegration. The idea came to share this technique, first during our Workshops, and now with you.

My producing partner for BROTHERS AT WAR, Norman Powell, responded enthusiastically to the idea, and we began to write the questions based on the large number of interviews we had done with Service Members. Ellen Levine created a complimentary visual look, and edited the BROTHERS AT WAR Companion Workbook with Sophie Yon Gharbi.

Gary Sinise was so impressed, he and TriWest sponsored six BROTHERS AT WAR RESILIENCY WORKSHOPS at Army Posts around the country. We received high praise from the Soldiers, their Families, Chaplains, Counselors, and Doctors.

The Oklahoma National Guard was searching for an innovative way to help address the needs of their Soldiers who had been at the front of the fight in Afghanistan, and were reeling from the loss of 15 of their Brothers-in-Arms. Military Spouse and Talk Radio Show Host, Beth Wilson, recommended our program. In order to help meet their needs, we completed our COMPANION WORKBOOK for SPOUSES, FAMILY, AND FRIENDS, and extended our Workshops to four hours to help address the issues their Soldiers and Family Members were facing.

Click here to see what they had to say

The Army Reserves also had us conduct 7 workshops during the same time.  See the Official Survey of the Reactions of the Soldier and their Families here

During the recent tornadoes in Oklahoma, 49 Soldiers, who returned from the war less than a year ago, lost their homes. I contacted them to find out how we can help.  What they need most is gift cards, so they can purchase necessities for their families, while they file insurance claims and get back on their feet. In order to give something back to these Military Families, we will donate $1 for every Workbook sold online for the next month to the Oklahoma National Guard Emergency Relief Fund. If you would like to donate directly, please send a check to:

Oklahoma National Guard Emergency Relief Fund

c/o Lisa Smith, Comptroller

3501 NE Military Circle

Oklahoma City, OK 73111-4305

 

Our Resiliency Program Is Now Available To You:

We will be doing an Official Launch later this year. However, we wanted to introduce it to you first, who have supported the journey of BROTHERS AT WAR. We would appreciate your feedback and comments on the new website and on the Companion Workbooks.

Conducting the Workshops has been inspiring, and I had the honor of working with Soldiers and Families of the North Dakota National Guard earlier this month, and I look forward to returning to Oklahoma on July 13th to work with more of their Soldiers and Families. Our program is fun, easy to do, and can help bring families closer together.

This has been an inspirational journey, and I am excited to now be able to share it with you.

Jake Rademacher

“Band of Brothers” posters auctioned off for a great cause

A friend of mine, Michael Broderick, who was the Marine Corps veteran who introduced “Brothers at War” to Gary Sinise, has taken on a new project in his mission to help returning veterans who have been at the front of the fight get paired up with other veterans who have successfully made the transition to the civilian life. He has trekked around the US tracking down WWII veterans of the legendary Easy Company, 101st Airborne Division and 28 members of the cast and crew of the critically acclaimed and award winning HBO miniseries: including Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Damian Lewis and many more, all of whom have signed a “Band of Brothers” movie poster. I thought this incredible piece of Hollywood and American history might look awesome hanging in your office or on display in your corporate headquarters.

The auction of this one of a kind poster runs until this Sunday, June 16th at 7pm Eastern. http://ebay.com/posterproject

100% of the proceeds from the auction go to GallantFew, a veterans support organization (501c3). Founded by retired Army Ranger Major Karl Monger, GallantFew’s mission is to reduce veteran unemployment and homelessness and to eliminate veteran suicide. Using their unique model of facilitating mentor relationships between returning veterans and a veteran in their community that has already made the transition to civilian life successfully, GallantFew has made a tremendous impact for many veterans. Put simply, GallantFew enables very personal, one on one support for veterans provided by their piers.

Go to http://posterproject.us to learn more about this great project! I hope you will consider supporting our returning military men and women by placing a bid on this one-of-a-kind item, and by sharing info on this project and the cause it supports with you family, friends, and associates.

My best,

Jake

 

This Memorial Day…

When I was a young boy, Memorial Day was exciting. It was the opening of the swimming pool, and after a day of pool games with my little brothers, my family would go to a picnic and cookout of epic proportions. Tables full of watermelon, burgers and brats, corn on the cob greeted my family now dressed up in matching outfits. Is it a wonder that so many of my siblings still wear matching outfits to work?

Now Memorial Day has different meaning. I just received an email from friend that Greg G. was badly injured by an IED in Afghanistan last Thursday. His cousin, Rick P., is a friend of mine who I see at least once a week in the lobby of William Morris. I met three of his cousins a couple of years ago after the NYC opening of Brothers at War. I can’t help but wonder if Greg was one of them. I know that in addition to those injured, eight died on Thursday in Afghanistan.

The fight for the souls of the civilians is ongoing. It is a fight won, one on one, as Marines and Soldiers slug it out across the mountains and in the villages of Afghanistan. For some, their older brothers or they themselves fought a similar fight house to house, block by block in Iraq.

Recently, I had the opportunity to hang out with 700 Soldiers at FT Riley, recently back from Iraq. They said, “Jake you wouldn’t recognize the place.” Basra, a town of six million people, looked like an oil boom town. During the entire deployment, they had only received 3-4 indirect fires (rockets or mortars lobbed into the base). I remember when going from 3-4 a day, to 3-4 a week was a major step forward. If what these Soldiers tell me is true, it seems to me that Iraq is the most significant victory the US Military has had since WW II. While the support is there, do you feel that they have received the praise they deserve for the part they played in this feat?

I looked at the long list of names on the Vietnam Memorial a couple of weeks ago. Each name a gift of life that was cut too short. Each name a tragedy, a tragic memory for their comrades, and a source of pain for their families. Many Vietnam Vets have told me, “I wish you were with us in Vietnam.” I wonder if maybe a side of their story has never made it back from the rice patties of South East Asia. They never lost a battle, but had to endure the scorn of many civilians, the lack of respect from vets of an older generation, “we won our war, what happened to you guys.”

While we think of, remember, and praise those who have fallen in service to our country, I hope we hold a piece of Memorial Day within us everyday and commit to serve their comrades who have made it home.

GI Jobs and Static Line magazines talk about Brothers At War

GI Jobs Magazine is a great resource for our veterans trying to transition back into civilian life. Make sure to check out their website for great career tips or to get help with your resume, find out what your civilian salary should be and connect with others.
In their December issue, they review the film and interview one of our very own, Ben Fischer – you may remember him from the film- to talk about his transition back into civilian life in a wonderful 4-page spread.

Static Line Magazine is a monthly publication for, by and about paratroopers, glidertroopers, air assault troopers, and those with airborne hearts and has been supporting the airborne community since 1947.

Click on the images below (zoom in on each one) to read.

Jake

Static Line Magazine Review:

Happy New Year

Happy Holidays and a very happy New Year

To those who have spent a Holiday overseas in a war zone, and are home this
year, welcome home. Scarcity creates a deeper appreciation for this time of
year and I hope this Holiday is truly a blessed time for you.

After spending 7 Christmases in a war zone we were glad to have Isaac and
Joe home this year. Hunter was excited to introduce her new little brother
to Christmas. My little sister Hannah, not wanting to miss out on this
Rademacher rite of passage was following in the family tradition and
spending her Christmas Holiday deployed overseas in Korea.

For those deployed overseas, thank you for sacrificing your Christmas
Holiday to serve us. For those of you in an active AO, our prayers and
thoughts are with you. We wish you continued success in your missions.
Please come home safe and sound.

Our very best to all!

Jake and the Brothers At War team

In the past years, we were able to raise funds for organizations offering
comfort to our nations military and their families. Please see below for a
small list of the organizations that you have helped us to support in 2010.
Thanks to your generosity, we will continue on this path in 2011:

If you would like to send a care package to a deployed service member,
support Operation Gratitude who has sent over 500,000 packages.

Literacy and education are the key to a better future for the children of
Iraq and Afghanistan. To put school supplies in the hands of our service
members to give to these children, please support Operation International Children

Americansniper.org an organization close to my brother Joe and all snipers’ hearts, has been providing much needed gear to our snipers who
operate in the most vulnerable positions to take out those who would harm our service members

To send the children of our fallen warriors on a vacation to create new
memories, friendships, laughs and provide them with hope, give your support
to Snowball Express

During the month January, you can choose to support any one of these
organizations when you make a purchase through out website. Simply click on
the “buy the DVD’ link on top, put in the appropriate key code below at
check out and we will donate $2 to the organization on your behalf; you will
receive a $2 discount on your purchase of a DVD, CD or poster.

Please enter the respective keycodes at checkout while making your purchase.

“package” for Operation Gratitude; “education” for Operation
International Children; “sniper” for Americansniper.org and “snowball” for Snowball Express.

Thank you for helping us to raise over $100,000 for our service members and
their families!

Veterans’ day Post

In making Brothers at War, I had the rare opportunity to embed with a sniper team in the middle
of the Sunni Triangle. These warriors take out some of the worst insurgents before they have
the opportunity to trigger Improvised Explosive Devices to kill US Service Members and Afghani
and Iraqi Civilians and Soldiers. Not only are they extremely effective, snipers minimize civilian
causalities, and also gather valuable Intel.

SSG Joseph Rademacher has deployed multiple times as a sniper in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
He has been in numerous combat engagements. He currently trains and prepares other snipers
for combat at sniper school in Fort Benning, GA.

With Veterans’ Day fast approaching, Joe would like to reach out to the Brothers at War
Community and bring a worthy organization to your attention. Snipers take big risks to guaranty
safe homecomings for their brothers-in-arms, it is my hope that this organization which helps
them will make it on to your short list of organizations to support this year.

From a recent email from Joe:

“Americansnipers.org is one of the most effective charities for the troops. Many charities send
creature comforts to the troops overseas, which is great, but we would rather have the scope we
need for our rifle than a bag of M&Ms. This organization is designed to increase the lethality of
the American Sniper on the battlefield, which is the #1 casualty producer on the battlefield and
the greatest protective measure for our troops.

The sniper section is the smallest organization inside an infantry unit therefore they often get
forgotten about or neglected when it comes to funds and equipment. I for one have had this
happen to me. Before my second deployment, I worked with my chain of command to send our
sniper rifles to the manufacturer to get a much-needed upgrade. Long story short; we never got
our sniper rifles while in Iraq. How effective is a sniper team without their sniper rifle? We finally
got them back AFTER our deployment to Iraq MINUS the upgrades (the manufacturer actually
took them off) because the unit didn’t want to spend the money to keep the upgrades.

If you ask any operational sniper who has been deployed multiple times they will surely tell you a
story very similar to mine. This organization is designed to have stories like mine end happily ever
after, instead of being told by higher do the best you can with what you got.

This organization is much needed for the sniper community, because it fills a gap that is often
left wide open. This organization has a special place in my and many other sniper’s hearts. They
truly are phenomenal.”

SSG Joseph Rademacher
US Army Sniper School Instructor

Americansnipers.org was first created in 2003 by a small group of US police snipers as a support
network to address the operational equipment needs of US military snipers deployed abroad.
Due to the enormity of the commitment in Iraq and Afghanistan and the differences between the
various units and staff personnel; many American snipers and designated marksmen were, and
still are, having to spend their own funds and enlist their families and friends in procuring gear
and getting it to them in the middle of a war zone. For the past seven years, Americansnipers
has been aiding as many military snipers as possible in over 150 sniper platoons of the military.

To donate go to Americansnipers.org. Further, throughout the month of November and
December, simply enter “sniper” at check out and you will also receive $2 off your Brothers At
War DVD and we will be donate $2 to americansnipers.org.

I cannot think of a better way to honor veterans than to support their brothers in arms working

hard to ensure more safe returns.

To all the veterans, thank you.

Jake Rademacher

Election Night

Recently, I was able to lend my support to one of our Iraq War Veterans running for Congress. I was honored to be present in San Diego on Tuesday night to support Nick Popaditch (pictures below).

As a Marine, Nick was involved in some of the most pivotal tank engagements of the Iraq War, including the push into Iraq and the battle for Fallujah. While a Tank Commander and Gunny Sergeant in the USMC on his third deployment during the battle for Fallujah, Nick received a Silver Star for Valor. The next day he was hit in the head with a rocket. Footage of him attempting to pull himself out of his burning tank, blood streaming down his face was captured by a camera man, and then broadcast around the world. Filmmakers and Major News Networks used Nick’s image to portray the war as a lost cause. They never asked him what he thought.

I met Nick at Troopathon where we both appeared to raise money to send care packages to our troops serving overseas. We met over dinner. I told him that he ought to flip the script and do a campaign commercial where he used that image and then told his own story. Nick instantly liked the idea. Here is the finished spot, “Flip The Script”

My producing partner from Brothers at War, Norman Powell was inspired by Nick’s courage, integrity, and perseverance and agreed to produce a couple of spots with me. He came up with a second concept based on Nick’s belief in our Chain of Custody, our responsibility to protect the gifts given to us by our fore fathers and pass them down to the next generation.

Click here to see “Chain of Custody”

Nick won the Republican Nomination. Then started the race a 50-point underdog against a 9-term incumbent in a district where 70% of the voters were registered democrats. He turned down special interest money, and spoke from his heart, in the process building a strong corps of supporters in his district. The weekend before the election, his opponent Bob Filner, released a commercial that said Nick had not voted in the last 11 years, “does he really care…” Not only had Nick voted, in 2004 he had gone to the polling station, recently back from Iraq, blind in both eyes, and used Braille so that he could vote. Over the course of his campaign in spite of his opponent out spending him by 600%, Nick gained 31 points on his opponent, and finished with 41% of the vote.

Regardless of your party affiliation, or thoughts on different issues, I thought you might enjoy the opportunity to get to know Nick. I was inspired by his integrity, passion for our country, and desire to serve. Norman and I put this together so that others could have the chance to spend 5 minutes with Nick:

“Nick Popaditch”

Even Abraham Lincoln lost his first election. If you think that Nick should run again in the future, go to popaditchforcongress,com and tell him how you feel. It is my hope that we can get Gunny Pop to run again. We need more like him in Leadership positions in our Government. I think he has also a set a wonderful example for our wounded war heroes that their war wounds need not keep them from serving again.

Chosin

A couple friends of mine, Marines Brian Iglesias and Anton Sattler, both Iraq War Vets have a documentary about the Korean War called “Chosin” coming out in NYC this weekend and LA next weekend.

“Chosin” won the best doc award at the GI Film Festival this year, and had a predominately veteran crew working on this film about our Korean Vets. The filmmakers will attend screenings on the weekend, and I will try to make it to one of the LA screenings myself! What our American vets did at Chosin was extraordinary and I look forward to seeing some of these revealing interviews. Because these veterans were being interviewed by recent combat veterans, I think the film may provide some special insight.

Please do take a look at their website and make sure to “like” their facebook page and follow them on twitter @frozenchosin. And of course, tell your friends.

If you have a chance to check it out, let us know what you think. Here’s where it’s playing in the next 2 weeks:

In New York at The Village East Cinema 10-16 September, show times are 12 noon & 9:50 PM.

In LA at the Laemmle Sunset 5 17-23 September. Show times posted next week!

Jake

Have a great school year and a happy labor day.

Looking at my niece Hunter growing up by the minute, my heart goes out to all the children of our soldiers who are starting this year with some of the changes being a military family can bring: some may have just moved to a new town and must start by making new friends, some have welcomed a parent back home, others may have had to say goodbye to one.

For most of these kids, an afterschool activity, whether it is sports, science, art, or music will be a great way to fit in, have fun, discover a hidden talent, and maybe for a moment, forget and just be a regular kid.

However, many Guard and Reserve families are so financially stretched they cannot afford the fees for sports, fine arts, or tutoring programs so crucial to their children’s sense of well being. Children of wounded warriors face similar financial difficulties along with the challenges of learning to adapt to the physical, mental, and emotional changes in a loved one.

Our Military Kids, founded in 2004, stepped in to fill some of the gaps these families may face with a simple grant program that pays for children’s activities.

The Brothers At War team felt this was a great organization to raise funds for with our back to school post. Eligible families apply for a grant and within days of receiving the application in the Our Military Kids office, a packet is sent to the child thanking them for their service to our country and notifying them of the award, and a check is sent directly to the activity’s service provider.

During the month of September, with every purchase made through our website, we will donate $2 to Our Military Kids on your behalf. You will also receive an additional $2 off the purchasing price.
Simply click on the “buy the DVD” button on the upper right to be taken to our store page. And make sure to enter “ourkids” at checkout.

You can also make a donation directly to Our Military Kids by visiting their website . If you know a family that could benefit from a grant, please direct them there. And make sure to mark your calendar: During the month of October, you will be able to vote for them through the Pepsi Refresh Project and hopefully help them win big!

Once again, I want to thank you all for the support you have provided. Your feedback and suggestions by email or on our Facebook and Twitter walls, is always welcome. Keep it coming!

Have a great back to school month, and enjoy a wonderful, family-filled Labor Day weekend.

Jake Rademacher and The Brothers At War team.