There’s an expression among members of the military “Never leave a fallen warrior behind.” Never. Ever. It is with that credo that the Wounded Warrior Project (a PlowShare client) was created. Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) is an organization started by veterans to help fellow vets returning from battle in the Iraq and Afghani wars.
Men and women are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with the hopes of resuming life as they once knew it. But for many, it’s not that easy; particularly since three out of five soldiers return home suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Thank God Wounded Warrior Project is there with supportive programs designed to help these heroes cope and get back into life.
When WWP approached Plowshare to develop PSA’s that would address PTSD, we were honored to accept the assignment. PlowShare’s philosophy is to be seen as a contribution to its clients’ missions and we felt privileged to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives and futures of returning veterans. We got to work immediately.
Originally, we wanted to depict what goes through a soldier’s mind upon returning home. The scenarios, including soldiers reliving the horrors of war at the pop of a balloon or the dialing of a cell phone, proved much too violent to show. Instead, we decided to profile soldiers who had benefitted from working with WWP and are managing their PTSD today.
One spot features a Sgt. who returned from Iraq with PTSD and only one arm.
He spoke about how his family seemed foreign to him and that he felt like he didn’t fit in anymore; a heart-wrenching story contrasted by how well he is coping today.
In another spot, a soldier’s experience is shared by his emotional and grateful grandmother.
The objective of the third spot was to not only focus on PTSD, but also to showcase the WWP logo, which had almost no recognition. The logo is based on the “Never leave a fallen warrior behind” credo and depicts one warrior carrying another warrior off the battlefield. The spot was shot in the high desert of California in 120 degree heat, much like the environment our service men and women are currently serving in. When we were considering voice over talent we originally thought about a strong male voice; the voice of a warrior. However, once the spot was produced, we realized a voice counter to that of the warrior would be most effective. Kevin Costner was suggested as someone whose voice is friendly, comforting and would deliver the message poignantly. Mr. Costner graciously accepted our invitation to participate in the campaign and recorded three TV and three Radio PSA’s.
Now Kevin Costner dances with Warriors.
The spots have since been distributed to media outlets throughout the country and we’re working with the media to encourage support of this critical message. PlowShare will track that support and report results during the coming year. In the meantime, we’re honored to be able to contribute to WWPs mission and grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our wounded warriors and their families.
- John LaRock