What do you think of when you hear the word "veteran"? Do you have a specific image in mind? Is it an elderly man in a wheelchair? That seems to be a common stereotype, but in fact, thousands of soldiers sign up for military service and get an honorable discharge in their early 20's. Some of us stay in until retirement, which in the military can be reached at the age of 37.

Who else do you know who might be 37 and retired? Well, it's not that we don't do anything after we're done with the service. Most of us start new careers and while some choose a career that is related to our specialty in the service, many decide to follow their passion, like... acting or film making. That's not an easy profession to be in, especially when you might be 20 years behind everybody else. That doesn't stop a strong minded person though. We do our best as we strive to reach our goals and bring our art and creativity to the world.

The minute I learned about the existence of Veterans in Film and Television, I asked myself a question - what can I do to help. Within an hour I reached out to the representatives of this nonprofit organization and offered them my services. After all, "ask not what your country can do for you..."

There are many obstacles that veterans face after reemerging in the civilian life. Can we succeed despite it all? You bet we can! But do consider this: the next time if you want to cast someone for your film, or hire a writer or a DoP, why not turn to those who bravely volunteered to serve for this great country that we live in? Check out VFTLA.org to hire a veteran for you next film.


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