Sunday, November 9, 2008

Please support Project Promise Soldier

By Rick Morris

We at The Lounge are very pleased to endorse the Project Promise Soldier foundation, which is designed to support American heroes who were wounded in combat.

They have a tremendous fundraising project that is going on through this Tuesday, which is Veterans Day. We are proud to be able to help in a small way by reprinting information about this effort and the overall cause. I am personally very happy to see one of my favorite charities, Soldier's Angels, listed as a beneficiary of this event. Certainly, times are tough and we are cognizant of that. If you are looking for a place to put some charitable contributions this holiday season, please consider Project Promise Soldier and be aware that your donations are tax-deductible.


Project Promise is the brainchild of Joseph Anthony, a former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne and Vietnam Era Veteran. Together, with business partner Richard Mullaney, Joseph decided to make supporting the troops and caring for our wounded veterans part of Premiere Legend’s mission.

Moved by a photograph of one soldier carrying a wounded brother our of harms way, they contacted the photographer, purchased the rights to the photo and commissioned a sculpture of its likeness.

“It has always been a dream of mine to give something back to the military. Over the years, I’ve realized how important my military training was in helping me to become the person I am. Throughout my life, I have always been proudest of my military service.”

Project Promise is a non-profit organization formed to collect money to aid several agencies that work with wounded soldiers. Beneficiaries of the Project Promise kickoff event will be: The Rhode Island VA, Soldier’s Angels/ Project ValourIT, and The New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans. In the future, Project Promise will work in conjunction with other organizations.

About the Charities:

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled and adaptive laptop computers to wounded Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries at major military medical centers. Operating laptops by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, our wounded heroes are able to send and receive messages from friends and loved ones, surf the 'Net, and communicate with buddies still in the field. The experience of MAJ Charles “Chuck” Ziegenfuss, a partner in the project who suffered serious hand wounds while serving in Iraq, illustrates how important these laptops can be to a wounded service member's recovery.

The Mission of the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans is to extend a helping hand to homeless men and women veterans who are addressing the challenges of:

* addiction

* trauma

* severe and persistent mental illness, and/or

* unemployment

and who will commit themselves to sobriety, non-violence, and working for personal change. We are recognized as one of the most effective private veteran's transition programs in the country.

VAMC Providence proudly serves veterans in Rhode Island and eastern Massachusetts in its main medical center or one of five community-based outpatient clinics.


We recognize that there is an unspoken promise we, as citizens, make to care for our veteran’s and their families. Project Promise’s mission is to be part of the network of organizations that care for our wounded soldiers; to give something back to those who serve and protect our country and our citizens and to keep that unspoken promise.


Project Promise will hold an online event November 7th through November 11th to raise money for organizations that care for our wounded heroes. Submissions from all over the country will be posted on the website and the Project Promise pins and medallions will be available.

For every 15.00 donation, you will receive a “Project Promise Wounded Warrior” pin.

For every $50.00 donation, you will receive a “Project Promise Wounded Warrior Bronze Medallion.”

For Every $100.00 donation, you will receive a “Project Promise Wounded Warrior Silver Medallion.”

For every $250.00 donation, you will receive a Project Promise Wounded Warrior Gold Medallion.”

These amounts include shipping and handling.

Project Promise is currently accepting submissions in the form of written posts, audio and video posts to be rotated on the website from November 7th to November 11th. Send an essay, letter, poem, video or song that will play on the website and help us raise money for these very worthy charities.

The Sculpture:

The Wounded Warrior Sculpture is a sixteen-inch mounted bronze, bold-bas-relief piece of museum quality fine art. The bas relief term is defined as a two dimensional piece which produces a three dimensional illusion to the eye when viewed directly head on. The sculptor chose a bold depth of relief to give the bronze piece a more realistic look due to nature of the subject matter. The sculpture is a representational work of art based on an Associated Press photo taken by award winning photographer Laura Rauch, who was embedded with India Company, 3rd Batt., 7th Marine Division, for a period of four months.

On March 21, 2003, (the first day of the ground war in Iraq), India Co. came under hostile fire while on patrol near Az Bayer, Iraq. During the battle, a wounded soldier was gallantly carried out of the line of fire by a fellow Marine. Laura was able to capture that moment on film in a brilliant piece of photography that truly depicts the credo of the American soldier……”We will leave no-one behind.”. By working countless hours with this photo and other information, sculptor Doug Corsini conveys that compelling moment in time to give the Marines and all the soldiers of this war an everlasting image……of the American soldier at his fi nest ……..At another time and place, an iconic photo of the raising of the American Flag on Iwo Jima led to an equally famous sculpture………. this bronze sculpture is based on a photograph (and our own re-creation of it). The photo image was graciously supplied to us by Laura Rauch, and PLG subsequently purchased the rights to the photo from the Associated Press to serve as the visual mantra of Project Promise.

At this time we would like to explain the complete process that went into the creation of the Wounded Warrior bronze relief. A bold bas relief was chosen to serve as not only the original sculpture, but as a model from which to exactly duplicate other pieces that may be distributed to Military hospitals and other pertinent organizations, etc. We wanted to acquire a better knowledge and feeling of the photo we were to sculpt, so we decided to recruit the aid of two live soldiers, standing in the exact pose as in the picture, with the same exact equipment. After soliciting a few Military outfits, we were very fortunate to have a Marine Reserve Company in Providence, RI step up to the plate to help us in our cause with great enthusiasm. Commanding officer Major Bryan supplied two Marines who had just returned from a tour in Iraq, one of which was severely wounded and took the top Marine position in the picture. They posed in 90-plus degree hot mid-day sun for 1 ½ hours until our photographer had accumulated all the pictures necessary which our sculptor would need, not only to construct the two-dimensional model, but to eventually create a full-sized, 3-dimensional, life-sized sculpture.

Once back at the studio, the first step was to enlarge the AP photo and all the chosen pictures from the live photo session; attaching them to the walls throughout the studio for our sculptor, Doug Corsini, to constantly view as he began the 8 week process of modeling the sculpture in clay.

November 9, 2008,

Dear Friend:

I’m writing to you to ask for your help.

On Novemeber 7th, 2008 through November 11th, 2008, Project Promise will be holding an online event to raise money for our wounded veterans. We will post letters and essays, video and audio clips, poems and posts on Veteran’s Day and soldiers in tribute to the sacrifice of these American heroes.

Project Promise recognizes that there is an unspoken promise we, as citizens, make to care for our veteran’s and their families. Project Promise’s mission is to be part of the network of organizations that care for our wounded soldiers; to give something back to those who serve and protect our country and our citizens and to keep that unspoken promise.

We’d like to ask you to partner with us for this event.

We’d like you to ask your readers to submit their own stories, essays and clips that will post on the website and we’d like you to link to us in your blogroll. As the event gets closer, we’d like you to remind people to visit and to donate.

Attached is a packet of information about Project Promise and you can visit the website—which is still under construction for more information.

Project Promise’s motto is: “They take an oath, we make a promise.”

Please help us fulfill that promise.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks in advance,

Christine Hunsinger

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