Newsletter – October 2013

Newsletter – October 2013


On to Capitol Hill! 
“Veterans need real options when they are coming back, they don’t need programs or some pamphlets or a little bit of counseling. They need options that are going to allow them to take care of their families, pay their bills, and start a new life!” – Phil Northcutt, US Marine Corp

What is GROUND OPERATIONS?Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields is a social action campaign featuring a documentary film, with a national tour of community gatherings, to connect military veterans with opportunities in food and agriculture.

Our goal is to strengthen the veterans-in-agriculture network and increase their resources, so that they can create healthy new lives for themselves and delicious food security for us all.

Ground Ops played to three audiences in Washington state in September, to raise awareness and resources for Growing Veterans, a new organic farm in Bellingham.  At Growing Veterans it’s as much about the teamwork as the crops for these new farmers.  Recognizing isolation as being a key problem for returning vets, the farm is a safe place to get re-grounded, literally, in the company of other vets who share a common experience.

We moved on to Bremerton, home of the U.S. Navy Shipyard and the most amazing retro theater …. The Admiral! Onto Tacoma, playing at the University of Washington.  Some great connections were made between the veterans starting to farm, people with land, elected’s who support sustainable Ag, college counselors who work with vets, new Vet Corps leaders and plain ol’ local folks who support this endeavor.

Veterans Day Screenings in Nation’s Capitol
We are thrilled to tell you that we will be screening twice in Washington DC in observance of Veterans Day.  We are using this opportunity to share the commitment to service that our veterans continue to have, by working to grow community food security for families across America.

National Institute of Food & Agriculture (USDA) –  We are proud to share Ground Ops with the staff at NIFA and follow the screening with a panel discussion about the opportunities for veterans in agriculture.

Capital Visitors Center We are organizing now to do a screening of Ground Operations to Congressional members and staff, NGOs, military and civilians. Let us know if you want your Representatives to be invited!

Briefing at the Rayburn Building Friends at the Center for Food Safety are helping us organize a panel discussion/briefing for Congressional members and staff.

We Need Your Help to Get There & Make it All Happen!
This is a rare opportunity to share this message with Congressional members and staff as they return to the nation’s business.

But it’s an expensive trip.  We need company sponsors or individual donors to cover pieces of trip budget. Or … one check for the whole $4,500 and get branding P.R. throughout the Washington DC events!

  • $450 for the airfare (have air miles to share?)
  • $1500 for the catering at the Capitol Hill screening
  • $1,500 for hotels & meals (have hotel points?)
  • $350 DVDs and promotional expenses
  • $300 equipment rentals for Gilliard Farm screening
  • $450 for the car to get us from the DC events to:
  • ​North Carolina to connect with a veterans’ agricultural training program, Swords into Plowshares
  • South Carolina for a meeting with an Edible Magazine editor about a Spring screening at Furnam University with the Dept. of Agriculture
  • Finally – to coastal Georgia for a Farm-to-Table Food & Film event to benefit the Gilliard Farm.

Please DONATE and make Washington DC happen!    (

And good news, it’s all tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, From the Heart Productions (just check the second Donate button)

Two Festivals — Two Awards, Oh My
What a heartwarming month September turned out to be:

So exciting to win the Audience Favorite at DocUtah International Film Festival out of 62 films from 30 countries.  Even more gratifying were the veterans, from Iraq and Vietnam, who thanked us for “telling it like it is;” the woman who couldn’t wait to send it to her sister, a veteran who gardens; the mother of six whose husband came home with TBI and is looking for a new path, or the vet who was glad the theater was dark so he could have his tears. Those are the moments.

Two weeks later at Port Townsend Film Festival, we were doubly delighted to winThe Big Cheese Award (Social Justice) for “inspiring community.”  You couldn’t conceive of a better award for foodie filmmakers like me and Ray. Plus, we’ll get shipments of cheese throughout the year.  Now THAT’S what I call a great award!!

We’re in the News!So honored to write the cover story for this month’s Organic Gardening magazine:
See the photo story about Matthew & Althea Raiford, at whose farm we are doing a benefit food & film event Nov. 16 — and others from the film in the article.

And then the story was carried on the Slow Food USA blog:
“As a combat soldier I was involved in a lot of destruction.
Working with living plants, seeing them thrive,
does something on a very deep spiritual level.” 
– Mike Haines, US Marine Corps


Help us get the word out about the GROUND OPERATIONS campaign! 

  • Join our E-Mail list on our website.
  • Like us on Facebook & Follow us on Twitter.
  • Host a screening.
  • Donate products and services.
  • Who do you know? Connect us with people who can help us build this movement.

Buy a DVD, a T-shirt or one of our brand new HATS!

Just drop by the “Store” on the website:

Thanks for all that you do to create a more just, sustainable and delicious world,

Dulanie, Ray, Juna and the whole Ground Ops Team.




Moorpark Democratic Club
Clinicas del Camino Real




Echo Park Film Center




Nat’l Institute of Food & Agriculture




Capitol Hill



Washington DC
Carolinas & GeorgiaNovember 6-17
Please Donate Today





Comments are closed.