The Fenton History Center’s Vets Finding Vets program, the Jamestown Community College Veterans Committee and History Department presented “Project 22”, a documentary film about the alarming rise in veteran’s suicide on February 6 in JCC’s Scharmann Theatre, Jamestown.
About one-hundred-fifty attended the film and about fifty stayed for the discussion following the screening. Veterans that served in World War II to the present conflicts were throughout the audience. “This was awesome,” was heard from many during the comment and discussion time following the film’s screening. Many expressed their gratefulness for the film’s message of hope and comradery which can lead to healing.
Barbara Cessna, Vet Finding Vets Coordinator, welcomed all and introduced the film’s executive producer, local son and Veteran Theo Collins. Theo is a licensed Attorney within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and a member of the Bar Associations of Pennsylvania and Allegheny County. He is graduate of the Duquesne University School of Law and a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia. He served as a Sergeant in the infantry of the U.S. Marine Corps, and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2011 in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He also serves on the Veterans’ Advisory Board of Duquesne University. The film was inspired by two combat wounded veteran’s personal loss and their determination to end a little-known epidemic in America. Their 22 day 6,500-mile cross-country mission was to raise awareness of the high rate of suicide amongst Veterans and show their brothers and sisters-at-arms that there is hope for them. The film is an uplifting journey that continues to become more and more hopeful as more Veterans join the journey.
Missions, the production company that made the documentary, continues
the awareness campaign, through events and social media, leading up to
and following the release of the documentary. “Project 22” has been
screened by request more than one hundred times around the United
States, including the television premier hosted by Southern Oregon
Public Television. The film can streamed for free 24/7 online at http://www.pbs.org/video/2365668749/
“Project 22” was entirely crowd-funded via an IndieGoGo campaign and private donations. Medicinal Missions is a production company and social enterprise co-owned by Daniel Egbert & Doc King. Their first production, “Project 22” is fiscally sponsored by From The Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit.
The Fenton’s Vets Finding Vets program connects veterans to other veterans through events and research projects. They each have war/conflict experiences and family stories that are unique and similar. There is no need to explain the effects of war or military life, each understands and their stories help those who have not served in the military to understand their struggles. The Vets Finding Vets program is coordinated by Barbara Cessna and funded in part by a grant from the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. All veterans are encouraged to join by calling the Fenton History Center at 716-664-6256. For more information visit the Fenton website, www.fentonhistorycenter.org or call the number above.
The Fenton History Center, Vets Finding Vets members, and Vets Finding Vets Coordinator Barb Cessna specifically would like to extend a formal thank you to JCC Staff members Melissa Stormer, Kayla Crosby, Traci Langworthy, and Steve Gustavson.. The Scharmann Theater was the perfect venue for this event. It was an absolute privilege for the Fenton History Center to give Jamestown, NY’s own Theo Collins a platform to share this necessary message.