22 veterans take their own lives every day.
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!
If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention!
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires all major businesses and corporations to hire people with disabilities. This applies to most government agencies as well, with one glaring exception—the U.S. military, which is not required to comply with the ADA.
Author, disability activist, and blind Air Force veteran Marty Klein has completed production of a feature-length documentary film called “Why Can’t We Serve.” The goal is to help reduce the number of veteran suicides taking place in our country every day, as well as raise the standard of living for all people with disabilities.
View the trailer of the film for a sample of the issues it is taking on. See the entire documentary on YouTube. And consider supporting it with a financial contribution and by adding your thoughts to our Comments page.
The entire Why Can't We Serve documentary film is now available to the public free! Go to this YouTube link to watch the 53-minute film, which includes an introduction by filmmaker Marty Klein.
Theme Song from the Movie Is Now Free!
“I wrote 'A Veteran’s Anthem' to help all vets focus more on life and living, rather than thinking about death and dying,” Marty Klein says. Now you can get a high-quality MP3 of the theme song for free! Listen to it with the player below, or download it with the link below that. The song was performed by Marty and his very talented friends, including John Sebastian of the Lovin' Spoonful.
Even if the world is truly falling apart, we still need to function as if we will survive. Right? Even in spite of the warming climate, the global viruses, and the divisive political situation, we need to honestly assess what is best for each one of us, today and in the near future. What happens to us and the world in the far future is a mystery and I just hope that I am still around to be a part of it all.
So now I have chosen a slightly different path for my life that has me seeking some highly motivated veterans to carry the torch of continuing to bring veteran suicides to the public awareness. It’s still an ongoing tragedy and we must keep the issue in the news as best as we can.
It’s been over six years since I had the idea of making a documentary and now the Why Can’t We Serve film is out and available on YouTube for anyone to watch. So please watch the movie, and if you are enthusiastic about helping to reduce vet suicides, then contact me. I am ready to pass the torch, knowing that we are in a marathon race for the lives of veterans.
You can also check out this website to learn more about my efforts and the efforts of others who have joined the team over the years. It’s a worthy project, and it deserves some good men and women to carry the torch. Will you take on this noble task? I thank you, in advance, for your desire to help move this project forward.
With deep gratitude,
Sgt., USAF, Retired
3 Ways YOU Can Help!
Letter to President Biden
A supporter of the Why Can't We Serve documentary project has written an open letter to President Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, copying former presidents and first ladies, urging them to watch the film and take these issues to heart. Links to a full-size JPG image of the letter and an accessible text version are below.
"What I have to say about Marty is that I have not met anyone in my life who is more persistent. He called me some years ago asking if we could meet and perhaps he could interview me for a film he was making. I had just finished writing my novel Brother Keeper and had been hoping that I was done with putting so much of my life force into looking for a cure from the war. Marty was asking me to return to the topic of Vietnam which I knew would be stirred up.
"After many phone calls, my inability to fully say 'no' to this gentle, kind, and concerned man turned into, 'Alright, come over with your crew and I'll talk with you.'
"I was working outside in my yard when a blind man with a white cane came tapping up my driveway. An hour and half later after a plunge into my life and war history, which brought tears, anger, and unexpressed emotions, I watched Marty tap back down my driveway.
"This began our friendship. What I was to learn about Marty is that if he sets his intentions on doing something, it gets done. I learned how he first struggled with blindness that came upon him while in the Air Force. I heard how he sought many of the ways I had to try to escape the emotional pain of his loss.
"To bring a close to a longer story, I got to know a man whose recovery was as close to astounding as any I had seen in my 25 years of working as a psychotherapist and the head of veterans' treatment at Four Winds Hospital. Marty Kline is one of the most balanced, compassionate, kind, and loving friends I have. Marty has used his creativity and intellect by including his disability into the art of living. Proof that trauma does not have to be the only mouthpiece to being heard. As you watch the first film made by a blind man, you will understand what I have been talking about."
- Larry Winters, introducing Marty Kline at the Veterans' Day screening of the Why Can't We Serve documentary at the FDR Library in Hyde Park, New York
Find out what others are saying about Why Can't We Serve by going to the Comments page.
The movie-turned-movement, its theme song, and its director have gotten lots of press, including feature articles in U.S. Veterans Magazine and the Times-Union newspaper in Albany, NY. Keep up with what the news media are saying about Why Can't We Serve by visiting the Media Coverage page.
The Why Can't We Serve documentary project has an active presence in social media. Tap into the buzz by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter.
Major Ivan Castro is one of the inspiring veterans featured in the Why Can’t We Serve documentary. He also got media exposure in July 2018 when he ran with the bulls in Spain! Check out this report that aired on CBS This Morning.
Marty Klein Interviewed on Public Radio
Marty Klein, left, explains the documentary project to Tom Flanigan at WFSU-FM.
Why Can't We Serve filmmaker Marty Klein was interviewed on March 1, 2019, by Tom Flanigan, program director for news at WFSU-FM, the flagship public radio station in Tallahassee, FL. They talked about a showing of the film and a preliminary event, as well as the reasons behind the project. The report aired several times on the morning of March 5. Check it out on the Media Coverage page.
Tom Flanigan, left, and Marty Klein thank each other for a great interview!
An excellent article by David Barno and Nora Behsahel shares some very valid thoughts on how to show your appreciation when you meet someone who is or was in the armed forces. Their suggestions are worth practicing all the time, not just on Veteran's Day. Take a few moments to read "How to Talk to a Veteran."