Please support the "Why Can't We Serve" project, not only financially, but also by adding your voice to ours. Submit your comment by filling in the blanks and then click on "Submit." If you don't want to include your full name, please enter your first name and last initial, like "Charlotte T." Be sure to check out the other comments posted here.
"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
"I love this video and the message. I can't tell you how much I recognize the truth in it and how important it is. I have so many vets who are medically retired and spend the rest of their days trying to find an identity and purpose for themselves that is as meaningful as what they were doing in the service. I completely agree about the loss of identity as one of the most significant contributing factors to suicide." - Jane Strong, SEP, ESMHL, The Equus Effect, Sharon, CT, TheEquusEffect.org
"I was so glad to be able to finally see your incredible film, Marty. What an achievement and what an important conversation you are initiating. I learned much, was moved to tears, but mostly I felt energized by the film’s vision of what could be possible if we are to truly honor the needs of the people scarred by serving in the armed forces. Kudos to you and thank you for making the film!" - Julia Indichova
"I just finished watching the full documentary---loved it!!! What a great effort by you and all of your supporters! Loved your songs and your stories and I wish you the best promoting the film and will do what I can to spread the word! Thanks for all that you contribute to the healthy vision for our country and the world." - Marcy Tracy
"As a former Army nurse (1972-1974) and a person who had a sister who was a veteran and a suicide casualty, I applaud your work. It was an honor to be a part of the audience at Unity Eastside. I have a network of veteran connections who I will spread the word to, and will check to see when the video will be available for sale. When we 'disable the disability model' once and for all, and help each other move towards our own light and purpose, a healing peace will happen. Thank you again." - Karen Bauer
"I just watched the video clip my mom sent. I am so moved by your courage, activism, and open-heartedness. Though it was only a six-minute clip, I am getting a strong feeling that the work you are doing will be embraced and supported and you will touch, transform, and heal so many lives from this body of work. You are a true warrior. A warrior who is fierce, loving, gentle, determined, kind, strong, nonviolent, and a protector and supporter of his people! Thank you for the work you are doing in the world!" - Jerilyn Brownstein
"There have been a few steps forward. I know of some blind people and people with other disabilities who have been allowed to work out the rest of their military careers if they could do their jobs after being disabled. This is a solid step forward because when I went to work as a Federal employee, working for the Navy, they immediately cleared out and retired any person who became disabled in any meaningful way. Of course, I thought that was an idiotic waste of talent and training and told the military so for the full time of my career. (I retired in 2006 as a GS-12 computer specialist.) Now, as to your thoughts about them actually hiring disabled people, I’m in favor of that. Why? Because there are tons of former military people who never came anywhere close to combat and who worked in jobs that could have easily been performed by disabled people. (supply, computer, personnel, and others) There has to be some change in structure and thought but it should be done. In my case, for instance, had the military taken me on in my 20s, I would have had a dual-career skill set (counseling and personnel along with computer science) that they could use. Now, I ultimately went into Federal employment working in a Navy aircraft facility and although it was in many ways a hard stretch for them :-), they survived it and I did OK as well. And yes, during my multi-faceted career, I used both of my career skill sets. I ended up as a project lead with a good grade and high security clearance. Having been retired now for 9 years, I’m not as close as I used to be, but I do believe that my years of exposure and work with a lot of Navy people did help a bit. Hope your project goes well." - Paul Kurtz
"This program makes a lot of sense. There are many positions in the military that can be filled by disabled persons. By making that possible, there would be great benefit to many disabled persons and to our country." - Charles B. Nam
"I truly believe that this project is original and Marty is totally capable of completing this project. He is widely respected and his passion for this issue will sustain him." - Mel Scott
"What a great cause! I look forward to seeing this film." - Debbi Adelman
"As someone who recently retired from a career in the disability community, I understand how important employment can be in supporting self-esteem, physical and mental health, and living a fulfilling life. Why should we withhold these benefits from those who became disabled by serving their country, and from others with disabilities who want to do so? "Why Can't We Serve" needs to be filmed. Let's make it happen!" - Jeff Saulich
"This is an idea whose time has come! I support it with all my heart and soul!" - Lucy Torres