JVIP is working to establish self-sustaining colonies of veterans interested in finding workable ways to live. In JVIP, a rotating roster of green building experts, artisans, and other teachers will help a core group of Marines build the first colony.
You may know the numbers:
More than one million veterans are unemployed.
As of 2nd Qtr of 2009, there were 111,239 cases of PTS diagnosed.
Nearly 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night.
Nearly 400,000 veterans experience homelessness over the course of a year.
Three thousand Marines divorced last year alone, many under the strain of lengthy deployments.
The VA's suicide hotline gets more than 14,000 calls per month; that is more than 450 a day.
In the last five years, the rate of soldiers hospitalized for having suicidal thoughts has soared to 7000%.
More soldiers have been lost to suicide than to Al Qaeda.
Veterans account for one of every five suicides in this nation.
Every day, another 18 veterans kill themselves.
A Fall 2011 report states that the military is losing the battle against suicide.
Every 80 minutes, a veteran commits suicide.
You may know about plenty of isolated patches out there to tackle this or that side of the issue.
JVIP proposes a 360-degree approach.
It starts with:
• A dozen Marines
• A plot of arable land
• Building supplies
• A rotating roster of experts in sustainable architecture, permaculture, native wisdom, spiritual enlightenment
• A rotating roster of painters, sculptors, potters, glass-blowers, blacksmiths, architects, novelists, photographers, poets, musicians, dancers, actors, film-makers, chefs, singers, inventors
• Five years
Goal: independence, prosperity, recovery, reciprocal learning
Not permitted: judgment
This is not a retreat but rather permanent ground broken to pave the way for similar colonies. For the rosters of experts and artists, this is a chance to serve.
• reduce suicides among post-military individuals by giving opportunities to come to terms with life
• reduce homelessness among post-military individuals by giving homes
• reduce unemployment among post-military individuals by teaching ways to sustain oneself
• reduce substance abuse among post-military individuals by giving support and encouragement not to self-medicate
• reduce debt among post-military individuals by giving a way to unplug from the consumerism that causes debt
• reduce PTS among post-military individuals by giving a safe, supportive, stable environment among peers and many chances to work out the imprint of trauma
• reduce alienation and isolation among the military by giving true community a chance to be developed
• reclaim dignity
• recycle post-military land
• test and pioneer methods of green building, permaculture, and sustainability
• open doors to nonconfrontational, nonjudgmental, mutually beneficial dialog and service between civilians and post-military individuals
In the words of JM Ivler, "We need a program of reintegration that has our young men and women working with students tutoring, in recreation setting and in schools, or rotates them to working in hospitals providing service to those in need, those with life threatening conditions, in hospices helping the terminal, or working with our elderly, those that have lived long lives and need help in the closing moments of theirs. Places where these people who have given up so much of their humanity for us can reconnect with that piece we asked them to leave behind, to reconnect with a society that is not based on the need to kill or be killed."
Areas of Expertise
Writing, Computer Software, English Language , Training and Education, Layout and design, Editing and publications
An idea worth spreading
The Joie de Vivre Independence Project is working to establish self-sustaining colonies of veterans interested in finding workable ways to live. In JVIP, a rotating roster of green building experts, artisans, and other teachers will help a core group of Marines build the first colony.
I'm passionate about
helping Iraq/Afghanistan veterans establish a sustainable way of life.
Talk to me about
sustainable living, art, music, permaculture, self-sustaining housing, ecological living, military suicide, homeless veterans, community building, dignity, independence, green building, home gardening
My TED story
At ECU's Arts Leadership Conference last summer, Emil Kang, Executive Director for the Arts at UNC-Chapel Hill, talked very animatedly about this wonderful Web experience called TED Talks. When I got home I looked into it and have been watching ever since.