Sunday, February 24, 2013

ONE VET AT A TIME Reality TV Proposal

Innovative Solutions for Helping Our Veterans

Below is a reality TV show proposal I'm working on that could help our U.S. military vets and their families. If you know of anyone who could help move this project forward, please share this post with them.


The thousands of U.S. military men and women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan to civilian life bring with them a host of problems — problems already affecting previous veteran populations such as those from the Vietnam War — and these problems spill over into the rest of the U.S. population.

These problems include:

  • Drug use
  • Violence
  • PTSD
  • Spousal abuse
  • Homelessness
  • High suicide rate

With VA hospitals and other government programs unable to address all these issues, innovative solutions by others are being developed. Los Angeles is fortunate to be at the center of some of the most innovative solutions.

In addition to showcasing these innovative solutions, ONE VET AT A TIME will focus on the men and women veterans and their families who are getting help through these innovative solutions — as well as those who have not yet been helped.

The reality show’s goal — in addition to showcasing these innovative solutions, the veterans and their families — is to encourage others to participate in finding ways to help our heroes.

Format of show:

Each week the host visits the site of one innovative solution, showcasing brief interviews with the creators of the solution and then interviews and clips of the veterans being helped.

For example, in the LA County Veterans Court episode, we would talk briefly to the judge, interspersed with scenes from the courtroom, and then interview and visit in their daily lives the vets (and their families) being given this second chance.

Host of show:

The host of the show can be decided on from a pool of celebrities such as Gary Sinise (who actively works on behalf of veterans) or James Gandolfini (exec producer of HBO documentary “Wartorn 1861-2010”) to others involved in helping our heroes.

Sample episodes:

A Former Vet Sits in Judgment at Veterans Court

Veteran and Superior Court Judge Michael Tynan heads the LA County Veterans Court and is already on board this project. He runs a tight shop in the innovative collaborative justice model of the Veterans Court (for example, he requires veterans to write essays about why they are messing up) and his courtroom is at odds with the usual American adversarial justice system.

Local Doctor Hired by LA VA Hospital to Help with Homeless Vets

A UCLA medical doctor has been hired by the VA Hospital in LA to help assess what can be done with the huge population of homeless vets in Los Angeles. Many people in the LA community wonder what the VA Hospital is doing with its huge tract of land in West LA. Why can’t housing be provided the vets on that land?

National Food Organization Starts Food Program for Vets and Their Families

MAZON’s Help Our Heroes initiative addresses challenges that military personnel and veterans face in feeding themselves and their families, including their ability to access federal nutrition assistance programs.

LA County Bar Association Uses Local Lawyers to Help Vets in Hot Water

The LA County Bar Association recently approved the Armed Forces Committee, which works to help veterans with their legal programs, including child custody issues.

USC Uses Virtual Reality Therapy for Help with Post Traumatic Stress

USC is expanding the landscape of treatment for PTSD by using virtual reality therapy.

UCLA Operation Mend Repairs Badly Burned Facial Injuries

“UCLA Operation Mend is a groundbreaking program that provides returning military personnel with severe facial and other medical injuries access to the nation's top plastic and reconstructive surgeons, as well as comprehensive medical and mental-health support for the wounded and their families.”

Oscar connection:

The Oscar-nominated documentary THE INVISIBLE WAR was created by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick. The Jewish Journal (Los Angeles) Feb. 8-14 article “A Visible War Against Military Rape” by Danielle Berrin states:
Another of the film’s producers, public relations executive Regina Kulik Scully, stepped forward with a half-million dollars (in addition to her contribution to the production) to pilot The Artemis Rising Invisible War Recovery Program, a two-week residential treatment program at The Bridge to Recovery in Santa Barbara.

The pilot program began Feb. 3 with five of the women from the film. In addition to offering intensive individual and group therapy along with equine therapy, yoga and dance, a researcher from Stanford has attended the retreat to gather data for a scientific study, hoping to quantify the program’s results.

If effective, Ziering and Scully suggest it could become a prototype for the VA, a model for future treatment. “Right now, the one-stop shop is pharmaceuticals,” Ziering said.
This too could be an episode of ONE VET AT A TIME.

Click here to read the entire Jewish Journal article — especially how Ziering got this documentary to the top military brass, which resulted in a policy change.

If you want to help move ONE VET AT A TIME forward, contact me at with ONE VET AT A TIME in the subject line.

P.S. I also have a proposed scripted TV series to address these same issues. Click here to read about SOLOMON'S JUSTICE.

Phyllis Zimbler Miller is the author of the 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist MRS. LIEUTENANT and the co-author of the Navy thriller LT. COMMANDER MOLLIE SANDERS. Phyllis is the co-founder of the marketing consulting company Miller Mosaic LLC, which works with clients to attract more business. Read her book-related posts at

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