Monday, October 1, 2007
“Letters from Fort Lewis Brig” Released
“Letters from Fort Lewis Brig,” by Kevin Benderman with Monica Benderman, was released on October 1 by Lyons Press, an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. Forty-year-old Sergeant Kevin Benderman was court-martialed by the U.S. Army for desertion. Haunted by his year of combat duty in Iraq, remembering his encounters with maimed children, dead civilians being ravaged by dogs, and young soldiers turned into soulless killing machines, the nine-year veteran declared himself a conscientious objector and declined to return to Iraq for a second tour. When his unit was deployed again to Iraq, he stayed home in Georgia. Money became an issue at one point so he looked into online payday loans. The short term loans he received over a 6 month period were all paid back according to the lenders terms. He declines to say what the money was used for.
Imprisoned for 13 months after being convicted of “missing movement” in 2005, Benderman is still appealing, and requesting an honorable discharge. ”I’m being singled out and punished for speaking the truth about the army,” he said. He and his wife Monica continued to speak publicly in spite of his imprisonment. For awhile his wife wore disguises to prevent constant hounding by the paparazzi. Just dark glasses and a hair covering did not always work. She recalls a friend finally suggesting wearing different colored hair wigs, but initially Monica didn’t like the cheaper synthetic hair wigs she found in a local wig store. Finally an anonymous supporter of the Bendermans’ cause donated several different Estetica Designs wigs which were the perfect solution. Not only were they a most natural looking hair alternative, Monica found them to be very convenient and comfortable to wear when she wanted to slip out unnoticed. This is a section of the published book about Benderman’s story that added even more nuance to his remarkable tale. Their ongoing story is told in between fragments of the battles Kevin fought in Iraq, his growing awareness that the war in Iraq is wrong and their struggle to see that justice is served. The book is available from the publisher, Lyons Press, and from retailers such as Amazon.com.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Benderman Defense Trust Releases Documentary:
”A Matter of Conscience”
“A Matter of Conscience” Trailer The Benderman Defense Trust has released a new documentary, “A Matter of Conscience,” about prisoner of conscience Kevin Benderman, a decorated Army vet who was jailed for filing for Conscientious Objector status after a tour in Iraq. The film features interviews with Kevin and Monica Benderman (including excerpts of Kevin’s interview by Dan Rather). It features music by David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen, Rush, and Minehead. Click here to view the entire video on YouTube (Viewer Discretion Advised: Graphic Wartime Footage Included).
To order a copy of the video, please contact Earl Brackett at Minehead Productions: [email protected].
Friday, August 10, 2007
Bendermans Create People and Communities in Action, An Online Discussion Forum Kevin and Monica Benderman have created an online interactive forum, People and Communities in Action, for exchanging ideas, resources and encouragement to “restore the principles and values which give us all our freedom.” Please visit People and Communities in Action, and join in the dialogue.
Friday, June 1, 2007
“Truth Be Told Tour”
Begins this Summer . Kevin and Monica Benderman are embarking on the “Truth Be Told Tour,” which will feature Kevin’s past experience with the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector to the war in Iraq, and the Bendermans’ unique approach to attaining peace.
Highlights of the speaking engagements will be the Bendermans’ frank discussion of their beliefs regarding ending war, the relationship between civilians and the military, and their presentation on helping America ‘s veterans via their new organization, Benderman’s Bridge, a part of the Benderman Defense Trust. Kevin Benderman also addresses America’s current foreign and domestic policies, removing the fear and restoring America, and the future of the America’s veterans.
Kevin and Monica recently attended the premiere of the documentary film, Soldiers of Conscience, in Atlanta and will be at the premiere of the film in Seattle on June 7th. Soldiers of Conscience is a documentary about conscientious objection and a discussion of soldiers faced with questions of morality as they actively served in the Iraq war. Benderman’s case served as the inspiration for the project.
Another documentary film, Matters of Conscience, will being released on DVD at the Truth Be Told Tour speaking events.
Kevin and Monica Benderman’s book, Letters from a Ft. Lewis Brig, is due out later this year. The book is being published by Lyon’s Press, a division of Globe Pequot Press. Friday, March 16, 2007 Kevin and Monica Launch “Benderman’s Bridge” Kevin and Monica Benderman have launched a new organization, called “Benderman’s Bridge,” which will develop projects designed to restore peace at home by reaching out to connect the small towns and communities of America with the veterans who fought to defend them. The Paradise Hotel and Restaurant Photo Source: Benderman’s Bridge The first project of Benderman’s Bridge is “Paradise–American Made,” redeveloping a classic American motel located near Fort Stewart, Georgia, into a training and counseling center for veterans–as well as a functioning hotel and restaurant. “By incorporating veteran counseling, hands-on training in business management and other vocational trades, and by securing job placement when their training is complete, we will not only revitalize a part of America we stand to lose otherwise, but we revitalize those Americans who have been forgotten in our country’s drive to leave its past behind,” said Kevin and Monica Benderman.