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How to Help Veterans Overcome Addiction

By Resources

BlueCrest Recovery’s mission is to provide every client with individualized treatment while reinforcing the importance of 12-step recovery and educating them on its principles. Through genuine clinical relationships using the best treatment practices available, BlueCrest’s goal is for clients to leave with the foundation needed for long-term, meaningful recovery.

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Marine Corps Veteran Dustin Jones Selected For MVJ/NPR’s First Internship

By News

Earlier this year, Military Veterans in Journalism partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) to offer a paid, remote Fall internship to one military veteran. NPR chose Dustin Jones, who served in the United States Marine Corps.

Dustin provided an update on what he has been working on since September.

“I have focused on the wildfires in California, tracking down and interviewing sources for the Weekend edition All Things Considered,” Dustin writes. “One story was about former incarcerated persons who hope to become fire fighters after serving their sentences. Another story was about the wildfires near Santa Rosa, CA and how the increasing intensity of wildfire season is making residents reconsider their choice to live in California.”

“NPR has long been a beacon in broadcast journalism, and their work to expand the diversity of their staff shows they will lead and innovate within our beloved field for generations to come,” MVJ President Russell Midori said. “Dustin’s work will inform you, inspire you, and break your heart. People trust him with their stories – stories they might never tell anyone else.”

Dustin spent four years in the Marine Corps from 2007-2011. He served on two combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan in the First Battalion Third Marine Regiment. Within that time, he exemplified strong leadership while selecting and training new platoon members. He also has won multiple awards, including two meritorious promotions and was selected as Marine of the Quarter.

While deployed to Afghanistan in 2009-2010, journalists from The New York Times were at his small patrol base. Marine Corps veteran turned journalist CJ Chivers and Photographer Tyler Hicks wrote several stories about Dustin’s unit and his friends. His passion and purpose for journalism flourished from the stories they covered.

“I realized that was what I wanted to do when I left the military, share people’s stories,” Dustin said. “So after leaving the Marines in 2011, I attended the University of Colorado, where I studied journalism and photography. I worked as a reporter and news manager for a small Montana paper for a year and a half before attending Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where I received my masters in journalism with a focus in documentary production.

Despite his accomplishments and familiarity with weapon systems, land navigation survival tactics, and training, the military did not fully prepare him for a career in journalism.  Dustin spoke candidly about obstacles in getting his big break.

“I didn’t have much help after leaving the military, which definitely made the transition harder than expected. Classes were not particularly hard because of the work ethic I developed in the Marines, but I didn’t have many networking opportunities. When I graduated in 2015, it took me over a year to find a journalism job, which brought me to Montana in January of 2017,” Dustin said.

Dustin is now a well-rounded storyteller with skills in photography, writing, editing, and video production. He is currently producing a film about a Marine struggling with PTSD and suicidal tendencies in a VA inpatient program.

He is grateful that Military Veterans in Journalism secured an opportunity like this to help shape his professional growth further in journalism.

“My chances for landing the internship went up drastically because of the efforts of MVJ. I am also working with mentors to try and map out a career path and finding a home for some of my other work,” Dustin said.

Kristin Van Meerbeke has worked as the Talent Operations and Intern Program Manager at NPR for over two years.  She assists with on-boarding new employees, works with our temporary employee population, and manages the intern program at NPR.

“We canceled our summer 2020 program because of COVID as we weren’t ready to pivot to a remote program so quickly and we wanted to make sure we were not only providing a rich experience for our interns; but also supporting our staff,” Kristin said. “We didn’t think we could do that so soon; but we brought our program back this fall in a fully remote capacity. We limited the number of positions from our typical 60+ to about 34 interns anticipating there would be some new and unique challenges offering our program remotely for the first time.”

An internship is a great way to get started in journalism. It allows for networking and getting hands-on experience, positioning one for a full time role. With NPR, interns will gain exposure to training, its daily operations, and work alongside world-class journalism professionals.

MVJ and Video Consortium Collaboration

By News

Calling all MVJ members in photojournalism and video journalism: Do you want to feature some of your best work for Veterans Day?

MVJ is proud to be teaming up with Video Consortium, a global nonprofit creative community committed to supporting and uniting today’s top emerging voices in documentary film and video journalism.

This is a chance to screen your nonfiction films and photography next month, and we’re asking for submissions. We would love to showcase your hard work and skills. From covering disaster relief efforts, to Black Lives Matter protests, to what is happening within our current news climate, this is an event you certainly don’t want to miss. This is an opportunity for you to connect with other veterans in the business while promoting your strongest work.

When deciding which films, videos or photos to submit, please keep in mind that it must be nonfiction and relevant. So if your film or video is a year old, ask why it must be shown today. Moreover, look at the visual and technical precision.

Here’s how it will work:

1) If your film or video is a long piece, then an excerpt will be shown.

2) Space is limited, so you have until Friday, October 30th at 4pm ET to submit. *Please note that in order to successfully submit your work, you must become a member of MVJ first. If you haven’t purchased a membership yet, click here.

3) If your film or video is chosen, you will also get the chance to do a virtual Q&A with Video Consortium and the audience later in November.

4) Submit your films to Video Consortium at [email protected] with “MVJ VC Submission” in the subject line.

5) We plan to publish a short teaser video that features all submissions on our social media channels before the Veterans Day screening. More details TBD.

6) Once we provide updates about our screening, feel free to post your work with our hashtags “#MVJVCEvent, #MVJVCFilms, or #VetsinPhotoJournalism.”

To learn more about Video Consortium, visit here.

A Memorial Day Reflection During COVID-19

By News

5/23/20 WASHINGTON DC: Riders with Flags of Honor arrived in Washington, D.C., to pay their respects to those who have give the ultimate sacrifice this year on Memorial Day weekend. Photo Credit: Andrew M. Byers

By Guest Contributor Jeff Walsh

Edited by MVJ Blog Editor Erich Reimer and Director of Digital Strategy and Content Babee Garcia

In October 1990, I took the oath of enlistment and honorably served in the military for 15 years. It has been another 15 years since my transition into the civilian sector again, but my pride as a veteran remains strong. Each Memorial Day, I reflect on my brothers and sisters in arms, who have inspired so many and paved the way for so many soldiers like myself. However, this year’s Memorial Day brings many obstacles in how to properly honor those who died and grieve.

COVID-19 has impacted us all, and made us adapt during these unprecedented times. On this Memorial Day weekend, we are not all enjoying a large backyard BBQ. There are no restaurants to sit in and social distancing is encouraged in every direction. Many parades and ceremonies are cancelled or moved virtually this year. Although we cannot celebrate this occasion under normal circumstances, we must pause to honor the brave men and women soldiers, sailors, Coast Guard, Airmen, Marines and National Guardsmen who lost their lives in service to the red, white and blue. We must reflect about the servicemen and servicewomen lost during World War II, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, during and post 9/11, conflicts from Panama to Grenada, and other deployments.

At the same token, we should also pause for a moment of silence to honor those Americans, our fallen band of brothers and sisters, who left us much too soon due the silent and deadly coronavirus. Many of the newly departed will not have a proper burial or funeral for many months to come. We should also take a moment to thank the new modern-day heroes of this new global war that is being fought day and night in hospital wards and emergency rooms.

Some veterans continue serving others in different careers fields during COVID-19, including the medical profession. I was grateful enough to have worked within a medical-related MOS in the U.S. Army. From personal experience, some of my fondest memories were from the Medical Corps with two different MOS’ and two distinct medical jobs. First, I served as a 91B Army medic with the 2nd I.D.“Second to None” at Camp Casey, South Korea and then with 1st Armored Division “Old Iron sides” at Fort Riley, Kansas including a deployment to Kuwait. I also served as a 91Q Pharmacy Technician at Reynolds Army Community Hospital at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

This photo was taken in 1999 at Camp Casey in South Korea just 10 miles from the DMZ. Pictured are Jeffrey Walsh and his Army medical platoon of 1/503 Infantry Battalion.

As someone with a medical and military background, I empathize with the hardships that our frontline workers may be experiencing. Some of them will contract COVID-19 and risk the possibility of bringing it into their homes. Others will develop symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and/or depression. Some of them go above and beyond to communicate with loved ones via Skype or Facetime when in-person visits are restricted. These courageous men and women are going through similar challenges that military service members experienced. I admire their bravery and acknowledge them as well not only on occasion, but each and every day.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University and U.S. National Archives, there are over 5 million confirmed cases and there are at least 100,000 lives lost in the United States— more lives than the Korean War and more lives than the Vietnam War. As we have discovered on our mighty fleet of aircraft carriers and at our nation’s VA centers and veteran’s homes, the virus does not discriminate between military personnel, veterans or civilians. Let us also pause for a moment on this Memorial Day to also reflect on the veterans, who have lost their lives. Twenty years from now, some will tell their grandchildren that they were “Veterans of the COVID-19 Worldwide Pandemic.”

Let’s acknowledge the frontline workers, who are substituting kevlars, fatigues and combat boots with PPE. This new war is being fought day and night by a vast army in scrubs, masks and surgical gowns.

5/23/20 WASHINGTON DC: Riders with Flags of Honor arrived in Washington, D.C., to pay their respects to those who have give the ultimate sacrifice this year on Memorial Day weekend. Photo credit: Andrew M. Byers

EDITOR’S NOTE: This piece reflects the opinion of one of our newest Jeff Walsh, who served in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard from 1990-2005. He was on guard duty at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was stationed in South Korea near the DMZ.

5 Military Traits That Will Make You A Great Journalist

By Resources

At first, it may seem there are few greater professional jumps than hanging up the body armor and rifle with picking up pen and paper (or in the digital age – a laptop and recorder). However, your military background has given you a lot of skills journalism and media employers greatly value – including many you may not initially expect to be translatable – and can help you succeed in making your mark on the journalism world.

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