Editor’s Note: A striking development in the waning days of Campaign 2008 is the number of prominent Republicans who have endorsed Barack Obama – most notably retired Gen. Colin Powell last Sunday.
After Powell’s endorsement, we questioned why Americans should heed advice from Powell, given his history of misjudgments. But Los Angeles film producer Julie Bergman Sender has found similar sentiments expressed by other members of the U.S. military community:
I have been hearing voices in my head for the last four years. No, I have not been driven completely around the bend by eight years of the Bush administration.
But not unlike believing and chatting with an imaginary friend, I have found comfort in pretend conversations with Republicans and Independents who agree with me that we have all been deeply damaged by Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rumsfeld and their supporting cast of characters -- and willingly offer up that we will and can work together if we are to undo this mess we are swimming in.
Then Patricia Foulkrod, the talented Producer and Director behind the devastating film
"The Ground Truth," called to say that she was going off to battleground states to interview Iraq and Vietnam veterans, military wives and mothers who are registered Republicans and Independents and willing to talk about why they do not want John McCain as their next Commander-In-Chief or President.
We produced these together, and as she did with her film, Patricia brings these authentic messengers forward just in time for this election.
There are no more persuasive or moving voices we can listen to right now in a time of war than those who have served in the military – whether in Iraq or Afghanistan or before in Vietnam, Korea or World War II.
These are the soldiers and families who have had and are currently experiencing the pain, injury, loss and aftermath of war first hand.
Tens of thousands of soldiers and their families will once again be asked in January to take direction and irrefutable orders from a new Commander-in-Chief -- to follow him anytime, anywhere, in any world.
We know them to be our countrymen and women who put their trust and belief in what it means to protect our "freedoms" before their own safety, their families, their ambitions and their dreams.
As great an act of heroism as it is to be willing to die for your country, it also takes courage and determination in a traditionally silent military culture, to speak out in this election and take a stand for their next Commander-in-Chief and the future of our military. It honors the very freedom that our soldiers fight for every day miles away from pundits, hype and media.
This film features veterans who served in Iraq; a mother who lost her only son on his second tour; the wife of a colonel currently on his third tour -- now in Afghanistan, who one month from retirement after 20 years of service, was ordered to serve another 15-month tour.
And a Vietnam veteran who as a peer of John McCain is deeply troubled by the economy, the Iraq War and McCain's enthusiasm for war. Aside from their service to this country, what these people have in common is that they are Republicans and Independents who cannot support a Republican candidate -- and more importantly -- they cannot support this veteran as their Commander-In-Chief.
Like Colin Powell declared on Meet The Press last week -- we are in a transformational moment and we must stand up for what we believe in. They are all supporting Barack Obama -- and not just against Senator John McCain. They are all respectful and grateful for his service to our country over the last two decades -- but feel that he no longer serves them -- and by extension, us.
Hear their voices in your head as you talk about the transformation that has to take place -- and the power we have to turn out in droves this election and start down the long road to change. The imaginary voices in my head are becoming real.
To comment at Consortiumblog, click here. (To make a blog comment about this or other stories, you can use your normal e-mail address and password. Ignore the prompt for a Google account.) To comment to us by e-mail, click here. To donate so we can continue reporting and publishing stories like the one you just read, click here.
is a product of The Consortium for Independent Journalism, Inc., a non-profit organization
that relies on donations from its readers to produce these stories and keep alive this Web