Veteran/victim of Iraq war will play benefit concert on 9/11 to help homeless vets | WisCommunity

Veteran/victim of Iraq war will play benefit concert on 9/11 to help homeless vets

As you undoubtedly know, Sunday is the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack that changed the world. And there will be many ways to observe the day, no doubt including a considerable amount of flag-waving.

In Milwaukee, you can attend a at the War Memorial Sunday morning, at which a piece of steel from the World Trade Center will be unveiled.

Peace Action Wisconsin, which is willing to at least listen to conspiracy theories if not subscribe to them, will host a , "Ten Years Later - Let' s Talk About 9/11."

Or you can spend an hour or two Sunday night with one of the victims of the Iraq war that resulted from 9/11. Jason Moon, an Iraq veteran and singer-songwriter, will play a benefit for the Homeless Veterans Initiative sponsored by Milwaukee Veterans for Peace. It starts at 7pm at the Coffee House, 631 N. 19th, Milwaukee. David Kaye will open. Your $10 donation will go to help homeless vets.

I use the term victim advisedly. But Jason Moon truly is a victim of 9/11. They number in the millions, and include people across the world -- civilian and military casualties, refugees, their families, veterans, and more who have paid a high price for the bloody, senseless, trumped-up US military adventure in Iraq. We will continue to pay the high costs of that war and occupation  -- physical, psychological, emotional, financial costs -- for at least another half century. We are still paying in many of those ways for Vietnam and the countless lives it shattered.

Jason Moon went to Iraq early, in 2003. He has been back in the US for seven years. But he's spent most of those years, "Trying to Find My Way Home," the title of his new album.

Moon, plagued by depression and post traumatic stress syndrome, Moon, a prolific song writer before his deployment, could finish only a single song in five years after his return.

He tells the story on

Since his return from the Iraq War in 2004, Jason has come to realize both that there is a terrible lack of awareness in the civilian community regarding their obligations to soldiers returning from war, and that the transition from warrior to civilian of soldiers returning from war is often handled very badly by our culture.


In recognition of this situation, in an attempt to rectify it, and in order to find healing himself from the rigors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Jason has developed an interactive performance-discussion using music, information, and community designed to raise awareness among civilians of the needs of soldiers returning from war and to provide a transitional experience for soldiers who have returned from war.


Jason's mission grew out of his personal quest to bring his latest album, Trying to Find My Way Home, into being. Only able to finish a single song in over five years after his return from Iraq, Jason was asked to participate in the forthcoming documentary On the Bridge about Iraq War veterans' experiences on returning from the Middle East. He was then asked to finish several of his songs so that they might be used for the film.


This provided the motivation he needed to be able to once again take up his guitar and write several more songs, which combined became the nucleus of his new album and began an extraordinarily healing process. Jason sought to translate the healing he experienced in the creation of his album into something that would bring that same healing to others who he knew suffered as he did.

"All of these songs that I had written are about what it feels like to come home," he said. "Each song is like a little demon, a little monster that had been haunting me." he told the

He was honored with a Peacemaker of the Year award in 2009 by the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, which he said inspired him to become more involved in helping veterans. "Before getting the award, I was just going around talking to groups of people about the war," he said. Moon, a member of Milwaukee Veterans for Peace, serves on the board of the group's which helps homeless vets find their way back into society.

"These songs are deeply personal," Moon said. "They're like a singing diary. Songwriting was a way to take something negative and place it somewhere else other than inside myself."

For all that, Moon's shows are not negative or depressing, but uplifting, and he is a well-spoken, engaging and entertaining presence on stage.

What better way to mark 9/11 than with an Iraq vet helping other veterans to find their way home?


September 8, 2011 - 10:46am