A Child's Guide to War and Veteran Children

A Child's Guide to War is a documentary film produced by Susan Hackley, the Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harverd Law School.  The initial purpose was to broaden Americans' discussions about war, particularly its effect on children whose parents are or were in the military.  

The project has since expanded to include more film makers, community leaders, and veteran family members.  The goal of the project--now called "Veteran Children" -- is to "bridge the military-civilian divide by engaging veterans, political leaders, educators, medical experts, and American youth in discussions about how military familes experience war.  "A wide gulf exists in America," Susan observes, between the families of those who have served in the military and those who haven't." (A Child's Guide to War Website) Shockingly, Veteran Children reports that nearly two million American children have a parent who has served in the war in Afghanistan or Iraq--or both. For all American children under 17 years old, our country has been at war their entire lives!  This takes a profound toll on children and families--one that is not understood by non-military families. 

Susan hopes that A Child's Guide to War and the subsequent films will help  "Americans have honest and respectful conversations about war without partisanship. The films we are making are a catalyst for that discussion. A child of ten in another ten years can join the military and vote. If we don’t talk to them about war now they will not be prepared to make informed decisions later."(http://www.veteranchildren.com/blog

After their first documentary, A Child's Guide to War, the team produced a short film Veteran Kids and is working on a long version entitled Veteran Children. 

Clips of the movies are available at http://www.veteranchildren.com/films.html

More information can be found in the project's blog.

The project also invites all Americans to join in the conversation.