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Season One: What Am I Supposed to Do?

Episode 7: What Am I Supposed to Do?

Posted on February 22nd, 2012 by Alley Pezanoski-Browne 21 Comments

After being unemployed for a year, James, a veteran of the Iraq War, decides to take action… that negatively affects his relationship with his girlfriend Stacy.

Writer/Director: Elle Travis
“James”: Eduardo Ortiz
“Stacy”: Lony’e Perrine

Read more about the episode in this interview with Writer/Director Elle Travis.

Resources for veterans who are unemployed

At one point, the unemployment rate for veterans was even grimmer than the unemployment rate for the general population. Most upsetting, as of November 2011 the unemployment rate for young veterans was 30%! However, it looks like things are looking up for unemployed vets. Recently President Barack Obama called for a new program that would put veterans to work rebuilding roads, trails, and levees on public land. A recent report also showed that the overall unemployment rate for veterans has dropped in the past year.

And there are a number of resources that aim to help unemployed veterans find jobs, including the Gold Card – a card that provides post-9/11 vets with extra support as they transition out of the military. Once you’ve downloaded your Veteran Gold Card, you can get six months of personalized case management, assessments, and counseling at about 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers around the country.

Also, JP Morgan Chase and many other leading U.S. companies have launched the 100,000 Jobs Mission that has a goal of hiring 100,000 transitioning service members and military veterans by 2020. So far 6,606 veterans have been hired through this campaign.

Job Sites for Veterans

Starting Own Business as a Veteran

Other Resources

21 Responses

  1. Marjorie says:

    What a fantastic portrayal of the complexity of emotion that arises when a couple is confronted by the challenges of separation and the fear inherent in knowing the love you have come to know may be compromised by the uncertainty that is war. This is an excellent way to spark an open dialogue about the effects of war experienced by families and those closest to our men and women who bravely answer their call to duty. Wonderful writing, casting, and film-work. This is a great series. Looking forward to the next video!

  2. Elle,
    So very excited for this project. I fell in love with the script the day I came in. A REAL scene. A REAL moment. This was wonderfully cast, directed and edited. I am still hopeful to work with you on future episodes/other projects. Blessings!

  3. jeremy shea says:

    The film was directed and acted very well. keep up the good work

  4. Kyle says:

    Great job by all involved. Elle and Josh are a dynamo directing couple!! Not sure how all that talent fits under one roof! All my best!

  5. Ed Conway says:

    Good work,
    we need to support our military folsk!!

  6. Camille says:

    Great scene!!! Good work you two!!!!


  7. Josh Feinman says:

    This is an incredible episode. Thank you so much Lony’e and Eduardo for giving it your all. Thank you Allen for realizing the strength and importance of this piece. Thank you Elle, my beautiful and talented wife, for bringing this conversation to the page and for seeing it through. I love you.


    • Lony'e says:

      Thank YOU Josh, Elle, and Allen! I was honored to be apart of such an amazing piece. This topic needed to be discussed & addressed. Eduardo, it was very easy and a pleasure working with you! I am glad that is putting out such compelling and interesting projects…looking forward to seeing what’s next ☺!

  8. Danielle says:

    Very moving! A touching episode that unfortunately reflects the reality of so many of our troops returning from war. Thanks for the reminder to never forget to show our appreciation to them and their families. Can’t wait to see more!

  9. Lucy Matsumoto says:

    WOW. I lived thru Vietnam and all of of my cousins listening to the draft results while my Aunts and Grandmothers were playing domino’s… I can’t imagine being in a relationship with a vet and him optioning to return. Great story!

  10. Danielle C. says:

    Our veterans deserve better. Where are the great projects of our generation? We should have everyone working to improve the infrastructure, which opens up jobs in all sectors of the economy. Instead we have an old power system, crumbling roads and bridges, and unemployed veterans suffering? Why can’t we have our veterans help nation build in the U.S., alongside everyone of course, and start creating the environment to produce jobs?

  11. BCHorsehead says:

    Great work guys. Good acting.

  12. Alonzo Bodden says:

    Wow, heavy stuff I’ve been to Iraq and seen the troops and the life they live and sacrifices they make. Its a shame how we treat them when they come back
    Nice job to all involved

  13. Dave says:

    I especially like the storyline empowering Stacy. She has skills, education etc going for her — on track to make something happen. Doesn’t want to give up her dream at the expense of his — needing to travel abroad, unsafe conditions. Plus he wasn’t straight up with her for such a big life choice. Nicely done!

  14. It’s heartbreaking that veterans who have served their country can’t find jobs when returning home. Well written and presented view of the tragic repercussions of war.

  15. My dad, a Wall Street stock broker for over 20 years till he passed, always said: “It’s a Recession when the other person is out of work; it’s a Depression when you are out of work.” For the unemployed emotions run high in forms of frustration which too often morph into a chronic emotional depression. I guess then it is not incongruent for a perfectly healthy unemployed veteran who has put life on the line for this country to consider going back in harm’s way rather than feel the slings an arrows of of unemployment. Sad indeed !

  16. Beau says:

    Instantly aware of the seriousness of the situation I was drawn into the conversation before a single word was spoken. Halfway through the story I was somewhat grateful that I was safely seated in front of my computer, opposed to the front seat of the shiny red bug. By the time the conversation was over I was stuck thinking…how bad it must be here that somebody is willing to consider going back to the battlefield?

    This wonderfully written and directed episode portrays a very different, but just as impactful view of war as Eisenstaedt’s depicted in V-J Day in Times Square. With the retiring of the WWII generation never has it been more important than now to thank a Veteran, and provide the thousands of soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq new and real opportunities like the G.I. Bill before.

  17. stefan says:

    Nice job you two, well played. I think that the personal struggles for purpose that a man has to deal with shine in this, + how difficult it is in a relationship to balance personal and relationship needs. Director – I love the first and last shot, very powerful.

  18. Gary Julius says:

    Great job! I really like the intensity mixed in with the moments of calm and silence. Timely subject matter, too, but applicable to a lot of different relationship situations. Nice work, Elle!

  19. Howard Dell says:

    Nothing like having a good woman at your side. Dam girl support your man :) Great episode. Our military needs all the support it can get.

  20. t-janice says:

    Whopping ep.!!! We have the best and the brightest in our military! We need to keep them home and employ them and pay them for what they have done and what they are worth.

    And a woman wrote and directed this?! BRAVO!


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