"American Homecomings" (http://www.AmericanHomecomings.com) will tell the stories of eight soldiers from around the country who represent a range of experiences: some have incurred brutal injuries or psychological scars, some have broken marriages, some are unemployed and some maintain very intact lives. The site will tell these stories using multiple storytelling methods: stories, videos, photos, data, interactivity and others. It'll also take advantage of today's fluid nature of storytelling by providing frequent updates so that readers can follow the soldiers on their journeys. The site - which will be promoted across DFM properties - will also feature a searchable database for national veteran services such as counseling and job placement. The database was built by Warrior Gateway, which is partnering with Digital First Media on this project.
"This is a very important story to tell, one we thought was the perfect subject for our first DFM-wide project," said Jim Brady, editor-in-chief of Digital First Media. "Individually, our newspapers and web sites have very strong voices in their communities, but we felt that we could even more powerfully tell this story by combining efforts across the country.
In addition to telling soliders' stories, "American Homecomings" will also feature links to bloggers from around the country who write on military affairs and Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. It will also be a venue for friends and family to write remembrances of loved ones or for veterans to share emotional memories. The site will also relevant news stories -- from both Digital First Media properties and other news organizations - that touch on topics of importance to returning veterans. Finally, the site will keep abreast of the best essays and aggregate interesting books, movies and documentaries about this war and the people fighting it.
"We are very excited about this project and the chance to have Digital First Media properties cooperating on something of this scope," said Gregory L. Moore, editor of The Denver Post, which is coordinating the effort. "Our young men and women have been asked to make significant sacrifices and those don't end when they return home. That is an important story and we are happy to have the opportunity to tell it in a way that will help us all understand it better."
Seven Digital First properties were involved in locating soldiers willing to have their stories told: the Denver Post, Oakland (Mich.) Press, Salt Lake Tribune, New Haven Register, Chico (Calif.) Enterprise Record, Contra Costa Times and the York (Pa.) Daily Record.
You can find "American Homecomings" at http://www.AmericanHomecomings.com. The project can also be tracked on Twitter at @AmerHomecomings, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AmericanHomecomings.
About Digital First Media
Digital First Media is headquartered in New York City and jointly manages MediaNews Group and Journal Register Company. Digital First Media reaches 57 million Americans each month through more than 800 multi-platform products across 18 states.
For information about sponsorship of American Homecomings contact Kirk MacDonald, Executive Vice President of Advertising, Marketing and Digital Sales at 303-954-2355.