Hear from the Soldiers of Iraq and Afghanistan Tonight

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We’ve covered the perspective of the everyday soldier a fair amount here at Mother Jones. Our 2004 feature “Breaking Ranks” told the story of GIs who refused to fight in Iraq — and were bravely speaking out when the majority of the country was still in favor of the war. The story came out well before such dissent from soldiers was common, or commonly reported. At that time we also listed the veterans groups that were rallying against the war; the organizations on that list have since grown and gained strength.

And we stayed on the story. We covered military families speaking out against the war, we photographed the rehabilitation of soldiers who came back wounded, and covered the films and books that gave the folks at home the perspective of those in battle.

Anthony Swofford has been a big part of that. The Gulf War veteran and author wrote the text of our photo essay “Coming Home: Seven Families Lay Their Fallen Soldiers to Rest” and we interviewed him when his book Jarhead was made into a feature film.

Swofford’s at it again. In “Voices From The Front: Iraq and Afghanistan,” Swofford will be moderating a discussion with soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan and the filmmakers, photographers, and journalists who have worked on those wars. The writing and photography of former soldiers is the focus of the evening. (Examples below.)

The event is tonight at 7 pm at the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe in New York City. You’ll find it at 126 Crosby Street, one block east of Broadway between Houston and Prince. Check it out if you can.

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WE CAME UP SHORT.

We just wrapped up a shorter-than-normal, urgent-as-ever fundraising drive and we came up about $45,000 short of our $300,000 goal.

That means we're going to have upwards of $350,000, maybe more, to raise in online donations between now and June 30, when our fiscal year ends and we have to get to break-even. And even though there's zero cushion to miss the mark, we won't be all that in your face about our fundraising again until June.

So we urgently need this specific ask, what you're reading right now, to start bringing in more donations than it ever has. The reality, for these next few months and next few years, is that we have to start finding ways to grow our online supporter base in a big way—and we're optimistic we can keep making real headway by being real with you about this.

Because the bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. The only investors who won’t let independent, investigative journalism down are the people who actually care about its future—you.

And we hope you might consider pitching in before moving on to whatever it is you're about to do next. We really need to see if we'll be able to raise more with this real estate on a daily basis than we have been, so we're hoping to see a promising start.

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