Since founding nonprofit Bravo Foxtrot a little over a year ago, Matt Simoni and Jade Pinto have been hard at work helping as many veterans as they can. Their next endeavor is a mini-documentary that …
Since founding nonprofit Bravo Foxtrot a little over a year ago, Matt Simoni and Jade Pinto have been hard at work helping as many veterans as they can. Their next endeavor is a mini-documentary that will highlight local veterans and their stories.
“This film, the purpose of it, is to raise awareness because we believe that there’s something that needs to be addressed right now,” Simoni said. “And what needs to be addressed is that simply put, the veterans that need the most help are the ones not receiving any help.”
The documentary originally began as a smaller idea to create a five- or 10-minute video that would highlight the organization.
“The first filming segment, which took place back in March, was so powerful and so moving that we had several combat veterans that were breaking down in tears,” Simoni said. “After the end of that shoot, I just knew that this was something so important that everybody needs to see.”
The documentary is being made by Hazy Sun Productions, which Simoni said is doing an amazing job. For Bravo Foxtrot, it is important to highlight the veterans that tend to fall through the cracks, so the film is titled, “Long Island’s Forgotten Heroes.”
Simoni and Pinto noted that their organization is an advocate for veterans and helps individuals get housing, make phone calls, and with things that may seem mundane for many people but can be daunting without the right resources. Simoni said Bravo Foxtrot and other veterans’ organizations make up the “pieces of the pie” that can help veterans.
For example, other organizations may provide art therapy or mental health services that veterans may need. With all of the veterans they help, Pinto and Simoni said that if and when they are ready to receive further assistance and take a step forward, they must meet the organization halfway. Equal effort must be made on the part of the veteran to reach their goals, and they must take on responsibility and ownership. The pair said that by doing, this they are ensuring long-term success.
“It’s not an easy task, but nothing of real value ever is,” Simoni said.
A big supporter of Bravo Foxtrot is Suffolk County Legis. Steven Flotteron. Flotteron helped secure Bayway Arts Center for the premiere of the documentary and helps out Simoni and veterans in any way that he can.
“I will definitely be at the premiere,” Flotteron said. “The film, besides bringing awareness, also will highlight the roadblocks suffered by veterans.”
The premiere of the documentary will be on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m.at the Bayway Arts Center in East Islip. Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/long-islands-forgotten-heroes-tickets-398601817767. Simoni noted that the event will be catered and that anyone who attends the event can show their ticket to get $5 off a future show ticket at Bayway Arts Center.
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