What's this item abouOn Friday, Oct. 10, the San Francisco Veterans Memorial was officially dedicated in the heart of the city’s Civic Center. The memorial is meant to be a standing monument to the sacrifices of the U.S. military, which is now ramping up intervention in Iraq—three years after President Barack Obama declared the “end of hostilities” there.With its $2.5 million price tag, the memorial has raised concerns among San Francisco’s veteran community, but not because of its placement, content or chosen design.The cause for concern comes from the funding that was used to build the memorial to the country’s military heroes. The majority of the financing ($1.5 million) comes from the Stephen Bechtel Fund, a philanthropic organization founded by Stephen Bechtel, former chairman of the Bechtel Corporation.t? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...

Military veterns who have been working on a mural in a Tenderloin alleyway altered it recently to highlight the increasing problem of suicide among former soldiers.

In Shannon Alley, which is located near Geary and Taylor streets, there are dozens of murals painted by various veterans as part of a project started in 2011 by Amos Gregory, a veteran from the Gulf War era.

But last week, a number on one of the murals was changed from 18 to 22. That is the estimated daily total of suicides by veterans, according to the latest study by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which still does not include data from more than half of the 50 states.

 

October 02, 2011

Scenes of the City: Veterans Mural Project in Shannon Alley

When Alex Murillo was released at the U.S.-Mexico border right outside of Tijuana in 2011, he was given a little money, a cup of soup and was allowed to make a single phone call.

“They released me like a baboon into the wild,” said Murillo, 35.

His deportation was scheduled for noon, yet it was nearly midnight when he crossed into his country of birth and realized that he had nowhere to go.

April 30, 2015

Veterans Unveil Tenderloin Mural In Honor Of Syrian Refuge Crisis

A freshly painted mural of butterflies that represents the plight of millions of Syrian refugees who have been forced to flee their homes since war began in their country in 2012 will be unveiled today in Veteran’s Alley in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, courtesy of the San Francisco Veterans Mural Project.

 

When America went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003, the words “Support our Troops” came from the lips of war supporters on television and appeared on magnetic yellow ribbons nationwide.

Now, the conflict in Afghanistan is the longest American military engagement in history. There are 2.6 million veterans of that war and of Operation Iraqi Freedom, many of whom have mental and physical war wounds that may never be healed. Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other tolls of combat, a dozen military veterans commit suicide every day, according to the Veterans Administration — and now, the ribbons and the verbal “support” are gone.

In just a few years, Shannon Street—the alley between Taylor and Jones off O'Farrell Street—has gone from a blighted block full of drug use and crime to a haven for artistic expression and emotional healing. The key to the block's turnaround has been the San Francisco Veterans Mural Project.

"Crack Alley" no more?

The names of 4,484 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq are currently being painted on the walls of the Tenderloin's tastefully-nicknamed corridor. The Name Project, a 78-by-30 foot endeavor, is just one of many murals that have recently transformed the alley into a piece of art.

The names fill the upper half of a nearly block-long wall. The suffering and the bravery they represent is endless.

Chad Edmundson. Thomas Lee. Gary Henry. On and on they go, until at last they reach the count of 4,484. That's the number of servicemen and women who died in the Iraq war from March 2003 until this winter, just after President Obama declared an end to the conflict.

The names were painted by military veterans over the past two weeks in an alley in the Tenderloin, and on Wednesday they were unveiled.

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