“BIPOC Veterans: Warrior Songs Vol. 4” is currently in production.
We anticipate a Spring 2025 release date.

In time we will update this page with information and liner notes.
Download a draft project prospectus here

“BIPOC Veterans: Warrior Songs Vol. 4” 
Prospectus
Releasing Winter 2024/Spring 2025

Working Logo

Introduction
Warrior Songs is pleased to announce “BIPOC Veterans: Warrior Songs Vol. 4”, the next in our “Story to Song” compilation series of Veterans’ stories turned into songs. Releasing Winter 2024/Spring 2025 – WSv4 will explore in song the experiences of Veterans who identify as Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color. The CD that will feature 16 songs by professional songwriters created from the firsthand testimony of BIPOC Veterans, brought to life in the studio by professional studio musicians.  Digital downloads as well as copies of the CDs are made available to Veterans and Veteran non-profits free of charge. 

Background
Warrior Songs Inc. is a 501.c.3 nonprofit that helps Veterans heal through music and the creative arts., founded in 2011 by award winning singer/songwriter and Iraq War combat Veteran Jason Moon.  Shortly after its founding, Warrior Songs began collecting the testimony of Veterans for its flagship program “Story to Song”.  “Story to Song” transforms the firsthand testimony of Veterans into songs through a collaborative effort with professional songwriters.  These songs are released on themed compilations CDs

If You Have to Ask… Warrior Songs Vol. 1” was released in 2016 and features stories from a wide array of Veterans.  On WSV1, 42 Veterans contributed testimony, 16 songwriters wrote tracks for the album, 46 musicians participated in recording sessions, and sound engineers at eight studios captured the magic.

Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2” was released in 2018 and represents the first time in the history of modern music that a full-length CD was created from the testimony of Women Veterans.  Eighteen Women Veterans and two Gold Star family members supplied heart wrenching testimony. Seventeen talented songwriters and 64 professional musicians brought the songs to life. Thirteen engineers, working in recording studios across five states created the final recordings.  “Women at War” won the Wisconsin Area Music Award Album of the Year for 2019.



“The Last Thing We Ever Do: Warrior Songs Vol. 3” was released in 2021 and features the stories of Vietnam Era Veterans.  35 Veterans contributed testimony, 19 songwriters wrote tracks for the album, 83 musicians participated in the recording sessions, and sound engineers at 12 studios captured the magic. 

“Warrior Songs Vol 5-12” By 2035 we hope to release Vol. 1 through Vol. 12 as a complete “box set”.  Vol. 5 – 12 planned themes are: “Family, Friends, and Support”, “Native and Indigenous Voices”, “Injured and Disabled Veterans”, “Rainbow Warriors/LGBTQ”, “Black Veterans”, “Tales from the Combat Zone”, and “Veterans of Color”.  A supplementary 13th volume will explore the experiences of survivors of US wars. 

Warrior Songs BIPOC Initiative and Methods “BIPOC Veterans: Warrior Songs Vol. 4” represents the first in a series of BIPOC themed CDs Warrior Songs hopes to create. This initiative is an attempt to increase and expand the representation of BIPOC veterans across all Warrior Songs projects.  Projects specific to BIPOC Veteran populations will feature the new BIPOC Veterans logo.  For “BIPOC Veterans: Warrior Songs Vol. 4”, we utilized The Department of Defense 2020 Demographics – Profile of Military Community to make representation on the CD proportional to actual military demographics.

Time frame
Production of the compilation is 25% complete with 1 of the 16 songs recorded in the studio.  Two others are in final draft phase awaiting the studio.  Testimony collection began back in 2020. Songwriting collaborations began shortly after and continue through today.  Studio recording sessions are also underway and will continue until November 2024. Final mixing, mastering, and critical review will take place from November 2024 to January 2025.  Post-production and promotion until May 2025.  The final compilation will release at a CD launch party, May 2025.  Time and place to be determined.  The release event will feature performances by various contributing Veterans and recording artists. 

Budget and funding
The budget to create “BIPOC Veterans: Warrior Songs Vol. 4” is $40,000.  This will allow us to record all 16 songs as well as pressing and distributing 1000 physical CD’s.  A budget is attached at the end of this document.  The project is designed to be funded by grants, individual donations, and Veteran non-profit/advocacy group support.  After the original pressing of 1000 CD is depleted, additional copies will be funded and distributed through Warrior Songs “Free CD Distribution” program.

Distribution
Since 2011 Warrior Songs has distributed more than 85,000 copies of the CDs we create.  Physical copies are mailed to Veterans free of charge and can be requested through our website.  They are also distributed to the Veterans we encounter at the numerus outreach events we attend.  Large quantity bulk shipments to VA Hospitals, Vet Centers, and legitimate Veteran supporting non-profits are also provided free of charge or at cost.  This music is also available free of charge/pay what you want, and as a digital download at our website, www.warriorsongs.org. Digital copies are also available for sale at iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and all major online music distributers.  Funds from the sale of digital downloads on major music retailers are used to support future volumes.

Topics and Talent
The following is a sampling of some of the songs that are in development.  

Black Air Force Veteran Dr. Sonny Kelly tells the story of losing his older brother, also a veteran, to suicide.  Songwriter and music producer Steve Wallace brings Sonny’s story to life in “Beauty for These Ashes”.  You can view the video for this song here

Professional Black Model Tabitha Nichols is also an Army combat veteran.   She was injured in combat.  Many people have trouble holding space for both Tabitha’s femininity and beauty and her military heroism and toughness.  Her song will be brought to life by Calandra Gantt of BlueMile Music.

Black Army Special Forces Vietnam Veteran Larry Reed teamed up with Vietnam Veteran and songwriter TC Hawkins to create “God’s Arm”. 

“M”, an anonymous Mexican-American Woman Veteran, will share how the trauma of MST and the US army reneging on its promise of citizenship, prevented her from achieving her full potential.  Warrior Songs is looking for a Latinx Woman songwriter with awareness of sexual trauma to bring M’s song to reality

Gary “All-Mike” Montiel is an Army Combat Veteran who will explore his mixed Yaqui Native American and White Ancestry.    Living in both worlds, but never being fully accepted by either will be explored by Songwriter KEON X.

Nationally Recognized MST advocate Marine Veteran Luz “Stacey” Thompson is sharing her journey of using art and surfing to heal from MST.   Luz is working with world renowned Columbian Guitarist Leo Anaya and her son Johnny Thompson to transform her journey into song and bring it to life in the studio. 

Anna Mae, of the famous all Black Woman WW2 unit 6888th gave an interview to former Warrior Songs board member Connie Baptiste. Connie is working with Songwriter Dale Novella to honor the legacy of Black Women in military communications roles. 

Mike Manion is a Creole/Black/Indigenous Veteran who will travel to Colombia for a Sacred Medicine healing retreat led by indigenous shaman. His experience will be brought to life in song by Colombian songwriter and flute player Irdanti Diaz. Irdanti’s band Iraka Wayra will record the song in Colombia.

Mr. Takeshi Furumoto spent his childhood as a prisoner of the US WW2 Japanese Internment camps.  He later served in the Vietnam War.  Japanese songwriters Rino Aise and Jun Nakanishi have been commissioned to write and record Mr. Furumoto’s song.

Rock and Roll Legend June Millington (The Svelts, Wild Honey, Fanny) has agreed to write a song about a Pacific Islander Veteran.  June is known as the “Godmother of Women in Rock” for releasing the first all-woman rock album on a professional label.  Māori/American percussion and saxophone player Mark Te Tai is slated to be involved in the studio recording.  Warrior Songs is seeking the testimony of a Pacific Islander US Veteran. 

Connie Baptiste is developing a song exploring the military fellowship or brotherhood between Black Male Veterans.   Warrior Songs is seeking a Black Male HipHop songwriter/artist to create this song.

Hector Barajas is an 82nd Airborne Army veteran who was deported to Mexico.  After winning back his citizenship he formed a nonprofit that helps other deported veterans to be repatriated.  Warrior Songs is seeking a Mexican/American songwriter to honor Hectors work. 

Almost 20 years after serving in Iraq, US Army Veteran Jessica Morell decided to reenlist as a Catholic Chaplin.  Two problems stand in her way.  The US Army does not allow Catholic Women Chaplin and being ordained into any other denomination will cause her instant excommunication from the Catholic Church.  Warrior Songs is seeking a Latinx Woman Songwriter of Faith to join Jessica on her journey to become the first in history US Army Catholic Woman Chaplin. 

Songwriter Saji Villoth will bring the story of a Middle Eastern US veteran to life in song.  Warrior Songs is seeking a Middle Eastern US Veteran to give testimony for this song.

While in her new condo, shortly after being discharged from active duty, Black Army Veteran Kathryn Smith was brutalized by police, an act of racial profiling over missing items.  Kathryn’s story will be brought to life by songwriter Daphney Hilton-Whitten of BlueMile Music who is also a veteran. 

Conclusion
Thanks to seed grants from the The Bloomfield Family Foundation, we have $15,000 of the $40,000 required to complete this project.  We need to raise $25,000 to complete the project on time.  Major fundraising began November 2023.  Donations of $1,000 or more receive recognition by name in the final CD liner notes.  Thank you for your support.

BUDGET FOR WARRIOR SONGS VOL. 3

Expenses  
Item Cost
Studio Recording

$16,000.00  

Songwriter/Producer Stipend

$4,000.00  

Documentary Filming

$2,500.00  

Veteran/Artist Travel Stipend

$4,000.00  

Graphic Design

$850.00  

Cover Art by Veteran artists

$800.00  

Master

$500.00  

Press CD 

$2,320.00

Distribution

$1,500.00  

Fundraising

$500.00  

Promotion

$500.00  

Miscellaneous

$30.00  

   
Travel To Columbia for Sacred Ceremony Song

$5,000.00  

Bring Leo Anaya to USA 

$1,500.00  

   

Total Expense Budget

$40,000.00 
   
Incomes  
Fundraising to date  
Grants

  $15,250.00

Veteran Organizations

$0.00  

Individual Donors

$300.00  

Fundraising

$810.00  

Total Raised

$16,360.00  

   

Budget Shortfall

($23,640.00)

RAISED TO DATE:     $16,360

Central informational site with fundraiser can be found here: 

A fundraising video is available at: coming soon

An informational video, void of a money ask, is available at: coming soon  (see WSv3 for reference here)

Donations can be also be made online at: www.warriorsongs.org/donate

Donations can also be mailed to:
Warrior Songs
PO Box 8805
Madison, WI 53708

Please note “WSV4” or “BIPOC” in your donation.

01/25/2024

Thank you,

Jason Moon – Founder and Executive Director of Warrior Songs
US Army - Iraq 2003-2004

Air Force Veteran Connie Hunter-Baptiste Co-producer

Army Veteran Jason Moon Co-producer

Statement from co-producer Connie

I grew up in a very small town in south Georgia where African Americans lived in a separate community from the Whites.  We went to school together but that was it.  Our whole lives were separate and not equal.  It has always been an unwritten rule of stay in your place.  My Uncles John, Roy, Henry, Fred joined because they all believed that it was their duty to serve, patriotism runs deep in my family.  They served a country that did not respect them, and their way to make a change was to serve to prove their worth. I knew that I would be military from a very young age.  I followed in our family tradition, because, like my Uncles, and my brothers, I knew that if I served, I could do my part to change my America.  We served, fearlessly, my Uncles in Vietnam, my brothers and I in Desert Storm, Desert Shield and me through the Post 9-11 era.

 

I saw my Uncles come back with the baggage of the war, when they watched TV, they didn’t see anyone who looked like them.  When they went for jobs their service was not honored.  The heroes they saw where not Black, even seeing this my brothers and I still chose to served.  Only to come back and realized the same thing, that we were not the ones celebrated.  The images that the Black Community see on tv still do not look like us.  We still struggled like our Uncles, Aunts, Brothers and Cousins who went, some paying the ultimate price, to come back to an America which doesn’t honoring our sacrifice.  No one tells our story of service in a Military.  Still today, in 2020, we leave a US Military that does not respect us only to return home to an American that does not say thank you for your service.

 

If we are to heal, we have to tell the story of Veterans of Color.  We need to hear the tales of heroism, brotherhood, love of Country, survival, dedication, commitment and struggle.  If we tell our story, if we show our heroes that we honor them, it will allow the world to see that the Black Community has always served this country with pride and love.  “Veterans of Color: Warrior Songs Vol. 4” is just the type of project to achieve these goals.  I’m honored to be invited to co-produce this first ever in the history of modern music compilation of United States Military Veterans of Color’s first person testimonies transformed into songs.   I look forward to assisting the next generation of Veterans of Color develop a more complete knowledge of their heroes, sheroes, and the deep patriotic traditions from which they come. 

 

 

Connie Hunter Baptiste

U.S. Air Force (Retired)