USABA Week – Filming with United States Military Veterans

The week of July 21st, I spent in Colorado Springs filming with an organization known as USABA (United States Association of Blind Athletes).

The purpose of this week was to have twenty, recently injured blind military soldiers, as well as Vietnam veterans come together for the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sporting events.

The base for these enthusiastic military heroes would be at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, as well as the Olympic Training Center for the USA Olympic and Paralympic teams.

The first day was a ‘round the room’ group session of getting to know each other. I filmed and listened to their stories.  The reasons why they came, and how they became injured.  I quickly realized that my decision to come film this week would make for one of the most inspirational parts of this film.

Director and USABA leader Mark Lucas, with a great deal of planning, mapped out a week of training with these soldiers in sporting events like judo, goalball, track and field, weightlifting and triathlon. This was the week that veterans could compete in the annual Western Games in Colorado, alongside some 3500 athletes.  None of the other athletes were handicapped.

During my week of filming, I was able to capture many personal stories.  Stories about the accidents that lead to their blindness.  Stories about the impact its had on their wives and families.  I was able to document a level of camaraderie that only soldiers can really understand. 

In this special segment of the film there will be a dedication to the men and women of our military services.  You will laugh at their humor, cry when you hear their stories, and cheer for their desire to simply be able to be the athlete that they once were.

For now, enjoy the photographs that my field producer, 16-year old son, Josh took during our week in Colorado Springs.  Personally, I am very much looking forward to telling their stories in our documentary Can You See How I See?

Executive Producer,
Keith Famie



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