Directed by Purple Heart Recipient, Lionhearted Project Includes Short Films, Art, and Website Sharing Reality of a Veteran’s Return.
ONTARIO, California –The Safariland Group (“Safariland”), a leading global manufacturer of a broad range of safety and survivability products for the public safety, military, professional, and outdoor markets, announces the Lionhearted project, a national collaboration of film, art, and community empowering veterans to heal through sharing their personal stories. The Lionhearted initiative was influenced and directed by Purple Heart recipient and Safariland’s digital media director, Shane Ruiz.
Lionhearted started as a small project to chronicle veteran stories for Veterans Day and grew organically due to the strong veteran community. Twenty-two veterans’ stories are featured in video, art and on a website dedicated to this project, and captured in a 24-minute documentary film to be presented at the Smithsonian’s Veterans Day Film Festival on November 11.
“The Lionhearted project honors the courage of our veterans, and gives them a voice, so others will know it’s okay to talk about their experiences and get support,” said Shane Ruiz, digital media director at Safariland. “It is designed to help civilians understand what veterans go through, so they’ll be better able to support the unseen battles veterans face each day.”
Artist Shawn Ganther, an Air Force veteran, created one-of-a-kind artistic renditions of each of the veterans’ stories on Safariland hard armor plates. The individual plates were assembled as one piece into a red, white and blue mosaic American flag. The six-foot-long, 460-pound art piece called “The Lionhearted” will be unveiled on November 8 at the National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago and will be on display as part of its permanent collection.
Ruiz added, “The suicide rate among veterans is unacceptably high, averaging 22 veterans daily. This is a staggering and heartbreaking statistic. For this reason, we wanted to honor and help veterans by giving them the opportunity to share their stories. We expect their stories will help other veterans who can relate to them and provide valuable insights for civilians.”
Veterans and civilians are encouraged to visit The Safariland Group’s YouTube channel to see the veteran’s stories and documentary, as well as the website lionheartedfilm.com for a full overview of the Lionhearted project.
About The Safariland Group
The Safariland Group is a leading global provider of a broad range of safety and survivability products designed for the public safety, military, professional and outdoor markets. The Safariland Group offers a number of recognized brand names in these markets including Safariland®, Bianchi®, Defense Technology®, Mustang Survival®, Med-Eng®, Break Free®, Identicator® and NIK®. The Safariland Group's mission, “Together, We Save Lives®”, is inherent in the lifesaving and protective products it delivers. The Safariland Group is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. The Safariland Group is a trade name of Safariland, LLC. For more information about The Safariland Group and these products, please visit www.safariland.com.