We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Moon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to outline both my professional and artistic career goals. It isn’t often that i am provided space to articulate this fully. Due to my military service connected injuries and disabilities, i do anticipate a much shorter career and life span. Perhaps publishing this will assist in brining me closer to this, my primary life goal as both a non-profit manager, veterans advocate, and artist. This is without a doubt, my life’s mission and career goal. Warrior Songs celebrates 10 years of bringing healing to Veterans through the creative arts. What started out as the personal healing journey of founder Jason Moon, has grown into an internationally recognized non-profit with 33 confirmed suicides prevented to date. We are excited to announce our 10 year plan for our flagship “Story to Song” program. Warrior Songs – 10 year – 10 cd – plan Complete 2016 – “If You Have to Ask… Warrior Songs Vol. 1” – Veterans (nondescript) 2018 – “Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2” – Women Veterans (2019 WAMI Album of the Year, 2019 NAMA Pop Song of The Year) In production 2021 – “The Last Thing We Ever Do: Warrior Songs Vol. 3” – Vietnam Era Veterans (August 8, 2021 release date) 2023 – “Veterans of Color: Warrior Songs Vol. 4” – Veterans of Color Planning and committee building 2025 – “Collateral Damage: Warrior Songs Vol. 5” – Family and Support 2026 – “Native and Indigenous Voices: Warrior Songs Vol. 6” – Native & Indigenous Veterans 2027 – “Broken, One Each: Warrior Songs Vol. 7” – Injured & Disabled Veterans 2028 – “Rainbow Warriors: Warrior Songs Vol. 8” – LGBTQ Veterans 2029 – “Tales from The Combat Zone: Warrior Songs Vol. 9” – Combat Veterans (all era) 2030 – “Women Veterans of Color: Warrior Songs Vol. 10” – Women Veterans of Color Post box set 2031 – “Reconciliation: Survivors of US Wars Speak: Warrior Songs – Supplementary Volume” As we grow and develop our fundraising capacities, we may be able to accelerate this schedule. We hope to eventually release the entire 11 volume collection as a box set. When complete we estimate the total collection will contain over 175 songs, written and recorded by over 1,500 individual artists, from the first hand testimony of over 400 veterans; telling the most inclusive and diverse story of military service ever assembled in song in the history of modern media. It is our sincere hope that, when complete, anyone who has served, no matter their branch, era, deployment, injury/trauma, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality, will be able to relate to at least one song within the collection. A secondary goal is to provide civilians with the most accessible and comprehensive first hand account of military service ever created. We hope to get the “box sets” in every library, museum, school, and college across the nation; allowing every citizen to more fully understand the human impact of military service. We are also working on developing online curriculum for grades K through Graduate College. The only thing slowing us down is funding and covid. Thank you to the over 3,000 individual donors that brought us here. If you would like to be a part of this project, consider making a donation here. Essayons! The Warrior Songs team! Jason Moon – Founder and Executive Director Spc. Moon, Jason R, US Army – Combat Engineers – 724th Battalion Charlie Company, Assault and Obstacle – Iraq 03-04 Masters of Arts in Religious Studies, Cardinal Stirch University – Milwaukee, WI 2009 Now permeant resident of Phoenix Arizona * Essayons is the combat engineer moto which translates from French to mean “I Will Try My Best”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Warrior Songs was founded by Jason Moon, singer/songwriter and Iraq War veteran. Jason served in Iraq in 2003 and 2004 as a General Construction Equipment Operator in a combat engineer battalion. He was honorably discharged from the Wisconsin Army National Guard in August 2004. After returning home, Jason struggled with the challenge of reintegrating into civilian life. Prior to his deployment he had been a singer/songwriter, but, overcome with strong emotions about his combat experience, Jason was unable to finish a single song. Jason became plagued with insomnia, depression, hyper-vigilance, nightmares, and numerous other symptoms. Troubled by the changes in himself, Jason sought treatment and was diagnosed with PTSD. His road to healing was extremely difficult, culminating in hospitalization after a failed suicide attempt in 2008. After being released from the hospital, Jason vowed to no longer allow PTSD to control his life. He took a more vigorous approach in his healing and began connecting with other veterans who struggled with similar challenges. In 2009, Jason was interviewed for the feature film documentary “On the Bridge”, and was asked to record an original song for the credits roll. The experience energized him to begin to write music in earnest again, and led to the release in 2010 of his album “Trying to Find My Way Home”, which chronicles Jason’s journey in overcoming the difficulties of living with PTSD. Jason toured the country over the next year, meeting a huge number of veterans who testified to the power and positive effect of his music in their own journey to recovery. He learned he had the ability to turn his pain and struggles into something they could relate to – music. Believing that other veterans could benefit from the cathartic process of creating music, Jason took steps to form Warrior Songs, a non-profit organization bringing hope and healing to veterans through music! Jason Moon’s has by and large sacrificed his music career to support the work he does with veterans full time. Here are a list of his awards and nominations 2020 Jason Moon – Protagonist in “Let It Ring” – Short Documentary Film – Directed by David Seeber, Produced by Paczka Digital. Trailer 2019 Warrior Songs – Phoenix Mayors Arts Awards – Nominated – Innovative Organization of the Year 2019 Shelly Nichols (Songwriter) for Warrior Wings by Anna Wang, off of “Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2” Native American Music Awards – Pop Song of the Year (Jason Moon Executive Producer) 2019 Warrior Songs – “Wisconsin Area Music Industry – Women at War: Warrior Songs Vol. 2” – Awarded Album of the Year (Jason Moon Executive Producer) 2018 Warrior Songs – Wisconsin Area Music Industry – Warrior Songs – Nominated Folk Artist of The Year (Jason Moon Executive Producer) 2017 Warrior Songs – Wisconsin Area Music Industry – Warrior Songs – Awarded Folk Artist of The Year (Jason Moon Executive Producer) 2017 Melissa Doud with the Mambo Surfers: “Bullet Dress” off of “If You Have to Ask… Warrior Songs Vol. 1” – Native American Music Awards – Nominated for Single/Song of the Year (Jason Moon Executive Producer) 2017 Jason Moon – Wisconsin Area Music Industry – Nominated Singer/Songwriter of the Year 2016 Jason Moon – Wisconsin Area Music Industry – Awarded Singer/Songwriter of the Year 2016 “Trying to Find My Way Home” Global Peace Song Award – Folk 2012 “Trying to Find My Way Home” National VA Creative Arts Competition – Gold Medal 2011 Founded Warrior Songs Inc. 2010 Jason Moon – Protagonist in “On The Bridge” Watch – Learn 2009 Jason Moon – Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice – Peacemaker of the Year
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When ever Jason can he visits his favorite coffee house Peixoto Coffee. He’s fallen in love with The Farm at South Mountain which he lives near now. He frequents the Chandler Farmers Market when ever he can. He recently set his all time distance record of 75 miles in a single bike ride on the trail system her in Chandler. Beyond that, he enjoys eating oysters at Casey Moore’s Oyster House and hopes to one day land a show at Fiddler’s Dream Coffee House. Though covid prevented his family dreams of finally owning a home of their own, one day in the near future he will reach out to his friends at Tri Freedom Real Estate Partners to begin house hunting.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ellica Romo of NEXA Mortgage came on as a volunteer fundraiser in 2019. She single handedly raised 85% of our monetary needs to host our first ever “Women’s Military Sexual Trauma Creative Arts Retreat” 13 US Military Women Veterans found immense healing from this free 4 day event held at the Franciscan renewal center in Scottsdale in 2019. Several state openly that the retreat is the reason they chose life over other alternatives. She once again committed to helping fundraise this year and for the foreseeable future. Only with her support is this event possible.
Other: Jason’s personal music page is www.jasonmoon.org