Accountability. The GWOTMF exists to coordinate all efforts needed to erect a monument on the National Mall in Washington DC. To that end, the GWOTMF is dedicated to observing the highest level of fiscal responsibility. Further, as an organization comprised of passionate veterans and highly dedicated civilians, the GWOTMF will never forget who we are working for and who we are ultimately accountable to: all who served in the military during the Global War on Terror campaign and their families and loved ones.
Responsibility. The GWOTMF considers serving those who served in the defense of our physical security to be a privilege and a ‘higher calling.’ To that end, the GWOTMF does not measure success in terms of paychecks for its board members, but in terms of proximity to completion of our goal: a completed public art installation that memorializes the sacrifices made by all who served in the military, and the families of those who served, during the GWOT.
Sharing hard-earned wisdom to create an informed national dialogue. Traditional cultures from Greek Spartans to nations of American indigenous had customs that welcomed home their returning war parties. These ceremonies included group tellings of what the warriors had encountered, survived, and learned. War veterans were regarded as community members who had left their homelands, engaged in the very peculiar and particular human endeavor of warfare, and attained a valuable perspective on life, death, and violence, therefore having wisdom to share with other members of their societies. These rituals not only ensured that the populace had first-hand knowledge of events that transpired during the war, they also offered the populace a chance to understand war through the eyes and words of those who fought it, and they provided a forum for returning warriors to share their psychological pain and emotional burdens. Dissipating pain through group telling may have facilitated healing and decreased the prevalence of psychological experiences we find veterans and active duty servicemembers facing today, including post-traumatic stress, depression, and suicidal ideation. While the United States observes federal holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans day, celebratory events during these days do not generally include space for group telling and truth sharing. National news media organizations have agendas other than those described above. The GWOT memorial seeks to be a functional space that offers opportunities for truth sharing and group telling, both as a healing avenue for veterans of the GWOT and as a means of sharing hard-fought wisdom to serve the public in their future civic and electoral decisions.
Constant improvement. The GWOTMF seeks constant improvement in all that it does, both as an organization and within its individual members. The GWOTMF recognizes that it will be a long road from inception to completion of their mission, and that accurate adaptation is the vehicle that will enable this monument to become a reality. Constant improvement served the US military well on the field of battle, and it will now as the GWOTMF and its supporters address legislative, bureaucratic, organizational, and financial challenges associated with such an important undertaking.
Partners. Drawing from the maxim of “one team, one fight,” the GWOTMF is a willing partner with other responsible Veteran non-profits operating in the veteran service organization space. The GWOTMF also partners with private and public foundations that support its mission and vision.