Tag Archives: Vietnam

Story of the Month…

I’m excited to share with you some changes I’m made to my website. I think it’s important to share the stories I’ve received from veterans, care takers and more. I’ve been traveling around the world interviewing some amazing and special individuals. Please visit my website www.jodichampagne.com

I am no one special.. I’m just someone who believes it’s important to not only remember our countries past and the individuals that lived it. You can learn so much from so little if you just take the time. So I will do my part in sharing with you in my own way these amazing stories.

My first project Diminishing Generations is powerful, emotional and very personal as veterans from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam talk about life in war-time as well as their return home. They have never had the opportunity or have never chosen to take the opportunity to share their stories and perspectives until now. I started this project because I feel we need to hear the stories from these veterans, whom we are losing more and more of everyday.

So here is a video I did right before I released the books. I felt it was needed because you don’t know what was happening behind the scenes. How emotional and impactful it was not only for me but for the veterans… So this is just a quick insight before the stories are told…


More to come with some amazing stories, as I continue to travel and see some amazing history to share..

Till next time 🙂


Silent Heroes Of Our Past

This year has been a lot of traveling… Hence the reason why I haven’t posted… I wish I could say it was all vacation time… Well technically when you love what you do then it’s all a vacation… I love it all..

As I get more involved in my next project Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten. I feel like every time I turn around there is something more intriguing and amazing.. Well… I really don’t want to say amazing as that sounds more of a positive tone, but maybe dumfounded as that seems more subdued when it comes to war..

For me the interest isn’t in the act of war but the individuals that had to endure war. I seemed to have branched out as I learn more not only about the soldiers that fought but the individuals who had saved the civilians from becoming prisoners, tortured and even death not counting the unspeakable things that occurred… like Schindler’s List…

What I’ve seen so far and to some extent I am guilty, but I speak about the masses… Being Americans we have become so far removed from our history… Specially since it is gradually being removed from our schools… or just selective things being talked about.

What bothers me the most are the veterans being forgotten. Past, present and the future. If we don’t remember and appreciate the past veterans, take care of our present veterans there won’t be a future. Who would want to fight for a country who cherishes and looks up to the Kardashian’s than look up to and appreciate our veterans that continues to fight for their freedom.

My first project called Diminishing Generations was about capturing the real unfiltered stories of our veterans before it was too late. There are veterans that most of you know their stories, because they are famous like John McCain.  But you don’t know the story of David Rehmann whom was captured a year before McCain. So when McCain was captured he was put into David’s cell. You don’t know about him… All veterans stories are incredible and that’s why I capture them no matter what they did during war…

With my new project Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten is a little different… These are the stories of our soldiers that were killed and or missing in action during WWI and WWII in Belgium and the Netherlands.. How they are appreciated by the civilians “adopters” of those countries even today, 100 years later.. Those soldiers ARE not forgotten for their sacrifices.. and how their education is on the wars the American’s were involved with. It’s amazing what they do for our soldiers but yet embarrassing…

I will start blogging about my trip on the important locations of WWI and WWII in Belgium and Netherlands… The stories and images are amazing… You will defiantly learn more from being there than you will from any class…

The following video is a story of a veteran most would not know….. Just like a story I will tell later about Charles Lindbergh.

Till next time…




New Site, New Project and Good News

I am very excited after several years I finally been able to get my new site up and running. I’m very proud to be able to show my work the way it’s supposed to be… Check out one of my favorites (Although, they are all my favorite) “Waiting on a Friend” a typology project.

I am proud to say I had received amazing news this week. My project/Books Diminishing Generations have been accepted as a permanent collection into The Library of Congress. So these veterans stories will now be available for all future generations to learn what war was really like. So happy I was able to do this for the veterans… I am continuing this mission…

For those who have read my books or know me personally understand I am an emotional person. I am not an author in a sense I don’t write novels (But who knows)… I actually call myself or shall I say my books “Hybrids”… They are much more than a photographic book but yet not a novel. You will always get a story told in a way as if you were with me on that journey. Because the stories I tell are real… I don’t elaborate I just tell it as I see, feel it or what I’m told. Which brings more of a humanistic approach to what I do. The projects I do are on everyday individuals that have done or gone through some amazing things. I am not politically correct as I am not a perfect writer but you certainly will feel what I have to say…

My new project “Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten” is completely different from all of my other work. This project is about WWI and WWII soldiers that were killed in the line of duty that has not been returned home. I started this journey not really understanding what I was going to learn, but I actually felt like I have been going through a time machine. I had learned first hand what our soldiers had done to save their country through the semblance of the landscape while in Belgium. I’ve seen what was left of cannons, shells from ammo, containers of the chemical bombs, and the damage that was done and still shows. I’ve stood on the grounds where some of the major battles took place in both WWI & WWII. Absolutely amazing and humbling… some areas a little eerie…

So each week I will talk about my first trip to Belgium, Holland and France while documenting for this project. I will share with you some amazing things I have learned or seen. But… also sharing with you information on the Volume 2 of the Diminishing Generations project.

So excited about these amazing stories that will be told…

Until next time…



2016 Plans… What will it bring…

Happy New Year!! I hope this New Year will bring happiness in everything you do…

2015 was busy and an amazing year… It started off slow but ended with a big band!! I’ve been working hard for about the last two years on collecting interviews, research, editing, writing ect… When June of last year came Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design with Javier Campos, David Riley, Cathy Felty and I work so hard to complete this amazing project in time of its release of November 14, 2015, and we did it!!! The turnout for this amazing project was so overwhelming.. As well as making some positive changes in lives of some people…

The books of Diminishing Generations are different because they utilize the Augmented Reality technology, which places digital content between the user and the physical world. In this case, the AR-enabled apps allow the user to “scan” the images of the veterans in the books and access additional content such as videos and photo galleries, sharing more of each veteran’s story”.

With the help of advanced AR technology (e.g. adding computer vision and image recognition) the information about the surrounding real world of the user becomes interactive and digitally manipulable. Artificial information about the environment and its objects can be overlaid on the books.  Who could have imagined videos coming right off the pages of a book?

So make sure you check out these books as you will learn history not only in a new way, but you will hear it directly from the person who lived it…  Order right now at http://www.jodichampagne.com under books. Other locations to purchase will be available soon.

So what does 2016 have in store for me? The overwhelming response from the books have led me to continue the work. So the stories of our veterans will be told in one form or another as It is so important not only to hear these stories of our history, but it’s giving the veterans a chance to tell their own story of war-time… So “Diminishing Generations” Volume 2 has begun….

Flanders_Field_119th_Infantry (1)

In the mean time while I am collecting the interviews for volume 2, I have started another project that will tie in with the WWII book of Diminishing Generations called Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten. This will bring the stories of our WWI and WWII veterans that were killed in action and buried in other countries to the present. More details to come in the near future as I get ready to travel and see first hand where some of these soldiers were killed and try to bring closure to their families today.

So this year will be very exciting as I will be visiting Belgium, Netherlands, France (Normandy), Bastogne (Where the Battle of the Bulge was fought), and Vietnam… This not only will help with my new project but I’m working on bringing the stories I’ve learned first hand from our veterans to a full circle… Not only am I doing this to preserve our history but it also now has become a personal journey.

More to come in this new year.. 🙂 To follow both stories while I document to progress there is a Facebook page called Diminishing Generations and Allegiance: Our Heroes Not Forgotten.




What a Turnout!!!

The day finally came… November 14, 2015… The build up… The anticipation… lol and the stress…

When you have an event, any kind of event there is always bumps and detours along the way. For this event there were just a few, but actually I’m really glad they happened. I was hoping and actually praying that this would turn out to be an amazing event not only for the books but for the veterans.

I was so pleasantly surprised at the turn out of this event. Of course as I’ve told many before that day I would probably be in some kind of la-la land… As the stress, excitement was going to be over the top.

I was clueless to the fact there were lines waiting to come in. I never expected, always hoped, but never expected the amount of people who had attended this event. People came from all around the U.S. just to come to this event. They came from as far away as New York, Louisiana, Arizona and Oregon just to name a few. I pretty much never really had a chance to take a break as I stayed in the chair signing books one right after another. Yes my hand was cramping lol

I achieved my goal… The first and foremost goal was giving a voice to our veterans!! Opening up communications within families, neighbors and even strangers. Getting the youth today wanting to learn about our history in a new way… Getting some veterans to start talking about their time in war… Endless reasons like this is why I started this project.

On this day I wanted our veterans to feel special… They didn’t realize people actually wanted their autographs.. 🙂 It was awesome.. For some it was so overwhelming… appreciated but emotional…

The day was full and busy… People coming and going… I was approached a few times by the employees that we were well over the fire code… Which meant we were out of room and had to many people in that locations… lol I’m thinking that’s a good thing lol… So to fix that problem the employees of the ship decided to take groups of people on a tour of the ship to somewhat thin out the crowd.

I was amazed when a woman approached me from the side while I was signing books… She was the head woman of the so-called ticket counters. She had to come and meet me and shook my hand… She said she had never seen so many people and lines for an event like mine… So she wanted to meet me in person…  lol

Well, now that the event is over and I’m trying to relax.. I got to sit back and think about it.. I came to the conclusion that it was like having a baby.. lol That proud but anxious time.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day… Thank you to our veterans for your service and being part of this amazing project…


photography by: Brewster Gonzales











Finally Done!!

It’s finally done… I really don’t know how to feel. It’s like having a child the grows up and leaves home… What they call the empty nest syndrome. That’s how I feel… This has been my baby for almost a couple of years and now you will finally see it…

I’ve been going about 150 mph the last several months… From sun up until I would dropped asleep on the computer… (Thank heavens no pictures were taken of me doing that lol) Almost every waking moment not only writing and editing the books but also editing the videos.

Along the way I’ve shared with you all the trials and tribulations that I’ve gone through or felt. The excitement, the emotions and frustrations. The loss of our veterans I’ve interviewed, while some others I was scheduled to interview but unfortunately they had passed before I had the chance.  That’s why I decided to call it Diminishing Generations, because we are losing these veterans more and more every day and we lose their stories alone with them.

These books are the first of its kind. Using Augmented Reality to bring these images and stories to reality right from the books. As Jim Dailey of Digital Delta Design explains, “The Diminishing Generations project is utilizing Augmented Reality technology, which place is digital content between the user and the physical world. In this case, the AR-enabled apps allow the user to “scan” the images of the veterans in the books and provide a direct link to additional content such as videos and photo galleries, sharing more of each veterans story”.

It’s always hard to explain how these books work in just typing about it, because most individuals are not familiar with this technology. And for that matter who could imagine, videos coming right off the pages of a book. But that’s how these books are. You will have the ability to hear and see the veterans tell their personal stories of war directly from the veterans themselves.

So November 14, 2015 the book launch will be held free on the USS Iowa from 10a.m. to 4p.m. From 12-2 will be the meet and great of the veterans in the book. So come and meet the veterans and have them sign their part of the book. Learn some real history from the ones who’ve lived it.

Keep a watch out as there are more exciting things coming your way.

I hope to see you on the USS Iowa on the 14th and if not you can still order the books at http://www.jodichampagne.com under “Books”. Shortly thereafter they will be available elsewhere.

Thanks Jodi





Reality of war…

When we are brought in to this world as Americans we are naturally groomed to earn the rights to the American dream. Never ending education, meet the perfect spouse and raise a family and then retire and grow old together… In today’s society we are so consumed with getting from point A to point B the quickest and most direct way. Most of the time with blinders on not really knowing or seeing what’s going on around us. All you have to do is watch “Watter’s World” and you will understand what I mean. Until something so tragic like 9/11 happens then we are stopped in our tracks. Unfortunately, for only a short time or until the newness (lack of a better word) goes away. But what’s left in the wake of something like 9/11 is our military personnel. Although I am a firm believer all youth should spend at least 2 years serving their country out of high school, but these individuals who do go into the service really go in never thinking they would actually go to war.

As technology has grown over the years so has the technology of games. Out goes the “Cowboy and Indian” or “Cops and Robbers” play to the military special forces like the “Call of Duty” or “Gears of War” games. Specially with boys, having these games with powerful guns to shot and various types of things to blow up what could be better… It builds them up with the real lack of understand of the “reality of war”.

I feel our government does not take care of the needs of our veterans of today and specially of yesterday. Our soldiers are trained in “Mind, Body and Soul” of how to fight for their country. The reality of war puts them in a position to have to exercise their “Fight or Flight” mentality. It’s something as a civilian we hope to never have to experience. The reality of war stays with them.

Now our soldiers return home as veterans forever changed by the loss of innocence. The well-trained “Mind, Body and Soul” sees the reality of war… Although proud to be an American and will fight for their country and better yet their fellow-man, brother, friend again and again even knowing the reality of war… We as a society that doesn’t really know the reality of war needs to take a step back, listen, learn from our veterans from the past and present. Because they are the ones that had fought for our freedom and the freedom of others and continue fighting for you today…

Diminishing Generations is a project that brings history to you. Reality of war… Really learning what “Fight or Flight” mentality really is.. Here is a piece of a story from a Vietnam veteran, William Auten. This was his reality…

Diminishing Generations is a project that brings these stories to life with Augmented Reality. They are personal, powerful and raw with some stories never been told as the veterans have talked with me for the first time.

So please keep watch as Diminishing Generations will be released November 14, 2015.

Thank you for reading and following.



I’ve Been Away…

I feel if you are a true artist your projects never end no matter how big or small. The drive to create something is so strong you will always find a way to make things happen. I’m sure you’ve heard not only myself but others say… “This will be my last project”, meanwhile already making planes for the next one. For me I tend to leave myself open for all possibilities as I’m a student of life. As I always say, I’m a firm believer things happen for a reason. People are put into our path whether it’s for 5 minutes, few hours, days or even a lifetime for reasons we may never know.

I’m not a writer… I am an artist… My writing in this blog will not be perfect grammar and punctuations but it will be from my heart with compassion and emotion. I want to share what I see and how I feel… Some of my projects will always be continuing because they mean something special to me… There is a deep purpose for what I show and do. It might not be for all but it will be for some… the right some for that purpose.

I’ve been away for a while diligently working on an amazing project called Diminishing Generations. I feel I’ve gone back in time learning about the past first hand. Hearing stories from the people who’ve actually lived during the times we call history. In this specific project you will hear the stories of our veterans that served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam wars. You will hear first hand account of each persons perspective during their time in war. The good, the bad and the ugly from Pearl Harbor survivors, POW’s, women in war, pilots, medics, infantry, sailors, soldiers just to name a few. For me doing this project I’ve had the pleasure of learning more in-depth about the veterans and their families. Which I will cherish forever…

Towards the end of gathering the interviews I was finally able to get to Baton Rouge to interview a some veterans. I had the pleasure and wonderful time with amazing hosts, Bill and Barbra Auten. Not only did they take good care of me they had treated me to a wonderful day at the WWII museum in new Orleans as well as other amazing ventures. Until that day I really didn’t understand what I had gathered with the WWII veterans. Being at the museum had finally put everything in to perspective. As I walked around seeing images with captions I was blown away… I turned to Bill and said I know the whole story about that image as I had interviewed a veteran on that ship. As we continued on things like that kept happening. Then and there I knew how I had to layout the book.

I am close to the end gathering stories from these veterans. Then it will be a task editing and writing for the books. Yes, books… There will be one for each war. As for the writing, it will be correct as I will have an editor. 🙂 Now the chores for Jim Daily of Digital Delta Design and myself for the next several months will be long and crazy as we get moving on completing this project. I really can’t wait for you to meet these amazing veterans.

So stay tuned…





Hero Of Yesterday, Forgotten Today

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