Bad Voodoo's War

DVDs + Transcript

Bad Voodoo's Return

May 23, 2008 1:33 PM | Comments (62)

Bad Voodoo Platoon has finished its tour in Iraq and most of the men have now returned to the United States.

FRONTLINE has learned that following the broadcast of "Bad Voodoo's War," the U.S. Army launched an investigation of Sfc. Toby Nunn and Spc. Jason Shaw. According to the Army, the investigation centered on the question of whether the men received permission from their chain of command to participate in the making of the film.

Sfc. Nunn reports to FRONTLINE that the Army punished him for his participation in the film "with a letter of reprimand in my permanent record so that I cannot be promoted or reenlist."  He says that "nothing illegal happened and proper protocol was followed" and that he is appealing the Army's decision to ensure that "I leave with an honorable discharge instead of a general discharge and I am trying to clear my name and record as well."
 
Sfc. Nunn's full statement to FRONTLINE is below. He is also writing about the investigation on his blog.
 
FRONTLINE will continue to follow this story and report on it further as developments warrant.

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Dear Deb and Frontline

Bad Voodoo has returned to the states and have started the demobilization process and are getting back together with their families. Several of us leaders have to stay on for a few more weeks and complete some education requirements and I am trying to get my reputation reintact. I was punished for my participation in the Frontline documentary by getting a letter of reprimand in my permanent record so that I cannot be promoted or reenlist. This is a painful and hurtful piece of paper that has painted me out to be like the enemies I dedicated my life to fighting. There was an investigation into the documentary but it did not involve anyone that participated in the film. Due process was ignored and the findings of the investigation clearly do not support the punishment I have received. By all counts my career is finished and I will complete my contractual time then get out. I am ensuring that I leave with an honorable discharge instead of a general discharge and I am trying to clear my name and record as well.

I apologize if I have remained distant throughout this process but I did not want the men to suffer or be distracted from their accomplishments. I have a great respect for the all of you and wish that I can work with you in the future. I might need to get into journalism now if this career is over right. Well, thank you for the opportunity to tell our story.
V/R
Toby Nunn


 

Update

April 23, 2008 4:20 PM

From FRONTLINE’s editors: The men in Bad Voodoo platoon are unable to provide any new video at this time. You can follow what is happening to the platoon by visiting the blogs of Sfc. Toby Nunn or Sgt. J.P. Borda.

Video Extra: "Its Not a Matter of If, It's a Matter of When"

April 17, 2008 6:30 PM | Comments (31)

Sfc. Toby Nunn talks candidly about his conversations with his driver Spc. Hamlin and his gunner Spc. Jonathan Serbellon about the inevitable event of an attack on their vehicle.

not if but when

Video Extra: Camp Virginia

April 11, 2008 6:06 PM | Comments (33)

Take a tour of where the men live on base with SFC Toby Nunn and see what 6' x 8' x 6' really looks like.

camp virginia

Running missions

April 11, 2008 8:28 AM | Comments (19)

We are grateful for all your support and comments. Right now our access to the internet is limited, and like the film stated, we're still running Convoy Security missions throughout Iraq. We will continue to check this site for comments and hopefully have more updates for you soon.

Cheers!
 -- Sgt. JP Borda

Bravery

April 8, 2008 5:16 PM | Comments (59)

Bravery is a term I think reserved for those that are afraid of something yet choose to enter into it anyway. I guess on some levels Bad Voodoo is pretty brave and that’s only one of many reasons I am so proud of them each and everyday. I also think a little kid that is about to get a needle or goes to the dentist and knows its about to suck is pretty brave too and when a big brother holds the hand of his infant sister as she get her shots knowing how it hurt him is brave as well!

I never thought I would be called brave for doing this film. I have received a lot of praise from back home and it means a lot but I look towards my peer group for support on a regular basis and the comments from them have been primarily, “you were Brave to do this!” It is so weird to me that soldiers and warriors that I respect and look up to would call me Brave for a film. Is it that scary to tell the truth and be proud of our men? I think that this has needed to be done for some time and I am honored that I was able to participate in this but I don’t think its brave of me.

True, the bosses are not too pleased and I understand their concerns, anytime one puts themselves in the open they become vulnerable. It’s no big secret we are in Iraq, it is on the news every night just not accurately. The American people are not mushrooms, so don’t keep them in the dark and feed them bulls***.

I guess John Mayer was right, “When you own the information you can bend it all you want”.

 - Sft. Toby Nunn 

A Note From the Director

April 7, 2008 5:24 PM | Comments (33)

We've gotten an outpouring of responses to Bad Voodoo's War from many of you. The guys and the entire production team have lived with this film very close to our hearts for the better part of a year, and sharing it with you and hoping that you would jump right in and help make a difference has been our hope -- thanks for doing just that.

We've been very moved to read the letters written by some of the family members, close friends and fellow soldiers of the men of Bad Voodoo, including Jason's father and his ex-wife. We feel the concentric circles of all of our families touching. As some viewers have written, you are ALL our family.

Right now, the guys are running missions, but told me that they would be logging in when they can to see what you all are saying on the website as well as adding new updates when they can.

Let's keep the momentum going - the film continues to stream online, so by watching and spreading the word to your friends, the baton has been passed, and you the viewers are now amplifying the voices of the men of Bad Voodoo.

Deborah

p.s. If you want to be sure that the men from Bad Voodoo see your comment, please post it here in the blog section as a comment.

Thank you

April 3, 2008 4:41 PM | Comments (100)

Thanks everyone for watching the show and all the kind comments and support. We're very busy right now and have limited internet access, but I'll be online more as soon as I can. Cheers!!! JP

Cat's out the Bag

April 3, 2008 12:41 PM | Comments (66)

I have been trying to write this post off and on all day but keep getting interrupted or the server goes down and it has become so frustrating. Oh do I long for the time when I simply press on my mozilla icon and the web is there. I was able to open my inbox earlier to get warnings from my administrator about the excessive mail and I am feeling over whelmed we were not sure what to think about the show since it is our lives. I am extremely proud of it but I was apprehensive for the wife to see it and perhaps worry more than she already does. That was not the intent but looking at the responses so far everything is very positive and I wish I had time to answer them all but it will take me quite some time to do that but look forward to me sharing some with you over the next couple of weeks.

I am glad that people like the show and I hope to put out another book telling even more about Bad Voo Doo Platoon. This will come soon if we get some of the things worked out.
The boys are all cozy in our “new” tents enjoying the close comfort of 10 men in close proximity. Its amazing how spoiled we are when you think about it. We moved to different tents and we got less in number and smaller in size. It was a tough move because we had become very comfortable in our 8 man tents. We don’t spend a lot of time in them but its home none the less. We have AC and there is limited power and each of us get about 4’ X 6’ of space so its not all bad.

Its is also going to be a little more difficult to roll around with our low profile now since we are on a lot of peoples radar but that’s life right. Bad Voo Doo always walks tall. I guess we shall see what will come of this now that the Cats out the Bag. (funny thing, there must have been a pretty excited cat inside a bag in everyone’s life to understand what that means)

- Sfc. Toby Nunn

Thoughts as broadcast approaches

March 31, 2008 11:43 AM | Comments (362)

I am sitting at my makeshift desk here in my tent trying to handle some administrative stuff and desperately need a break, so I am going to jot down a couple of things that are going through my head. The show Bad Voodoo's War is about to air in less than a week and I can hardly believe it. From the time I was talking to Deborah over the sounds of machine gun fire on a range at Camp Shelby 'til now has just raced by it seems. Just today on my way from Al Nasariya, I loaded some tape into my camera and hit the record button after I had cleared the gate. This still knowing that the project is drawing to a close. It's very surreal to know that in a few days an extremely large number of people across the U.S. and Canada will be seeing the men of Bad Voodoo in their living rooms and on their computer screens. I have only seen a rough draft of the show myself and I am extremely proud of it but that's because I know what it took for us to make it happen.

I find myself very curious to the reaction of the audience and whether or not our goal of bridging the cultural and informational distance between the general public and those of us serving will be crossed. Will the good people of America be able to put their politics aside and see some regular guys just trying to get through the daily challenges faced in this reality they know for a year or even more? Will this show be successful in putting to rest some of those misconceptions and draw a circle around us versus a line between us?

There is no doubt in my mind that our best interests were respected and the raw, unadulterated reality has been met in a tasteful manner. I am not one to study or target demographics but I hope that we are able to reach a broad spectrum of them.

I find myself like I was in October, anticipating the birth of our precious Scarlett, awaiting the reviews and reactions. I, for sure, hope my leadership likes it and wonder whether or not it will suck for me if they don't. Deborah and all of us have become pretty attached to this project, so sharing it with everyone will be bittersweet for sure.

I need to get back to work but just wanted to share some thoughts and stuff with all of you. Enjoy.

- Sfc. Toby Nunn

My thoughts on the upcoming release of Bad Voodoo's War

March 29, 2008 2:28 PM | Comments (56)

The film Bad Voodoo's War airs on April 1st.  Deborah Scranton and my Platoon Sergeant SFC Toby Nunn, have done an outstanding job telling the story of the Bad Voodoo soldiers.  I know for a fact, my family, friends, and several of my readers are excited to see what I finally do over here.  

It's always tough to explain my job.  Even after my last deployment to Afghanistan from 2004-2005, I had some short video clips, photos, and my blog to help illustrate my job as an Infantryman.  But man, having this film is way neater.  

As a military blogger, I don't share alot of what I experience as an Infantryman. I never have.  Not because of the so-called new restrictions on blogging or because of lack of support from my chain of command, on the contrary, the DoD guidelines on blogging have never prevented me from writing online, and I've always had great support from my leadership.  No, I choose not to write about things I do, because my family and friends read my blog, and I'm sensitive to their feelings.  Therefore I choose write about simple things, like Care Packages and other day-to-day experiences.

Now, with this film, my family and friends will know alot more about me.  More than I've ever shared.

- Sgt. J.P. Borda

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posted april 1, 2008

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