017_2MThere’s a reason that American Sniper, a 2015 film about real-life American military sniper Chris Kyle, was a box-office success, staying in theaters for a longer-than-normal run and bringing in millions of dollars for the producers.

The film portrays the real-life triumphs and struggles of Kyle as he undergoes hardships and challenges that most everyday Americans can’t understand completely or relate to.

But perhaps that’s the reason for American Sniper’s great success. Because, when it comes down to it, the success of a life or a story isn’t about how much money the movie makes at the box-office or how many people clap and cheer during the Oscars. Success is measured in lives touched; success is more often something that changes people on the inside, not the outside.

What American Sniper did do, and the reason for it’s box-office records, is touch the hearts of men and women by showing the true cost of freedom in America.

Freedom isn’t free–a trite phrase that still holds a glimmer of inspiring truth. And it’s that truth that shines when we hear and read and see the stories of veterans.

Veterans are normal, everyday people. For most, their military service lies somewhere between vocation and duty. Something that pays the bills but lets them feel fulfilled as well. Veterans are our friends, our neighbors, our grandparents, and our brothers and sisters. They are “us” in the largest, most encompassing sense.

Their stories remind us of the valor and strength it takes to stand for what is true and right. Their stories give us hope that good can win out and freedom is the better path.

The Hear Our Heroes initiative by Fjor Films is dedicated to sharing veterans’ stories because their stories are our stories. We know that veterans everywhere have valuable stories and we aim to bring those stories to light.

Some of our first Hear Our Heroes stories include a Vietnam War veteran who served in the National Guard, a lifetime member of the Navy who served on five aircraft carriers, and a WWII veteran who traveled the Pacific on a destroyer escort.

These stories are important because they are our stories. Please help us continue to share the lives of these brave men and women by donating at our Indiegogo sites.

The Deloy Bench Project