Click Here to upload your I Am A Veteran Photo Submission

Hello to All Veterans, Families, Friends and Supporters of Veterans & Current Military Personnel,

Andrea Brett here!  I am working on a very important project and need your help. As you know, our family has been performing in our own show in Branson, Missouri for the past 13 years.  Several years ago, as part of our tribute to veterans, I wrote a poem entitled "I Am a Veteran."  Each line of the poem was inspired by a veteran that I or one of my family members had actually met at our show.  (See poem below.)  I have been reciting this poem in every performance we have given in Branson and nationwide ever since.  I have received letters, emails, phones calls and newspaper clippings from all over the country, from countless others who have used the poem at a variety of special events honoring our veterans and our patriotic heritage.  The response has been overwhelming and humbling. I had no idea that it would be so well received and so widely used.

It has long been my desire to take the text of "I Am a Veteran" and put it into a hard-bound,"coffee table" style book, featuring actual photos of veterans and those currently serving in the United States military.  This is where I need your help.  I am looking for photographs that will convey the meaning of the poem.  Ideally, I want to use images that illustrate each line in the poem.  For example, if you shipped out right after you got married, I want to use your actual wedding pictures, for the line "I married my sweetheart before I shipped out." For the lines at the beginning of the poem which mention the different professions, I would like to have photos of men and women who once were in the military, but are now working in those (or other) occupations.  It would be ideal to have an early photo of the veteran in uniform, accompanied by a photo of them in their present-day workplace.  I would love as many past/present photos as possible.  I welcome any of your photos that would be appropriate to the message of the poem.   Also, if possible, I would ask you to submit the background stories that tell about the photographs, so I and others can get to know the people behind the images. In addition to photographs of veterans, I am looking for pictures of anything patriotic or Americana related – flags, landmarks, signs, scenery, etc.

As remuneration for those who submit photos that are selected for use in the book, you will receive four copies of the published book, and your name will appear in the photograph credits.  Those photographs not selected for the book, may be posted, with your permission, on the Bretts for Vets section of our website, ( This is the place on our site that we have dedicated to honoring veterans, those currently serving in the military, and their families. Also, for your information, a portion of the sales of the book will be donated to veteran related services and organizations. The deadline for submissions is July 4, 2012.   Photos and stories can be submitted through the form below, email or US mail.  If sent via mail, please only send a copy of your photo so you don't run the risk of losing something irreplaceable.  Photos will not be returned. Please include the following information:
Full Name (including title/rank)
Branch of military service
Years of military service
Mailing address
Email address
Phone number
Consent to use in book and/or website

Click Here to view the "I Am A Veteran" Photo Submission Form

Send email submissions to:

Send US mail submissions to:
Andrea Brett
Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater
1600 W. Highway 76
Branson, MO 65616

I look forward to hearing from you and receiving your photos and stories.  Email any further questions to
Andrea Brett



by Andrea Christensen Brett

You may not know me the first time we meet
I'm just another you see on the street
But I am the reason you walk and breathe free
I am the reason for your liberty


I work in the local factory all day
I own the restaurant just down the way
I sell you insurance, I start your IV
I've got the best-looking grandkids you'll ever see

I'm your grocer, your banker
Your child's schoolteacher
I'm your plumber, your barber
Your family's preacher
But there's part of me you don't know very well
Just listen a moment, I've a story to tell


I joined the service while still in my teens
I traded my prom dress for camouflage greens
I'm the first in my family to do something like this
I followed my father, like he followed his

Defying my fears and hiding my doubt
I married my sweetheart before I shipped out
I missed Christmas, then Easter
The birth of my son
But I knew I was doing what had to be done

I served on the battlefront, I served on the base
I bound up the wounded
And begged for God's grace
I gave orders to fire, I followed commands
I marched into conflict in far distant lands
In the jungle, the desert, on mountains and shores
In bunkers, in tents, on dank earthen floors
While I fought on the ground, in the air, on the sea
My family and friends were home praying for me

For the land of the free and the home of the brave
I faced my demons in foxholes and caves
Then one dreaded day, without drummer or fife  
I lost an arm, my buddy lost his life

I came home and moved on
But forever was changed
The perils of war in my memory remained
I don't really say much, I don't feel like I can
But I left home a child, and came home a man

There are thousands like me
Thousands more who are gone
But their legacy lives as time marches on
White crosses in rows
And names carved in queue
Remind us of what these brave souls had to do

I'm part of a fellowship, a strong mighty band
Of each man and each woman
Who has served this great land
And when Old Glory waves
I stand proud, I stand tall                   
I helped keep her flying over you, over all


Copyright Andrea C. Brett  2003   All rights reserved
For permission to use or to order additional copies
Call (877) 252-7388 or visit

Photography Consent Form

I hereby grant full permission to Andrea C. Brett to use my photograph(s) in the publication of the book "I Am a Veteran." I understand that compensation for the use of my photograph(s) is limited to four (4) copies of the published book.

Not required if you typed it in the box above.