Fresh Content: TPG Delivers Magazine to Lumina Foundation

The latest issue of the Lumina Foundation’s FOCUS magazine, “Friendly Forces,” explores challenges encountered by military veterans who make the transition from battlefield to college campus. The Pulley Group was involved in every phase of the project, from conceptualizing and planning the issue to gathering information on college campuses in New Jersey, Texas and Arizona. TPG wrote all the copy, collected audio clips embedded in the online presentation and coordinated photo shoots:

In the winter of 2008, Ricardo (Rico) Pereyda prepared for his final mission with military precision. Behind the walls of his boyhood home, Pereyda placed blankets on the floor of his old bedroom. He wrote a letter of apology to his estranged wife and his parents, June and José. Then he lay on the floor, cocked a 9 mm handgun, placed the barrel of the weapon in his mouth and rested his finger on the trigger.

Pereyda hadn’t been himself since returning from combat in Iraq. A member of the U.S. Army Military Police Corps, he and his comrades performed dangerous security missions in Baghdad, Fallujah and elsewhere in and around the region’s Sunni Triangle. Pereyda’s platoon operated at a “high ops tempo,” the military term for a relentless pace of deployment. Teetering on the bleeding edge of war, Pereyda did his job and hung on. From February 2004 through March 2005, he encountered improvised explosive devices (IEDs), ambushes, mortar attacks and firefights. He bore witness to death and suffering at close range.

“It was a hellish, violent year, far beyond anything I ever experienced in the streets,” says Pereyda, who grew up poor in Tucson, Ariz. “You name it, we got hit with it.”

The unrelenting assault shattered Pereyda’s psyche. Once back in the States, he began having panic attacks. Pereyda sought relief in drugs, alcohol and isolation. “It was a miracle if I could get out of the house,” he says. “I would get panic attacks just thinking about going outside. … I had an enemy inside.”

His wife left him, and he lost his house. With nowhere else to go, he moved back home.

Lying on the blankets, he shifted the handgun from his mouth to his temple and back again. Unable to fire the final round, he flung the weapon across the room, curled into a ball and sobbed. He couldn’t bear the thought of his parents finding his lifeless body.

Read the entire issue at

Posted in Uncategorized on 08/06/2013 08:24 pm

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