Lois Pope, Ric Burns and Bonnie Burns


VA: THE HUMAN COST OF WAR, made its New York premiere at Fordham University on May 2, 2017. The film, which was created by Lois Pope and produced with Ric Burns, a six-time Emmy award winner, touches on the mission of the VA; it’s scandals; the level of and access to its medical care; and raises questions about what we, the American people, owe our veterans.

“I am proud and honored to have created this film and served as its Executive Producer together with director Ric Burns,” said Mrs. Pope, “with whom I collaborated on the 2015 PBS film, Debt of Honor, about disabled veterans in America.”

“I would like to thank the wonderful people at Fordham for hosting us this evening,” remarked Mrs. Pope. “The Pope family and Fordham actually have a long history together. My late husband Gene and other family members endowed several entities at the university, including the Pope Auditorium right here on this campus and its library.”

“I also want to express my gratitude to the many veterans who are here tonight. For your heroism, your courage and your fortitude in service to America, we owe you our admiration, our respect and, in fact, our very freedom. Thank you.” Mrs. Pope went on to say “Some say the VA is trying its best but that in a time of limited resources and political infighting there is only so much that can be done.

To those I say, there is no more important charge to keep, no more deserving Americans than these warriors, and no cause more worthy than giving our all to those who have sacrificed so much. It is easy to focus on the numbers and forget about the names. And that is why we are here today having this discussion and viewing the documentary titled “V.A.: The Human Cost of War”.”

This new film, the second collaboration between LP LIFE Productions and Steeplechase Films, is a thought-provoking examination of the Veterans Administration – how it cares for our veterans; how it is funded; its often problematic history; its impact on America’s healthcare system; and the scandals that caused national headlines related to the many thousands of suicides by veterans who could not gain proper care in a timely basis.

Most importantly this film opens a national discussion on what we as Americans can do to create real and meaningful change in the way our veterans are treated when they return home from serving our country. Go to the dedicated Facebook page, What Do We Owe Our Veterans, to participate in the conversation.

About Lois Pope
Lois Pope is a noted philanthropist and founder of the Lois Pope LIFE Foundation, Inc., Leaders in Furthering Education (LIFE), and the Disabled Veterans’ LIFE Memorial Foundation, which spearheaded the creation of the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. Dedicated on Oct. 5, 2014 in Washington, D.C., the memorial is the nation’s first permanent public tribute to the four million living disabled American veterans and all those who have died. Through her advocacy, Oct. 5 has now been officially designated by the President and Congress as an appropriate day to honor American Veterans Disabled for Life.

About Ric Burns & Steeplechase Films
Steeplechase Films is the award-winning production company founded by Ric Burns in 1989. Director, writer, and producer Ric Burns began his career co-writing and producing the celebrated PBS series The Civil War (1990) and has since directed over 30 hours of award-winning films, including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), Ansel Adams (2002), Eugene O’Neill (2006), Andy Warhol (2006), We Shall Remain: Tecumseh’s Vision (2009), New York: A Documentary Film (1999-2003),Death and the Civil War (2012), and Enquiring Minds (2014). 2015 saw the release of American Ballet Theatre: A History; Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History, and The Pilgrims.