THE DEAR CALVIN PROJECT
My Fellow Americans,
My names is Charles Jones, and I am the Founder and President of Survived Inc. and the Dear Calvin Project. There are very few things more tragic and heartbreaking for a child than losing a family member, especially a parent. That loss removes the love, guidance, and stability among many other things. The Dear Calvin Project was created to provide a lasting memory of the fallen serviceman/woman by interviewing former colleagues and creating a video tribute/testimonial for their family. Along with the video, the family will receive a custom fountain pen from Herbert Pen Co., Two copies of letters to the family from each of the interviewed one set typed and another set handwritten from each of the interviewees, one item from each interviewee to represent their relationship with the fallen, a thumb drive with all of the original interviews, and a handmade box custom built for each family we provide our service to house all of it. The wounds of loss are significant and deep, but with this service I hope to accomplish three things:
- Give the family a life-long lasting documentary about the one they have lost. The children especially will be able to go back to it as many times as they wish, to remember the man/woman they lost. This will mean something different to them every time they watch it, especially over the years.
- Provide at least a small amount of closure to the family. It will also provide some closure to the colleagues. Emotions around death, especially for warriors is very difficult to process and for some it is so hard that it never gets addressed.
- Create a network of Gold Star families allowing them to get in touch with each other and draw strength and support from the group.
One of the most important lessons I learned during my time in the Marines, is that support and camaraderie can get you through any hardship. Together we can help these families gain some closier, heal, and most importantly, make sure that these heroes are never forgotten!
SSgt. Charles T. Jones USMC (Ret.)
OUR MISSION STATEMENT
The Dear Calvin Project aids Gold Star Families by preserving the memory of their fallen loved one. We create video-testimonials for those families by interviewing and recording colleagues of the service member. Our goal is to ensure that the fallen are remembered accurately and forever, especially for the children who may know very little about their parent.
OUR ORIGIN STORY
I was at a Chicago Blackhawks hockey game and it was the middle of the 2nd period. One of the old crew called me, which was very unusual. I ignored the first call, but when he rang me the second time immediately, I knew it had to be something serious. I answered the phone, asking him to give me a second so that I could hear him. It was really loud in the stadium so I went out into the concession area to talk. Dave told me that John was killed in Afghanistan. Johnathon Davis was the first mentor I had in the Marines, and also one of the most important people I had ever met. A few weeks later, Helena (John’s wife) reached out to a few of the guys that knew him best and write letters to Calvin about the man his father was. While doing this I felt that a letter was a good but lacked the depth of what John really meant to me. I decided to do a recording, but also thought that one man’s opinion was not enough. I wanted to make sure that Calvin knew very well what his father was like, so I contacted a few others and interviewed them about John.
I believe that this service can help many people to remember and honor their fallen. But more than that, it will help the families and colleagues alike to gain a sense of closure about the tragedy they have suffered.
Charles Thomas Jones
A native of suburban Chicago, Charles Thomas Jones was born on October 12, 1984 at Oak Park Hospital in Oak Park, IL. He grew up in Arlington Heights, IL and attended Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, IL and graduated in 2003. Upon graduating, Charles enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. On July 20th, 2003 he shipped off to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego for basic training followed by Camp Pendleton, CA for combat training and then finally Ft. Leonard Wood in Missouri for Motor Vehicle Operators Course. After the training cycle, Charles was sent back to Camp Pendleton on orders to join the fleet at Headquarters Company, 1st Marine Regiment. Upon arrival Jones was immediately shipped out to Fallujah, Iraq in February, 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom II (OIF II). There, like many others, Jones wore many hats that included training in Nuclear, Biological, Chemical (NBC) decontamination, first aid medical evacuation as an ambulance driver, and basic infantry training. After 14 months of deployment, Charles returned to Camp Pendleton, was promoted to the rank of corporal.
After some time, Jones was sent to 29 Palms as an instructor/controller at Mojave Viper, teaching deploying units anti-terrorism measures such as setting up vehicle check points, searches, and detainment procedures as well as aiding in the testing of these units for their final exercise. After being promoted to the rank of Sergeant Charles was accepted at DePaul University in Chicago, IL and separated from active duty to pursue his education in business administration. About a year later he activated himself into the SMCR and join 2nd Battalion, 24th Marines in Chicago, IL as the Operations Chief for motor transport for the next almost 6 years. There he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant, but would eventually leave the reserves and the Marines all together and was honorably discharged in April of 2015. In October 2016 he started as a Program Traffic Coordinator at Northrop Grumman in Rolling Meadows, Il.
After recalling a long forgotten personal favor, Charles began what would be the genesis of the Dear Calvin Project (and Survived Inc.) and through the support of his friends and family was able to create the first tribute video and started the company to bring this service to many as many Gold Star Families as possible.
Aside from professional work Charles enjoys boxing and finding rare and unique items in estate sales and auctions. He also enjoys spending time with his close friends and family, going to the movies and trying new and different cuisines and travelling. He hopes to expand the scope of Survived Inc. to aid Gold Star families in many different ways.
Director of Media
Dave Pickett is an internationally experienced colorist with an emphasis on advertising
television. He began his career in Santa Monica in 1996 at Digital Magic Company apprenticing under
colorists Michael Mazur and Randy Starnes. From there he climbed the ranks at
renowned LA shops POP and RIOT Santa Monica.
An Atlanta native, Pickett returned to his hometown to lead Crawford back to the
forefront in commercial post production before being selected to lead the first HD/Data
grading suite in San Francisco, Retina, in 2003. Clients included Goodby, DDB and Foote Cone.
He then accepted the senior position at Finish Edit in Boston and worked closely with Arnold,
MMB, Modernista, Mullen, Hill Holiday and @Radical Media director Errol Morris.
Pickett returned to Los Angeles in 2006 to broaden his client roster to include Sony
Pictures with work on trailers such as “Superbad”, “Marie Antionette”, “The Holiday”
and “Talladega Nights” with Will Ferrell and Sasha Baron Cohen.
During this time he worked with McCann Worldwide in Shanghai on several Coca Cola
spots with PIG Asia helmed by director John Barber. Then he accepted a short term assignment
in Sydney at Frame, Set & Match. Clients included Saatchi, Ogilvy and Anonymous
Content director Justin Reardon. There he utilized Filmlight technologies as well as
In 2008 Pickett returned to Atlanta to head Colorbay, an HD/SD and data grading
boutique. Driving a Spirit Datacine and loaded daVinci 2K he was the leader in the market
working with JWT, Grey Worldwide, BBDO and Sony Music.
Next on the color Odyssey were stops in New York at Technicolor and Prime Focus in Mumbai. The
focus at Technicolor was feature films with credits including
He returned to Atlanta after the birth of his son and transitioned to file based workflows with DaVinci
Resolve. He has remained in Atlanta while running his color grading company Spectrum Grading.
Clients include the Atlanta advertising market as well as promotional content with Ultrabland in New
York on titles The Mist, Queen Sugar, The Chi, Waco, Get Shorty, Berlin Station and National Geographic
Side projects along the way have included building and remote operating a 120 seat/full bar restaurant/
catering service in Florida, The Main Ingredient, from 2002-2007. Dave has also recently completed his
first album “Truce” which was recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL and mixed and mastered
at Abbey Road in London. “Truce” will be available for download soon, he is also shooting a short film to
accompany the music for release.