UPDATE 06/06/2013 – On this anniversary of D-Day, the Poster Project auction will be going LIVE on ebay. Peter O’Meara added his name in the nick of time and has been added to the list of signers.
UPDATE 05/24/2013 – Just in time for Memorial Day, the Band of Brothers poster auction for charity has gone live with the web site at posterproject.us, and a new video detailing the effort for veterans. 100% of funds from The Poster Project will go to benefit GallantFew, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans help themselves and each other.
Narrated by Michael Broderick, the video sums up the mission of The Poster Project, with video clips from Band of Brothers, and appearances from GallantFew leaders Karl Monger and Michael Schlitz.
05/15/2013 – This Band of Brothers poster, scheduled for auction on June 6th, may be the only World War II and entertainment collectible of its kind. Signed by 27 cast and crew members, including Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, this poster for HBO’s epic 10 part miniseries also includes the signatures of 8 veterans who served in the real Easy Company. 100% of the proceeds go to GallantFew, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping veterans help themselves and each other.
The Poster Project was a labor of love for actor and Marine Corps veteran Michael Broderick. A fan of Band of Brothers, Broderick knew that the series has a large, dedicated fan base to support the effort. “I knew it would take a lot of work to complete my mission, so I chose something that was sure to keep me focused and motivated.”
Both Band of Brothers and WWII are personal to Broderick. “It was Band of Brothers that inspired me to seriously consider acting as a career. Up until that point, I’d been playing music in NYC.” The war itself is personal for Broderick and his wife, both of whom have uncles who served. Broderick’s uncle James Walsh served at the very end of the war. Wife Dana’s uncle Pete Cavo was at Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, New Britain and New Guinea with Chesty Puller.
Broderick spread the word about The Poster Project through his fellow actors and other industry friends. He launched the official Facebook page in April of 2012, and spread the word online. “Sometimes, you just have to ask for something and someone, somewhere can provide a solution. For instance, I couldn’t figure out how to get in touch with Tom Hanks, so I put it out there on Facebook.” Through a friend of a friend, Broderick was able to connect with Tom Hanks and get an autograph for the poster.
Meeting with Frank John Hughes (“Wild Bill” Guarnere), was the most emotional signature for Broderick. “Frank was very gracious and we chatted over a cup of coffee while he signed the Poster. I shared with him that, like his character in the series, I got word while I was serving in the Marines that my older brother was killed suddenly (in a car crash). I remember feeling like I’d gotten punched hard in the gut and couldn’t breathe. The scene where Bill learns about his brother’s death always gets me. Frank played that so perfectly. Watching that always takes me right back.”
The poster already had the signatures of six Easy Company veterans when Broderick purchased it. Getting signatures from the real “Wild Bill” Guarnere and “Babe” Heffron “was probably the most exciting,” Broderick said. The most challenging to get were the ones he didn’t get, but there is still time to sign the one of a kind poster before it goes up for sale. If anyone else involved in Band of Brothers knocks on Broderick’s door in the next few days, “they will be most welcome.”
Broderick chose to support GallantFew because of his friendship with Army Ranger SFC Mike Schlitz. Schlitz was badly wounded by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) while serving in Iraq. Schlitz suffered burns over 80% of his body, lost both hands and has endured over 80 surgeries, but Broderick says Schlitz’s spirit remains unequaled. “The man does not quit. When he told me about GallantFew and the support they provide returning veterans, it was a no-brainer for me.”
Broderick explains the organization’s purpose and why they were chosen to benefit from The Poster Project: “GallantFew’s mission is to eliminate veteran unemployment, homelessness and suicide by facilitating mentor relationships between new veterans transitioning out of the military and a veteran in their community that has already made that transition successfully. This is a fellow combat veteran that can help the returning veteran, whether by assisting them in writing a resume, opening their rolodex or simply grabbing a cup of coffee and listening. GallantFew is a quickly growing organization that has a fantastic model. They’re already seeing a lot of success and are hoping to expand further. I want to help them do that.”
While he doesn’t think he would do another Poster Project, Broderick still finds time for other good causes in addition to his acting career. He and wife Dana run a web site dedicated to autism acceptance, called Rethinking Autism, as well as a You Tube Channel with short videos that hope to change the conversation about autism. You can follow Broderick and his career on IMDB, as well as @m_broderick on Twitter.
See photos of Band of Brothers cast and crew, and veterans of Easy Company who signed this one of a kind item on The Poster Project’s Facebook page, and get updates @DaPosterProject on Twitter. Get in on the auction action at posterproject.us (site will go live closer to auction date). Band of Brothers can be seen any time on HBOGo, and is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.
The Poster Project Honor Roll of Signers
Easy Company Veterans:
Wild Bill Guarnere
Band of Brothers Cast and Crew (Listed in order of signing):
Frank John Hughes