Jason Moon: From Emptiness to Music

Jason Moon began his musical career playing around campfires in his home town of Eagle River, Wisconsin. He later relocated to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he attended UW Oshkosh and was a focal point of the burgeoning Fox Valley music scene. He hosted several open mics, wrote dozens of songs, and played hundreds of shows from 1995 until 2003.


He joined the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1993 while still in high school. From 1993 until 2001 Jason served in the 724th Eng. Bn. (now the 951st Sapper Bn.) WARNG out of Tomahawk, Wisconsin and the 395th Ord. Co. AR out of Appleton, Wisconsin. He was honorably discharged in 2001. Jason rejoined the 724th in July 2002 for a “try one,” which is a one year re-enlistment. His unit was mobilized to federal service in March 2003, was deployed to the Middle East in May 2003, and arrived in Iraq in early June 2003. Though his contract ran out in July 2003, the army saw fit to stop-loss Jason beyond his original contract. He arrived home from Iraq in April 2004 and in August 2004 he was again honorably discharged.

Return from Iraq, PTSD and the film

When he returned from Iraq, he felt so dispirited that even songwriting, once his greatest joy, left him unfulfilled. Clouded with emptiness, he struggled for years to reclaim the person he had been. The songs he was finally able to write in his many attempts to heal, are his journey through that darkness.

When Olivier Morel first met with Jason in 2008, he encouraged him to work on these songs that he had begun when he returned from the war, but had been unable to finish.

We filmed Jason playing those raw “unfinished” songs in the attic of his Milwaukee home in March of 2010: this filming experience was a part of Jason’s “healing and redemption” as he puts it. Those recordings made by the sound-engineer Erik Ménard and filmed by Jean-Gabriel Leynaud also constitute the soundtrack of On The Bridge, along with an instrumental version of one of the songs.

Trying To Find My Way Home, the album

Several months later, in September 2010, an album came out of this process: Trying To Find My Way Home, “an accidental concept album” based on Jason’s war experiences and on his attempts after his homecoming to regain the man he was before he was deployed. It was recorded in studio by the musician and sound-engineer Jonathon Leubner, with additional

instruments, viola, violin, banjo, mandolin, lead guitar, slide guitar, played by Susan & John Nicholson, from the band Frogwater.

Other original song recordings/filmings were made for the film at Vince Emanuele’s house with his friends Sergio Kochergin, Chris Arendt, and Derek Giffin (So Much Dirt, I Don’t Want to Kill), and also with Ryan Endicott (Boots Off). One can listen to all those songs on this website.

In Iraq Jason frequently performed for his fellow troops, the “Moon show” as his comrades put it, has been very popular in his unit.


Jason Moon’s public life mixes his musical talents and his very strong commitment as veteran in today’s America: after his return from the Iraq War, Jason became aware of the general lack of knowledge about returning veterans and the acceptance of the actual events of the war. Disturbed by this realization, he began to give talks about what he had seen, heard, and experienced while in Iraq as he struggled with PTSD. In 2006, Jason helped form the Milwaukee chapter of Iraq Veterans Against the War and worked with this group until 2008. From 2008 until present he has worked both individually and with numerous veteran-related groups, from all political viewpoints, in areas of advocacy and healing. He currently serves with the Homeless Veterans Initiative of Milwaukee Veterans for Peace. The Homeless Veterans Initiative actively seeks out homeless veterans in the greater Milwaukee area. They run the only veteran food pantry in Milwaukee as well as transitional housing units and several other outreach programs. Jason wants to raise awareness among civilians of the needs of soldiers returning from war and to provide a transitional experience for them. His goal is to raise over $25,000 by the end of 2014.

Soldier's heart leads veterans on retreats all over the USA and in Vietnam with Dr. Ed Tick and his wife Dr. Kate Dahlstedt. Ed Tick is the author of War and The Soul.


Jason currently performs as a solo artist and as a member of the following acts: Moon & Schultzy, Little Mischief, The Paste Eating Elmers, and Moon & Thacia. He has previously performed as a member of: The North Country Ramblers, Drivinʼ Wheel, Moon & Lipsky, The Deep Bellum Revival Band, The Great Garbonzos, and Every Day Toast. For booking and retail album inquiries, please contact Full Moon Music.

Hear his music >