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New movie honours Scot who served homeless veterans

February 11th 2012


A Scot whose work with a homeless charity saw him honoured by the US president is to be the subject of a Hollywood blockbuster, reports the Daily Record.

The new movie will tell the life story of Vietnam veteran John Keaveney, from Bridgeton in Glasgow, who founded the charity new New Directions, which has helped around 30,000 homeless and disabled fellow veterans.

His dramatic story, which saw him spend time in US prisons for attempted murder and violent outbursts after his return from Vietnam, has captured the attention of actor Julian Stone.

Essex-born Stone, 48, star of Emmy award-winning soap General Hospital, is working on the feature length film with producer Katy Haber, who has worked alongside Ridley Scott on Blade Runner and Sam Peckinpah on Straw Dogs and The Getaway.

Stone told the Daily Record: “As John told me about his incredible life, I realised his story needed to be a proper movie.

“He’s the warrior whose real war only began when he returned from Vietnam. We’d love to see someone of the calibre of Ewan McGregor as John and are determined to see input to the film from the UK.”

As a teenager, Keaveney was a member of the notorious Spur gang involved in a horrific knifing incident with a Calton Tong rival. He later entered the US illegally where his aunt volunteered him for Vietnam. He emerged with head and brain injuries and posttraumatic stress disorder.

In 1981 he staged a hunger protest over inhumane treatment at a hospital in LA, gaining nationwide media attention by marching on Washington.

When an anguished fellow protester jumped from a roof to his death, John held army captain Shad Meshad hostage at knifepoint for more than an hour as a SWAT team took aim.

Keaveney told the Record: “I should have been shot or sent to jail for years. Instead, Shad got me treatment and turned my life around.”

In 1992 he took the helm at the New Directions programme and received a Citizens Medal from President Obama in October last year for his commitment to the cause.


February 2012



Birmingham man charged with homeless murder

Coventry City Council rubber-stamps cuts disguised as freezes

Birmingham winter shelter pilot

Homelessness on the rise in Nottingham

Christmas shelter welcomes homeless

Sleeping out for St Basil’s

Budget cuts threaten Scots homeless charity

‘Commonwealth grandmother’ still homeless

Pets need homes too, urges charity

Land of the free, homes for the brave

Government urged to make homelessness act a reality

New movie honours Scot who served homeless veterans

Behind a name

A Few Man Fridays

Hull in a handcart

Rough sleepers predicted to live longer - 47 is the new 42

Former US Marine arrested for homeless stabbing

Homeless people offered Spanish getaway

Funding boost for hostels

Bones in Bath wood

The target year - an end to rough sleeping in 2012

Hungary outlaws homelessness

Hungary outlaws homelessness

Nottingham hotline

Man dies on Ilford street

Stay safe!

Bin safety


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© Copyright 2009-2014 The Pavement. Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656 Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760 ISSN (online) 1757-0484