PBS and CPB Expand Content and Resources to Support U.S. Veterans and Their Communities

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PBS Offers Rich Pipeline of Programming for Deeper Understanding of Our Country’s Veterans and Military History

CPB Will Fund National Content On-Air, Online and in the Community Through America’s Public Media Stations Building on the Long Term Commitment to Our Men and Women In Uniform, Those Who Are Serving and Have Served, and to Help Build Support for Their Successful Transition to Civilian Life

Arlington, VA/Washington, DC; MAY 7, 2014 – PBS and CPB today announced the launch of a new veterans’ initiative that features national content rolling out over several years, and local community engagement efforts to increase dialogue and solutions as our nation’s veterans transition to civilian life. The initiative includes national, multi-platform content on PBS under the banner of Stories of Service, and a community engagement campaign funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) called Veterans Coming Home.

“The programs featured as part of Stories of Service tell the compelling stories of those who have served and provide a deeper understanding of our nation’s military history,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “As America’s storyteller, we hope to spark conversations in communities and give the public an opportunity to share their personal or family story of service through local events and programs. Across the public television community, stations will be creating their own content and providing resources to returning veterans and their families.”

“Americans will connect to these powerful stories of courage, commitment and sacrifice. They will see the veterans as people who have so much to contribute as they return to civilian life. And once they hear and see these stories, they will be compelled to respond through their local public media stations to work with local business and veterans organizations, faith based and community groups,” said Pat Harrison, CPB President and CEO. “We know CPB’s partnership with PBS, America’s public media stations, local veterans and business organizations, working with the men and women who are sharing their personal stories, will create opportunities for our troops and their families in the communities in which they live and continue to serve.”

PBS’ Stories of Service programming kicks off with the May 13 premiere of COMING BACK WITH WES MOORE, funded by CPB, which explores Moore’s search for answers to important questions about veterans returning from war. Longer range, the programming line-up includes the highly anticipated 2016 documentary on the Vietnam War from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

Currently, the PBS programing under Stories of Service includes the upcoming NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT (May 25); DEATH AND THE CIVIL WAR: AMERICAN EXPERIENCE (May 26); D-DAY 360 (May 27); NOVA “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets” (May 28); MAKERS “Women & War” (September 2014); CRAFT IN AMERICA “Service” (November 2014); LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM (Winter/Spring 2015); HOMEFRONT (Winter/Spring 2015); and LA BATALLA (2015). In addition to funding much of the television content, CPB is also providing funding for national radio content, including STORYCORPS Military Voices, a special on THE MOTH, and other radio documentaries, including “The Great War,” a project to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I.

At the local level, CPB is providing station grants in 13 high-need communities to work with community-based partners, inspire greater dialogue around issues and solutions, and facilitate veterans’ transition to civilian life. Led by Wisconsin Public Television (WPT), which produced the largest welcome home to Vietnam Veterans in 2010 at Lambeau Field, public media stations will engage local communities to support Veterans Coming Home (www.veteranscominghome.org) through localized websites, partnerships and resource development. WPT has engaged national partners and experts, including the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the University of Southern California Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans and Military Families, and the Veterans Crisis Line and Make the Connection at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

PBS stations receiving CPB grants include Detroit Public Television-WTVS (Wixom, MI), Eight, Arizona PBS-KAET (Phoenix, AZ), KLRN (San Antonio, TX), Nashville Public Television-WNPT (Nashville, TN), Twin Cities Public Television-KTCA (Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN), Vegas PBS-KLVX (Las Vegas, NV), WFYI (Indianapolis, IN), WGBY (Springfield, MA), WHRO (Norfolk, VA), WUSF (Tampa, FL), WVAS-FM (Montgomery, AL) and WYSO-FM (Yellow Springs, OH). Veterans Coming Home resources and materials will be made available to all public media stations.

The Stories of Service collection on PBS’ website, www.pbs.org/storiesofservice, will include rotating films and videos, encompassing both new and archival programs from national PBS broadcasts and local member stations, resources for educators and students courtesy of PBS LearningMedia and resources for Veterans as part of Veterans Coming Home. The conversation will continue across social media using #ServiceStoriesPBS and in local communities on member station sites.

Stories of Service will also feature local productions from PBS Digital Studios and Veterans Coming Home. For example, KLRN, the Emmy award-winning public television station serving South Central Texas, which boasts one of the largest concentrations of active duty and retired service members in the nation, will launch a local effort through a 10-part online series in partnership with PBS Digital Studios called Coming Home San Antonio. Coming Home San Antonio will look at the issues and challenges veterans and their families face as they try to re-integrate and build a new life back home. See their first local story here.

The PBS national television programming list, many with funding support from CPB, includes, but is not limited to, the following:

May 13, 20 and 27, 2014, 8:00-9:00pm
A three-episode series, executive produced by best-selling author and veteran Wes Moore and Joel Olicker of Powderhouse Productions, tells the story of Moore’s search for answers to some of the most difficult questions facing vets returning from war. Each episode focuses on a different stage of coming home: “Coming Back,” “Fitting In” and “Moving Forward.” (Produced by Powderhouse Productions; funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] Diversity and Innovation and Bank of America.)

May 25, 2014, 8:00-9:30pm; rpt. 9:30-11:00 pm
Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise co-host the 25th anniversary broadcast of this night of remembrance honoring the service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country. (Produced by Capital concerts; funded by grants from the Lockheed Martin Corporation, the National Park Service, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB], the Department of the Army, General Dynamics, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel is provided by American Airlines.)

May 26, 2014, 9:00–11:00pm
Based on Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering, this acclaimed program by Ric Burns explores a critical aspect of the Civil War experience: the implications of the war’s staggering and unprecedented death toll. (DEATH AND THE CIVIL WAR is written and directed by Ric Burns, edited by Li-Shin Yu, and produced by Robin Espinola, Bonnie LaFave, and Ric Burns. Oliver Platt is the narrator. The original concept was developed by Paul Taylor, and the cinematography is by Buddy Squires, Stephen McCarthy and Allen Moore. Music is by Brian Keane. Executive producer is Mark Samels; exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Major funding for DEATH AND THE CIVIL WAR provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the Human Endeavor. Additional funding provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Dedicated to Strengthening America’s Future Through Education; the Nordblom Family Foundation and the Gretchen Stone Cook Charitable Foundation, members of the Documentary Investment Group; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] and PBS and public television viewers.)

D-DAY 360
May 27, 2014, 9:00-10:00pm
This film re-creates the landscape of D-Day, a logistical effort on a scale never seen before or since: 3,000 planes dropped 23,000 airborne troops behind German lines, and 7,000 ships delivered around 20,000 military vehicles and 130,000 soldiers onto the beaches. Once on the shore, the troops had to negotiate two million mines buried in the sand and hundreds of miles of barbed wire, while dodging the shells and bullets fired by 40,000 German defenders. (Produced by Windfall Films; funded by PBS and public television viewers.)

NOVA “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets”
May 28, 2014, 9:00–11:00pm
NOVA joins an exclusive team as they carry out the most extensive survey ever done of the seabed bordering the legendary D-Day beachheads of Normandy, revealing the ingenious technology that helped the Allies overcome the German defenses and ultimately liberate Europe from the Nazis. (Produced by WGBH Science Unit; major funding for NOVA provided by Boeing, The David H. Koch Fund for Science, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB], and PBS and public television viewers. Additional funding for “D-Day’s Sunken Secrets” provided by The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations.)

FALL 2014

MAKERS “Women In War”
September 2014
Women have been invisible players on the battlefield for decades, but the official ban on women in combat was only lifted in 2013. WOMEN IN WAR tells the real story of American women warriors: from nurses to war reporters, soldiers to spies. (Produced by Kunhardt McGee Productions in association with Loki Films. Major funding provided by AOL, Simple Facial Skincare and Verizon. Foundation funding is provided by The Charles H. Revson Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Support is also provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] and PBS and public television viewers.)

November 2014
Craft in America, the Peabody Award-winning series, continues to explore America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade. “Service” will honor our military men and women through an unexpected prism: craft. From the origins of the Army Arts & Crafts Program and the G.I. Bill to contemporary artists and veterans Ehren Tool and Judas Recendez, the series continues to celebrate the artists and techniques of American craft, documenting the power of the handmade to inspire, motivate and heal. (Produced by Craft in America, Inc.)


Acclaimed filmmaker Rory Kennedy chronicles the chaotic final days of the Vietnam War as North Vietnamese forces closed in on Saigon. With time running out and the city under fire, an unlikely group of heroes emerged as Americans and South Vietnamese took matters into their own hands in a desperate effort to save as many lives as possible. (LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM is produced and directed by Rory Kennedy; written by Mark Bailey & Keven McAlester; edited by Don Kleszy; original music by Gary Lionelli; director of photography Joan Churchill; produced by Keven McAlester; executive producer, Mark Samels; exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding for LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM provided by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations: Dedicated to Strengthening America’s Future Through Education; Roxanne E. & Michael J. Zak; and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] and PBS and public television viewers. AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is produced for PBS by WGBH Boston.)

Military families from all branches of service and experts come together to illuminate the shared experience and culture of the military community. (Produced by The Documentary Group; funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] and PBS and public television viewers.)

FALL 2015

LA BATALLA tells the story of shifting priorities in America’s barrios. From the mines of Arizona to the streets of East LA, Latino youths faced the push and pull of military service during the Vietnam War. Military draft policies and economic inequality combined with the allure of war and a proud tradition of military service to place a heavy burden on Latino youth. But as the conflict wore on and Latinos learned they were dying in disproportionate numbers, the allure faded and many Latino men, with their sisters and mothers, decided their real battle — for equality — was at home. (Produced by Souvenir Pictures; funded by Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB].)

FALL 2016

The Vietnam War (2016/2017), a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, is a multi-part documentary film series that sheds new light on the military, political, cultural, social, and human dimensions of a tragedy of epic proportions that took the lives of 58,000 Americans and as many as three million Vietnamese, polarized American society as nothing has since the Civil War, fundamentally challenged Americans’ faith in our leaders, our government, and many of our most respected institutions, and called into question the belief in our own exceptionalism. (Produced by Florentine Films; major funding by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB] and PBS and public television viewers.)

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About CPB
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.


Carrie Johnson, PBS, 703-739-5129; cjohnson@pbs.org
Kelly Broadway, CPB, 202-879-9641, kbroadway@cpb.org