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New Series Premiere | American Veteran

Women Train to Become U.S. Marines
Scott Olson / Getty Images
Getty Images North America
A Marine Corps recruit in training at the Parris Island depot.

Tuesdays, Oct. 26 - Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. on WKAR-HD 23.1 & STREAMING | American Veteran illuminates the veteran experience with a stunning range of voices from today and across the arc of American history.

Tuesday, October 26 marks the series premiere of American Veteran, an ambitious multi-platform initiative that traces the veteran experience through a four-part PBS series, a 10-part series of digital shorts and a nine-part podcast.

From the citizen-soldiers who fought in the nation’s earliest conflicts, to the men and women in today’s all-volunteer armed forces, it is a rich and deeply moving story told through personal remembrances that draw civilian viewers into an unfamiliar culture, and highlighting the evolving relationship between Americans who have served in the military and those who have not.

Oct. 26 | The Crossing
As recruits take the oath to serve, they leave the civilian world to become a soldier, sailor, marine, airman or woman. This is the start of their transformation. Narrated by “Price is Right” host and former Marine Drew Carey.

Nov. 2 | The Mission
Join host Senator Tammy Duckworth to learn how military life shapes servicemen and women in profound and unexpected ways. Veterans’ personal stories showcase the raw impact of these experiences from D-Day to Afghanistan.

Nov 9. | The Return
Join host Wes Studi, actor and activist, as he explores the road back to civilian life. For some veterans there are ticker-tape parades; for others, protests, anger and silence. Some recall the confidence they brought home, while others think, “What am I going to do now?”

Nov. 16 | The Reckoning
Join host and motivational speaker J.R. Martinez as veterans reflect on their experiences in the military, the divide between those who have served and those who have not, and the ways veterans and civilians can work together to move America forward.

Orange County Register Archive
Kevin Sullivan
MediaNews Group / Orange County Register / Getty Images
Iraq war veteran and former Dancing With the Stars winner J.R. Martinez with a fellow burn survivor at the UC Irvine Health Regional Burn Center. Martinez narrates “American Veteran: The Reckoning.”

In accompaniment with the four-part series, “American Veteran: Keep It Close” is a 10-part digital series that will be released biweekly Tuesdays, September 7, 2021 – January 11, 2022 on the PBS Voices YouTube Channel.

The short-form series explores the veteran experience by asking participants: What did you carry with you in your service and bring back home, and why did that matter? What do these objects mean to you today?

The objects the vets kept close vary widely, from a microphone that a vet used to record his music while serving—“my therapy,” he calls it—to a puppy rescued from Syria.

A final addition is “American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories,” a nine-part podcast that drops on Tuesdays, October 19 – December 14. The series is available to listeners free on-demand across all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Selecting from the rich array of veterans interviewed for the series, each episode focuses on the direct testimony of a single veteran.

Their stories are emotional and thoughtful, from an Army nurse who volunteered to serve in Vietnam, to the first Black American woman held as a POW, to a Special Ops sniper coming to grips with what he was tasked to do.

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