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Periodic posts from Shawn Turner, WKAR general manager

Honoring Service: National Military Appreciation Month and the Voices of Veterans

A man posing with an SUV at a motorcycle shop
An army man posing with a military Jeep, from the series Michigan Voices: The War.

Dear friend of WKAR,

In 1999, Congress designated May as National Military Appreciation Month. It’s a time for people across the country to reflect on the contributions, sacrifices, and service of members of the armed forces—both past and present.

As we reflect on the important role that military service members have played in the history and protection of our country, let’s also honor the families who bravely support all those who answer the call to serve.

There are special days throughout the month, including Military Spouse Appreciation Day, on May 10 this year; Armed Forces Day on May 18; and Memorial Day on May 27 -- when we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. The month of May gives us the opportunity to be intentional in celebrating the people who serve, and those who support their service.

Michigan is home to more than 450,000 veterans. Every day, PBS and NPR stations across the state report on the range of issues that impact the Veteran community.

As a Marine Corps veteran with 21 years on active duty, I appreciate public media’s long history of supporting service members and veterans by telling stories, shedding light on what it means to serve, and illuminating the challenges of post-service life.

My colleagues here at WKAR recently shared with me a remarkable piece of history. From our program archives, I’ve had the opportunity to view The War: Michigan Voices, a WKAR original series from 2007. It’s a collection of first-hand accounts from veterans of World War II. The stories are often harrowing and frequently inspiring. In some cases, men and women were sharing stories that close family members were hearing for the first time.

These glimpses of history are preserved for us all thanks to public media’s commitment to gather and share stories from and about our community. Your WKAR team is currently working to bring the Michigan Voices series up to today’s technical standards so that we can again share these important stories. Please watch for The War: Michigan Voices to be available soon for viewing in the free PBS app and at video.wkar.org during National Military Appreciation Month.

On behalf of the WKAR team, I want to thank all veterans and their families throughout Michigan for their commitment to protecting the rights and freedoms that are the hallmark of American democracy.


signature: Shawn Turner

Updated: May 24, 2024 at 12:17 PM EDT
UPDATE: The WKAR documentary series, The War: Michigan Voices, has been restored from our archives and republished for viewing in the PBS video app and online. WATCH The War: Michigan Voices here.
Shawn Turner is general manager at WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University.
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