Showing posts with label PBS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label PBS. Show all posts

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Lessons from WMHT’s multimedia ‘Vietnam in a Word’

‘We are the carriers’: Lessons from WMHT’s multimedia ‘Vietnam in a Word’

Ian Fox
January 3, 2018

WMHT’s project “Vietnam in a Word” caught my eye with its simple concept and its even more elegant execution: a multimedia and community-driven oral history project, realized as an attractive digital hub for all of the station’s programming related to The Vietnam War, the documentary film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick.

WMHT staffers interview a Vietnam veteran at the Gateway Diner in Albany.

ALBANY, N.Y. — The offices of joint licensee WMHT would blend into its business-park surroundings if not for a protruding broadcast tower throwing its light into the November afternoon sun. Situated between the rowhouse-lined town square of Troy, N.Y., and Albany’s legislator-laden diners, the station’s innocuous digs — like those of many public media stations — don’t scream “community center.”

Yet WMHT’s exceptional work in its community is exactly why I was in the station’s parking lot on a biting cold day, a mile from the main road and 175 miles from my Boston home. It’s the first of what’ll be many station visits across the country for this series, In Public, in which I’ll explore the operations of innovative community engagement projects across public media.
The word I'd pick is "mind-boggling." The first time I heard a group of veterans talking about it, that was the term that struck me the most. They were still trying to figure it out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disabled Veterans in American History

Disabled Veterans in American History Forgotten
Who was forgotten? The Gulf War veterans. They covered the Revolutionary War, Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam, then jumped right into Afghanistan and Iraq.

The other thing that was forgotten was when it was said that no on knew how long it would take for Afghanistan and Iraq. That claim was made 38:33 minutes into this documentary. It was then said that these were more complicated wars but the truth is, they were not different from other wars other than the repeated deployments.

Wars begin when politicians decide to start them.  Contractors get paid to gear up the branches.  How many men to send it decided and up until the end of Vietnam, many of them were drafted.  Women decided to go with them.  After Vietnam, it was an all volunteer force.

Politicians never seem to manage to plan for survivors coming home as they begin propaganda campaigns to get the citizens to approve of sending them to risk their lives.

That is what happened before troops were sent into Afghanistan.  Propaganda stated it would be over fast. History however told a much different story.

Since many find history too boring, there is a great movie, Charlie Wilson's War about what happened during the 10 years of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Yes, 10 years and they were forced to give up because the US helped the Afghan people.
"In the early 1980s, Charlie Wilson is a womanizing US congressional representative from Texas who seemed to be in the minor leagues, except for the fact that he is a member of two major foreign policy and covert-ops committees. However, prodded by his major conservative supporter, Houston Socialite Joanne Herring, Wilson learns about the plight the people are suffering in the brutal Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. With the help of the maverick CIA agent, Gustav "Gust" Avrakotos, Wilson dedicates his canny political efforts to supply the Afghan mujahideen with the weapons and support to defeat the Soviet Union. However, Charlie Wilson eventually learns that while military victory can be had, there are other consequences and prices to that fight that are ignored to everyone's sorrow."

They also said Iraq would be over fast, however, again, history had already proven that wrong. We know this because of the Gulf War and the decision to not remove Saddam from office. Dick Cheney used the word "quagmire" and he was right however when it came time to defend sending troops to eventually remove Saddam from power, all that was forgotten.

They knew both wars would take years and cost many lives, and maybe they were prepared to accept that, but the truth is, the VA was not prepared to take care of the influx of the wounded any more than they were prepared to care for the veterans of all other wars they were sent to fight.

That is another thing that was missing from this. They knew what redeployments would do to those sent back. They knew as far back as 2006.
Repeat Iraq Tours Raise Risk of PTSD, Army Finds
Washington Post
By Ann Scott Tyson
Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
U.S. soldiers serving repeated Iraq deployments are 50 percent more likely than those with one tour to suffer from acute combat stress, raising their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Army's first survey exploring how today's multiple war-zone rotations affect soldiers' mental health.
The documentary is a reminder the price paid that does not end when politicians decide they can come home. Really good way to spend at least an hour today if you really do honor them.
Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History

Three veterans overlook headstones at Arlington Cemetery

on the anniversary of Armistice Day, 1951.

Courtesy of Bettman/Corbis
“There is a real necessity to bridge the gap between civilians and those who have served in the military. It is our hope that the film will encourage a candid discussion in communities across the country, and create understanding and awareness of the sacrifices involved in military service.”— Ric Burns, American documentary filmmaker and writer read more here
Debt of Honor | Full Episode

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Philanthropist Lois Pope Making Sure Disabled Veterans Are Honored

Philanthropist helps put disabled veterans documentary on TV 
Associated Press
Saturday, October 31, 2015
“I had no idea about the horrors of war and the devastation it can cause to human beings’ minds and bodies until the moment I walked into the room at Rusk Rehabilitation and saw dozens of Vietnam veterans, some without legs and arms, some mutilated, some burned so badly and some blind.” Lois Pope
ADVANCE FOR USE SATURDAY, OCT. 31 - In this photo taken Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, Palm Beach County philanthropist Lois Pope poses at her home in Boynton Beach, Fla., with a DVD copy of a PBS documentary about disabled military
MANALAPAN, Fla. (AP) - A Manalapan philanthropist is making good on her promise to herself to share the story of the nation’s disabled veterans with as many people possible.

On Nov.10, the documentary “Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History” is set to premiere nationwide on PBS. The hourlong film chronicles American wars starting with the American Revolution up to the current conflict in the Middle East, with a focus on the disabled veterans who come home to fight their own personal war of survival once they leave the battlefield.

The $1 million budget film is funded by philanthropist Lois Pope, who for decades has wanted to share the story of the nation’s disabled veterans if she ever had the financial means to do so. It is directed by six-time Emmy award winning director Ric Burns.

“It’s an unflinching report,” Pope said. “It’s a candid chronicle of disabled veterans.”
And Max Cleland was a captain in the Army during the Vietnam War when a grenade exploded and caused him to lose his legs and one arm.

“Once second I am a tall, strapping 6-foot-2, young Army captain the next second I’m laying on the ground bleeding to death,” he said.
read more here

Palm Beach County philanthropist helps bring disabled veterans documentary that airs Nov. 10 on PBS
"History books tell us who won and lost wars. They never tell us the story of the continuing suffering of those who come back home disabled for life." Lois Pope

Published on Aug 19, 2015
Attendees of the 97th National Convention in Baltimore can attend a special screenings of this documentary film, directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns. The movie is a tribute to the history of disabled veterans, the documentary features images and archival footage from the Revolutionary War to today's conflicts in the Middle East, as well as personal stories from disabled veterans.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Disabled Veterans Focus of PBS film, 'Debt of Honor,'

S.A. gets preview of doc about disabled vets
My San Antonio
By Jeanne Jakle
October 20, 2015
As early as World War I, there was a growing consciousness of both neuro-psychiatric injury and psychological problems. Men were severely traumatized without necessarily experiencing physical injury on the battlefield.
Ric Burns will be in San Antonio to discuss his moving and informative PBS film, 'Debt of Honor,' at a screening and panel event. October, 2015

Another Emmy-winning TV documentarian named Burns — Ken’s younger brother — will be in San Antonio Wednesday to unveil his latest film and spark a conversation about it.

“Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History” is a powerful, poignant and unflinching chronicle of severely injured veterans throughout the years — from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War through both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and up to today’s conflicts in the Middle East.
read more here

Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History

“There is a real necessity to bridge the gap between civilians and those who have served in the military. It is our hope that the film will encourage a candid discussion in communities across the country, and create understanding and awareness of the sacrifices involved in military service.”— Ric Burns, American documentary filmmaker and writer
read more here

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Britnee Kinard PTSD Servicedog Caregiver to Georgia Veterans

2015 Lincoln Awards Caregiver Britnee Kinard
Aired: 05/22/2015
Rating: TV-G

Get to know Britnee Kinard, recipient of the 2015 Caregiver Lincoln Award.
In July 2014, Kinard founded the SD Gunner Fund, inspired by her 15-month struggle to get her husband’s service dog approved by the V.A.

Through the fund, she provides assistance to soldiers and their families in Evans County, GA. Narrated by Alec Baldwin

Thursday, March 19, 2015

No Longer Untold Story of Navy SEALs

There seems to be a lot of action for a PBS documentary on Navy SEALs. I don't like to use what some people put up especially when it appears they are not part of the original work done. I tracked back the video to PTSD and the original video.

If you want to see a fantastic documentary, you need to see this one!

Navy SEALs - Their Untold Story

“The SEALs’ history has never been truly told before. This is the first time that Naval Special Warfare has assisted with the research of a documentary about the Teams and their forefathers.” – Filmmaker Carol L. Fleisher
Navy SEALs – Their Untold Story premiered on Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 9:00–11:00 p.m. ET.

SEAL Team TWO L to R: Gordy Boyce, Dennis Drady, Wally Schwalenberg and Silver (dog).

Despite the widespread attention paid to the Navy SEALs (Sea, Air and Land) since they killed Osama bin Laden, the story of how these clandestine warriors evolved in response to changing threats — from WWII to the War on Terror — and how their extraordinary abilities shaped U.S. and world history, has remained untold.

Few people know the unheralded tales of the first frogmen who dared to face almost certain death with little training, scant equipment and untested tactics.

Narrated by Gary Sinise, Navy Seals – Their Untold Story recounts the ticking-clock missions of the “Commandoes of the Deep” through firsthand accounts — including that of a D-Day demolition team member — and through never-before-seen footage, home movies and personal mementoes. Admirals, master chiefs, clandestine operators, demolitioneers and snipers all reveal how U.S. Navy SEALs morphed into the SEALs.

Throughout the storied history examined in the film, the Navy SEALs accomplish seemingly impossible tasks. For this willingness to take extreme risks, many SEALs have been awarded the U.S. Armed Services’ highest honor.

The following Navy SEALs have received the Congressional Medal of Honor:

LT Thomas Norris – Vietnam
LT j.g. Joseph R. Kerrey – Vietnam
EN2 (SEAL) Michael Edwin Thornton – Vietnam
LT Michael P. Murphy – Afghanistan
MA2 (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor – Iraq
Here is the link to PBS and you can watch the video here.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

PBS Craft In America Features Combat Wounded Veterans

Stafford Iraq veteran gains strength from his craft
November 2nd, 2014
Judas Recendez, 35, of Stafford County will be featured in
Sunday’s episode of the PBS series ‘Craft in America.

In 2008, not long after he learned how to walk again, Judas Recendez threw a blue and brown glazed Japanese tea bowl on a potting wheel in California.

The 35-year-old Stafford County resident and U.S. Army veteran took a traditionally symmetrical design and gave it a new shape, carving deep scars into the fa├žade of the bowl.

“It represents who I am,” he said. “It has a purpose, it’s useful, but it’s scarred.”

Recendez learned how to create pottery and ceramics in a studio at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center while in rehabilitation for wounds sustained in Iraq.

“Learning how to walk, you take it for granted so much,” he said. “It’s like breathing. You have to push through this amount of pain. It’s just really weird.”

It was in that studio at Walter Reed that Recendez first met Carol Sauvion, creator and director of the Peabody Award-winning PBS series “Craft in America.” His story inspired her to make an episode titled “Service,” which looks at the link between craft and the military.
read more here

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day Videos | National Memorial Day Concert | PBS

Memorial Day Videos | National Memorial Day Concert | PBS

Each year, the National Memorial Day Concert presents a unique program honoring the valor and patriotism of Americans who have served our country. The show pays tribute to their sacrifices, as well as those of their families and loved ones.

As the war in Afghanistan winds down, the 2014 National Memorial Day Concert will recognize our servicemen and servicewomen with a special “welcome home” to thank veterans who served in Afghanistan.

In these segments of the show, we’ll feature a story about a critically wounded veteran suffering from severe physical injuries and the grave invisible wounds of war. We’ll also focus on the story of a mother coping with grief after the death of her son, the first to die in Afghanistan. His service inspired her to become actively involved with Gold Star Mothers. Now she is helping other mothers with their loss, grief and healing as they move forward with their lives.

The 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion also will be commemorated in 2014. World War II veterans who participated in the invasion, a seminal moment that turned the tides of war in favor of the Allies, will be honored and featured in this tribute to the sacrifices of our nation’s Greatest Generation.

go here for more of this tribute
Last night was the 25th Annual Memorial Day Tribute Concert, hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise. As always, I was moved to tears many times.

Joe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna is a world-class and award-winning entertainer with a strong background in television, theater and film who returns to co-host theNational Memorial Day Concert for his ninth consecutive year with Gary Sinise. Currently, Mantegna stars as FBI Special Agent David Rossi in season nine of the hit CBS drama Criminal Minds... READ MORE
Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

Actor and humanitarian Gary Sinise has been actively and tirelessly supporting the troops for over 30 years. Among his numerous film and television roles, it was his portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark filmForrest Gump that formed a lasting connection with servicemen and servicewomen throughout the military community... READ MORE
General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)

General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)

For over 50 years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. The son of Jamaican immigrants, Powell was... READ MORE
Dianne Wiest

Dianne Wiest

Oscar and Emmy Award-winning actress Dianne Wiest recently finished shooting the feature film The Humbling opposite Al Pacino, directed by Barry Levinson. Over the years, Wiest has given memorable performances in films such as Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York; A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints; Hannah and Her Sisters... READ MORE
jennifer nettles

Jennifer Nettles

Jennifer Nettles, lead vocalist for international super duo Sugarland, has become one of the most popular singer-songwriters in music today. Since Sugarland exploded onto the music scene in 2004, they have worldwide sales of over 22 million albums and singles to date, have achieved eight No.1 singles and have won numerous awards... READ MORE
Danielle Bradbery

Danielle Bradbery

Seventeen-year-old Danielle Bradbery charmed her way into the national spotlight with a mix of country-western hits from several decades during season 4 of The Voice. The reigning star of the NBC hit show has become the youngest winner ever, and her coach, Blake Shelton, called her, "the most important artist to ever walk across... READ MORE
Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty recently starred alongside Sean Hayes in NBC’s comedy Sean Saves the World. Prior to that, she portrayed the seasoned triple threat, Ivy Lynn, in NBC’s musical drama Smash for two seasons. In March 2013, Hilty released her debut solo album, It Happens All The Time, which included fresh interpretations of... READ MORE
Jackie Evancho

Jackie Evancho

Jackie Evancho’s first performance on NBC’s variety show America’s Got Talent left audiences and judges astonished that such a perfect, beautiful, soprano voice could come from a 10-year-old girl. During her next appearance in the competition, judges asked her to improvise a tune, which she performed flawlessly. It wasn’t just her... READ MORE
Anthony Kearns

Anthony Kearns

Anthony Kearns, recognized as one of the world‘s finest tenors, made his official U.S. Grand Opera debut as the lead tenor in the role of Edgardo in Gaetano Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor with Opera Naples of Florida in January 2011. His first appearance with the opera company came in early 2010 as Romeo in its production... READ MORE
Jack Everly

Jack Everly

Jack Everly is the Principal Pops Conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa). He has been on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, appears annually with The Cleveland... READ MORE
National Symphony Orchestra

National Symphony Orchestra

The National Symphony Orchestra of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, is recognized not only nationally but internationally as well, and is considered one of the world's finest ensembles. The Orchestra, in its 83rd season (2013-14), maintains a busy concert... READ MORE
military district of washington

Military District of Washington

The Military District of Washington works with Capital Concerts in coordinating the Department of Defense participation of the Premier Service Bands and Service Honor Guards.
U.S. Army Herald Trumpets

U.S. Army Herald Trumpets

The United States Army Herald Trumpets is the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States. Founded in 1959 and patterned after traditional British “fanfare” trumpet ensembles, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets was formed to add splendor to official military ceremonies. A performing element of The United... READ MORE
U.S. Army Chorus

U.S. Army Chorus

In 1956, the U.S. Army Chorus was established as the vocal counterpart of The U.S. Army Band Pershing’s Own and is one of the nation’s only professional, all-male choruses. From its inception, the U.S. Army Chorus has established and maintained a reputation of excellence in the performance of male choral literature... READ MORE
U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters

U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters

The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters is the official chorus of the United States Navy. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music, ranging from traditional choral music, including the sea chantey, to Broadway musicals. Under the leadership of Chief Musician Georgina L. Todd, the Sea Chanters appear throughout the... READ MORE
U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants

U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants

The Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force, is one of the world's most versatile and traveled choral organizations. Originally formed in 1945 from within the ranks of The United States Air Force Band, the chorus is now composed entirely of professional vocalists from leading colleges, universities and music... READ MORE
The Soldiers' Chorus

The Soldiers' Chorus

The Soldiers’ Chorus, founded in 1957, is the vocal complement of the United States Army Field Band of Washington, DC. The 29-member mixed choral ensemble travels throughout the nation and abroad, performing as a separate component and in joint concerts with the Concert Band of the “Musical Ambassadors of the Army.” The chorus has... READ MORE

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Vietnam Veteran Says Obama Ignoring Plight of Deported Heroes

Vet Says Obama Ignoring Plight of Deported Heroes
by Bryant Jordan
Jun 12, 2013

No one knows how many veterans have been deported because ICE does not track that information.
A Vietnam combat veteran who lives under threat of deportation criticized President Barack Obama on Tuesday for ignoring the plight of "banished" veterans while pushing for immigration reform for undocumented aliens in the U.S.

"I just think he will continue to ignore us," said Manuel Valenzuela, a Marine veteran. "We got a president that has no backbone. That's really unfortunate – a commander-in-chief with no backbone."

Obama, flanked by labor, business, and civic leaders, gathered in the East Room of the White House on Tuesday to promote the Dream Act, an immigration bill now before the Senate that would give a path to citizenship to people who were brought into the United States as children.
read more here

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Florida Public Television produces documentary on PTSD Combat Medic

Former Army medic from Stow featured in PTSD documentary
Conway Daily Sun
Published Date: Wednesday, 05 June 2013

STOW –A former Army medic from Stow, Maine, who is grappling with demons of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, has been sharing his story with a documentary filmmaker who has created a series called "Saving America's Heroes."

Saving America's Heroes are special reports that have aired on one of Florida's Public Television Channels called WXEL. The films were anchored by award winning journalist Tim Malloy who has embedded with soldiers in the Middle East multiple times.

"It's a program about a very difficult subject – the terrible injuries both physical and mental that are the legacies of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan," Malloy tells his viewers at the start of one of the documentaries.

According to the National Center for PTSD, PTSD is a mental health problem that impacts some people who have been through a traumatic event such as combat, a natural disaster or an assault. It can cause flashbacks, depression, the jitters and other symptoms.

One of the soldiers Malloy interviewed was Travis Drew, of Stow, Maine. Drew served as a helicopter medic in the U.S. Army. Malloy notes that PTSD caused Drew to struggle to adjust to civilian and family life after spending two years in Iraq.

"One of the first of the 9-11 generation to drop everything to sign up and fight, Drew is as rock solid and rugged as the New Hampshire Hills where he grew up," Malloy said. "As an army medic, he was on the ground under fire in the heat of the fighting in Fallujah."
read more here
Feb 18, 2013
Tim Malloy a former reporter for WPTV Channel 5, produced this new 2-part documentary for WXEL on the medical evacuation teams in Afghanistan and Iraq and post traumatic stress disorder in the armed forces.

Part 2 of the documentary examines the toll of PTSD on veterans of war. The show focuses on raising awareness for proper treatment when America's heroes return home and find themselves fighting an even bigger battle.

Published on Feb 19, 2013
Tim Malloy a former reporter for WPTV Channel 5, produced this new 2-part documentary for WXEL on the medical evacuation teams in Afghanistan and Iraq and post traumatic stress disorder in the armed forces.

Part 1 of Saving America's Heroes gives detailed footage and interviews of the medical teams responsible for saving the people fighting for our country. In the show, Tim Malloy details his experiences with an Air Force medevac team charged with picking up wounded soldiers and rushing them to surgical centers for immediate care.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

‘Invisible’ veterans to be seen on PBS this fall

‘Invisible’ veterans to be seen on PBS this fall
New Castle News
Nancy Lowry
May 28, 2013

NEW CASTLE — They’re called invisible but there are more than 280 of them in the immediate area.

“They” are the homeless people who live under bridges and in woodland campsites of the nation. Many are veterans. Some of the veterans have mental health issues.

“People don’t want to think about them except that they don’t want them in their neighborhood,” said Sandi Hause, executive director of Patches Place. The agency deals with people who have mental health issues. Many of them are homeless; many of the homeless clients are veterans.

Hause and her “family of clients” at the facility at 217 N. Mill St. were visited last week by Lou Cordera and Don Wright of CortronMedia. The Pittsburgh-based production company is filming a documentary on veterans. Their product, to be shown on PBS, is expected to air this fall.
read more here
Marine Prayer Request for Darkhorse

Monday, November 26, 2012

What It's Like to Go to War

Encore: What It’s Like to Go to War
November 20, 2012
America has been at war for over a decade, with millions of soldiers having seen death and dying up close in Afghanistan and Iraq. But most Americans — watching comfortably on their TVs and computers, witness to statistics, speeches, and “expert” rhetoric — don’t get what’s really going on there. In this encore broadcast, Bill talks to Karl Marlantes — a highly-decorated Vietnam veteran, Rhodes Scholar, author, and PTSD survivor — about what we on the insulated outside need to understand about the minds and hearts of our modern warriors. Marlantes shares with Bill intimate stories about how his battlefield experiences both shaped and nearly destroyed him, even after returning to civilian life.

“’Thou shalt not kill’ is a tenet you just do not violate, and so all your young life, that’s drilled into your head. And then suddenly, you’re 18 or 19 and they’re saying, ‘Go get ‘em and kill for your country.’ And then you come back and it’s like, ‘Well, thou shalt not kill’ again. Believe me, that’s a difficult thing to deal with,” Marlantes tells Bill. “You take a young man and put him in the role of God, where he is asked to take a life — that’s something no 19-year-old is able to handle.”
click link for more

Monday, September 17, 2012

PBS looks at "Death and the Civil War,"

PBS looks at "Death and the Civil War," Tuesday, September 18
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The Civil War by Martha M. Boltz
Times Communities
Washington Times Communities

VIENNA,Va., September 15, 2012 — If Public Broadcasting has a crown, the “American Experience” is surely the brightest jewel in that crown. Now comes its latest production Death and the Civil War, promising to be one of the best moments on TV’s “vast wasteland.”

It will air on Tuesday, September 18, from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. on local PBS stations.

Directed and produced by Ric Burns, brother of acclaimed documentarian artist Ken Burns of The Civil War series, Burns is recognized in his own right for his work on Coney Island, The Donner Party, The Way West, amongst other standouts.

The timing was designed to fit in with the 150th Anniversary of the War and specifically to coincide with the commemoration of the Battle of Sharpsburg, or Antietam, said to be the single bloodiest day in history with the deaths in the astronomical figures.
read more here

Friday, December 16, 2011

One of the big reasons for military suicides cost $140 million

One of the big reasons for military suicides cost $140 million
Chaplain Kathie

The government paid $140 for a program that was not even tested on combat troops. What is worse is that it was tested on school children so they could feel better about themselves.

Martin Seligman, University of Pennsylvania, said "it will turn psychology on it's head" but he has my head spinning. He said it was attempting to prepare people before to "arm people" before bad things happen.

Why do I say it is one of the biggest reasons for military suicides? Because just like everything else, this makes it worse. Telling Marines that they can train their brains to be tough enough to take it is, frankly, telling them if they end up with PTSD, it is their fault.

The report goes on to say that this program was not even tested before it was put into use in the military. (Gee, how many years have I been complaining about that?) This PBS report came out and finally addressed what has been reported on this blog for the last 4 years.

Brian Welch said there is no proof it would work. It is based on school children "feeling better about themselves" by writing something positive about themselves every night.

Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk said, "It doesn't make sense. Trauma affects cognition."

Too many times I've had to talk to veterans after they were told this type of "training" would make them tough enough to not develop PTSD, then had the guilt of having PTSD added onto everything else that caused PTSD in the first place. One stands out. A young Marine and his buddy were at the Orlando VA sitting outside in the smoking area. I had on my Chaplain jacket, so they felt comfortable talking to me. The Marine started to cry while we were talking and then apologized for it. He told me I didn't understand because he was a Marine and he wasn't supposed to cry. He was trained to be tough enough. Suddenly I knew where he was basing this from. I looked him in the eyes and said one word, "Battlemind" and he had a shocked expression. "How did you know?" I told him what I knew about the program and then attempted to undo the damage this kind of "training" did to him. Naturally with just about an hour or so, it was just the beginning of what he would need for years to come from mental health professionals as they try to treat him. It was also one of the reasons he was reluctant to seek help in the first place. To him is was as if he had to admit that he was too weak to take it.

When you think of the fact these men and women risk their lives everyday with that kind of emotional pain, it should astound everyone. Yet there they are, ready to die for the sake of someone else, risking their lives and doing their jobs when PTSD is attacking them in their sleep and invading their days with flashbacks.

This is not just a waste of $140 million dollars, it is deadly.

Army Program Designed to Alleviate PTSD for Troops Returning From Combat

Uploaded by PBSNewsHour on Dec 14, 2011
In 2009, the Army launched a program designed to help the country's 1.4 million people in uniform cope after tours in Iraq or Afghanistan. Betty Ann Bowser reports on the goals of the $140 million Comprehensive Soldier Fitness initiative, and the controversy it has elicited.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Department of Defense Deploys Muppets

AUGUST 26, 2010
The Muppets' Military Mission

It's a Muppet family picnic in the park, but Elmo is sad and confused: His Uncle Jack won't be there, because he's dead, and Elmo can't quite grasp that he's never coming back. For Elmo's moptop cousin Jesse, it's hard to even talk about the loss: Jack was her dad.

The story line may seem highly unusual for "Sesame Street," but when Elmo and friends aren't on their day job being cute, colorful and cuddly, they've taken on another mission: helping children of military families struggling with loss, grief and fear.

With some deep-pocketed sponsors like Wal-Mart, Sesame Workshop has been steadily expanding a program called "Talk, Listen, Connect" aimed at kids of all ages, including the youngest and most vulnerable. More than two million U.S. children have been affected directly by a parent's military wartime deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan; 40% of these children are younger than 5 years old.

According to the Defense Department, in the past 8½ years more than 12,000 military children have experienced the death of a parent. Research shows that even the toll of military deployments is steep; a study last year by the Rand Corp. found that children in military families were more likely to report anxiety than children in the general population, and that the longer a parent had been deployed in the previous three years, the more likely their children were to have difficulties in school and at home.
Gary Knell, president of Sesame Workshop, says the initial inspiration came from a story he read on a train five years ago about a family that lost its home because it fell behind on mortgage payments while the father was deployed in Iraq. "I just was so sick of seeing all these 'support the troops' posters when we were allowing things like this to happen," he says. The needs of military families also struck a chord with Sesame Workshop Executive Vice President Sherrie Westin, whose brother is an Army reserve officer now serving in Afghanistan.

read more here
The Muppets Military Mission

Monday, May 17, 2010

PBS Frontline: The Wounded Platoon of Fort Carson

The Wounded Platoon
On air and online May 18, 2010 at 9:00pm

Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs, Colo., have tripled. At least 36 servicemen based at the nearby Army post of Fort Carson have committed suicide, and 14 Fort Carson soldiers have been charged or convicted in at least 11 killings. Many of the most violent crimes involved men who had served in the same battalion in Iraq. Three of them came from a single platoon of infantrymen.

FRONTLINE tells the dark tale of the men of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion of the 506th Infantry, and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army's mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers.


FRONTLINE Season Finale
Tuesday, May 18, 2010, from 9 to 10:30 P.M. ET on PBS

Twitter: @frontlinepbs

On November 30, 2007, 24-year-old Kevin Shields went out drinking with three Army buddies from Fort Carson, a base on the outskirts of Colorado Springs, Colo. A few hours later, he was dead—shot twice in the head at close range and left by the side of the road by his fellow soldiers. Shields’ murder punctuated a string of violent attacks committed by the three, who are now serving time in prison for this and other crimes, and it contributed to a startling statistic: Since the Iraq war began, a total of 17 soldiers from Fort Carson have been charged with or convicted of murder, manslaughter or attempted murder committed at home in the United States, and 36 have committed suicide.

In The Wounded Platoon, airing Tuesday, May 18, 2010, from 9 to 10:30 P.M. ET (check local listings), FRONTLINE investigates a single Fort Carson platoon of infantrymen—the 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry—and finds a group of young men changed by war and battling a range of psychiatric disorders that many blame for their violent and self-destructive behavior. Since returning from Iraq, three members of the 3rd Platoon have been convicted on murder or attempted murder charges; one has been jailed for drunk driving and another for assaulting his wife; and one has attempted suicide.

The FRONTLINE investigation also uncovers extraordinary footage from police interrogation tapes alleging that members of the platoon murdered unarmed Iraqis. “There’s a whole bunch of people in the unit that killed people they weren’t supposed to,” according to Bruce Bastien, who, along with Louis Bressler and Kenny Eastridge, is now serving time for the murder of Kevin Shields. In a stunning confession recorded by police interviewers and shown for the first time on television, Bastien admits to his role in the murder of two U.S. soldiers and the stabbing of a young woman during a robbery in Colorado Springs—and he makes claims about more murders committed in Iraq during the surge. “It’s easy to get away with that kind of s*** over there. You can just do it and be like, ‘Oh, he had a gun, and nobody really looks into it. ‘F*** it, it’s just another dead Haji.’”

While the Army has concluded that there is no evidence to back up Bastien’s allegations of soldiers killing innocent Iraqis, FRONTLINE also speaks with platoon member Jose Barco, who makes a similar claim. “We were pretty trigger-happy,” he says of the soldiers’ time in Iraq. “We’d open up on anything. We usually rolled three or four trucks, and if one of them got hit and there was any males around, we’d open up, and we’d shoot at them. ... They even didn’t have to be armed.”

Barco is now serving a 52-year prison sentence for attempted murder following an incident at a party in Colorado Springs. Once hailed as a hero for saving two soldiers during a suicide-bomb attack that left him with a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, he was also diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and says he was prescribed nine different medications. FRONTLINE interviews retired military psychiatrist Stephen Xenakis, who says that there may be a link between Barco’s crimes and his injuries. “We have someone who’s been emotionally traumatized, and they’ve got PTSD. They’re anxious, and they’re depressed, and they’ve got TBI, which means that they’ve got problems in decision making. They can’t think as clearly. They are really vulnerable to just overreacting.”

In The Wounded Platoon, FRONTLINE reveals a military mental health system overwhelmed with soldiers suffering psychological injuries from the surge—at Fort Carson the rate of PTSD diagnosis has risen 4,000 percent since 2002—and the widespread use of prescription psychiatric drugs both at home and in combat. “Everybody was on Ambien, everybody. It was hard to find somebody that wasn’t taking Ambien,” says the 3rd Platoon’s medic, Ryan “Doc” Krebbs. “It helps you sleep, and it also f***s you up. It gets you pretty high.” After returning home, Krebbs was also prescribed the antipsychotic medication Seroquel, on which he would purposefully overdose in a suicide attempt. “I thought that my time in this place was over, and I’d already done what I was supposed to do, and I didn’t want to live anymore.”

Before the Iraq war, American soldiers in combat zones did not take psychiatric medications, but by the time of the surge more than 20,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were taking antidepressants and sleeping pills. These drugs enable the Army to keep soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder on the battlefield. “What I use medications for is to treat very specific side effects,” Army psychiatrist Col. George Brandt tells FRONTLINE. “I don’t want somebody in a helplessness mode in a combat environment. I want to make sure I don’t have someone with suicidal thoughts where everyone is armed.”

Kenny Eastridge, who is now serving time for the murder of Kevin Shields and other crimes, tells FRONTLINE that he sought help for mental health problems from a combat stress center on Forward Operating Base Falcon. “I was having a total mental breakdown. Every day we were getting in battles and never having a break. It seemed like, it was just crazy,” he says. “They put me on all kinds of meds, and I was still going out on missions. They had me on Ambien, Remeron, Lexapro, Celexa, all kind of different stuff.”

Despite the warnings that patients on these medications should be closely monitored for side effects, Eastridge was sent to a remote combat outpost for weeks at a time with no medical supervision or mental health provision. He says he ran out of medication and was also smoking marijuana and taking Valium. In dramatic footage filmed by other members of the 3rd Platoon, FRONTLINE shows Eastridge behaving erratically, wandering into Iraqi homes, lying in their beds, and trying to hug local women and men.

Fort Carson’s hospital remains understaffed with almost a quarter of its psychiatry positions unfilled. The 3rd’s battalion, which has been reflagged as the 2-12 Infantry, is about to return home from a year of intense combat in Afghanistan. “We’re all wondering what’s going to happen,” says Colorado Springs psychotherapist Robert Alvarez. “It’s a scary thought, you know, what’s going to happen in this community. Are we going to have more murders? Are we going to have more suicides, or are we going to have more crime? I think the answer to that is probably yes.”

The Wounded Platoon is a FRONTLINE co-production with Mongoose Pictures in association with the BBC. The producers are Dan Edge and Christopher Buchanan. The writer and director is Dan Edge. FRONTLINE is produced by WGBH Boston and is broadcast nationwide on PBS. Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Park Foundation and by the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund. FRONTLINE is closed-captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers and described for people who are blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of the WGBH Educational Foundation. The senior producer of FRONTLINE is Raney Aronson-Rath. The executive producer of FRONTLINE is David Fanning.
Promotional photography can be downloaded from the PBS pressroom.

Press contact
Diane Buxton (617) 300-5375


Johan Spanner
Soldiers of the third platoon of Charlie Company, First Battalion, 506th Infantry, in Iraq. Several members of the unit have had trouble adjusting to life after completing their tours in Iraq.

Human Cost of Combat Can Come Due at Home
Published: May 17, 2010

“The Wounded Platoon” opens with the death of an American soldier. He had been to Iraq, but he didn’t die there. That soldier, Specialist Kevin Shields, survived combat only to be killed in Colorado Springs after a night of drinking with three Army buddies, who are all now serving prison sentences for his murder.

Specialist Shields’s murder and the unusually high levels of violence and suicide seen in some troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been widely reported.

“The Wounded Platoon,” the final installment of this season of “Frontline” on PBS, synthesizes a lot of information about post-traumatic stress disorder and the Army’s policies on mental health while introducing us to members of a unit — third platoon, Charlie Company of the First Battalion, 506th Infantry, based at Fort Carson, near Colorado Springs — who have had a particularly hard time adjusting to life after Iraq.

Post-traumatic stress, brought about by roadside bombs and longer, more frequent tours of duty, is only part of the story. The program explores how the Army, short of troops, began to accept recruits with criminal records that would have disqualified them in the past. (A military psychiatrist points out that this is not all bad: such soldiers are more likely to have behavioral problems, but they are also more likely to display heroism.)
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Monday, January 4, 2010

PBS gets in touch with emotions and a Vietnam Vet with PTSD

Over the course of six hours, PBS gets in touch with emotions

By Joel Brown
Globe Correspondent

No doubt there are viewers for whom a six-hour PBS miniseries about our emotions sounds like an excruciating torment itself.


On: Channel 2
Time: Monday through Wednesday at 9 p.m.
“This Emotional Life,’’ debuting tonight on WGBH (Channel 2), proves that fear to be irrational. But whether it’s worth the time in therapy to overcome, they’ll have to decide for themselves.

The three-night show is promoted as an examination of our relationship to happiness, but only the third night really focuses on that. The first two examine roadblocks to happiness such as loneliness, marital discontent, post-traumatic stress, clinical depression, and phobias, as well as new attempts to overcome them.

The title seems an obvious reference to public radio’s storytelling “This American Life.’’ “This Emotional Life’’ revolves around narratives of real people wrestling with those emotional roadblocks: a family worn down by their adopted son’s attachment disorder; a Massachusetts state senator who found the greatest release from his depression by revealing it; a Vietnam veteran who struggled with PTSD for 30 years.
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PBS gets in touch with emotions

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Emotional Life PBS looks at PTSD

PBS’s new documentary This Emotional Life and Blue Star Families sponsored an event at George Washington University to honor the 1.8 million men and women who have been deployed in America's Armed Services and their families. First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden spoke at the event, where dozens of volunteers from civilian and military organizations helped to prepare 500 care packages for military families

Bob, an Iraq War Veteran suffering from PTSD, five years after returning home,continues to be troubled by his combat experiences. Bob talks about his symptoms and the impact they are having on his life and the lives of his family. Bob’s wife, Lori also describes some of Bob’s challenges.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting: A Closer Look at Soldiers and PTSD

Fort Hood Shooting: A Closer Look at Soldiers and PTSD
Fort Hood, the site of Thursday's horrific attack on U.S. soldiers, was the focus of a NOW on PBS report about American troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many of the thousands of U.S. troops discharged from the Army each year suffer from PTSD and say they lack the vital care they need. The Army claimed these soldiers were let go due to pre-existing mental illnesses or because they were guilty of misconduct. But advocates argue this was a way for the Army to get rid of "problem" soldiers quickly, without giving them the treatment and benefits to which they're entitled.

In our online coverage, NOW interviewed two Fort Hood soldiers about the personal trauma they experienced while fighting in Iraq.

NOW will air a new report about caring for injured veterans, including those suffering from PTSD, on November 20.

Posted by Joel Schwartzberg on November 5, 2009 5:37 PM

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Vietnam Vet appears in PBS series We Shall Remain

Vietnam vet from Columbiaville plays Tecumseh's grandfather in PBS series
by Brenda Brissette Mata | The Flint Journal
Monday April 20, 2009, 9:40 AM

Wayne Jackson of Columbiaville speaks softly as he describes the shooting of the PBS history series "We Shall Remain" last year in Indiana.

The 68-year old Vietnam veteran and cancer survivor portrays the grandfather of legendary American Indian Tecumseh in "Tecumseh's Vision," 9 p.m. Monday on PBS, the second in the five-part PBS series that uses historians and American Indian experts and actors to portray American history from the American Indian perspective.

The first three episodes of the "We Shall Remain" series are shot as dramatic recreations and directed by Ric Burns, brother of PBS documentarian Ken Burns and American Indian director, Chris Eyre.

"Tecumseh's Vision" focuses on the famous Shawnee leader and his brother, Lalawethika (also known as Tenskwatawa or The Prophet), who in the early 1800s attempted to unite independent tribes into a single powerful Indian state.
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Vietnam vet from Columbiaville plays Tecumseh's grandfather in PBS series