Posted 08 May 2014
"Coming Back With Wes Moore," a new series executive produced by best-selling author Wes Moore, will air on the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) in three parts Tuesdays, May 13-27, at 7 each night. The series recounts Moore's search for answers to some of the most difficult questions related to returning from war.
Moore's journey takes him into the personal lives of different soldiers as they attempt to reintegrate into society, establish new identities and - for many - find a new mission.
"We want to better humanize re-integration by taking the audience into the lives of these men and women as they return from war," Moore, who is an Army combat veteran, said. "I want to make sure people understand these stories and who these people are who are coming back from combat."
Over the course of three episodes, "Coming Back" follows Moore into the lives of Army Sergeant Andy Clark of Denver, Colorado; Army Sergeant Bobby Henline of San Antonio, Texas; Army Reserve Staff Sergeant Letrice Titus of Syracuse, New York; Army National Guard Sergeant Brad Farnsley of Fort Knox, Kentucky; Earl Johnson of Baltimore, Maryland; Air Force Staff Sergeant Stacy Pearsall of Charleston, South Carolina; Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Schaumburg, Illinois; Army Sergeant Brian "Taylor" Urruela of Tampa, Florida; and husband and wife Marine Sergeant Christopher Phelan and Air Force Captain Star Lopez of Los Angeles, California.
The series begins May 7 with Moore's visit to Bonnie Collins, the mother of one of Moore's oldest friends and a fellow officer, Brian Collins. In the first episode, "Coming Back," viewers learn that the previous year, after getting married and beginning a new career, Collins abruptly took his own life. This incident initiates Moore's desire to learn more about why some veterans can get on with their lives, while some cannot. In "Fitting In" May 20, Moore explores the concept of identity, how it's altered during deployment and how it's altered again when a veteran returns home. "Moving Forward," the final episode May 27, examines the veterans' drive to find a new mission, to contribute, to be part of something bigger than themselves.
"My hope is that the public can get a glimpse of what the end of the wars means to these brave men and women and to their families," Moore said. "There is more we can do than simply saying 'thank you for your service.'"
During the three-week series, the Veterans Crisis Line will be staffed with additional counselors. Veterans who appear to be in crisis should be referred to the Veterans Crisis Line, 1-800-273-8255.
Major funding for "Coming Back With Wes Moore" is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's (CPB) Diversity and Innovation Fund, which supports content that engages diverse viewers and encourages the use of emerging technologies to reach new audiences, and PBS.
PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.
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.
The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas's statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit aetn.org, or follow the AETN blog at aetn.org/engage. AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).