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Veteran benefits, resources addressed in ‘Arkansans Ask’ Nov. 12 on Arkansas PBS

Posted 04 Nov 2020

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — Arkansas PBS will explore veteran benefits and resources in “Arkansans Ask: Veterans” airing and streaming live at Thursday, Nov. 12, at 7 p.m.

A panel of experts will discuss issues like healthcare, benefits, services and concerns of veterans throughout the state. Guests will include Secretary Nathaniel “Nate” Todd, colonel and director of the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs; Gina Chandler, assistant director of veteran services for the Arkansas Department of Veteran Affairs; retired Col. Charlie Wagener, AARP Arkansas volunteer state president; Dr. Margie Scott, medical center director for the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System; and a representative from the Little Rock Veterans Affairs Regional Office. Donna Terrell of FOX 16 will host.

Viewers are encouraged to submit questions and comments for "Arkansans Ask: Veterans" by 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at, on or on Twitter with #ARAsk.

Additional veterans programming will include “Finding Your Roots: War Stories” Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. and “Veterans Coming Home: Finding What Works” Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 5 p.m.

Funding for “Arkansans Ask: Veterans” is provided by AARP Arkansas.

In “Finding Your Roots: War Stories,” Henry Louis Gates Jr. explores the roots of actor Julianne Moore, comedian Bill Hader and painter Kehinde Wiley, revealing how their ancestors' military service left an indelible mark on their families – and on their country.

The Arkansas PBS original production “Veterans Coming Home: Finding What Works” focuses on successful examples of veterans “finding what works” to overcome personal challenges in transitioning from active duty to civilian life. The special features digital shorts highlighting Arkansas veterans and their connected support organizations, including:

·        “Ain’t Dead Yet.” Anthony Smith survived an RPG explosion in Iraq but lost his arm and his ability to walk. After months of intense physical therapy and with the help of deep familial support, Smith found renewed strength and purpose through teaching martial arts to students of all ages in his Northeast Arkansas martial arts studio and through training for the 2020 U.S. Paralympic team. “Ain’t Dead Yet” received a Mid-America Emmy for Military – News Single Story/Program Feature Segment.

·        “Sowing Salvation.” After multiple tours in Iraq, Terrell "Spence" Spencer sought peace through working the land in Northwest Arkansas. Inspired to pursue farming after witnessing an Iraqi family farming their land, he searched for a similar calm after his return home to the U.S. Ultimately, he found fulfillment helping other veterans heal through farming with his creation of a program called “Armed to Farm.”

·        “Veteran’s Best Friend.” When Amanda Hugo returned home after 21 years of service on a U.S. Air Force bomb squad in Iraq, she faced daunting physical and emotional hardships. Her partnership with a service dog – an 18-month old English Mastiff named Axel – offered new challenges and solutions. Together, they formed a unique and evolving partnership.

·        “Compasión.” Returning from active duty in Iraq to face divorce and single parenthood, Arkansas National Guard Capt. Cibelés Ramirez Rodriguez found purpose in being a mother, in helping others and in passing on the value of compassion to her 12-year-old son.

Arkansas PBS is Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, which enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. Arkansas PBS delivers daily, essential, local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro) and KETZ (El Dorado).