Tom Axtell, General Manager
Nevada has the third highest percentage of veterans of all 50 states and large numbers of active-duty personnel. As a result, television programs about military missions draw larger audiences in Las Vegas than in many other cities.
This November and continuing through 2015, Vegas PBS will highlight the history of our nation’s military men and women as part of PBS’ Stories of Service, a multiplatform initiative exploring veterans’ experiences and providing a deeper understanding of our country’s military history.
Premiering on Veterans Day, Navy SEALs: Their Untold Stories revisits missions of different eras and reveals how the SEALs changed the nature of the Navy. Later in the month, an expanded and updated version of Ice Warriors: USA Sled Hockey follows our inspiring team members as they prepare for the 2014 Winter Paralympic Games. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir Salutes Our Armed Services and Salute to the Troops: In Performance at the White House will provide musical tributes to the troops, and we will rebroadcast a powerful local documentary, The Greatest Generation Goes to War: Las Vegans’ Memories of WWII.
A new Vegas PBS production effort is collecting oral histories from veterans as they return from conflicts abroad. We are recording these stories to share online at the Veterans Coming Home national website. This public service effort is made possible by a start-up grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and local corporate sponsors. By sharing these stories, Vegas PBS aims to better connect our audience to the veterans in our community and to better connect veterans with the resources and services to support their successful transition to civilian life.
We recently hired Annie Emprima-Martin as our first veterans’ services coordinator to build partnerships with business, government and nonprofit organizations working to support the many veterans mustering out of service in Southern Nevada. Vegas PBS provides diverse resources to serve veterans and their families by hosting and attending veterans’ job fairs; offering grant-funded career testing and career certification programs to assist veterans as they re-enter the workforce; providing educational videos to help families deal with common issues that arise during the transition to family life; and expanding retirement planning services tailored to veterans.
Your financial support of public television provides a platform to share these stories of incredible service and sacrifice. As you tune in to these programs, we invite you to access a rich library of archival programs and resources for educators, students, veterans and their families at VegasPBS.veteranscominghome.org. We invite veterans to call the station to record their oral histories. We thank you for your service to our nation.