Author to screen his PBS documentary on returning veterans


Best-selling author and NBC military correspondent Wes Moore will host a screening and panel discussion tonight of his Public Broadcasting Service documentary “Coming Back with Wes Moore.”

His film shows how veterans endure to keep their families together while adjusting to civilian life.

“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,” the 35-year-old Rhodes Scholar-turned-paratrooper said about the upcoming series. He was an Army 82nd Airborne Division special operations captain in Afghanistan.

“There is more we can do than simply saying, ‘Thank you for your service.’ We can truly show our gratitude by asking them to share their experiences,” he said in announcing his itinerary of cities to promote the PBS film and speak to returning war veterans, students and selected community members.

Tonight’s event, by invitation only, features a discussion with a panel of veterans and Nellis Air Force Base commander Col. Barry Cornish.

In an April 16 interview with the Review-Journal, Moore said Las Vegas was chosen for his speaking tour because the local population “epitomizes those exact dynamics” with a mix of returning combat veterans and student veterans destined to re-establish their civilian lives.

“The challenges are multitiered and multifaceted,” he said. “People underestimate their stories and humanities behind them.

“We come off two wars we’ve been fighting more than a decade and only 1 percent of the population have had direct involvement,” said Moore, who authored, “The Other Wes Moore,” a New York Times Best Seller.

Based on his experiences, veterans who succeed in adjusting to civilian life are those who understand that “we are what we are for a larger investment.”

His three-part documentary will air on PBS beginning May 13. The 30-minute preview followed by the panel discussion will be held at the Nevada National Guard’s Las Vegas Readiness Center, 4500 W. Silverado Ranch Blvd.

Characters in the series include Army Sgt. Andy Clark of Denver; Army Sgt. Bobby Henline of San Antonio; Army Reserve Staff Sgt. Letrice Titus of Syracuse, N.Y.; Army National Guard Sgt. Brad Farnsley of Fort Knox, Ky.; Earl Johnson of Baltimore; Air Force Staff Sgt. Stacy Pearsall of Charleston, S.C.; Army National Guard Lt. Col. and Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth of Schaumburg, Ill.; and Army Sgt. Brian “Taylor” Urruela of Tampa, Fla.

The first episode, “Coming Back,” explores why some veterans can adjust to life after the military and others can’t.

The other episodes are titled “Fitting In” and “Moving Forward.”

Before his military career, Moore struggled in a private school but later excelled in the disciplined setting of a Pennsylvania military school. A Valley Forge Military College graduate, he later graduated from John Hopkins University in 2001 and earned a Masters of Letters in International Relations in 2004 from Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

He served in Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division from 2005 to 2006 as an officer for civil and psychological combat affairs.

Contact Keith Rogers at krogers@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0308. Find him on Twitter @KeithRogers2.

 

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