Our nation’s active service members, veterans, and their families make sacrifices every day to keep our nation safe. CPB recognizes their contributions by supporting content and local station community engagement events that showcase the depth of their service and commitment to protecting the ideals of America.
The National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth Concerts
The CPB-supported National Memorial Day Concert, honoring the service of our military men and women, and A Capitol Fourth, the Independence Day celebration featuring military bands among other performers, both broadcast live each year on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. A Capitol Fourth also airs on NPR stations and to troops watching around the world on the American Forces Network.
Founded with CPB support, American Homefront is an award-winning public media journalism collaboration led by North Carolina Public Radio-WUNC that reports on the lives of military personnel, veterans, and their families. The reporting by WUNC and partner stations KPBS (San Diego), Texas Public Radio – KSTX (San Antonio), WSHU – (Connecticut and Long Island, New York) and WHRO Public Media (Hampton Roads, Virginia) can be heard nationally on NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Here and Now, as well as on local public radio stations and online at https://americanhomefront.wunc.org/.
StoryCorps Military Voices Initiative
CPB supports StoryCorps’ Military Voices Initiative, which honors veterans and members of the military community by gathering and preserving their stories. In 2023, tour partners Georgia Public Broadcasting, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, and Alaska Public Media are distributing locally produced content and hosting listening sessions to give civilians opportunities to engage with veterans and service members in their communities. Since its launch in 2012, the Military Voices Initiative has gathered nearly 2,000 of these stories with approximately 3,600 participants.
American Veteran is a multi-platform project connecting our nation’s civilians and veterans in a conversation about the veteran experience and what it means to serve this country. Produced by GBH, the American Veteran four-hour PBS series traces the veteran experience across the arc of American history. The nine-episode podcast American Veteran: Unforgettable Stories, from The American Homefront Project, features first-person testimonies from a wide variety of veterans, including a Coast Guard gunner's mate who manned a landing craft at Omaha Beach on D-Day to an Army cook in Iraq who became the first Black American woman held as a POW. American Veteran: Keep It Close is a 10-part digital series on the PBS Voices YouTube Channel that tells the stories of veterans and the special objects they carried during deployment and beyond. An American Veteran virtual panel discussion, recorded in partnership with the Military Women’s Memorial, featured numerous female veterans including Army veteran Mitchelene BigMan, the president and founder of Native American Women Warriors; Army veteran and ex-POW Shoshana Johnson, author of I’m Still Standing; and Army Nurse Corps veteran Edie Meeks; with welcome remarks from Pat Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Public Media Military and Veterans Content and Engagement
Across the country, public media producers and stations are seeking out stories of service and issues that affect active and retired service members and their families. Some examples include:
- A second season of After Action, a series hosted by Air Force combat veteran Stacy Pearsall, premieres on PBS stations in Spring 2024. Produced by South Carolina ETV, the series seeks to demystify the military experience, provide a platform for dialogue among family members, and preserve military stories, many of which have been left untold.
- The GI Film Festival San Diego, a multi-day showcase of films for, by, and about military and veteran experiences, is held each May in San Diego, organized by public media station KPBS in partnership with Film Consortium San Diego.
- Season 2 of the PBS series Native America, featuring stories of Native Americans who are carrying forward Indigenous values to transform the contemporary world, includes an episode titled “Warrior Spirit,” examining native American warrior traditions that support athletes and connect people to combat, games, and glory. The series premieres on PBS in fall 2023.