Programming to Honor Veterans this May on NPT

NPT will present several programs this month that honor the men and women who serve in our country’s armed forces. That programming includes PBS’ 27th annual broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert live from our national’s capital.

We kick off this month of observance on Sunday, May 15, with a special free screening of Makers: Women in War, a documentary about women in the military from the Vietnam War-era to the present. The film begins at 2 p.m. at the Tennessee State Museum and will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A with Dr. Lisa Budreau, the museum’s senior curator of military history; Marjorie K. Eastman, president and COO of the YWCA Nashville & Middle Tennessee and former U.S. Army intelligence officer and commander; and Mary Ross, U.S. Army (Ret.), National Commander of the Women Veterans of America and former deputy executive director of Operation Stand Down Tennessee.

The Veterans Administration’s Mobile Vet Center — a 40-foot RV equipped with confidential counseling space — will be parked on Deaderick Street between 5th and 6th avenues and will be open for tours and consultations in conjunction with the event.

memorial day 2016Here are our special veterans-themed programs this month:

Monday, May 16, at 11 p.m. In July 1965, U.S. Navy Commander Jeremiah Denton’s plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire during a mission in Vietnam. For the next eight years, Denton was a prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton and managed to send a secret message home. In Jeremiah, family, friends, and fellow POWs help tell the story of this American hero who later became a U.S. senator from Alabama.

Monday, May 23, at 11:30 p.m. At the end of the Civil War, 40 women formed a firing line as their town was invaded by 2,000 Union soldiers, successfully saving their homes and defending their families. Nancy Hart Militia: Women of Uncommon Courage is their story.

Friday, May 27, at 11:30 p.m. Dickey Chapelle’s career as a war correspondent started during World War II and continued through the Vietnam War when she chronicled the daily lives of soldiers and the toll combat took on them. The title of this documentary, Behind the Pearl Earrings: The Story of Dickey Chapelle, Combat Photojournalist, references Chapelle’s “uniform” of harlequin eyeglasses, Leica camera, Australian bush hat ‒ and pearl earrings.

Sunday, May 29, at 7 p.m. Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna are back as hosts of the National Memorial Day Concert. This year’s line-up includes soprano Renée Fleming; The Beach Boys; Grand Ole Opry member Trace Adkins; actors S. Epatha Merkerson (Chicago Med, Law & Order) and Esai Morales (Mozart in the Jungle); the National Symphony Orchestra led by Jack Everly; and Trent Harmon, the final winner of American Idol. The concert will be rebroadcast at 8:30 p.m.

Sunday, May 29, at 10 p.m. NPT invited veterans and civilians to a town hall last month to find common ground and to recognize veterans and military families for their service. Bridging the Civilian/Military Divide, NPT’s latest production in the Veterans Coming Home public media project, is an edited version of that discussion.

Monday, May 30, at 8 p.m. In TED Talks: War and Peace, actor and Marine Corps veteran Adam Driver, musician Rufus Wainwright, journalist Sebastian Junger, and others deliver passionate talks and performances about the effects of war on individuals. The second of three PBS TED Talks specials, this program includes three short films produced by ITVS.

Monday, May 30, at 9 p.m. Follow Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families at a first-of-its-kind PTSD treatment center in California. The POV documentary Of Men and War shows veterans on their paths to recovery as they attempt to make peace with their pasts, their loved ones and themselves.

Monday, May 30, at 11:30 p.m. Using both current and rare archival footage, Sands of War recounts the forgotten story of the Desert Training Center established by Gen. George Patton in the Mojave Desert to prepare one million soldiers to fight in World War II.

Find our full programming lineup at

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