NPT Highlights Locals and New Documentaries for Veterans Day 2017

NPT’s Veterans Day programming for 2017 includes new documentaries, NPT originals on social media and the ongoing weekly replays of the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick Vietnam War series.

Follow NPT on Facebook for a new collection of 30-second audiograms featuring Middle Tennessee veterans expressing their thoughts and concerns. Vietnam War-era veterans speak of lingering dissatisfaction with their treatment upon returning to the U.S., as well as the challenges some of them still face as a result of their wartime experiences.

Tennessee Crossroads includes a segment on annual World War II remembrance event in Linden, Tenn., in an episode airing Thursday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, at noon, PBS is hosting a virtual event for teachers and students featuring Lynn Novick, co-director of The Vietnam War. During the one-hour streaming event, Novick will provide an in-depth look at the Vietnam War era, as well as behind-the-scenes insights into her experiences working with U.S. and Vietnamese veterans, historians, and everyday people who witnessed the war firsthand. Click here to register for the online event.

Weekly replays of The Vietnam War continue Tuesdays at 8 p.m. through Nov. 28; the series will be available for streaming on NPT Passport through Dec. 31, 2017.

Help for veterans

Veterans demand a VA hospital in the Rio Grande Valley (2012). VA: The Human Cost of War. Courtesy of James Southers


VA: The Human Cost of War, a new film by Ric Burns, premieres Monday, Nov. 6, at 8 p.m. The documentary examines the nearly 100-year history of the Department of Veterans Affairs, commonly referred to as the Veterans Administration. Formed in the 1920s, the VA is charged with helping veterans make the transition from military to civilian life, while also providing healthcare and other services. This documentary shows the realities of that mission and the toll military service can take on men, women and their families. VA: The Human Cost of War includes interviews with scholars, policymakers and veterans of all ranks.

Burns’ production company Steeplechase Films, along with LP LIFE Productions and PBS, also produced Debt of Honor: Disabled Veterans in American History, a 2015 documentary about the treatment of disabled veterans in U.S. history. That earlier film is available for streaming via the NPT video portal.


In Almost Sunrise, airing Monday, Nov. 13, at 9 p.m. on POV, Iraq War veterans Tom Voss and Anthony Anderson embark on a 2,700-mile trek from Milwaukee to Santa Barbara to raise funds to establish a place for veterans to gather in Milwaukee. Following their tours of duty, both men suffered mental anguish that led to sleep disorders, anger issues, suicidal thoughts and alcohol and prescription drug abuse as they struggled to come to terms with their combat experiences. Filmmakers Michael Collins and Marty Syjuco chronicle the men’s physical and spiritual journey.

Take part in an online screening of Almost Sunrise followed by a real-time conversation with Voss, Anderson and the filmmakers Saturday, Nov. 11, at 6:30 p.m. RSVP and login at

More on Passport

Observing Veterans Day on Nov. 11 has its beginnings in the armistice signed on that day in 1918, effectively ending World War I hostilities between the Allies and Germany. Learn more about the First World War by watching the American Experience: The Great War series on NPT Passport. World War I-based exhibits are also on view this fall at The Tennessee State Museum’s military branch, the Frist Center of the Visual Arts and Fisk University’s art galleries.

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