Play Veterans Coming Home: Finding What Works

Dealing with health, finding a new sense of purpose, establishing your career, and building a community are common barriers faced by veterans transitioning from the military to civilian life. These service members have poured their stories and wisdom into this series, sharing with transitioning veterans around the country #WhatWorks.

Play What do most people in the military really do?

Most veterans were never “trigger pullers” — and many more never served in a combat zone. But our media constantly shows us images of military personnel heroically fighting in war. What do civilians get from this stereotype? Does it make it easier for us to send our military to war?

Play Why do people enlist in the military?

Each year, more than 150,000 people enlist in the U.S. military. Why do they volunteer for such a tough job? Some argue that military recruits are mostly poor, uneducated minorities who don’t have other options. Is this true? We took a look at the data to find out who’s enlisting and why. The reality might surprise you. What do you think? Did you enlist (or know someone who did)?

Play A vet teaches the next generation to serve — through making

Jeff Hawkins, an Army veteran, serves his community by teaching children how to build their own projects as part of the YMakers program at the YMCA of San Francisco. By working with the kids, he hopes to help improve the lives of people living near him, and at the same time instill a sense of civic responsibility in his students.

Play (TV-MA) Here’s how NOT to change a tire in Iraq

Content rating: TV-MA

(TV-MA) Veterans Coming Home is taking a unique look at how some veterans use comedy to heal. Isaura Ramirez is a Latina comedian and combat veteran who spent 15 months in Iraq. She recently participated in a comedy bootcamp with Armed Services Arts Partnership, a nonprofit that helps veterans tap into expressive art. This video contains sensitive language. Viewer discretion is advised.

Play Passing the Baton: Renewing America’s Legacy of Service

How do we keep America’s legacy of service alive? For New Orleans artist and activist Brandan “bMike” Odums, service is a “passing of the baton” between generations. bMike tells us that we all “stand on the shoulders of giants” and his art models that by celebrating and sharing the service and sacrifice of previous generations of African American civil rights leaders.

Play Did a Veteran’s Bad Memory Protect Him From Trauma?

“I think one of my saving graces is that I don’t have a good memory.” Veteran Mike Felker shares the tragic story of a veteran he served with and wonders if his ability to forget trauma helped him move forward. Why do some people move on from trauma while others battle demons for the rest of their lives? Watch and tell us what you think.

Play What does it mean to serve your country?

Does serving your country have to mean serving in the military--or are there other ways to serve? We visited a group of 7th graders at Templeton Middle School in Sussex, Wisconsin to get their take.

Play Does the divide between veterans and civilians matter?

In less than 50 years, a real division has emerged between civilians and veterans -- so why does it matter? The Veterans Coming Home team of mediamakers hits the road to find the answers, tell the stories, and challenge the stereotypes at the heart of this divide.

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