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WSRE Documentary Chosen for PBS “Stories of Service” and Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Veterans Day Screening

Posted by Mary Riker on

PENSACOLA, Fla., October 28, 2016—WSRE has received news that the public television station’s documentary film production, “They Were Our Fathers,” will be part of Veterans Day observances presented by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library as well as PBS. “They Were Our Fathers” documents the stories of Gold Star children who lost their fathers in service during the Vietnam War.

PBS “Stories of Service” Series

Beginning Friday, Nov. 4, “They Were Our Fathers” will be featured on the PBS national website as part of the “Stories of Service” series, where the film will be available to view online at pbs.org/veterans. “Stories of Service” is a multi-platform initiative that unites powerful stories and conversations around military veterans.

“The programs featured as part of ‘Stories of Service’ tell the compelling stories of those who have served and provide a deeper understanding of our nation’s military history,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “As America’s storyteller, we hope to spark conversations in communities and give the public an opportunity to share their personal or family stories of service through local events and programs. Across the public television community, stations will be creating their own content and providing resources to returning veterans and their families.”  

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Screening

A screening of “They Were Our Fathers” will be hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library as part of its annual Veterans Day Event on Friday, Nov. 11. Executive Producer Jill Hubbs will be in attendance to present the film, accompanied by Ron Pierce, Director of Veterans Affairs for PBS. Also attending will be Gold Star sons and daughters interviewed for the film including Jeanette Chervony, Tony Cordero, Ron Reyes, Elaine Roach and Jennifer Serex-Helwig.

The day’s activities will also include a program honoring all branches of the military with an honor guard, live music, and keynote remarks by Vice Adm. Fred Midgette, who serves as the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions within half of the world that ranges from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the East Coast of Africa.

About the Film

Every five years on Father’s Day, members of Sons and Daughters in Touch—a group formed in 1990 to locate, unite and support America’s children who lost their fathers in the Vietnam War—gather in the nation’s capital to honor their fathers, reflect on their common grief and support one another.

Under the direction of Hubbs, James Roy and Ted King from the WSRE production team, traveled to Washington D.C. in June 2015 to interview these sons and daughters and document their stories.

The film is narrated in first person by Hubbs, whose father became missing in action during his second tour of duty in Vietnam on March 17, 1968. U.S. Navy Cdr. Donald Richard Hubbs was commanding officer of the world famous VS-23 Black Cats and was stationed aboard the USS Yorktown in the Gulf of Tonkin when his S-2E Tracker reconnaissance aircraft disappeared off the North Vietnam coast.

“Since the film’s release this summer, I’ve had the privilege of sharing it with a number of veterans groups and Gold Star families, as well as two presidents (Obama and Carter),” said Hubbs. “It has been an honor to share the stories of these Gold Star sons and daughters, which serve as powerful testimonies about the true cost of war.”

Media Relations Contact:
Mary Riker
mriker@wsre.org