Thursday, March 15, 2012

Iraq War Veterans "Coming Home" a documentary by The Providence Journal

Veterans and Family Assistance Resources
are listed at the end of this blog

The September 11th attacks on America in 2001 left a shared scar on the American psyche.

Even so, there are Americans, New Englanders, Rhode Islanders, whose scars are not shared by most Americans. Those experiences are only shared among the small group of American soldiers who have served in the "war on terror" in the decade that followed September 11.

In those ten years, 43 New Englanders lost their lives. Thousands of veterans have returned, forever changed. Coming Home is about four of them. WSBE is proud to present Coming Home, a documentary by The Providence Journal, on Monday, March 26 at 8 P.M. on Rhode Island PBS (digital 36.1, Cox 08/1008HD, Verizon 08/508HD, FullChannel 08, Comcast 819HD, DirecTV 36, Dish Network 7776).

Reaching Out
Following the broadcast, WSBE presents a live panel discussion hosted by (pictured left top) The Providence Journal's G. Wayne Miller, with Dr. Jennifer Lambert, acting chief of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Clinic, and coordinator of the Returning Veterans Program at the Providence VA Medical Center; Dr. Thomas O’Toole (center photo), director of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Homeless PACT program; and Iraq veteran Sergeant First Class Amy Slater (bottom photo) of the Rhode Island National Guard.

Representatives of the Veterans Administration and the Rhode Island Guard will be in the WSBE studios to staff an off-camera phone bank, answering questions and making referrals to services available to veterans. Viewers – especially veterans and their family members – are invited to call in anytime during the 90-minute program.

Coming Home
In October and November of 2011, The Providence Journal published an extraordinary series titled, "War on Terror: Coming Home." The eight-part series by Journal staff writer G. Wayne Miller chronicled the stories of several soldiers who served and the after-effects of war.

The stories upon which the newspaper series was based were woven into a compelling 50-minute documentary, Coming Home. Produced by Journal photographer John Freidah, Journal video editor Cecilia Préstamo, and Miller, narrated by Journal columnist Bob Kerr, and funded by The Providence Journal, the film also includes archival photos and video taken by the soldiers themselves.

In Coming Home, Army veteran Derek Pelletier and National Guard veterans John DiRaimo, Brian Santos, and Sean Judge share their combat experiences, and their lives back in the civilian world. Fall River resident Pelletier, twice honored with the Bronze Star, continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, as do Johnston native DiRaimo and Narragansett native Judge. Santos, who served with Judge, has followed a different path, becoming a New Jersey state trooper and marrying. Their interwoven stories illustrate the human toll of a war fought by a tiny fraction of Americans serving in an all-volunteer military.

Encore Broadcasts
A replay of the Coming Home and the panel discussion will air Wednesday, March 28 at 12:30 A.M. The phone bank will not be available during this replay, but referral phone numbers will be displayed on the TV screen. The documentary alone will also air on Saturday, March 31 at 7 P.M. as part of the ongoing Rhode Island PBS series, Rhode Island Stories.

Additional replays are scheduled for the Memorial Day weekend, Saturday, May 26 at 7 P.M. and Sunday, May 27 at 11 P.M.

To view the film anytime, and to read the original series of stories by G. Wayne Miller published in The Providence Journal, visit

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Veteran and Family Assistance
VA Crisis Hotline 
1-800-273-TALK (8255) Press “1

The Providence VA Medical Center’s OEF/OIF/OND Clinic 
401-273-7100, x 6401 or
401-273-7100, x 6137

Rhode Island Army and Air National Guard Family Assistance Center 
401-275-4194 or

The Rhode Island Veterans Affairs