Powerful new public television series gives a glimpse into the lives of veterans

Episode 1 of After Action premieres on Nov. 11, with the series continuing in Jan. 2023

After Action, a new series highlighting conversations with veterans, will premiere on Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. on ETV and be distributed by PBS to public television stations throughout the U.S. Featuring seven, one-hour episodes, After Action documents the experiences of 21 diverse veterans from across the country. Hosted by Air Force combat veteran Stacy Pearsall, this powerful series reveals what life is like for these American heroes before, during and after action.

Pearsall is a retired Air Force Staff Sergeant and former aerial combat photojournalist who earned the Bronze Star Medal and Air Force Commendation with Valor for combat actions in Iraq. Though combat disabled and retired from military service, Pearsall has not let her disabilities hold her back-- a sentiment she shares with many of the series’ guests. With her service animal, America’s Vet Dogs Charlie, by her side, Pearsall sits down for honest conversations with former service members as they discuss their trials and triumphs. Pearsall’s own struggles to reconnect with society challenges her fellow veterans to probe deeper into their stories, helping to provide a better appreciation for those who’ve served.

In Episode 1, titled All Gave Some, Pearsall sits down for a candid conversation with Tommy Clack, Bobby Henline and Jeffrey Crosby, three fellow veterans who’ve all had close brushes with death. Although they have each faced adversities in their journeys, they reveal how they stay positive and what their life is like after action.

Episode 1 of After Action premieres on Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. on ETV. Check your listings to see when After Action airs on your local PBS station. Although Episode 1 premieres in honor of Veterans Day, the stories will continue in 2023 with Episodes 2-7 released in January.

Produced by South Carolina ETV (SCETV), production funding for After Action is provided by the ETV Endowment of South Carolina and Polycor.

Below is a glimpse into each episode: 

  • Episode 1: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who’ve all had brushes with death.
  • Episode 2: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who used to transform new recruits.
  • Episode 3: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who have a connection to citizenship.
  • Episode 4: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who were the first women in their fields.
  • Episode 5: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who’ve experienced military sexual trauma.
  • Episode 6: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who reveal the power of service animals.
  • Episode 7: Host Stacy Pearsall sits down with three veterans who reveal the trials of returning home.

In addition to scetv.org, as a PBS-distributed series, After Action will also be available for streaming on the PBS app, PBS Amazon Prime and on PBS.org. Visit pbs.org/afteraction to learn more information about After Action, the veterans featured in the show and resources for veterans. Viewers can also engage with the show on social media by searching the @AfterActionETV handle on Facebook and Instagram. 

Those interested in hosting a screening event for After Action or interested in engagement with veterans featured in the series should email SCETV Communications.

View a teaser for Episode 1 of After Action.


QUOTES

“The military taught me everything I needed to know to thrive in service, but I wasn’t given a handbook on how to become a civilian again. Simply hanging up my uniform did not mean I packed up years of conditioning, life-changing, sometimes traumatizing, experiences at the same time. I struggled to reconnect with those around me, even my family. I had no way of expressing my feelings to those I loved without risking hurting theirs. I guarded my secrets and carried my burden until I nearly broke. Thankfully through talking with other veterans, I realized I wasn’t alone in my struggle. That validation was enough to keep me going. I found conversations amongst fellow veterans to be easier, no translation required. It was then, After Action was conceived – a round table where veterans tell-all. A series that explores the many complex challenges every veteran faces after action. For those who’ve served, I hope they will discover there’s an army of people who are on the same journey home. And for those who are waiting for their veterans to find their way, this show may help illuminate the path.” After Action Host Stacy Pearsall

“Every year, approximately 200,000 men and women leave U.S. military service and return to life as civilians, which is often difficult. As a veteran myself, I can understand that struggle. This series plays an important role in the journey to reveal the lives of veterans in and out of service, and I am proud of the SCETV team that helps to bring this powerful series to public television audiences across the U.S.” –SCETV President and CEO Anthony Padgett 

“The ETV Endowment of South Carolina is honored to sponsor this series that focuses on veterans and their lives before, during and after service. Having met many veterans over my career and understanding the debt we owe to their service, I believe this gives us a remarkable opportunity to produce a powerful series, here in South Carolina, which tells their stories to a national audience. The Endowment is privileged to be a part of such an important project.” –ETV Endowment Executive Director Coby Cartrette Hennecy

“As the son of a World War II veteran I was left wondering what my father’s time in service was like.  He would not talk about that time, at least not with me or my siblings.  Hearing our veterans on After Action comfortably share some of their most intimate experiences is humbling and eye opening.  It is an experience we hope will bring our non-serving community closer to those that have.” –SCETV Director of National Content and Regional Operations and After Action Executive Producer Don Godish 


FAST FACTS

  • After Action, a new series highlighting conversations with veterans, will premiere on Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. on ETV and be distributed by PBS to public television stations throughout the U.S. 
  • Featuring seven, one-hour episodes, After Action documents the experiences of 21 diverse veterans from across the country.
  • Air Force combat veteran Stacy Pearsall’s own struggles to reconnect with society challenges her fellow veterans to probe deeper into their stories, helping to provide a better appreciation for those who’ve served.
  • Although Episode 1 premieres in honor of Veterans Day, the stories will continue in 2023 with Episodes 2-7 released in January.
  • Visit pbs.org/afteraction or @AfterActionETV on Facebook and Instagram to learn more information about After Action, the veterans featured in the show and resources for veterans.

About South Carolina ETV and Public Radio
South Carolina ETV (SCETV) is the state's public educational broadcasting network. SCETV amplifies South Carolina voices, provides educational experiences and strengthens communities, while working toward creating a stronger, more connected and informed South Carolina. In addition to airing local programs, such as Carolina Classrooms, Making It Grow and This Week in South Carolina, SCETV also presents multiple programs to regional and national audiences, including By The River, Expeditions, Reconnecting Roots, Reel South, Somewhere South, Yoga in Practice and Live from Charleston Music Hall. In addition, SC Public Radio produces the national radio production, Chamber Music from Spoleto Festival USA.

Media Contact:
Landon Masters
media@scetv.org
803-737-3337

Powerful new public television series gives a glimpse into the lives of veterans (PDF)