NEW MEXICO VETERANS
STORIES OF SERVICE
NEW MEXICO VETERANS
STORIES OF SERVICE
About the Project
New Mexico PBS has begun a multi-year Veteran’s initiative to expand our content on-air, and on-line in partnership with local, regional, and national organizations. Through this initiative we will provide a platform for veteran’s to share their stories, both in war and at home and give civilians the opportunity to become aware of the challenges veterans and their families face coming home. The programming line-up includes the highly anticipated documentary on the Vietnam War from Ken Burns that aired in the Fall of 2017.
Local Productions: Digital Series
As part of our initiative, we will showcase exclusive original content in the form of an online digital series. These special productions will provide an enhanced viewer experience with bonus video clips, commentary by the producers and subjects, as well as previously unseen original materials like photographs, letters, and documents, to more fully tell the story.
NEW MEXICO & THE VIETNAM WAR:
Portrait of a Generation
The first platform developed through this initiative is New Mexico and the Vietnam War: Portrait of a Generation, a digital series that focuses on New Mexico’s diverse Vietnam War veterans, families, and refugees that played a major role in the Vietnam War. These first person accounts range from duty, honor, courage, sacrifice, loss and understanding. We share their dramatic stories of honor, loss, and renewal.
Local Productions: Documentaries
At New Mexico PBS, we know about the power of storytelling – it’s what we do. We’ve been telling Veteran’s stories over the years on Bataan, Vietnam, WWII, women vets, Buffalo Soldiers, reintegrating back into society, the hardships and bonding of war and more. These are some of the documentaries we have produced over the years to highlight the history, stories, triumphs and challenges of New Mexico Veterans.
On December 15, 2011, honoring the 70th anniversary of the fall of Bataan (April 2012) and the subsequent death march, Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) proposed S. 2004, legislation to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the troops who defended Bataan during World War II. The next day, Congressman Martin Heinrich (D-NM) proposed its counterpart in the House of Representatives – H.R. 3712. One inspiration for this action was the documentary Tragedy of Bataan. As an adjunct to Tragedy of Bataan, New Mexico PBS has produced a half-hour program with some of the survivors of the surrender of Bataan.
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the US Government arrested and imprisoned thousands of Japanese-American men branding them “dangerous enemy aliens.” Incarcerated without trial, they were forced to leave behind their families along with everything they knew and loved. Professor of Literature Gail Okawa, renowned photographer Patrick Nagatani, and southwestern artist Jerry West share their family’s stories about the Santa Fe camp.
Members of the Buffalo Soldiers Society of New Mexico share insights into the history of the Buffalo soldiers and how they contributed to New Mexico achieving statehood in 1912. They tell us of the challenges these soldier’s faced, their hard work, and particularly of their bravery during the battle with Apache Chief Victorio at the isolated Massacre Canyon in the Black Range Mountains of southern New Mexico.
At the turn of the 20th Century, still a territory, New Mexicans wanted to prove their loyalty to the United States. They found their opportunity by joining Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders to fight in the Spanish American War. Roosevelt recruited the tough westerners like New Mexican Maximiliano Luna to be part of his Rough Riders. After the war Rough Rider reunions were held for decades at the historic Hotel Castañeda in Las Vegas. Shot on location at the Hotel Castañeda, Noted Western historian Dr.Paul Hutton shares his great knowledge of this important step in New Mexico achieving statehood.
Connect with resources and services for Veterans.
Women Veterans of New Mexico
Sen. Martin Heinrich Veterans Resources Page
Henderson House (shelter and services for women vets)
Photo Credits / Acknowledgements
New Mexico PBS would like to express our sincere gratitude to the following groups and individuals for making this Veterans initiative possible, and to the Veterans for their service and sacrifice.