'American Heroes' to air Memorial Day

The American Legion and Military Channel have teamed up again to honor troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, including three soldiers who never made it back home. A second year of the 10 one-minute vignettes, “American Heroes” begin airing during Memorial Day on the Military Channel, which co-sponsored the production with The American Legion.

Produced by Creative Street Entertainment, “American Heroes” vignettes include the dramatic and poignant stories of those who fell in battle, suffered severe injuries, helped repair war-torn communities, or made it home to help other wounded warriors. Each American hero is honored with a Norman Rockwell Moments portrait at the close of the vignette. The profiles will air on the Military Channel for an entire year, including with the network’s live coverage of the National Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30 from 2 to 4 p.m.

“The American Legion and The Military Channel are on the same page when it comes to honoring the men and women of our Armed Forces,” American Legion National Commander Jimmie L. Foster said. “These messages indeed illustrate the honorable nature of military service, which is a guiding principle of The American Legion, as well as the sacrifices so many have made to protect our nation during the war. The men and women in these vignettes are the best of the best, and we are honored to help share their stories on The Military Channel.”

“We are excited to again work with the Military Channel to bring these heroic stories to the American audience for a second year,” said Steve Katzenberger, President and Co-Founder of Creative Street Media Group.

The 11 individuals featured in the “American Heroes” vignettes are: David Brown, Tammy Duckworth, Dawn Halfaker, Nick Madaras, Jose Pequeno, Robert Posivio, Joseph Proctor, John Schatzel, Klay South, and Patrick Brady and his daughter, Meghan. Madaras, Posivio and Proctor died in Iraq; Proctor received the Silver Star. Duckworth, an assistant secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs, was a pilot who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down. Halfaker, vice president of the Wounded Warrior Project, lost an arm when an RPG exploded near her Humvee.

South, who founded the Veterans of Valor service organization, was shot while clearing out houses in Fallujah. Pequeno, whose story was told in the May 2009 issue of The American Legion Magazine, suffered severe traumatic brain injury from an IED explosion.

Patrick Brady, a retired Army major general, is a Medal of Honor recipient for bravery in Vietnam; his daughter, Meghan, has served in Kosovo, Kuwait and Iraq. Schatzel helped to rebuild the Iraqi scouting program in Baghdad, and Brown – twice-injured in battle – now spends his days helping veterans recover from war and readjust to the world of peace.