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Variety Partners With History Channel for Third Annual TV Special

Variety partners with History channel for third annual TV special.

Gerry Byrne, second from left, with fellow veterans, participates in History channel’s TV special in 2019.
Clint Spaulding for Variety

The third annual “Variety Salute to Service” special will air at 8 p.m. Nov. 11, Veterans Day, on the History channel. The special will focus on the many contributions made by America’s veterans and military families, profiling extraordinary individuals who are giving back to their local communities and supporting other veterans through numerous initiatives.

The one-hour program, which will be hosted by Seth Meyers, will also showcase various companies and nonprofit organizations that help veterans transition to meaningful careers in their civilian lives.

“Since our founding, the History channel has been devoted to supporting veterans and military families, and to spotlighting the many ways they serve our communities even after they are no longer in uniform,” says Paul Buccieri, president a chairman, A+E Networks group.

“Together with Variety, we are proud to pay tribute to our nation’s veterans and underscore the leadership of these everyday heroes through our programming and our outreach initiatives,” he adds.

The History channel’s Mission to Honor initiative is an award-winning campaign that honors those who have served the country. Among the organizations included in the Salute to Service special is Team Rub con, a veteran-led disaster relief and humanitarian organization, which was co-founded by former Marine sniper Jake Wood in 2010, in the wake of the devastating Haiti earthquake.

The special also tells the story of Beau Rodriguez, who served as a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman for two deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq. When Hurricane Harvey brought destruction to his hometown, Rodriguez teamed up with Team Rubicon to lend his skills to help those in need. Today, Rodriguez works as a site supervisor for Team Rubicon Rebuild, which helps to transform homes damaged by natural disasters.

Rodriguez is one of more than 150,000 Team Rubicon volunteers serving communities, and the visibility that this yearly special provides to audiences helps to raise overall awareness on so many levels, and to so many charitable causes.

The special also features the veteran and military affairs initiatives of Charter Communications, which has been named one of Forbes’ best employers for veterans. Through community engagement, hiring initiatives and workforce training pro- grams, the company has a long history of support for veterans and military families. The powerful story of Milo Staley and his son Joe, both Navy veterans who found new careers with Charter, is presented in the special.

“The History channel’s ‘Variety Salute to Service’ celebrates the service of our nation’s veterans and highlights the importance of a successful transition to civilian life,” says Cliff Hagan, executive vice president, customer operations, Charter and former lieutenant commander in the Navy.

“In the military, you are trained to be mission-oriented. It is built into the culture and supported by core values that are continually reinforced; and the culture at Charter is similar. The high standards, discipline, teamwork, leadership and quick decision-making taught in the military translate well here. Our employee veterans stay with Charter longer because it is a good fit, as we provide them with many opportunities to serve with purpose and build a fulfilling career.”

Also profiled is U.S. Army reserve 1st Lt. Brooke Jackson Kahn, who is the first woman in her family to join a branch of the military. She enlisted in the Army as a combat medic, and then went through physician assistant school, which led her to start She’s the Veteran, an effort that looks to increase support for women vets when it comes to mental health. She’s the Veteran holds group events such as clay shooting, horseback riding and surfing. Through her efforts, Kahn has raised awareness about the almost 2 million female veterans in the United States.

Others profiled include Muria Nisbett, a participant in the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-to Veteran Leadership program. Born and raised in St. Thomas, Nisbett is a U.S. Army veteran who now serves as a mental health professional specializing in counseling veterans diagnosed with PTSD.

Through the Stand-to Veteran Leadership program, she’s created Mission Lifeline, a phone tree of veterans designed to help fight isolation.

In addition to these stories, several other veterans and initiatives are covered in the special, which serves as a powerful portrait of on-going service.