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POV: The Way We Get By

Airs Sunday, May 29, 2011 at 11 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: On call 24 hours a day for the past five years, a group of senior citizens has made history by greeting nearly 800,000 American troops at a tiny airport in Bangor, Maine. “The Way We Get By,” airing on Veterans Day, is an intimate look at three of these greeters as they confront the universal losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living. Pictured (l-r): Jerry Mundy, Joan Gaudet and Bill Knight at Bangor International Airport.

Create Troop Greeting Posters: Here's your chance to be a virtual troop greeter! If you and your family don't have time to visit an airport and greet returning soldiers in person, you can still show your support for the troops by joining us in this poster-making activity. We will print out our favorites, add them to a photo gallery and hang them in the Maine Troop Greeters headquarters at the Bangor Airport.

On call 24 hours a day for the past five years, a group of senior citizens has made history by greeting nearly 800,000 American troops at a tiny airport in Bangor, Maine. “The Way We Get By” is an intimate look at three of these greeters as they confront the universal losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living.

Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet find the strength to overcome their personal battles and transform their lives through service. This inspirational and surprising story shatters the stereotypes of today’s senior citizens as the greeters redefine the meaning of community.

A co-production of Dungby Productions and ITVS in association with WGBH and Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN). By Aron Gaudet.

Video

POV: The Way We Get By: Filmmaker Interview

Above: Filmmakers Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly talk about their film, "The Way We Get By," which takes an intimate look at three elderly troop greeters in Maine, one of whom is Gaudet's mother Joan. The filmmakers talk about how they became close to the characters, what sending a loved one off to war means and what we can all learn from the troop greeters.