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Series Challenges Veteran Stereotypes

Permission to Speak Freely: PTSD

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The goal of a new KPBS video series is to challenge the stereotypes people have about military veterans.

Producer Jodi Cilley used comedy to tackle topics such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, women in the military and why people join the military.

The series, which is called Permission to Speak Freely, was spearheaded by KPBS in partnership with So Say We All.

So Say We All determined the topics of the videos by holding discussions with veterans and sending out a nationwide survey about how veterans and civilians can better understand each other. The group then scripted the episodes.

The series is hosted by Dewey Bratcher, who served 22 years and is a retired U.S. Navy Reservist. He said he auditioned to host the series because he wants to be involved in any narrative that helps to show the military to be more humane.

"We're just guys and gals who chose to serve," he said.

The videos premiered at the GI Film Festival on Sunday. They will also be aired on KPBS Evening Edition this week and online.

The project is a part of the Veterans Coming Home Initiative, a national effort by public media stations to address the needs of veterans. The initiative is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Cilley and Bratcher join Midday Edition on Monday to discuss how the series may help people have a more accurate representation of veterans.

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