Salute to Veterans is a national television series that honors and pays tribute to our nation’s veterans, active duty service members, military families and patriotic supporters. The inspirational and educational program offers insightful discussion, resources and solutions for the ongoing issues our veterans face daily. The series tells the stories of distinguished veterans who have served their country, overcome obstacles and made a difference in their communities, while inspiring others to do the same
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distinguished veteran panelists
Rocky Bleier
Rocky

U.S. Army Veteran, 4-time Champion with Pittsburgh

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Chad Hennings
Chad

U.S. Air Force Veteran, 3-time Champion with Dallas

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Greg Gadson
Greg

U.S. Army Veteran, Honorary Captain & 2-time Champion with New York

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Rocky Bleier

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Rocky Bleier’s story - a gripping tale of courage on both the football fields of America and the battle fields of Vietnam - has held audiences in rapt attention for years. Yet, the motivational message behind it, detailing how ordinary people can become extraordinary achievers, defines success in the new American century.

rockyWith the same optimism, sense of humor and steadfast determination that were histrademarks as a Pittsburgh running back, Rocky Bleier takes audiences from his early years through his professional career and talks about the lessons he learned along the way….lessons that we all can benefit from.

Not falling within the ideal of what a running back should look like, Bleier had to run harder and play smarter to be able to stand out. Despite his drive and ability to make the big play, the Pittsburgh only considered him a late round pick. But before the season ended that first year, he was drafted again…this time by the United States Army.

rocky At the height of the Vietnam War, Bleier was thrust into combat early and was seriously wounded when his platoon ran into an ambush. Receiving wounds from both rifle fire and grenade fragments in his legs, he was barely able to walk and his professional football career seemed to have ended before it began... For more than two years, he drove himself. Little by little he overcame obstacles and fought his way back. He not only made the Pittsburgh, but also eventually became a starting running back on a team that won four Super Bowls and became the greatest football team of the 20th century. The hard lessons Rocky Bleier learned early in his life that helped him overcome adversity and reach his goals, have paid off after football. These lessons are seen between the lines in the popular book on his life, “Fighting Back.

Chad Hennings

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Three-time Super Bowl champion and Air Force veteran Chad Hennings' successes began long before his professional football career. An accomplished lineman in high school, Hennings was offered full scholarships from universities across the nation. Instead, he chose to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he racked up numerous honors academically and on the gridiron.

chad air forceHennings’ exemplary achievements put him at the top of many draft lists and earned him a spot on the Dallas roster, but Hennings postponed his entry into the National Football League to fulfill his commitment to the U.S. Air Force. He entered the Euro-NATO program, a training program for top pilots, and soon found himself at the controls of the A-10 Thunderbolt.

During his four-year stint with the Air Force, Hennings flew 45 missions in support of Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, an effort that helped provide relief and humanitarian aid to Kurdish refugees. He received two aerial achievement medals, a humanitarian award and an outstanding unit award for his actions in the service.

After his discharge, Hennings joined the Dallas, quickly earning a starting position as a defensive lineman. He spent his entire 9-year professional football career with the Dallas, retiring in 2001 with three Super Bowl rings.

chad air forceSince his retirement from the NFL, Hennings has found success as a commercial real estate professional, management consultant and motivational speaker. He established Wingmen Ministries, a Christian men’s group, in Dallas-Fort Worth and is active in community affairs, including work with veterans organizations, at risk kids, and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

Hennings is President of Hennings Management. He is the author of three books, “It Takes Commitment,” “Rules of Engagement – Finding Faith and Purpose in a Disconnected World,” and “Forces of Character.”

He lives in Texas with his wife Tammy and their two children, Chase and Brenna.

Greg Gadson

U.S. Army, 2-time Super Bowl Champion with New York

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Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, a Chesapeake, Va., native; served our nation in the United States Army for more than 26 years.

Col. Gadson’s service culminated as the Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir, where he oversaw the daily operations of the post, a strategic sustaining base where more than 50,000 military personnel and employees provide logistical, intelligence, medical and administrative support, and command and control for a mix of more than 140 commands and agencies for the Department of Defense.

A 25-year career Army officer, Col. Gadson’s life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. In May 2007, as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, Col. Gadson’s greatest challenge came in Iraq, where an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. Despite this, Gadson remained on active duty in the Army and continued to inspire many with his message of courage, perseverance, determination and teamwork. Refusing to be defined by the proverbial “hail of bullets,” he has since drawn upon the lessons of Pride, Poise and Team, learned as a West Point linebacker, and applied them to his life, career and family.

Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1989 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Greg served in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Greg served in various assignments throughout the world. He dedicated himself to leading the Soldiers, civilian employees and family members in living the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Greg is a passionate advocate for wounded warriors, veterans and those with disabilities; on several occasions, testified before Congress on issues related to these groups.

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In 2007, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants head coach, asked Gadson to meet with the then-struggling team. Gadson talked to the players about service, teamwork, duty, perseverance and adversity. His message resonated and the New York Giants defeated the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Greg made his silver screen debut in 2012 as a lead actor in the blockbuster movie Battleship; where he portrayed a war-injured veteran that helped save the world from an alien invasion.

Greg continues a very energetic and dynamic lifestyle where he continues to serve his nation as an entrepreneur and managing partner of Patriot Strategies, LLC, a government services company. He continues acting, currently in The Inspectors, a family television series on CBS. Greg is also an accomplished photographer/artist and remains active in cycling, skiing and scuba.

Greg’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit (2); Bronze Stars (3); Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal (3) and the Army Commendation Medal (3). He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and holds masters degrees in Information Systems from Webster University; and Policy Management from Georgetown University. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Webster University.

TV Program

“ON THE FIELD” AND “OFF THE FIELD”: REALIZING SUCCESS IN THE COMMUNITY

Top Issues Facing Veterans

Overcoming Injuries -
Seen and Unseen
top issues
Veteran Employment
employment
Veteran Education
Education
Veteran Housing
Veteran Housing

Click Here For The Salute To Veterans Series Show Times in your Area

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Host

Judy Woodruff

Co-Anchor and Managing Editor, PBS NewsHour

thank youBroadcast journalist Judy Woodruff is the co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. She has covered politics and other news for more than three decades at CNN, NBC and PBS.

For 12 years, Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, where her duties included anchoring the weekday program, Inside Politics. At PBS from 1983 to 1993, she was the chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. From 1984-1990, she also anchored PBS' award-winning weekly documentary series, Frontline with Judy Woodruff.


In 2011, Woodruff was the principal reporter for the PBS documentary Nancy Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime. And in 2007, she completed an extensive project on the views of young Americans called Generation Next: Speak Up. Be Heard. Two hour-long documentaries aired on PBS, along with a series of reports on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR and in USA Today.

In 2006, Woodruff was a visiting professor at Duke University's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. In 2005, she was a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy. From 2006-2013, she anchored a monthly program for Bloomberg Television, Conversations with Judy Woodruff.

At NBC News, Woodruff was White House correspondent from 1977 to 1982. For one year after that she served as NBC's Today show chief Washington correspondent. She wrote the book, This is Judy Woodruff at the White House, published in 1982 by Addison-Wesley.

Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women's Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in communication industries worldwide. She serves on the boards of trustee of the Freedom Forum, the Newseum, the Duke Endowment, The Carnegie Corporation of New York and the Urban Institute. She is a former member of The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.

Woodruff is a graduate of Duke University, where she is a trustee emerita.

She is the recent recipient of the “Cine Lifetime Achievement Award”, a Duke “Distinguished Alumni Award”, the Edward R. Murrow “Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism/Television”, the University of Southern California “Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism”, the “Al Neuharth/University of South Dakota Award for Excellence in Journalism” and the “Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communications” from the University of Oklahoma, among others.

She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, journalist Al Hunt, and they are the parents of three children: Jeffrey, Benjamin and Lauren.

Get Involved

thank youSalute to Veterans is not only a title of the program series, but it is a call to action around the country for much deserved gratitude to be consistently given to our past and present troops, in light of the sacrifices made for freedom, liberty and safety. #MySaluteToVeterans and the broadcast specials aim to transform national military observances days, as not just holidays, but honor-days, when these important issues should be top of mind. Select stories of how our service members are supported and recognized in communities nationwide in facing top veteran issues of overcoming injuries, veteran employment, continuing education, housing and other critical issues of importance will be included in the series.

About us

The Salute to Veterans series honors and pays tribute to our nation’s veterans, active duty service members, their families and patriotic supporters during important military holidays and commemorations during the year, including Independence Day, Patriot Day and Veterans Day to name a few. Check your local listings in your area. The inspirational and educational program features ongoing discussion focusing on issues of importance among our 22 million veterans in the U.S., 3.3 million active duty service members and their families.

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