Roadtrip Nation and the USO Partner to Showcase Veteran Stories in New Documentary Film ‘The Next Mission,’ Airing This November on Public Television

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Documentary follows three recently transitioned U.S. veterans on a journey to explore life and career opportunities after military service

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We are honored to work with the USO’s Transition 360 Alliance to support our returning service members.

Roadtrip Nation, a career exploration organization, announced today that their inspiring new one-hour documentary, “The Next Mission,” will premiere online on November 1, 2016 and will begin broadcasting on local American Public Television stations across the country this week. Made possible by the USO Transition 360 Alliance, the film follows three transitioning service members as they travel across the country on an unforgettable road trip interviewing fellow veterans who have tackled the same challenges and have found fulfilling civilian careers.

Service members bravely dedicate their lives to serving their country, but for many, the most formidable challenge they’ll face is the transition back to civilian life. In an effort to provide inspiration and guidance to service members planning to transition out of the military, “The Next Mission” examines the personal and systemic issues facing our veterans today.

"We believe that all individuals deserve the right to explore the vast career opportunities available to them. We are honored to work with the USO’s Transition 360 Alliance to support our returning service members with the inspiration to not only transition into civilian life, but thrive in a fulfilling career reflective of their unique interests,” said Mike Marriner, cofounder of Roadtrip Nation.

The road-trippers represent only a fraction of the estimated one million service members who will transition out of the military over the next five years, but the diversity of their stories proves that there's more than one way to tackle transition. While each veteran’s background differs, and each has taken a different path in life, they still face the same challenges: after spending years defined by their military identity, they question what’s next for them after they take the uniform off.

Army veteran Helen Chandler has been in or around the military her whole life—she was literally born in an Army helicopter. Now that she has retired from the military, she has struggled to find an identity that doesn’t revolve around being a soldier. Army veteran Sam Shockley had everything stripped from him in an instant when he lost his legs to an explosion during a tour in Afghanistan. After his injury, he’s struggled with depression, but he’s finally ready to take hold of his life and find a passion that will push him forward. Air Force veteran Bernard Edwards has already figured out what his passion is—helping fellow veterans find purpose and adventure in their own lives. He’s ready to execute his vision, but is seeking guidance about how to make his passion a reality.

Winding from coast to coast before concluding in the nation’s capital, their month-long road trip introduces them to post-military careers they never knew existed. From interviews with fitness entrepreneur Derek Weida, skincare line founder Nicole Baldwin, author and businessman Robert Kiyosaki and many more, the road-trippers discover the skills cultivated in the military aren’t relegated to the battlefield—they can be translated to any number of exciting careers.

“Every time I talk about the transition, it comes back to having purpose,” Mat Best, Army veteran and CEO of Article 15 Clothing, told the road-trippers, summing up the central themes of the film. “You can be successful, you can make money, but without purpose, you’re lost.”

This project is a key part of the USO’s Transition 360 Alliance, an initiative to help military personnel and their families successfully transition back into civilian life after their service ends. The Alliance brings together partner organizations to offer service members and their families holistic transition support and resources that help them plan for the future, pursue a new career and strengthen their families. The USO Transition 360 Alliance partners include RP/6, Hire Heroes USA, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes, Stronger Families and The Comfort Crew for Military Kids.

To watch the documentary, find local broadcasting airtimes, and download a free viewing guide to accompany the film, visit: rtn.is/thenextmission.

For social media updates about this project, follow @RoadtripNation, @the_USO, and the hashtag #TheNextMission on Twitter.

About Roadtrip Nation
Roadtrip Nation, renowned for its New York Times best-selling career guide, award-winning documentary television series, and acclaimed classroom curriculum, is a career exploration organization that creates resources to help individuals pursue fulfilling careers. Combining self-reflection with real-world exposure, Roadtrip Nation’s tools enable individuals to connect their interests to compatible life pathways and find meaningful work. For more information, visit roadtripnation.com and roadtripnation.org.

About the USO
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. Our Transition 360 Alliance brings together five best-in-class service organizations to focus on three key pillars of a successful transition back into civilian life: develop a plan for the future, pursue new career paths, and strengthen their families and community networks. The USO is a private, non-profit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. For more information on the USO, visit uso.org.

About American Public Television
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to America’s public television stations since 1961. Since 2004, APT has distributed approximately half of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles. Among its 300 new program titles per year are prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramatic series, how-to programs, children’s series and classic movies, including For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots, A Ripple of Hope, Rick Steves' Europe, Newsline, Globe Trekker, Simply Ming, Joseph Rosendo's Travelscope, America's Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated, Lidia's Italy, P. Allen Smith's Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & Thyme, BBC World News, The Rat Pack: Live and Swingin’, Johnny Mathis: Wonderful, Wonderful! and John Denver: The Wildlife Concert. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. In 2006, APT launched and nationally distributed Create® – the TV channel featuring the best of public television's lifestyle programming. APT is also a partner in the WORLD™ channel expansion project including its web presence at WORLDcompass.org. For more information about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org. For more information on Create, visit CreateTV.com.

About KQED
KQED (kqed.org) has served Northern California for more than 50 years and is affiliated with NPR and PBS. KQED owns and operates public television stations KQED 9 (San Francisco/Bay Area), KQED Plus (San Jose/Bay Area) and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5 FM San Francisco); kqed.org and KQEDnews.org; and KQED Education. KQED Public Television, one of the most-watched public television stations in the country, is the producer/presenter of national programs such as Sound Tracks; California Forever; and Essential Pépin. KQED Public Radio is the most-listened- to public radio station in the nation and the most popular in the Bay Area.

Press Contacts:
Kelsey Cox, Roadtrip Nation
949.764.9121 x220
Kelsey(AT)roadtripnation.com

Amanda Fletcher, USO
(202) 679-0879
Afletcher(AT)uso.org

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Kelsey Cox
Roadtrip Nation
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