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Medal of Honor
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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to now that Medal of Honor is a documentary that tells the stories of veterans awarded the Medal of Honor for valor. It contains dramatic re-enactments of wartime events, which feature lots of shootings, explosions, bloody wounds, and dead people. Archived footage and interviews also highlight wartime brutalities. Occasional curses are audible, and smoking is visible. Racism is also discussed in some episodes. This is all offered in context, and is meant to underscore the selfless and brave acts for which the medal was awarded.
What's the story?
MEDAL OF HONOR is a documentary series that introduces audiences to some of the U.S. military's Medal of Honor recipients. From the late Army Sergeant Sylvester Antolak's selfless leadership in 1944 Italy to U.S. Army Specialist Ty Carter's bravery while wounded and under fire during a Taliban attack in 2009, it details the events that took place, and what each person did to earn the honor. Dramatic re-enactments, archived photographs and footage, and interviews with military experts like now-retired General David Petraeus, journalists like CNN’s Jake Tapper, and veterans (including those who witnessed the events) help tell their stories. Also interviewed are the medal recipients themselves, and the families of those who were awarded the honor years ago or posthumously.
Is it any good?
This excellent but challenging series tells the stories of some of the recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the military's highest award for conspicuous acts of valor. Each veteran profiled is recognized for going well beyond the call of duty to help those around him during combat. It also offers additional details about men like African American Private Edward Carter, and Japanese American soldier Hiroshi Hershey Miyamura, who served their country with distinction despite being subjected to institutional racism and bigotry at home.
Medal of Honor isn't the easiest series to watch, thanks to the violent and bloody re-enactments, which, while offered in context, also add some entertainment value. Meanwhile, the narratives about those who were treated differently, or denied the award, during their lifetime due to their race or other factors can be frustrating too. But it's also inspirational, and rightfully recognizes the bravery, intrepidness, and gallantry of those who have made incredible sacrifices to protect this country, as well as others who defend it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Medal of Honor. There are different medals for the Army, Air Force, and Navy. What do military personnel serving in the Marines and in the Coast Guard receive? What kind of acts do you think are worth getting a medal?
How do the veterans featured on Medal of Honor feel about serving their country? What things have they learned from their experiences?
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