About Coming Back with Wes Moore
Premiered May 13, 2014
Executive produced by best-selling author and U.S. army veteran Wes Moore, three-part series tells the story of his search for answers to some of the most difficult questions facing veterans returning from war. Moore’s journey, spurred by the suicide of one of his oldest friends and a fellow officer, takes him into the personal lives of different soldiers as they attempt to reintegrate into society, establish new identities and – for many – find a new mission.
Free preview screening event
WEDU PBS held a screening of COMING BACK WITH WES MOORE on Wednesday, April 30 at Tampa Theatre. A special panel discussion on the topic of reintegrating back into society featured Wes Moore, executive producer; Taylor Urruela, veteran and founder of the VETSports league; and Howard Altman, military reporter at The Tampa Tribune.
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More about the panel
Howard Altman, Journalist
Howard covers the military for The Tampa Tribune and TBO.com, where his beat includes U.S. Special Operations Command and U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base, as well two of the nation’s busiest VA hospitals. He has worked as an editor, reporter and columnist for nearly 30 years, in the Boston area, Connecticut, Philadelphia and New York State. The winner of more than 50 journalism awards, he reported from the Middle East during the Palestinian uprising against Israel known as the First Intafada and from Afghanistan, where he was embedded with the 7th Special Forces Group. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Daily Beast, Salon, Wired, Politico, Philadelphia Magazine and many other publications around the world.
Wes Moore, Executive Producer and Host
Wes was a paratrooper and Captain in the United States Army, serving a combat tour of duty in Afghanistan with the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne Division in 2005-2006. He was involved in managing the American strategic support plan for the Afghan Reconciliation Program, and analyzed the rise and ramifications of radical Islamism in the Western Hemisphere. As a White House Fellow during 2006-2007, Moore served as a Special Assistant to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. His first book, The Other Wes Moore, became an instant New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller. He is a regular contributor to NBC News and was host of ABC’s “Beyond Belief” for OWN.
Brian Taylor Urruela, Army Veteran & Co-Founder of VetSports
Taylor was an infantryman in the US Army from August of 2004 until February of 2011. At the end of a year-long tour to Baghdad, his vehicle was hit by two roadside bombs, which took his right leg below the knee and the life of his commander. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his wounds, an Army Commendation Medal, and Combat Infantryman’s Badge. Taylor medically retired from the Army in 2011 and moved to Tampa, Fla., where he is a full-time student at the University of Tampa majoring in Writing with aspirations of becoming a screenwriter. Taylor also works as the Vice President and Chief of Operations for VetSports, a veteran community sports nonprofit he co-founded two years ago.
Jeff Cathey, Bank of America Senior Military Affairs Executive
Jeff is the Military Banking Overseas Division Executive and Senior Military Affairs Executive for Bank of America. As Overseas Division Executive, Jeff ensures banking services and products are readily available, through 73 banking centers and a robust ATM network, to service members deployed around the globe. As Military Affairs Executive, Jeff leads the Military and Veterans Affairs Team (MVAT), a dedicated group within Bank of America focused on support of active duty military and their families, and successful reintegration of service members into the civilian sector. Jeff served with distinction in the U.S. Navy for 29 years, and led commands worldwide at all levels to include two fleet squadrons and a carrier air wing in USS Enterprise. Jeff flew 100 combat missions and is a decorated veteran of Operation Urgent Fury, Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Raised in Tampa, Jeff played football at the University of Tampa and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. He earned a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic Studies at the Naval War College. Jeff serves on the Board of Directors of Operation Homefront, Association of Military Banks of America, University of Tampa’s Center for Leadership, and the Tampa Boys & Girls Club. He is an adjunct professor at USF and a member of the Navy League.
Taylor Urruela on Up Close with Cathy Unruh
Aired April 17, 2014
Army Sergeant Brian “Taylor” Urruela of Tampa was also featured on UP CLOSE WITH CATHY UNRUH. Urruela’s story serves as an example of the hardships soldiers face, including amputeeism, PTSD, and a loss of support that the military once provided. Find out how Urruela’s determination brought him success and an ability to help other vets through the founding of the VetSports sports league.