Wisconsin Public TV embarks on an ambitious three-night effort to tell the story of the state's veterans of the Vietnam War.
In Milwaukee, "Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories" airs at 8 p.m. tonight, Tuesday and Wednesday on Channel 10, and airs throughout the state on public TV. The one-hour chunks follow the chronological course of the war, with the episodes dedicated to "Escalation," "Turning Point" and "Draw Down."
The stories are told by those who took part in the conflict that divided the nation.
It's one of those programs that's made for the DVR, which allows you to watch -- and process what you see -- at your own pace. And it's a fine way to move into the Memorial Day weekend.
There's also an elaborate Web site providing background on the project.
Here are a couple clips to give you the flavor of the effort.
Tim Cuprisin is the media columnist for OnMilwaukee.com. He's been a journalist for 30 years, starting in 1979 as a police reporter at the old City News Bureau of Chicago, a legendary wire service that's the reputed source of the journalistic maxim "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." He spent a couple years in the mean streets of his native Chicago, and then moved on to the Green Bay Press-Gazette and USA Today, before coming to the Milwaukee Journal in 1986.
A general assignment reporter, Cuprisin traveled Eastern Europe on several projects, starting with a look at Poland after five years of martial law, and a tour of six countries in the region after the Berlin Wall opened and Communism fell. He spent six weeks traversing the lands of the former Yugoslavia in 1994, linking Milwaukee Serbs, Croats and Bosnians with their war-torn homeland.
In the fall of 1994, a lifetime of serious television viewing earned him a daily column in the Milwaukee Journal (and, later the Journal Sentinel) focusing on TV and radio. For 15 years, he has chronicled the changes rocking broadcasting, both nationally and in Milwaukee, an effort he continues at OnMilwaukee.com.
When he's not watching TV, Cuprisin enjoys tending to his vegetable garden in the backyard of his home in Whitefish Bay, cooking and traveling.