Public Media Honors Veterans on Lidia Celebrates America: "Holiday for Heroes"

December 14, 2016

Holiday for Heroes


On December 16, Italian chef-extraordinaire Lidia Bastianich celebrates “Holiday for Heroes” with five veterans from around the country who have served tours of duty in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. The one-hour, CPB-supported feature is part of the “Lidia Celebrates America” series. The special, airing on PBS stations across the country, explores the role of meals in times of celebration and in bringing people together to foster healing and recovery across cultures. In this episode, ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff joins Lidia aboard the USS George Washington, as she serves a holiday meal to 250 active duty troops aboard the aircraft carrier at the naval base in Norfolk, Va.

Lidia Celebrates America – “Holiday for Heroes” – Preview, WGBH ©2016

The documentary looks at the unique connections military men and women make through their experiences with food when deployed and their memories of family meals. While preparing meals with the five veterans and their families, Lidia hears their individual stories of home and family and pays homage to them for their sacrifice while serving abroad.  

Two of the veterans featured in the special are Bryan Anderson and Yonas Hagos.

In 2005, an IED was set off by the Humvee Bryan Anderson was driving in Iraq, resulting in the loss of both of his legs and his left hand. Yet he doesn’t let anything slow him down. Here's an excerpt of his story.

Lidia Celebrates America – “Holiday for Heroes” – Meet Bryan, WGBH ©2016 

Learn how Army veteran and Purple Heart honoree Yonas Hagos’ recovery from PTSD and other wounds are helped at home by his mother’s meals.

Lidia Celebrates America – “Holiday for Heroes” – Meet Yonas, WGBH ©2016

Check your local public media station listings for details.