Operation "Life Without A Uniform" | Roadtrip Nation: The Next Mission

Save ArticleSave Article

Failed to save article

Please try again

“No one can stay in the military forever. We all get out one day. It’s just something we don’t think about.” – Bernard Edwards (U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant, retired)

Military service members bravely dedicate their lives to serving their country, but for many, one of the most formidable missions they’ll face is the transition back to civilian life. Roadtrip Nation: The Next Mission explores the personal and systemic issues facing veterans through the experiences of three transitioning service members from the US Army & Air Force.

With an estimated one million service members who will transition out of the military in the next five years, The Next Mission brings together military veterans in various stages of their post-service lives to discuss the unique challenges of re-entering civilian life. From nonprofit directors to sponsored athletes, each interview offers insight to the diverse career paths possible after life in the military.

Trekking over 3,000 miles, the road trippers' month-long trip introduces them to post-military careers they never knew were a possibility. Interviews with fitness entrepreneur Derek Weida, skincare line founder Nicole Baldwin, author and businessman Robert Kiyosaki, and others, prove that the skills cultivated in the military aren’t relegated to the battlefield; they can be translated to exciting and meaningful jobs. While they’ve left combat behind, our courageous veterans are inspired to tackle a new mission: the fight to build a life of purpose, for which their greatest weapons will be their heads and their hearts.

You’re not going to find self-worth sitting on your couch.” – Josh Kinser, Texas Trophy Hunters Association

Sam Shockley, 28, enlisted immediately after high school determined to work a lifetime in the military. However, on his third our in Afghanistan, Sam lost both his legs when he stepped on an IED during a routine clearance as a combat engineer, which halted his dreams of a lasting military career. “I got my purple heart…I made through it, but I lost everything.”


Helen Chandler, 33, knew exactly who she would be as a daughter of Air Force service members. "I'm a soldier, through and through." However, after 15 years of service, she was forced to retire due to an injury that causes complex partial seizures. Helen longs for a sense of purpose and identity especially after the loss of who she was.

Bernard Edwards, 35, joined the military in order to receive an education. For 15 years, he served in the Medical Service Corps while simultaneously earning his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. As someone who's traveled from country to country as a child during his family's dispatches, he seeks to apply his love for travel in his next career adventure.

Media Contact
Loureen Ayyoub, loureen@roadtripnation.com
Christina Reagan, creagan@kqed.org

Roadtrip Nation: The Next Mission 

is made possible by:

United Service Organizations (U.S.O)

Websites and Social Media
Website: roadtripnation.com
Education Site: roadtripnation.org
Twitter: twitter.com/RoadtripNation
Facebook: facebook.com/RoadtripNation
YouTube: youtube.com/roadtripnation

About Roadtrip Nation

Roadtrip Nation started in 2001 when three friends fresh out of college weren’t sure what to do with their lives. Their solution? To road-trip around the country and ask people who do what they love how they got to where they are today. What started as a road trip sparked an annual documentary series, a number of books, online tools, and an educational organization—all dedicated to helping individuals define their own roads in life. In 2009, Roadtrip Nation expanded into education with the creation of The Roadtrip Nation Experience, a project-based self-discovery curriculum designed to help students explore their identities and find careers aligned with their interests. Today, Roadtrip Nation continues to empower individuals to create meaningful lives doing what they love. To learn more about Roadtrip Nation, visit www.roadtripnation.com. For more information about Roadtrip Nation in education, visit www.roadtripnation.org.

About KQED Public Television

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. An NPR and PBS affiliate based in San Francisco, KQED is home to one of the most listened-to public radio stations in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program helping students and educators thrive in 21st-century classrooms. A trusted news source and leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

About American Public Television

APT (APTonline.org) 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 PatriotsA 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 ItalyP. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, Midsomer Murders, Moyers & Company, Doc Martin, Rosemary & ThymeBBC 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.