The Emmy-winning Veterans Day TV special is back, with distinguished Americans & celebrities to share stories of valor and sacrifice

Arlington, Virginia, UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 19, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The American Veterans Center’s annual holiday television special, American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes, will return to television this Fall for Veterans Day, 2017. Hosted by Bear Grylls (British Special Forces veteran; host, Man vs. Wild and Running Wild for NBC), the event pays tribute to our service men and women from World War II to the present day. Noted celebrities will lend their voices to tell the stories of service and valor, including Morgan Freeman, Tom Cruise, George Clooney, Mel Gibson, Ellie Kemper, Diane Lane, Liam Neeson, Gary Sinise and Mike Rowe. The program provides Americans at home the opportunity to meet the ordinary citizens who, through willing sacrifice in trying times, became heroes and legends.  

Joining American Valor as presenters of these stories of service and sacrifice are James Badge Dale, Karolína Kurková, James Madio, and more.

“I am so proud to take part in this special program honoring American military heroes of yesterday and today,” said Bear Grylls, host of the show. “As a veteran of the British Special Forces, I know the strength and courage required of these men and women, who have risked their lives protecting their country and allies. The United States military has stood by the United Kingdom through some of the darkest times in world history, and together our men and women have worked side by side, and sacrificed so much to secure peace around the globe.” 

American Valor will spotlight and honor stories of heroism from the last 75 years, including:

The Heroes of Midway – Veterans of the epic battle that turned the tide of World War II exactly 75 years ago. Narrated by Tom Cruise.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Jefferson – Combat pilot with the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American pilots in U.S. military history.  Narrated by Morgan Freeman. 

Father Emil Kapaun – The Catholic battlefield chaplain who did not carry a weapon, but was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for saving the lives of his fellow prisoners in their POW camp during the Korean War. Narrated by Ellie Kemper.

Major General Patrick Henry Brady – An air ambulance helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War personally responsible for saving more than 5,000 lives – friendly and enemy – and one of only two U.S. Army veterans of Vietnam to receive the Army’s two highest awards, the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.  Narrated by Liam Neeson.

Sergeant First Class Michael Schlitz – U.S. Army Ranger gravely wounded in an IED attack in Iraq, whose inspiring recovery led him to become an advocate for fellow warriors to speak out on the scourge of suicide facing our veterans.  Narrated by Gary Sinise.

Major Mary Jennings Hegar – U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard veteran of three tours to Afghanistan; one of six women to have been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (the first being Amelia Earhart), and only the second to receive the award with Valor Device.  Narrated by Diane Lane.

Captain Florent Groberg – An Immigrant to the U.S. as a child, he became a naturalized U.S. citizen and Army officer before being awarded the Medal of Honor for fighting off a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.  Narrated by Mel Gibson. 

PLUS, a special closing tribute to two of the most iconic moments of heroism of the last 75 years:

The Doolittle Raid & Lt. Colonel Richard E. Cole – Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot on the legendary Doolittle Raid of April 18, 1942, and at 102 years old the last survivor of the 80 Doolittle Raiders.  Narrated by Mike Rowe. 

Chesley B. ‘Sully’ Sullenberger – U.S. Air Force fighter pilot veteran and hero of the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ emergency landing of U.S. Airways flight 1549 on January 15, 2009.  Narrated by George Clooney. 

“It is truly an honor to call attention to these incredible men and women from our military’s past and present,” said Tim Holbert, Executive Director of the American Veterans Center and Producer of American Valor.  “They are an example of the very best of who we are as Americans, and a reminder that in the end we’re all on the same team.”

Joining American Valor as Executive Producers are Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman of Bear Grylls Ventures, along with James C. Roberts, President of the American Veterans Center.

American Valor: A Salute to Our Heroes, presented by Northrop Grumman, will be nationally syndicated to over 100 million households worldwide, including WABC in New York, KABC in Los Angeles, WLSA in Chicago, and WPVI in Philadelphia.  In addition, it will be broadcast to U.S. troops serving around the world and on Navy ships at sea on American Forces Network. American Valor will be filmed the evening of October 28 in Washington, DC.  For more information, visit, or contact Kenny Cunningham at



About the American Veterans Center: The American Veterans Center (AVC) and its subsidiary, the World War II Veterans Committee, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational foundation dedicated to guarding the legacy and honoring the sacrifice of our military personnel from every generation. For more information, visit 

About Bear Grylls: Bear Grylls has become known worldwide as one of the most-recognized faces of survival and outdoor adventure as a star of Discovery Channel’s Emmy Award-nominated “Man vs. Wild” TV series. Trained from a young age in martial arts, Grylls went on to spend three years as a soldier in the British Special Forces, as part of 21st SAS Regiment. It was here that he perfected many of the survival skills that his fans all over the world enjoy, as he pits himself against the worst of Mother Nature. Today, he hosts the TV hit “Running Wild with Bear Grylls”. In addition to his TV success, Grylls is a number 1 bestselling Author, an Honorary Colonel to the Royal Marine Commandos, and the youngest-ever Chief Scout.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at


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