04 November 2014

'Through a Soldier's Eyes' Tails 'Red Bull' in WWII Italy

A 26-minute documentary depicting the travels of present-day members of the 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division on a tour of that unit's World War II battlefields in Italy will debut on Minnesota public television channels Fri., Nov. 7, at 9 p.m. Central Time. For a 25-second trailer video, click here.

(In Central Iowa, "Through a Soldier's Eyes" will air 8 p.m., Nov. 4 on Iowa Public Television Channel 11.3.)

Luke Heikkila PHOTO: Twin Cities Public Television
Produced by Twin Cities Public Television producer Luke Heikkila, "Through a Soldier's Eyes" is part of an ongoing commitment by the station to tell the stories of Minnesota service members, families, and veterans. Heikkila embedded with Minnesota troops in Iraq in 2009, and in Afghanistan in 2012.

The 34th Inf. Div. was originally comprised of citizen-soldiers from Iowa, Minnesota, and North and South Dakota. The unit's distinctive "Red Bull" patch is still worn by National Guard troops in Minnesota and Iowa. The project was previously mentioned on the Red Bull Rising blog.

Earlier in 2014, Heikkila followed Staff Sgt. Dillon Jennings and other current members of the 34th Inf. Div. on a trip to Italy. The group toured battle sites such as AnzioMonte Cassino, Volturno River, Hill 810, and others.

Jenning's great-grandfather, Bernard Bonnema, also served in the 133rd Infantry Regiment, one of the "Red Bull" units deployed to World War II Italy.

A veteran of two overseas deployments himself, Jennings didn't make the connection between his own service and that of his great-grandfather, until after participating in the record-breaking 22-month deployment of 1st Brigade, 34th Infantry Division (1-34th Bde.) to Iraq in 2006-2007.

Air-times and channels for "Through a Soldier's Eyes" are listed here, as well as below. The program will also be made available on-line veterans.tpt.org, and via the PBS World Channel.

Twin Cities Public Television, Channel 2.1
  • Fri., Nov. 7 @ 9:00 p.m.
  • Sat., Nov 8 @ 3:00 a.m.
  • Sun., Nov. 9 @ 4:00 p.m.
Twin Cities Public Television MN Channel 2.2
  • Sun., Nov. 9 @ 7:30 a.m.
  • Sun., Nov. 16 @ 1:30 a.m.
  • Sun., Nov. 16 @ 7:30 a.m.
  • Sun., Nov. 16 @ 1:30 a.m.
Twin Cities Public Television Life Channel 2.3
  • Sun., Nov 16 @ 11:30 a.m.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the write up, it was an honor to help tell this story. I think people are really going to like Dillon Jennings, he's a fine man and did the Division a great favor by opening up his life to tell the story. I'll be sure to post the URL when the doc is up on the web. Regards, a humbled tv producer in MN (Luke)


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