Jacksonville veteran appears on TV show ‘After Action’

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A Marine Corps veteran from eastern North Carolina is featured in season two of the series After Action.

The PBS series is back offering an inside look at what life is like before, during, and after serving in the military.

The series explores the experiences of veterans from across the country through conversations.

“Very authentic, very open, very real between all of the veterans,” After Action producer Hannah Merchant said.

Merchant, who lives in Jacksonville, appears in an episode called “Parenting in Service” where she talks about the challenges she faced while balancing being a mother to her daughter and serving her country.

“I realized that I wanted to get out and I didn’t want to reenlist because I did not want to leave her, and I felt like it would have been selfish of me to stay in,” Merchant said.

Merchant joined the Marines after high school. While getting her bachelor’s degree, she was approached with the opportunity to become a producer on the show. She jumped on it as she saw this as a way to help veterans.

“One thing that I think doesn’t leave a servicemember after they get out of the military is wanting to continue on serving in some way and being a part of something that is still much bigger than yourself,” Merchant said.

After Action helps people understand what veterans go through in and out of service, one discussion at a time.

“I would like for people to realize that the military is not just another number, and they are people that we need to see, we need to hear, and we need to help,” Merchant said.

Other topics that will be explored this season include the challenges women veterans face and the experiences of LGBTQ+ servicemembers.

After Action premieres in May. It will also be streaming on PBS: Public Broadcasting Service and the PBS app.