image of a Iowa National guard service member kneeling as a Blackhawk helicopter over his head

Iowa's Military Stories Have a New Home

Nov 3, 2020

Are you a history teacher looking for a way to add Iowa stories to national events like the Vietnam War, World War II or even the Civil War? Iowa PBS has created a place where you can find the stories behind Iowa’s role in national and global conflicts, iowapbs.org/military.

From Iowa’s earliest days, Iowans stood up to support the rights and freedoms set forth in the Constitution of the United States. Iowans have served in every war from the Civil War to the War in Afghanistan. The 6th Iowa Cavalry was part of the Union Army during the Civil War just 15 years after Iowa became a state. The  Iowa 50th Infantry Regiment served their country proudly during the Spanish American War, and Iowans stepped up to serve for three years in the Forgotten War, Korea 1950 to 1953.

On our military site, you will find exceptional Iowa PBS documentaries that tell Iowa’s military stories like Iowa’s WWII Stories and Iowans Remember Vietnam as well as documentaries produced by our partners, like The Rock Island Civil War Prison: Andersonville of the North?

Iowa Profiles

Iowans served in all of our country’s major conflicts, from the Civil War to the Afghanistan War. Iowa PBS has pulled out a few brave Iowans to highlight in the Profiles section. Dorothy Elizabeth Koellner, U.S. Army nurse World War I; Caesar Smith, Military Advisor, U.S. Army, Vietnam War; and Sergeant J. Winkowski, Squad Leader, Iowa Army National Guard, War in Afghanistan to name a few.

Classroom Supports

You can also find many of Iowa PBS’s military documentaries on PBS LearningMedia as collections. Iowa PBS military documentaries have been segmented into smaller, instructional clips which allow for easy adaption into existing lessons and instructional activities.

Iowa Soldiers Remember Afghanistan
From helping soldiers injured during the war to helping Afghanistan civilians learn new farming practices, Iowa Army National Guard members played a key role in the War in Afghanistan. Learn more about the role Iowans played in Afghanistan during the War on Terror.

Iowans Remember Vietnam
In this PBS LearningMedia collection from Iowa PBS, you will find instructional clips from the Iowans Remember Vietnam documentary as well as clips from Iowa Experience: Vietnam, a panel discussion with Vietnam veterans U.S. Marines Captain Dan Gannon and U.S. Army Military Advisor Caesar Smith, as well as Bao Cam Lo and Hien Van Le of the South Vietnamese Army.

Iowa’s WWII Stories
From the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, to the celebration in Times Square in New York City, New York on May 8, 1945, the Iowa’s WWII Stories collection of instructional clips created from the documentary gives students an Iowan perspective on campaigns and battles that took place during World War II.

Within each collection in PBS LearningMedia, Iowa PBS has added discussion questions, learning activities and links to other PBS LearningMedia collections that will help support your students’ learning.

Telling Iowa’s stories is a cornerstone of Iowa PBS and Iowa’s military stories are an important part. Visit iowapbs.org/military often to learn more about the men and women from Iowa behind the campaigns and battles that have come to be known as national and global conflicts.