Review: Tattooed Under Fire

Tattooed Under Fire airs Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 9 p.m. on KLRU

“Tattooed Under Fire” is a documentary examining the lives of soldiers at Ft. Hood Army Post. Their lives are documented through the lens of a tattoo shop where soldiers get tattoos prior to deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan. Soldiers share their fear and bravado in anticipation and their shock, anger and sorrow upon their return.

Seen through the eyes of a now 60 year old Vietnam era vet, who signed out of the Army at Fort Hood, Texas, the 25th of January, 1972, Tattoos Under Fire was more than poignant … it was heartwarming and chilling at the same time.

The metamorphosis of the soul that is war is both horrifying and mesmerizing to watch.  Similarly, the ripple effect on relationships – positive and negative – is like watching an approaching storm … one can take cover, but the storm will leave its mark.

In the end, for me, 30+ years on, Tattooed Under Fire reminded me of an old adage: The more things change, the more they remain the same.

— Bill Talbott

About the Reviewer: Bill Talbott is a psychologist with more than 25 years experience in forensics and crisis adult mental health. He is currently a free-lance research and training consultant.

Fogerty: Live By Request

Rock legend John Fogerty will star on the Emmy Award-winning live music series, Live By Request at 8 p.m. Saturday. Fogerty will perform music requested by the show’s viewers. It is the only television program where viewers actually create the artist’s set list and have the chance to personally talk to their music idol.

Highlights 11/8 to 11/14

More than 40 years after the disappearance of a 13-year-old girl, the hunt for the killer resurfaces on Masterpiece Contemporary at 8 p.m. Sunday when high-profile TV journalist, Catherine Heathcote begins to unravel the mystery

Bill Cosby: The Mark Twain Prize honors Bill Cosby with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Sunday at 9 p.m. A notable list of entertainers honor Cosby, a man who has dominated the field of comedy for 40 years.

2nd Half of Life takes on second careers

As your PBS station, it is KLRU’s mission to bring people together around important issues. KLRU does this through various educational and outreach initiatives. This fall, KLRU will present 2nd Half of Life, a six-part series airing weekly on Thursday nights at 8 p.m. beginning October 8 and running til November 12. Created for one of the best-educated, healthiest, and most privileged generations in American history — the Boomers — the series aims to help people reinvent life after the age of 50. Additional resources at KLRU’s 2nd Half of Life Web site at

2nd Half of Life is made possible thanks to our sponsor Seton Family of Hospitals and in cooperation with the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.

This week:
Back-to-back episodes of Life (Part 2) at 8 p.m.

Life (Part 2) – “Encore Careers”
Playing gold all day might sound like a good idea…until you actually try it. That’s why Baby Boomers are busy re-inventing retirement with rewarding “encore careers.” Chris Farrell, Richard Leider (The Power of Purpose: Creating Meaning in Your Life and Work) and J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich, explain how increasing numbers of Americans are finding fulfilling work later in life.
Life (Part 2) – “Should I Stay or Should I Go”
If you decide to retire — or turn to part-time work — should you “stay or go”… that is, should you move or stay in the community where you’ve lived your whole life? Dr. Robert Kane (It Shouldn’t Be This Way: The Failure of Long-Term Care,) David Savageau (Retirement Places Rated: What You Need to Know to Plan the Retirement You Deserve) and Temple University professor Nancy Henkin discuss how Baby Boomers are finding new ways — and places — to retire.

KLRU Community Screenings: Power Paths 11/17

KLRU’s Community Screenings presents the Independent Lens documentary “Power Paths” and a panel discussion on energy issues on Tuesday, November 17, at 7 pm. RSVP here

It’s time to cut our dependence on fossil fuel and pursue renewable energy. But how can it be done? Native American tribes turn to solar and wind sources to provide clean sustainable energy for cities across the West. Their traditional values toward conservation and the earth offer real solutions to America’s energy crisis. A panel discussion on energy issues will immediately follow this screening.

The free screening starts at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m. A panel discussion and audience Q&A will immediately follow the screening. RSVP for the event here

KLRU Community Screenings made possible with support from Austin Community College

Three-part Nova explores human ancestors

NOVA  Becoming Human: Unearthing Our Earliest Ancestors
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 3, 2009 (Part 1)
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, 2009 (Part 2)
7 p.m. Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (Part 3)

NOVA presents a comprehensive three-part, three-hour special — investigating explosive new discoveries that are transforming the picture of how we became human. The first program explores fresh clues about our earliest ancestors in Africa, including the stunningly complete fossil nicknamed “Lucy’s Child.” These three-million-year-old bones from Ethiopia reveal humanity’s oldest and most telltale trait — upright walking, rather than a big brain. The second program tackles the mysteries of how our ancestors managed to survive in a savannah teeming with vicious predators, and when and why we first left our African cradle to colonize every corner of the earth. In the final program, NOVA probes a wave of dramatic new evidence, based partly on cutting-edge DNA analysis, that reveals new insights into how we became today’s creative and “behaviorally modern” humans and what really happened to the enigmatic Neanderthals who faded into extinction. Shot “in the trenches” as discoveries were unearthed throughout Africa and Europe, each hour of “Becoming Human” unfolds with a forensic investigation into the life and death of a specific hominid ancestor, such as Lucy’s Child. Dry bones spring back to vivid life with stunning animation, the product of a unique NOVA collaboration between

Review: Tattooed Under Fire

When I first started to watch clips of Tattooed under Fire by Nancy Schiesari, I started to see an outline of a unique story that needed to be brought to public television.  I saw young men and women just out of high school who were preparing to go to war in Iraq as they as visited a local tattoo parlor near their base.  There they revealed their American pride, their concerns and their fears about going over to fight.  Then the film provides more revelations upon their return from Iraq.  Each soldier gives their own personal perspective giving us the sense of the human and cultural cost of war.  Tattooed under Fire gives a perspective and an experience that very few of us will ever experience in our lifetime.