In the years after each major conflict, our perceptions of the battles, and the men who fought them, are shaped by their depictions in popular culture.  For many Americans, our understanding of the invasion of Normandy was shaped in movie theaters, our images of Vietnam have a soundtrack by Creedence Clearwater Revival, and returning veterans struggling with PTSD look like Sylvester Stallone passing through town in a baggy green jacket.  The depictions of the military in television and movies have always been from secondhand accounts and Hollywood board rooms, but one Marine aims to change all of that.

VET TV, or Veteran Television, is a subscription service started by Donny O’Malley, a Marine infantry officer who was medically retired after serving two tours overseas.  O’Malley and his dedicated team of supporters are working to take control of the veteran narrative in popular culture by creating original television shows for Post 9/11 veterans that accurately depict their experiences in uniform.  Crude, obscene, and true to life, O’Malley says that the content his team produces is meant to make you laugh, but comes with an underlying theme of healing and comradery.

On VET TV’s Kickstarter page, O’Malley sums up how VET TV operates: “We make shows that accurately recreate the post 9/11 veteran experience and we do it in the most realistic, offensive, and hilarious way possible.”

I approached Donny O’Malley on Facebook to ask some questions about VET TV and the ongoing Kickstarter campaign.  Within minutes, he had responded and we were on the phone.  Although we’d never met before, O’Malley spoke as though we’d been friends for years; a testament to the way he feels about veterans and his strong connection to the culture he and his organization are trying to embody.