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Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212

Date: February 27, 2013


By: Tyler Lopez

Patriotic EducationIn February of 2011, Bill Gebhart, C of O professor of communication arts, began documenting the success of College of the Ozarks Patriotic Education Travel Program. The program sends Veterans back to their original theatres of war and pairs them with students who gain a lasting perspective on patriotism, service and sacrifice. The documentary entitled “A Patriotic Education: To Remember. To Pass It On. And Never To Forget.,” provides an overview of the trip to the Philippines for the 70th anniversary of the Bataan Death March and the Holocaust Remembrance Tour, wherein students accompanied WWII veteran liberators and Holocaust survivors to concentration camps in Europe. In addition to providing facts, the film honors veterans of past and present and tells of the impact the veterans and their accounts had on the students. 

The documentary was produced completely in-house by Gebhart and student workers of the Mass Communications Department. The crew filmed throughout the course of the two trips and obtained almost 80 hours of footage, which was condensed down into the 50-minute final product. Senior Jonathan Wahl was in charge of managing progress made during the Philippines trip. He took still photographs, as well as video, and edited both. “Photographing a trip is a lot of work both on the trip and after due to editing,” said Wahl. “It was entirely worth it.” Dr. Bruce Gerlach, C of O professor of music, wrote the original score used in the documentary. 

Each person involved in the production process realized that the film was not for simple documentation, but an opportunity to look into the unique experience College of the Ozarks students are provided through the Patriotic Education Travel Program. “Hopefully, the documentary honors the veterans and survivors by telling the story through the eyes of the students and how the students are going to remember it,” said Gebhart. “My heart is that the veterans are honored by College of the Ozarks and by the documentary. They served me before they even knew me. I can’t even come close to comparing to how much they’ve done for me.”

The documentary is available to anyone interested in learning more about the Patriotic Education Travel Program. Individuals who would like to obtain a free copy, may request one by calling the College of the Ozarks Public Relations Department at (417) 690-2212.


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