Today is Veterans Day, the one day out of the year that is specifically designated as a time to honor those who serve our country. But Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy, Joan Gaudet and the rest of the Maine Troop Greeters honor veterans and military members throughout the year by greeting them at a tiny airport in Bangor, Maine. In fact, they’ve greeted over 900,000 soldiers to date! These senior citizens have take it upon themselves to greet every troop plane arriving or departing Bangor, which is the last and first piece of U.S. soil many GIs will see before and after their deployments.

The Way We Get By, which tells the stories of Bill, Jerry and Joan, airs tonight on PBS at 9 PM (Check your local listings).

Watch a trailer of The Way We Get By:

The Washington Post says that the film “strikes a deep, rich vein of emotion that flows through America’s elderly, and it should be required viewing for those who think they know exactly what America is about.” Film Threat gives the film four stars and says that “‘The Way We Get By‘ manages to be touching, honest, and thought-provoking at the same time.” In fact, the raves for the film have piled up — you can read through many of them on the filmmakers’ website.

Speaking of the filmmakers, they actually have quite a story of their own! Director Aron Gaudet and producer Gita Pullapilly, who met in 2004, began dating before they started working on The Way We Get By, collaborated on the film together, and got engaged in December of 2007. The two just got hitched a few weeks ago. You can read about their courtship and wedding in a recent New York Times Vows column.

So don’t forget to pile onto the couch — or set your DVRs — for tonight’s broadcast of The Way We Get By. Afterwards, check out POV’s website for the film, where you can rate and comment on the film, watch an interview with Aron and Gita, read stories of those who have met the Maine Troop Greeter and a lot more! Starting tomorrow, November 12th, the film will be streaming in its entirety online for one month.

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Former POVer Ruiyan Xu worked on developing and producing materials for POV's website. Before coming to POV, she worked in the Interactive and Broadband department at Channel Thirteen/WNET. Ruiyan was born in Shanghai and graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Modern Culture and Media.