There are now two television shows dedicated to military homecomings. The Lifetime Channel just closed out its first season of ‘Coming Home’ and The Learning Channel debuted ‘Surprise Homecoming’ in July.
‘Coming Home’ is hosted by Matt Rogers, who was on season three of ‘American Idol’ and sings the theme song along with Bryon Bos. He was hands-on in helping arrange homecoming surprises for military families. Some of these reunions took place at the time the entire unit redeployed. ‘Coming Home’ also honored the fallen during their segments.
What do the military branches think? On the Lifetime website it states: “This project is the only homecoming-themed series to have gained the full support of all four branches of the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard.” Not sure if they’ve had time to do the same for ‘Surprise Homecoming’ since it’s new. The host of this show is Billy Ray Cyrus, singer and actor. They make sure to inform the viewers that this show’s focus is on the service member surprising their deserving family at home. As of yet, there hasn’t been the reunions within the unit like on ‘Coming Home’. Billy is more of a narrator throughout the show until he appears in the final surprise of each show.
Since the airing of ‘Coming Home’ began, I’ve read and heard strong reactions about it from within the military spouse community:
It’s about time civilians see what we go through.
It makes me cry.
Can’t watch during deployment.
I want no television cameras at our reunion.
That’s exploiting military families.
I hate that show.
Would our family do it? I honestly don’t know. I do hope the viewing audience with no military connections are learning more about our families through these shows.
Would you want (or have you had) your homecoming filmed for a television show?