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The Way We Get By

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Encore Broadcast Date: August 3, 2010

PBS Premiere: November 11, 2009


On call 24 hours a day for the past five years, a group of senior citizens has made history by greeting over 900,000 American troops at a tiny airport in Bangor, Maine. The Emmy-nominated film, The Way We Get By, is an intimate look at three of these greeters as they confront the universal losses that come with aging and rediscover their reason for living. Bill Knight, Jerry Mundy and Joan Gaudet find the strength to overcome their personal battles and transform their lives through service. This inspirational and surprising story shatters the stereotypes of today's senior citizens as the greeters redefine the meaning of community. A co-production of Dungby Productions and ITVS in association with WGBH and Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

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TAGS: aging, maine, military, seniors, soldiers, volunteer

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Film Information

The Way We Get By (90 min.)

Premiere Date: November 11, 2009

Encore Broadcast Date: Aug. 3, 2010

Streaming Dates: Expired

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link | Embed

Filmmaker: Aron Gaudet Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Press Release | Critical Acclaim | Fact Sheet | Filmmaker Statement | Veterans Day Broadcast


Aron Gaudet
Aron Gaudet

It's really a personal story not a political one. That goes for the greeters themselves as well. They have different views on the war, but their main goal is to support the troops.”

— Aron Gaudet, Filmmaker


Film Update

Critical Acclaim

The Way We Get By is about three people, not about military or political combat. It 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. . . . The Way We Get By is as much art as it is documentary.”

— Dan Zak,
Washington Post

The Way We Get By is an Iraq War documentary, albeit in the loosest sense ... a lovely, uncondescending look at three lives enriched by kindness.”

— Eugene Novikov,

The dignity and integrity of these people will stir even the coldest heart.”

— Robyn Hillman-Harrigan,
The Huffington Post

[P]layed out against a backdrop of small acts of generosity and empathy, and small, fleeting dramas at Bangor's airport ... it's about the universal struggles of growing old.”

— Linda Matchan,
The Boston Globe

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Partner Sites

Regarding War promo graphic

The Way We Get By - Returning Home promo graphic


A Co-Presentation of

Logo: ITVS

With Support From

Logo: CPB