Recognizing the crossover appeal of the upcoming documentary Act of Honor, The History Channel and History Channel en Español will simulcast the program — and honor the hero at the heart of the tale with public-affairs efforts in two Cox Communications cable markets.
The hour-long documentary relates the history of the late Sgt. Rafael Peralta. It follows him from birth in Mexico through immigration to San Diego, Calif., and enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The 25-year-old officer was killed Nov. 15, 2004, in Iraq when he threw himself on a grenade to save the other members of his platoon.
Explaining the simulcast, The History Channel en Español director of programming Marlene Braga said: “This is not just a story of Latinos, but a national and international story. First and foremost, it's a deeply emotional story.”
The Peralta family has been “extraordinarily generous in providing access to all assets of our brand,” she added.
Cox Communications Northern Virginia will host a screening on April 18, hosted in partnership with the local Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The cable operator is also inviting other nonprofit organizations to participate in the screening. Cox will use the event to raise awareness for its “Paquete Latino” Hispanic tier.
The serviceman's mother, Rosa Peralta, will participate in a panel discussion, along with fellow Marines, Sgt. Nick Jones and Catcher Cuts the Rope and Lt. General Richard Natonski.
A second screening event is scheduled for San Diego, Peralta's hometown, by the Cox cable system there.
The History Channel has also publicized the documentary by reaching out to the American Legion, which is placing a piece on the documentary in the May edition of its magazine, mailed to 3 million veterans. The Marine Corps is also promoting the show: Its public-affairs office will send announcements to each base and hold screenings in military theaters, libraries and recreation centers. Channel executives note that 12.3% of the military branch's personnel are Hispanic.
History Channel en Español will also cross-promote the documentary with People en Español. The magazine will market the documentary on its Web site and the Spanish-language network's Internet site will return the favor for People en Español, with a consumer offer for free subscriptions.