VA, ABC Radio Networks Partner on Outreach to Veterans

Sep 29, 2005, 01:00 ET from U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    WASHINGTON, Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials of the Department of
 Veterans Affairs (VA) and ABC Radio Networks today announced a partnership
 designed to enhance VA's outreach to America's nearly 25 million veterans
 through a public service campaign, a special global broadcast saluting
 veterans and participation in key VA events.
     Under the relationship, ABC Radio Networks and American Country Countdown
 with Bob Kingsley will air a series of public service announcements detailing
 benefits available to veterans.
     In addition, on November 11, 2005, "Bob Kingsley Salutes America's
 Veterans" will be broadcast on the ABC Radio Networks.  The program will
 feature interviews with and historical pieces narrated by some of country
 music's biggest names, including Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins, Brooks
 & Dunn and Trisha Yearwood, among many others.  It also includes information
 on veterans' benefits, and interview segments with the Honorable R. James
 Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs.
     "As part of VA's 75th anniversary, we are taking our message to the
 airwaves," said Nicholson.  "Radio plays a key role in our outreach to
 veterans, and I'm delighted that ABC Radio Networks and Bob Kingsley, our
 honorary chairmen for this campaign, have joined forces with VA in our efforts
 to better inform veterans of their entitlements."
     Nicholson also announced that Kingsley will play a key role in the
 Department's Veterans Day observance in November.  "I am pleased that Bob
 Kingsley will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the 2005 Veterans Day
 commemoration at Arlington National Cemetery on November 11, 2005."
     "ABC Radio Networks is proud to support the Department of Veterans Affairs
 in its ongoing effort to support the men and women of our armed forces," said
 John McConnell, Senior Vice President of Programming, ABC Radio Networks.  "We
 are committed to serving America's veterans through this program with VA."
     "Having served as a broadcaster in the U.S. Air Force with American Forces
 Radio, it is my privilege to be working with VA and ABC Radio Networks as part
 of this program," said Bob Kingsley, host and producer of American Country
 Countdown.  "Country music is one of the most effective ways to reach our
 veterans and service men and women.  I am honored to be a part of VA's efforts
 to get the word out to veterans."
     The agreement announced today by Nicholson and ABC Radio representatives
 enables VA to work with private industry, in addition to its other outreach
 activities, to inform veterans of the entitlements they have earned as
 mandated by Congress.
     As part of the campaign, VA has also created The Secretary's Award for
 Outstanding Service to American Veterans.  The award will be presented in
 early 2006.  Details will be announced in late 2005 or early 2006.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs