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