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VA, ABC Radio Networks Partner on Outreach to Veterans

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2005 – The Department of Veterans Affairs and ABC Radio Networks have partnered on a program to enhance VA's outreach to America's nearly 25 million veterans, officials announced Sept. 29.

The program will include a public-service campaign, a special global broadcast saluting veterans, and participation in key VA events.

ABC Radio Networks and "American Country Countdown with Bob Kingsley" will air a series of public-service announcements detailing benefits available to veterans.

Also, on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, "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 and Dunn, and Trisha Yearwood, among many others. It also includes information on veterans benefits, and interview segments with Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson.

"As part of VA's 75th anniversary, we are taking our message to the airwaves," Nicholson said. "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.

"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," John McConnell, senior vice president of programming for ABC Radio Networks, said. "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," Kingsley said. "Country music is one of the most effective ways to reach our veterans and servicemen and women. I am honored to be a part of VA's efforts to get the word out to veterans."

The agreement announced by Nicholson and ABC Radio representatives enables VA to work with private industry, in addition to its other outreach activities, to inform veterans of their entitlements.

(From a Department of Veterans Affairs news release.)

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