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November 8, 2023
This Veterans Day, broadcasters are bringing news, investigative reporting and unparalleled public service to support veterans' well-being and local events.
Veterans Day provides an important opportunity to shine a light on the issues veterans face and the resources available to them year-round.
TEGNA-owned WTOL 11 in Toledo, Ohio, spoke to the local Department of Veterans Affairs about the opening of a new health clinic that will improve quality of life for 9,000 local veterans. By removing logistical hurdles for veterans receiving care, the department also hopes to welcome more veterans into their system. "Veterans who use the VA medical center are at a lower risk for suicide. Not just for that reason, but that is one of the biggest benefits of getting veterans enrolled in the VA medical center," Nichole Coleman, executive director, Hancock County Veterans Services Office, told the station.
Scripps Local Media's ABC Action News in Tampa, Fla., highlighted the Veterans Outreach Court, an annual event designed to help low-income veterans resolve legal issues. "Veterans Outreach Court is not a handout, but a helping hand up. It’s a way we can help these men and women veterans get back on their feet by quickly resolving some of their legal issues. They certainly have earned this kind of support," Circuit Judge Daryl Manning, a U.S. Army veteran, said.
In September, Atlanta's WSB-TV, owned by Cox Media Group, investigated letters sent to local veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs warning the VA "may impose restrictions with your care" as a result of "inappropriate communication." The station spoke to U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough and the department's press secretary about the issue, as well as local veteran leaders and veterans who interrupted their care after receiving the letters.
Hubbard Broadcasting's WTOP in Washington, D.C., shared their promotional support for Select Auto Import's annual Veteran's Day Fundraising effort to benefit the Walter Reed Society. The program has raised nearly $400,000 for the society, which serves the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
CBS Morning News interviewed the founders of Operator Relief Fund, an organization to help elite military and intelligence operatives who fought in wars after 9/11 access specialized services to address traumatic brain injury, stress disorders and substance abuse, among other challenges. "The rate of suicide amongst all veterans, but shadow warriors in particular, is obscenely high," said David Fancher, founder and nonprofit CEO. "We Americans owe these shadow warrior families. We need to get in front of this."
As our communities come together to celebrate local veterans during this holiday, broadcasters are there to promote events and share these uplifting stories.
NBC owned-and-operated NBC 7 and Telemundo 20 in San Francisco will promote and livestream the city's Salute to Service Festival and the Veterans Day Parade, inviting local veterans, families and citizens to "join us in honoring those who served."
Nexstar Media Group's NBC 4 in Columbus, Ohio, covered the local Veterans Day parade. "I’m proud to salute my fellow veterans, but really, this is also about the next generation," Secretary of Ohio State Frank LaRose told NBC 4. "I’ve seen hundreds of kids along the side of the route waving their flags. I saw a couple young people trying to do their best salute, and it's about passing that sense of patriotism on to the next generation."
As local businesses provide special gifts for veterans during the holiday, local media get the word out. Gray Television's News 10 in Lansing, Mich., gathered a list of restaurants offering free meals to veterans for Veterans Day. iHeartMedia's WBZ Radio in Boston shared an alert from the local Steamship Authority about free ferry rides for veterans.
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