Welcome to AmericanVETnews, a companion blog to the AmericanVETradio internet station. The upfront disclaimer is that I started this blog as part of my graduate coursework. It’s May 2012 and I am a Master of Arts candidate at Johns Hopkins University working on a degree in Communications in Contemporary Society. This blog fulfills part of the requirements for my class in Using Social and Digital Media. But why is this blog called AmericanVETnews and what is AmericanVETradio?

For this course, we were asked to pick a client that we wanted to develop a Social Media Plan for. Since we were going to be working on this for 13 weeks, the instructors suggested we pick a client we were passionate about. I chose AmericanVETradio for a number of reasons. I’m a Veteran. I served 24 years in the Army as both an Active Duty Soldier and as a Reservist. I spent my early career as a broadcaster mainly hosting radio shows, and doing TV news and post production while I was stationed in Europe; Washington, DC; the Republic of Korea, and Panama. As I got promoted, I moved into managerial roles that included leadership positions in print and public affairs offices. One of my last military positions was as the Educational Outreach Coordinator for the Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Committee. I learned so much about the patriotism, dedication, and commitment of this wonderful group of Veterans that I felt privileged to try to give them the recognition they deserved. I wanted to continue to help Veterans of all ages whenever I could.

In 2007, when I became a Veteran myself, I realized how challenging it could be to try to understand and partake of the benefits I was entitled to. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has more challenges than I want to get into here in this blog post. Suffice it to say that it can be incredibly difficult to navigate the VA system at times, even if it’s just information that you seek. If you have ever wandered around the VA website, you probably understand.

Clark Taylor also understands the information challenges Veterans have because he’s a Vietnam War Veteran and retired federal government employee. He started Soldiers Radio and Television (SRTV) in the early 1980s as a broadcast dissemination tool for the Army. His dedication to developing SRTV and mentoring the Soldiers who worked there earned him induction into the Army Public Affairs Hall of Fame in 2009. This year, Clark is focusing his expertise on building an internet radio station just for Veterans. At this writing, the station is in its infancy. I would love to help Clark make it as successful as SRTV. Another disclaimer–I am one of Clark’s former SRTV Soldiers and success stories. I hope this blog helps me show him how much I appreciate his dedication to me when I was a young Soldier and allows me to help my fellow Veterans get the information they need.

Sergeant Major Kim Danek participating in a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall in 2006.
Clark Taylor as a young Infantry Soldier in Vietnam.

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