In 2016, KOOP had a program called Reflections of Community Outreach (ROCO). But one community not yet “reached” was the Central Texas veterans’ community, about 60,000 strong in Austin/Travis County. The call went out to radio station volunteers for veterans who might be able and willing to host a show. Turned out there were only two vets at KOOP at the time and one already had a music show. I was the other vet (former US Army SP4), and with a background in both commercial and military broadcast journalism, I agreed to produce a news / public affairs show for and about veterans … Boots On The Air.
After almost five years and more than 50 shows, plus a Texas Veterans Commission award, Boots still airs on the second Monday of every month, as part of the ROCO program rotation. My co-hosts are former US Army first sergeant Perry Jefferies and KOOP’s Greg Ciotti. We report and discuss veterans’ news and conduct conversations with government and veterans’ service organization folks, and other people involved in helping promote veterans’ well-being. Recent news stories have included …
- VA Covid Statistics for 2020
- New Opportunities for Military Spouse Employment
- Texas Veterans Average Salary (it’s $71,363 a year)
- New Crisis Line Expected to Prevent Veterans’ Suicides
- Blue Water Sailors May Have Easier Time Getting Vets’ Benefits
Guests have included …
Leo Shane, Deputy Editor of Military Times
Dr. Val Rosen, Psychiatrist at Dell Seton Medical Center and PTSD expert
Besa Pinchotti, Director of Advancement at National Military Family Association
Tim Gasaway, Attorney at Texas Legal Services, specialist in military and veterans’ matters
Jane Olien, Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs Austin Center
The Boots On The Air crew are delighted and honored to include vets beyond Central Texas among our audience, with on-line listeners in California, Florida, and overseas. If you are a US veteran, or a vet’s relative or friend, we invite and encourage “y’all” to check out Boots On The Air. Next broadcast is Monday, February 8 at 1:30pm (1330 hrs) US central time / GMT -6. For now, company … dismissed!
– Michael A. Brown