An effort to create a cable television channel dedicated exclusively to veterans programming is gaining momentum in the Illinois Legislature.
Both the House and Senate have passed a resolution urging the Cable Television and Communications Association of Illinois to look into the possibility of dedicating an unused cable channel to veterans programming.
Illinois state Sen. Mike Jacobs of Moline said he is writing a bill that would specify what could be done to facilitate veterans programming, including funding. Among those pushing for the creation is Mark Sides, spokesman for the American Legion Department of Illinois.
Sides spoke before the Illinois Legislature recently, explaining that the country loses 18 veterans every day to suicide, more than are lost in combat. Sides focused on veterans who come home from deployments to a variety of problems, including a lack of a job opportunities and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Sides said particularly those with PTSD are often introverted and stay at home. He noted that without work, these veterans usually watch lots of television.
The veterans channel could provide the forum needed to let veterans know where to find help. The possibility of having state-funded colleges use the channel to promote the use of the GI Bill adds further opportunity to veterans seeking employment help.
The channel aims to air veterans-related programming 24 hours a day, seven days a week, raising awareness about the problems veterans and their families face and informing veterans about resources available to help them.
Money will ultimately be the biggest factor when it comes to the channel’s creation. Government funding and donations from private sponsors would be required to launch and maintain the project.
Photo thanks to apdk under creative commons license on Flickr.