Monday, February 1, 2016

LaRita Shelby "Operation Inclusion FMB"

LaRita Shelby is determined that AFRTS broadcasters will be recognized.  We've talked about this a few times over the years.  I see something starting...

MISSION:  "Operation Inclusion - F. M. B." 
Gentlemen, your mission if you choose to accept is to wage an all out effort to see that former AFRTS/AFN announcers and staff are not forgotten in celebrations commemorating AFRTS/AFN's 75th anniversary.  The mission is called Operation F. M. B. for the inclusion of Former Military Broadcasters.   
I (LaRita Shelby) would like to formulate a nationwide and official campaign to see that former military broadcasters who appeared on the AFRTS, AFN and all other affiliated radio and television networks are recognized by the Obama White House in honor of this landmark feat in history.  Additionally, I would like to note the culturally diverse talent that took the airwaves during this time, such as  women and minorities.  The mission of inclusion calls for more names to be added to the historic list of announcers- those that served from 1974 to the present time.     
This initiative will align present and former broadcasters (and staff) who were enlisted, as well as civilian contractors such as myself. 
Our recognition seeks to bring present and public attention to the contributions of these announcers for the following: 
  • Providing command information 
  • Raising moral among our troops  
  • Being global communications ambassadors 
Our efforts exposed American music and culture to many of the nations where we were heard, it helped international communities to learn English as a second language and served as an important part of our military history.  I seek to do this currently, because due to the nature of today's digital environment, we have made new connecting points to our fellow comrades who were and are yet on the airwaves for our American military forces.   

My personal story involves meeting a Desert Storm soldier who told me that he and his boys would skip dinner while in Kuwait to get back to tent B 12 to listen to my show on AFRTS.  Today I have heard from soldiers in Alaska, England, Germany and beyond who still have fond memories of AFRTS.  A champion in this cause already is Thom Whetston, who has done a brilliant job of chronicling many AFRTS broadcasters online via the AFRTS Blogspot at  Thom was an Army Broadcast Specialist from 1976-1985 in South Korea and the Republic of Panama.  Listen to Thom's AFRTS Archives demo here:   
We are all connecting through social media these days and we certainly want to be included as AFN is celebrated this year.   
So far, I believe the coalition to bring this into fruition to include Ret. Sgt. Major Larry Whitley, former Navy Broadcaster Ron Brewington and of course Thom Whetston. 
Proposed event: 
  • A live ceremony at AFN headquarters and press conference that includes not only the current staff of AFN but former broadcasters who were a part of AFRTS history
  • A call to action for media outlets to strongly consider hiring from the talent pool of former military broadcasters and civilian contractors. 
Recognized accomplishments should note: 
  • Providing command information 
  • Raising moral among our troops  
  • Being global communications ambassadors 
Action items: 
  • Establish a weekly conference call among the team 
  • Further coalesce the team to recognize former AFRTS broadcasters 
  • Designate team members to make sure that all further efforts are D.O.D. compliant 
  • Identify a Veterans affairs liaison and an official AFN liaison 
  • Designate a supervisor of logistics as we go forward  
  • Designate a social media coordinator to get the word out to as many broadcasters as possible  
Official AFN site today:  
Former AFRTS contractor (1990-97) LaRita Shelby  
Former Navy Broadcaster Ron Brewington 
Ret. Stg. Major Larry Whitley 
If you would like to contact any of those people that will be making this happen, please  let me know and your information will be forwarded.
Former Army Broadcaster Thom Whetston (612)356-2377  

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