Radio Program to Give Troops a Voice

By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2007 – Thanks to a Phoenix talk show host and troop-support group, Operation Homefront of Arizona, troops with Internet access will be able to hear what their comrades are saying.

Operation Homefront of Arizona’s parent organization, Operation Homefront, is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program connecting citizens and corporations with servicemembers and their families serving at home and abroad.

Mike Broomhead, host of the “Mike Broomhead Show” on News Talk KFYI in Phoenix, will dedicate one hour of his two-hour Sunday evening show to “Voice of the Troops.” The segment, which will debut July 15 at 7 p.m. PST, will begin as a once monthly feature.

“I hope this segment catches on very quickly with my listeners and becomes the most listened to segment on the radio,” Broomhead said. “Our troops deserve the time and attention of the citizens of America.”

Not only will the show air over radio waves, those with Internet access will be able to hear it on the station’s Web site,

“‘Voice of the Troops’ is so important to me because my brother (Army) Sgt. Thomas Broomhead was (killed in action) on May 27, 2003 in Fallujah,” Broomhead said. “After his sacrifice and hearing stories first hand from many soldiers who have sacrificed a great deal to serve their country, I think it only fitting to give them the platform to tell all of my listeners why they serve.

“I also want to give my listeners a chance to tell these brave men and women thank you!” he added. “There is a huge segment of this country who fully support these troops and I want our soldiers to hear from them.”

That was exactly what David Whitten, director of marketing and media relations for Operation Homefront of Arizona, was thinking when he approached his friend about doing the segment.

“We feel that there is not enough of this happening across the country,” said Whitten. “I think these personal stories are important to the American people.”

Whitten said the program will provide a way for servicemembers to share their stories from the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We will discuss topics that the people of this country need to know,” he said. “Everything from what our men and women serving in combat need from the citizens of this country (to) their personal stories, updates on progress in both military and diplomatic operations, and how we can help (troops) acclimate back to civilian life when they return.”

Whitten said the show already has several great stories lined up and is confident he won’t have a problem finding more.

“One of (those stories comes from) an Arizona Army sergeant by the name of Ryan Kenner,” Whitten said. “We will share his story of why he feels it’s necessary to sign up for this 3rd consecutive tour of duty without a break in between.”

Whitten also anticipates hosting Army Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV, commander of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center at Forth Leavenworth, Kan., as a future guest on ‘Voice of the Troops.’

Though the program will begin with a focus on Arizona servicemembers with ties to Arizona, and their families, once a month, Whitten sees it growing. He said he hopes to see it expand to perhaps twice a month before, hopefully, spinning off into its own program.

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