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“The First Amendment guarantees a free press. We in the media must make sure it is a fair one” (Allen H. Neuharth, founder, USA Today).

In October 2015, I began hosting burghTV – Pittsburgh’s Snapchat Story. The mission of burghTV is simple — to create stories of unique events, people and culture of “the burgh” through a collection of short video clips and pictures that can be found on our Snapchat channel. What is not simple includes the missions of countless military troops that work to preserve our country’s freedom and defend the defenseless.

Often times, the burghTV troupe can be found covering an amusing event in the city. However, we value showcasing more than just the entertaining side of the burgh. To be fair, we also want to show where our city needs assistance. Our team had not heard of the Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania until Board of Director Chairman, Kevin Buck, informed us of the organization. Like the sound of the reveille, Buck’s request acted as our wake up call to cover a typical day at VLP.

Last month, the burghTV team headed to the VLP office in Pittsburgh. One of our first video recordings caught an encounter with a veteran struggling with their ability to pay rent. Despite this particular veteran’s financial struggle, they inspired our team with their positive attitude and words of appreciation towards VLP.

With the assistance of VLP’s Director of Public Relations Robin Rectenwald, burghTV then visited individual offices of the VLP staff. We came to recognize how many people, including former military personnel, work to contribute to the VLP mission, whether as secretaries, supervisors, or housing/employment managers. Even Executive Director Michael Aaron Glass took some time to speak with us. Knowing most of our viewership falls into the millennial age bracket whom may be overwhelmed with college loan debt and establishing their careers, I informed Glass that our followers may not be able to financially assist VLP. Glass and the VLP team did not shrug at my comment. Instead, they informed our team and our followers of alternative ways to contribute such as donating professional business attire that can assist veterans completing job interviews or volunteering their time to visit and offer a listening ear to veterans.

After speaking directly with veterans and the VLP staff, I now emphasize to younger generations that when you hear a veteran humbly ask for help at VLP, you feel an immense patriotic desire to assist those that have bravely served you. As we concluded our Snapchat story on VLP, it became apparent that the mission of VLP is not a simple one either. Like a military troop, we can work together to support the veterans of Pittsburgh. As we explore the city of Pittsburgh, often coming across many homeless and unemployed veterans, burghTV will continue creating awareness of the VLP mission and give back to those that have bravely served us.

Exploring the burgh, one story at a time!

Michelle Flynn
Host of burghTV

For more information about burghTV, please follow us on Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Is there something you think we should feature on burghTV? Let us know at www.burghtv.com

See some photos from their visit and the Snapchat story they created!