April 23, 2014 – Jamie Lange of Western Illinois University and WQPT explained the Quad Cities Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), Embracing Our Military initiative highlights the Quad Cities community-wide commitment to care for and support service members, veterans, Department of Defense civilians, defense contractors, and their families.  The essential contributions the military and veteran population make toward the prosperity of our Quad Cities region will be recognized.

The initiative runs from November 2013 to December 2015 and includes working cooperatively with the Rock Island Arsenal and local service members, veterans, and their families to connect them to local programs and services.

The anticipated outcomes include raising the Quad Cities' rank as a top 50 military community, increasing the number of veterans connecting with local resources, raising the visibility of the military community at the Rock Island Arsenal in the greater Quad Cities area, and reducing the unemployment rate for Quad Cities veterans.

The initiative will be implemented through on-air programming, events, and collaborations with like-minded organizations.  A task force is being formed to implement the initiative with confirmed representatives of AUSA, Jason’s Box, Pendulum Resources, Mandus Group, JTM Concepts, military spouses, U.S. Coast Guard, chief elected officials, and Rivermont Collegiate.

Signature events include:

·        When Parents Deploy Screening in partnership with USO of IL Discovery Kids Day

·        Coming Back with Wes Moore Screening

·        Veteran and Military Spouse Symposium in partnership with the Dispatch and IL QCRG

Promoting existing resources for military families and building community support for military families is the essence of the initiative.  Bi-State Regional Commission issued a resolution in support of the initiative at its April 23, 2014 meeting.