"You served our country. You wore the uniform."
That's how a new statewide television ad from the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency begins, according to UPMatters.com. It is a simple message, but one that the agency hopes the state's more than 660,000 veterans take to heart as part of an effort to inform them of all options available.
According to WLNS 6, the ads have appeared on billboards and radio in addition to TV. They all direct servicemembers toward information regarding the veterans benefits and assistance programs available to them. Personnel – many of them with time in the armed forces – are on call all day, every day to answer any questions veterans may have.
The TV ad is especially effective. It features four veterans entering their life after service, preparing for job interviews, exercising and relaxing in retirement. Each of these is representative of education, employment, health care and quality of life – pillars crucial to the MVAA's mission.
"Assistance is just a phone call away," Jeff Barnes, MVAA director, told UPMatters.com. "This TV ad is a reflection of how our agency works to help veterans in all walks of life, whether they took off the uniform six months or 60 years ago."
"As an agency, we have been serving veterans around the clock for nearly three years, but we still hear people say they don't know about us or the services we provide," Barnes continued. "When you see the TV ad or a billboard on the highway, share it with your dad, your niece or your coworker who's a veteran. We want to use this ad campaign as a conversation starter about their service to our country and how MVAA can connect them with the benefit they've earned."