MTV's Choose or Lose campaign, which strives to engage, inform and empower young voters on the political issues that matter to them most, has teamed up with CNN for a cross-network television event. The special will include a concert designed to mobilize support for our country's newest generation of young veterans, along with news programming on both MTV and CNN that will highlight young veterans' stories of triumph and the issues facing them after they've returned from battle.
"A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE" — set to be hosted by MTV News correspondent Sway — will be taped in New York on October 23 and air on MTV on October 24. The show's goal is to raise awareness about veterans' causes, including employment, health care, homelessness and education. The concert will feature live performances from 50 Cent50 Cent, LudacrisLudacris and Saving AbelSaving Abel, as well as taped performances from Kanye WestKanye West, Kid RockKid Rock, Angels & AirwavesAngels & Airwaves, Fall Out BoyFall Out Boy, JuanesJuanes, NellyNelly and Taylor SwiftTaylor Swift. Others expected to make appearances during "A Night for Vets" include BeyoncéBeyoncé, Will FerrellWill Ferrell, CommonCommon, Fat JoeFat Joe, Seth GreenSeth Green, Jennifer HudsonJennifer Hudson, John LegendJohn Legend and Wyclef JeanWyclef Jean.
In addition, MTV announced Tuesday (October 14) the launch of the Bill of Rights for American Veterans (or BRAVE), a petition created in partnership with a group of top, nonpartisan veterans' organizations calling on elected officials to support vets' issues and swiftly enact positive legislative changes. LocksleyLocksley — who will be out on the road as part of MTV's Choose or Lose Tour through November 3 in Vienna, Virginia — are among the supporters of BRAVE. According to the band's guitarist, Kai Kennedy, the Brooklyn-based quartet are encouraging their fans to get behind the petition as well.
"Taking care of our soldiers seems like such a no-brainer, and we will have a petition at each show that we're imploring people to sign," he said, before explaining the petition in more detail. "[BRAVE] highlights five different points that we think veterans that are returning from whatever conflict they're involved with richly deserve."
"It doesn't matter where you stand on the war — we can all agree that young veterans serving our country must receive the benefits they've earned for their sacrifices," said MTV President Van Toffler. "By raising awareness through 'A Night for Vets: An MTV Concert for the BRAVE,' and by launching the BRAVE petition, we aim to elevate these issues and ensure they're a top priority for our government officials."
On October 25 and 26, CNN will air "Anderson Cooper 360: Back From the Battle," which will highlight the challenges facing young vets returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. Cooper will be reporting on some of the families left behind to deal with the stress of wartime deployment, as well as the mixed emotions of pride, fear and even detachment they sometimes grapple with. Cooper will also report on Homes for Our Troops, a small, nonprofit organization that started when builder John Gonsalves realized many soldiers were returning with disabilities but no suitable place to live. Cooper will be there as soldiers enter their new homes for the first time. The CNN special will also include footage, interviews and other highlights from the October 23 concert.
"We are honored to help shine a light on the issues facing young veterans and to bring these veterans' stories to both the CNN and MTV audiences," said Jon Klein, president of CNN in the U.S.
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