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A new TV program being filmed at the College of Southern Maryland gives veterans a platform to speak.

The second episode of “Vet Talks” was filmed last week. Creator and host Mike Moses interviewed Charles County State’s Attorney Anthony B. Covington (D), Del. C.T. Wilson (D-Charles), an Army veteran who served in the Persian Gulf and Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Larry Abell, president of the Maryland Veterans Memorial Museum and a veteran of the Vietnam War.

“‘Vet Talks’ is really my heart and my dream,” Moses said.

Moses said he is a member of several groups that address veterans issues, but that they never hear from the veterans themselves. Moses was instrumental in founding the Charles County Minority Business Advocacy Council, which helps minority business owners receive county contracts.

Moses is also first vice president of the Charles County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and a member of the Charles County Disabled American Veterans DeMarr Chapter 36.

“Vet Talks” will “get down to the ears, hands and hearts of the veterans and families around me,” said Moses, who is a Vietnam veteran.

Moses said he has been surprised at the expressions of interest from the community since the show’s first filming, which received 200 hits on YouTube.

The plan is to film an episode every other week and for the program to air on local cable TV. Moses said he expects 20 episodes to be filmed.

A lot of people have approached Moses about being interviewed on the program, he said. Pastors of local churches have asked how they might help reach out to veterans in their congregations.

Future guests of the show, Moses said, will include U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th); Brian Hawkins, medical center director of the Washington, D.C., Veterans Administration Medical Center; veterans and their families; and women veterans who have been victims of assault.

Moses took courses at CSM to be certified to produce the show. He has the help of three volunteers from his courses to operate the cameras, and set up and handle lighting in the studio. CSM provides the use of the studio, and additional sponsorship is provided by Shasho Consulting.

“I’m always out to help my fellow veterans in any way possible,” said Harry Shasho, president of Shasho Consulting and a veteran of the Vietnam War. “‘Vet Talks’ is more close to home, and I think it will benefit the current vets.” Shasho added that his father is a veteran of World War II.

In addition to the TV program, Moses said that plans to create courses at CSM for veterans have been initiated by Ed Moroney.

“I think it’s awesome. I think it’s fantastic,” said Moroney, who will teach introduction to criminal justice and English composition for veterans in the fall. “I made the recommendation, and someone actually approved it.”

Moroney said that approval came within six months. A math course is expected to be added later.

Moroney, a veteran of the Vietnam and Second Gulf wars, also served as a Prince George’s County police officer for 27 years. He has been teaching at CSM for nine years and is adviser to the Veterans Club. The La Plata campus educates 240 veterans, Moroney said.

“The whole concept of these classes is to help these veterans assimilate into a college setting,” Moroney said. He added that he will teach the classes for veterans the same as he would for other college students, including using the same syllabuses.

Moroney said that he hopes his students who are veterans will come to him for support.

Moses, president of the college’s Veterans Club, said that there is a stark contrast between recent high school graduates starting college and young people who graduated from high school five years ago, recently got out of military service and are now attending college.

He gave an example of Westlake High School graduates. Graduates of the class of 2013 talk of memories of high school prom, while the 2008 graduates who have served overseas talk of kicking in doors and their war experiences. Moses said that post-traumatic stress disorder sinks in for veterans and they find it difficult to concentrate on school.

Moses said that a boot camp-like atmosphere in the classroom might encourage veterans to succeed in their courses.

“I really give the College of Southern Maryland a standing ovation,” Moses said.



To watch the show

“Vet Talks” will be shown on Charles County’s local public access stations, Verizon Channel 12 and Comcast Channel 99.

The current schedule: 7 p.m. Sundays, 10 a.m. Mondays, 8 p.m. Tuesdays, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays, 7 p.m. Fridays and 8 a.m. Saturdays.

rbarnabi@somdnews.com