Veterans TV Offers A Big Lesson For Living In These Times

Vet TV
Veteran’s TV Founder Bob Lefcovich (L) and CTO Peter Mason (Image credit: Veterans TV)

War in Ukraine. Hints of nuclear saber rattling. Inflation at the highest levels in 40 years. The list goes on and on. It all can seem a bit overwhelming at times—especially when thinking about how little influence one has on world events.

But there’s a simple way to push through those dark clouds. Improve the world around you. 

Case in point: Bob Lefcovich, founder, president and visionary behind Veterans TV, an up-and-coming non-profit dedicated to training veterans entering civilian life for careers in television and media production. 

Motivated by a chance encounter with a homeless vet in Oakland a few years back, Lefcovich, who has worked in the television industry for some 55 years, took matters into his own hands to find a way to equip veterans interested in television careers with the skills they would need to succeed.

Since launching Veterans TV in 2018, Lefcovich has secured some $3.5 million in technology—either donated or on permanent loan—from tech vendors like Grass Valley, Calrec, EVS, Canon, AJA Video, Blackmagic Design, Telestream, Shure, Sennheiser and many others as well as the non-profit’s crown jewel: the newly decommissioned Denali Gold 53-foot mobile production trailer from NEP.

The mobile studio outfitted with the donated equipment is beginning to serve as the training grounds for the veterans Lefcovich envisioned helping. Like so many others, Veterans TV wasn’t immune to the effects of the pandemic, so it’s only now that the trailer, which has taken up permanent residence in Grass Valley, Calif., is beginning to be used as a high-tech classroom.

With the help of Jim Ocon, a board member of the non-profit, who is traversing the country in the OConsortium’s own mobile studio, and others, Veterans TV is promoting its program and has secured commitments from Sinclair Broadcast Group, Gray Television, Hearst Television and others to interview veterans who successfully complete the training for possible positions at their companies.

Not everyone can tackle an undertaking of this magnitude. Maybe it’s something simple like being a Scout leader, volunteering at a food pantry, helping a child to read or any one of a thousand other ways to have a positive effect on the lives of people. 

Of course, none of these things will bring about peace in Ukraine or fix the economy. But each can improve one’s own local community and, in the process, provide a little personal solace when things might seem their darkest. 

Phil Kurz

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.