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October 6, 2014:
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Morning Show Helps Uncover Imposter Vets

7-22-13

The "Free Beer and Wings" syndicated Morning Show latched onto a local news story that garnered them national attention and a lot of goodwill with their listeners. The story involved the dramatic increase of panhandlers in the Grand Rapids area. And, panhandler's pretending they've been in the United States military. The show's producer "Joe G," hit the streets and called out Rudy, one of the men claiming to be a vet.

Joe had a sign of his own, along with a videotape. He tells Radio Ink, claiming to be a vet doesn't sit well with the community. "We decided to spread the word further. I joined Rudy on the corner the following morning with a large sign that read "Liar" with an arrow pointing in his direction." The panhandler called police who wound up giving Joe a junior deputy badge for what he did.

Joe says listeners backed him 100 per cent. "We got such an amazing response from listeners (including genuine vets, of course), that we decided to follow up on that day by holding a fundraiser on Rudy's corner the next day. I went out and "panhandled" for donations that we would then turn over to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. We ended up raising over a thousand dollars in three hours. That amount was matched by the three hosts on the show, making it a grand total of 2,180."

Gregg "Free Beer" Daniels tells Radio Ink there were thank you's all around for what the show did. "There have been a lot of thank you notes from people who have served themselves and for those who have lost loved ones.  We also got a number of thank you's from shelters from across the show network since we stressed that if you feel the need to give, don't enable alcoholics, but give to the local charities with trained professionals, buying power, and help a lot of people instead of just one." 

After throwing together a video and unleashing on the Web it didn't take long for a few sites like Reddit to latch onto it, followed up by news organizations like Huffington Post, to cover it in their own words.

See the video HERE
Read more about the "Free Beer and Wings" morning show HERE



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