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Military Connection: Bob Woodruff Foundation Presents Stand Up for Heroes: By Debbie Gregory

stand-up-for-hereos-2014The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival will once again be at the Stand Up for Heroes event.

Stand Up for Heroes kicks off the New York Comedy Festival with an electrifying night of comedy and entertainment, all the while honoring the sacrifice of service members, Veterans and military families.

Among the stars headlining Stand Up for Heroes 2014 will be Louis C.K., Bruce Springsteen, John Mulaney, John Oliver, Brian Williams and other surprise guests.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at the Theater, Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from Stand Up for Heroes go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help wounded Veterans and their families succeed in all aspects of their lives. This will be the eighth year that the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival have joined forces to offer Stand Up for Heroes. To date, the event has raised more than $21 million for their cause.

“Lee and I are so humbled by the generous contributions of the talent, sponsors, and variety of organizations in honor of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News Journalist and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Woodruff continued, “Each year the show gets bigger and better, demonstrating the unwavering support of all those involved.”

Speaking for both he and his wife, Woodruff said, “We, as well as the show’s talented performers, want to show our appreciation for and give back to the brave men and women who served our country and have come home injured. We are inspired and moved by the grand presence of all these groups on such an incredible night for us to commend and remember our heroes.”

Tickets for Stand Up for Heroes 2014 are available for purchase through bobwoodrufffoundation.org, or www.nycomedyfestival.com. Corporate sponsor packages and VIP benefit packages can be purchased by emailing jasmin.guerra@bobwoodrufffoundation.org.

This year’s event will be brought to you by Veterans on Wall Street, as well as the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation supported by founding sponsor GFI Group, Inc.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation:

The Bob Woodruff Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a grassroots reach, dedicated to ensuring injured service members and their families are thriving long after they return home.  The foundation diligently navigates the labyrinth of more than 40,000 programs and organizations that provide service to Veterans. As of 2014, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $22 million in public education and solutions, reaching more than two million service members, Veterans and their families. The foundation was co-founded in 2006 by award-winning news anchor Bob Woodruff and his family. Woodruff was injured while covering the war in Iraq, which inspired him and his family to help make sure the nation’s heroes have access to the highest level of support and resources, for as long as they need it. For more information about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, please visit www.bobwoodrufffoundation.org

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Stand Up for Heroes Event: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Study Finds Holes in Treatment: By Debbie Gregory

female-veteranWith the number of women separating from the military, and the increasing number of women joining the ranks, there is a growing concern that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and other government agencies are not doing enough to aid them and their distinctive needs. A report recently released by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) details areas where policies are lacking in their support of female Veterans.

On Wednesday, September 24, 2014, the DAV released their report, Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home. The report identifies serious gender gaps in nearly every government program intended to serve Veterans, including health care, finance, job training, housing, social issues and combating sexual assault.

The DAV report found multiple inadequacies in the way that the VA cares for female Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. The report blamed most of the shortcomings on a lack of regard for the separate needs of female Veterans. The study points out that these programs focus on male Veterans, who make up nearly 90% of the Veteran population, as well as current military personnel.

The VA healthcare system treated approximately 390,000 female Veterans last year at various facilities. While this number has more than doubled since September 11, 2001, it is still far lower than the estimated 5.3 million male Veterans who were treated by the VA.

Currently, one in four VA hospitals do not have a full time gynecologist on staff. Out of 920 community-based clinics that serve Veterans in rural areas 140 do not have a designated women’s health provider. According to the report, one in five female Veterans was subjected to delayed treatment or went without treatment.

With the number of women in the military increasing, the number of female Veterans is rapidly rising as well. In fact, women are the fastest growing population of Veterans by percentages, according to the VA. If the VA and the federal government do not focus on plans to care specifically for women and their needs, then they will be failing all women in uniform.

While many officials and members of the public will attempt to justify the discrepancies in treatment for female Veterans by saying that the agencies are just providing for the greater good, it is an unacceptable defense. Medical treatment cannot be a “one size fits most” mentality. Every Veteran deserves individualized care, regardless of their gender, ethnicity or ailment.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Study Finds Holes in Treatment: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Military Family Survey Results: By Debbie Gregory

Blue starThe fifth annual Military Family Lifestyle Survey was conducted by Blue Star Families, a non-profit organization that is run for military families by military families. For their 2014 survey, the organization polled 6,270 individual members of military families, from all branches of service. The results show a growing concern about financial stability, and uncertainty about the future among military families.

  • 60% of those polled said that their financial situation caused them “some stress” or a “great deal of stress.”
  • 49% said that financial issues were a top stressor during their time in the military.
  • 40% polled said that the spouse of the service member was unemployed.
  • 38% said that they had uncertainty about their military lives.
  • 36% said that their costs for renting were higher than their BAH.
  • 34% were uncertain about the changes and potential changes to their family’s benefits.

These numbers show the amount of stress that many military families face, even with the benefits provided. Perhaps the government or the service branches could make efforts to utilize this information to improve, or at least reevaluate, how they provide and educate their personnel.

Other noteworthy data related to deployments and permanent changes of station:

  • 88% of the people surveyed said that their service member deployed between one and five times since September 11, 2001.
  • 47% said that their service member was deployed between 13 and 36 months in total.
  • 41% said that they were separated from their service member for 13-36 months for training, temporary duty and other assignments that were not deployments.
  • 69% said that their family has moved between one and six times within the U.S.
  • 42% said that their family has moved outside of the U.S.

This data shows just how much time service members are separated from their families. Of course, this is a well-known sacrifice that all service members make. But seeing the actual numbers is eye-opening for lawmakers and civilians alike

With the data provided by the Military Family Lifestyle Survey, government agencies, including the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, can better understand the struggles that military families face.

The survey can be viewed by visiting: http://bluestarfam.org/tags/fifth-annual-military-family-lifestyle-survey.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Military Family Survey Results: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: F-22s Finally See Action: By Debbie Gregory

F22 RaptorOn September 22, 2014, the U.S. led airstrikes against Islamic State Forces in Syria dominated the media, and rightfully so. Five Arab nations joined in the assault, with four of them sending aircraft to join the U.S. The strikes were as symbolic as they were devastating to the terrorist militants, sending a clear message that they aren’t just being singled out by Americans, they are being eliminated by the world. But another momentous event happened that has been overlooked. During the airstrikes, the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor flew its first combat mission.

The F-22 is a stealth tactical fighter developed by the Air Force as its ultimate weapon in the air. In addition to its maneuverability, the Raptor’s weapons and detection capabilities make it the perfect weapon in air superiority. The Air Force had 187 commissioned between 2005 and 2011. Many pilots believe the F-22 is unmatched in air-to-air capabilities.

The F-22 fleet has been held back from combat operations, largely due to the small size of its fleet. The Pentagon originally planned on a major buy of the Lockheed Martin-built jets. But the high cost of the Raptor, combined with the constant campaigns against foes with limited air capabilities, and the general lack of any fighters that match the F-22, caused the DOD to abandon further production.

Air Force officials confirmed that the Raptor was used as part of the mission in Syria, along with F-15E, F-16, F/A-18 and B-1 bombers. The Air Force didn’t specify the number of each type aircraft used. The American aircraft were assisted by other aircraft from Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Additionally, Tomahawk missiles were launched in support from the U.S. Navy warships the  USS Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) and the USS Philippine Sea (CG-51). The destroyer and cruiser were steaming in international waters in the Red Sea and the Northern Arabian Gulf.

The F-22 can carry up to six AIM-120 advanced, medium-range, air-to-air missiles, or two AIM-120s and two GBU-32 joint direct-attack munitions for air-to-ground strikes. It also carries an internal 20mm gun and two AIM-9 Sidewinders in internal weapon bays.

With Washington and world leaders claiming that Monday’s strikes were just the beginning of a sustained campaign against the Islamic State, the F-22 Raptor will likely get additional chances to prove its worth and its superiority.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: F-22s Finally See Action: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: New On-Base Wi-Fi Program: By Debbie Gregory

wifiGreat news for Soldiers, Marines and Airmen! An improved Wi-Fi service could be heading to an installation near you.

The Army and Air Force Exchange Service and the Marine Corps Non-Appropriated Fund Business and Support Services Division are closing in on a deal that would feature a new service plan to thirty installations through Boingo Wireless.

Under the new plan, service members living on base in barracks and in dormitories will be given free in-room access to an all wireless basic internet plan, with a data transfer speed of 128 kilobits per second, as well as internet based television with local channels.

Service members will also be given the option to pay for upgrades, including faster internet speeds and more television channels. There will be multiple options and prices offered through the new deal, including internet-only upgrades, and packages with combined television and internet upgrades. The largest package includes an expanded Internet with up to 30 Mbps, packaged with 100-plus channels for $89.95 a month. A five MB per-second service will be offered for $29.95 per month. Pricing will be standardized from base to base, wherever it is provided.

Along with being considerably lower priced for comparative services, the services will not require long-term contracts. The upgrade programs will all be offered on a month to month basis, which is ideal for service members on the go.

And one more bonus is that service plans will be  transferable to any installation that offers the service. So service members going TDY, attending a training or being permanently reassigned can take their plans with them, making for a seamless transition.

The service is now available through Boingo Wireless at Camp Pendleton, CA, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, AZ, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, CA, Fort Eustis, VA, and Barksdale Air Force Base, LA.

Most Marine Corps installations will have the Boingo Wireless service implemented by 2015. The Army and Air Force expect to expand the service to eleven additional installations by October 1, 2014, and to most of the remaining installations by the end of next summer.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: New On-Base Wi-Fi Program: By Debbie Gregory

 
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