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Band of Brothers Veteran Dies

tipper

Edward Tipper, one of the last remaining members of the famous “Band of Brothers” paratroopers, has died at the age of 95.

Tipper leaves behind a legacy as both a famous soldier and career teacher. He received a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service during World War II and D-Day. In 2011, the French government bestowed on him the French Legion of Honor medal, the country’s highest honor.

Tipper and his fellow brothers-in-arms were made famous by the HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which told the story of the 101st Airborne Division’s Easy Company during World War II, from their first jump into German-occupied France on D-Day all the way to the end of the fight in the European theater.

Tipper was born in a working class Detroit neighborhood in 1921 and volunteered as a paratrooper shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. He participated in the combat jump on Normandy on June 6, 1944, and the subsequent fight for the French town of Carentan. Tipper was hit by a mortar shell while clearing a house in the town, which cost him two broken legs and his right eye.

His daughter, Kerry Tipper, recalled that her father never gave in to his injuries, defying doctor’s warnings on what he could and could not do. Doctors gave him a list of activities he couldn’t do, such as driving and sports requiring depth perception. But for Edward Tipper, that became a checklist.

Tipper began his teaching career in Iowa, eventually returning to Colorado to teach English and literature. He also ran drama programs in Jefferson County, west of Denver.

After retirement in 1979, Edward Tipper began traveling and three years later he met and married his wife, Rosalina, in Costa Rica.

“We didn’t talk about the war,” Kerry wrote on Facebook. “His greatest sense of pride and accomplishment came from being a loving son to his mother. It came from his near 30 years of teaching. From his years traveling the world. And finally, from the 34 years he gave to his small, but adoring family.”

“So much of what people talk about with him is what he did in the war. That was two years and really six days starting on D-Day,” said Kerry. “Teaching was 30 years.”

The family will have a private burial this month at Fort Logan with full military honors. A public ceremony will be held June 1 in Lakewood. Those interested in attending are asked to send an e-mail tippercelebration@gmail.com.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Travel Packing Tips

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You’ve booked your vacation rental, scheduled transportation and made a plan for the pets – now comes the toughest part: deciding what to pack! We all know that our first instinct can be to bring our entire closet, but realistically who wants to lug around all those bags (or pay those baggage fees)? Don’t worry; Armed Forces Vacation Club is here to help! We’ve created a list of packing tips to help you be a world-class packer.

Have a game plan

Begin by laying out everything you want to bring before packing it in your suitcase. Take inventory of what you’ve picked out, and see if there are any unnecessary items. Sometimes 11 pairs of socks for a week may be too much! Pick your favorites and call it a day. Try to resist the urge to pack extras that you know you won’t use.

Roll, don’t fold (and use packing aids!)

Many avid travelers agree that rolling your clothes instead of folding them can help increase the amount of clothing that fits in your bag. New to rolling? No problem! A quick internet search will provide many tutorials and videos to help you learn. Another helpful tip to use your suitcase space efficiently is to use packing aids such as stuff sacks and packing cubes.

Keep it classic

Another tried and true tip is to pack versatile clothing that can take you through your day – from a casual morning exploring to a nice evening out. For example, pack a top that can be dressed down with a pair of shorts during the day, and dressed up with a nice pair of pants for dinner. A special tip for shoes – plan to wear your heaviest/bulkiest pair to travel and pack the others. This will help save space in your bag, but still allow you to bring them along!

Plan some extra space

If possible, leave a little extra space in your bag for the inevitable souvenirs. There is nothing worse than discovering on the last day of vacation that you need to purchase an extra bag for the way home to fit everything!

Looking for more packing tips? Check out AFVC’s Vacation Packing Tips article and more in the Vacation Planning Resource Center.

P.S. Don’t forget that Armed Forces Vacation Club offers free membership for all active duty, guard, reserve and retired members of the Armed Forces, as well as civilian employees of the DOD. Join today!

DoD Expands Online Exchange Shopping Eligibility

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By Debbie Gregory.

Some 16 million honorably discharged military veterans will soon be able to make purchases from online military exchanges, under a recently announced Department of Defense policy change.

Slated to begin appropriately November 11, Veterans Day, the move is a way to improve the quality of life for veterans and their families, as well as strengthening the exchanges through the Department of Defense’s increased online presence, competitive prices and selections, and bargaining power with vendors when millions of additional customers are added.

Although veterans will not be able to buy uniforms, alcohol or tobacco products, the rest of the Exchange Services’ inventory, including clothing, appliances, jewelry, etc. will be available. The Exchange also carries high-end name branded merchandise

Brick-and-mortar military exchanges on bases or posts are already open to many veterans who live near them, as well as their dependents and surviving spouses. But the new policy will benefit those who don’t live near a base or who may not have the means to get to the base store.

Months of preparation are needed to make e-shopping portals more robust and to allow the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) time to create software for verifying veterans’ status using Department of Veterans Affairs records.

“As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members. Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say ‘Thank you’ to those who served with honor,” said Peter Levine, acting under-secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

The commissary shopping benefit isn’t involved, so there won’t be any dilution to that benefit, or any increase in crowding or product availability.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Jobless Rate Rises for Post 9/11 Veterans in January

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By Debbie Gregory.

In 2011, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law a program giving employers tax credits to encourage veteran employment. Other programs also have encouraged companies and government agencies to hire veterans.

In spite of those efforts, the unemployment rate for the youngest generation of veterans jumped to 6.3 percent in January, the fourth time in the last seven months that group’s figure has been substantially higher than the overall veteran rate.

The figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reflect the last month of President Barack Obama’s time in office, represent about 211,000 Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans looking for work. That’s almost 46 percent of the total of all U.S. veterans filing for unemployment benefits in January.

Young veterans, the ones between the ages of 18 and 34, face challenges in the employment marketplace that non-veterans never have to face and that older veterans have already overcome.

In many cases, it is hard to translate the work that was done in the service to a civilian equivalence. There are also few calls for riflemen, artillery spotters, missile technicians and many other military positions.

The January 2017 veteran unemployment rate was 4.5 percent, compared to the non-veteran rate of 5.0 percent. In December, the Iraq and Afghanistan era veterans’ rate was 5.7 percent.

With additional training and responsibility, the unemployment rate of young veterans should be lower than the rest of the population. That’s why the higher number of unemployed younger veterans does raise concerns.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics officials estimate that nearly 9.8 million veterans are in the U.S. workforce today, with roughly 32 percent of them having served in the military after 2001.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

 

Mil Vet Employees at Starbucks Respond to Call for Boycott

starbucks hiring

By Debbie Gregory.

President Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries prompted Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to announce that the company would hire 10,000 refugees in the 75 countries where it does business, with the effort starting in the United States.

The announcement prompted a backlash on social media with several people using the hashtag BoycottStarbucks to urge customers to stay away from its stores. Some users also posted screenshots of them deleting the company’s app on their phones.

But veterans who work at Starbucks have something to say to those insisting the coffee company should hire veterans instead of refugees: “Check your facts, Starbucks is already there.”

Members of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network wrote, “We respect honest debate and the freedom of expression. Many of us served to protect that very right. Some of our brothers and sisters died protecting it,” in its message. “But to those who would suggest Starbucks is not committed to hiring veterans, we are here to say: check your facts, Starbucks is already there.”

Starbucks Armed Forces Network was founded in 2007 to bring partners who served in the military together to bond over their shared experiences, to provide guidance for newly hired partners transitioning from military to civilian life and to create a veteran-friendly workforce.

In 2013, Starbucks made a pledge to hire 10,000 veterans and veteran spouses by 2018. The company has hired 8,800 U.S. veterans and military spouses already as part of its pledge, and said it would reach its veteran hiring target earlier than expected and would continue hiring more.

CEO Schultz and his wife, Sheri, have visited military bases, used their personal wealth to help with plans for service members coming back from active duty, established military family stores at more than 30 bases around the country and encouraged Starbucks senior leaders to visit military bases.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

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