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Military Connection: Should Caregivers of Pre and Post 9/11 Veterans Get Same Benefits?

caregivers

 

By Debbie Gregory.

Since 2010, the U.S. Department of Veterans (VA) has provided programs that administer benefits and resources for family members who serve as caregivers to disabled military Veterans. These programs offer as much as $2,300 per month to the approximately 7,000 spouses, children and other loved ones of Veterans of the post-9/11 era. This generation is the only one that such benefits are approved for.  And there are many caregivers from previous generations who deserve consideration under these programs as well.

But for over the last forty years, thousands of disabled Vietnam Veterans have had their spouses and other family members serve as primary caregivers, with little to no support. They help their Veteran loved ones with personal hygiene, dressing, , eating, and ambulating around the house or around town. When family members assist disabled Veterans with daily functions that they can no longer do, it keeps them from going to a nursing homes. And according to a 2014 study conducted by the Rand Corporation, providing this necessary care for their loved one saves the VA around $3 billion each year.

The last week of February, thousands of caregivers and supporters were in the Washington D.C. to urge politicians to expand the same benefit to caregivers of all Veterans. Leading the charge was  Veteran Service Organization Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

In 2014, there was legislation, introduced on Capitol Hill, that would have expanded benefits for caregivers, but the bill did not gain enough support to succeed.

It is the hope of the supporters that by spreading the word about the plight of caregivers they could gain traction for legislative approval to get these Veteran families the help they need and the consideration that they deserve.

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: The Plight of the Caregiver: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Non-Profit Connects Veterans to Service Dogs

TBBF

By Debbie Gregory.

In the preamble to the Declaration of Independence, a list of “unalienable rights” outlined by the founding fathers stated that every human has a right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The belief in these rights is a part of what compels our nation and its citizens to greatness. There aren’t any Americans that do more to secure these rights than the men and women who serve in our armed forces. That is why, when their service is complete, there are organizations such as The Battle Buddy Foundation to help ensure that Veterans maintain the freedoms they fought to protect.

The Battle Buddy Foundation (TBBF) is a 501(c)(3) public charity,  founded by Veterans for Veterans. TBBF is on a mission to ensure that Veterans and their families have access to programs and services that will help them transition and acclimate back to civilian life. This mission is accomplished by 1) providing service and therapy dogs, at no cost,  to Veterans from all eras, who suffer from a variety of afflictions and limitations. 2) Connecting Veterans to a network of organizations that offer resources and opportunities in the areas of housing and employment. 3) Constructing a community of peer support for Veterans and their families through a variety of programs, events and social media.

TBBF was founded by Marine Corps Veterans Kenny Bass and Joshua Rivers, along with Bass’s brother, Jon Campbell. Bass, who served with the Marine infantry, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, serves as the Executive Director of TBBF.

In Iraq, on July 20, 2003, Bass was wounded by an IED. Since that day, Bass has suffered from many afflictions as a result of his service, including Behcet’s Disease, hearing loss, and PTSD. Although Bass was prescribed a service dog in 2012, he had difficulty in locating an organization to provide the dog. This need led to the formation of TBBF as a solution.

With the services, resources and opportunities that TBBF facilitates, Veterans are in a better position to reap the benefits of their service and their rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

To find out more about The Battle Buddy Foundation, and its programs and events, please visit  them on the web at tbbf.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: Non-Profit Connects Veterans to Service Dogs: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Trucking Industry Vows 50,000 Veteran Jobs

TCA

By Debbie Gregory.

At MilitaryConnection.com, we take pride in providing one of the best resources on the web for Veteran employment. We are always thrilled to hear about Veteran hiring initiatives, and eagerly facilitate a connection between that company or industry and a Veteran who is looking for work.  One such industry-wide hiring initiative was recently publicized, as the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) announced that it has committed the trucking industry to hiring 50,000 Veterans over the next four years.

The TCA is a trade association that focuses on the truckload component of the motor carrier industry. The TCA represents dry van, end-dump, flatbed, inter-modal container, and refrigerated carriers in 49 states (all but Hawaii), as well as in Canada and in Mexico.

The TCA is partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s hiring initiative Hiring our Heroes to deliver its own Veteran hiring program within the trucking industry, called Operation Heroes to Highways.

The trucking industry has embraced hiring Veterans into  well-paying and highly needed positions in all aspects of the industry, from drivers to salesmen,  dispatchers to mechanics and more. Veterans are highly sought after for their versatility, trainability and dependability, all of which are key components to quality employees in an industry that is vital to our nation’s economy.

One of MilitaryConnection.com’s allies, C.R. England, hires Veterans and trains them, providing “Honored Veteran” trucks that are painted with patriotic themes.  All the highways across America can see the pride that the Veteran drivers have in their service, and that their company has in their Veteran drivers.

Trucking companies are invited to participate in Operation Heroes to Highways by dedicating a minimum number of future hires to military Veterans, and making a pledge to that number in the next 30 days. Carriers who participate will be recognized on the Heroes to Highways online Wall of Valor, and will also receive commemorative Challenge Coins from Heroes to Highways.

Veterans, who are looking to embark on their civilian careers, are invited to research careers in the trucking industry. There are plenty of opportunities for well-paying jobs and advancement, even becoming a small business owner/independent contractor by driving their very own truck. A great start is our very own Jobs Page.

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: Trucking Industry Vows 50,000 Veteran Jobs: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Massive Marine Training Exercise in California

MEFEX

By Debbie Gregory.

In February 2015, more than 1,800 Marines and Sailors combined for one of the largest military training exercises in history for a scenario that simulated a full-scale war.

The massive joint-exercise was conducted by the I (One) Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF) at Marine Corps base Camp Pendleton in Southern California. The MEF-level exercise, or MEFEX, lasted ten days, and simulated the deployment of more than 50,000 U.S. military personnel, in case of a sudden outbreak of  war. The last time a full MEF was deployed was for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The MEFEX coincides with Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph Dunford’s stated expectations for the Marines Corps to be both mentally and physical prepared to deploy and fight anywhere, at any time.

Each individual combat unit conducts constant preparedness training. But it is mission essential that exercises of the size of this MEFEX are conducted so that U.S. forces, from top to bottom, are familiar with the necessary workings of such a large scale deployment. This is also the best way to handle any snags in planning during real world operations.

For this training, the IMEF, comprised of nearly all of the Marines stationed at Camp Pendleton, Miramar, Twentynine Palms, and in Yuma Arizona, were pitted against a Marine Corps training group made up of approximately 60 service members and contractors.

The MEFEX focused on getting Marines from sea to shore. Then the I MEF carried out ground and air attacks against the opposition, simultaneously working on supplying their forces and defending against cyberattacks.

While the simulated deployment destination was a fictional country, the reality is that such training would be vital if the need arose to apply this sort of operation to a real world situation.

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: Massive Marine Training Exercise in California: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Senate Bill S.210 Aims to Help Military Spouses

military-spouse

By Debbie Gregory.

The Senate Committee on Finance currently controls the fate of an important bill affecting military spouses. The bill will extend tax credits to military spouses who must renew or transfer a professional license after their spouse’s   permanent change of station (PCS) order.

Concern regarding military spouse employment has been the springboard for many government and private-sector initiatives over the last few years. The introduction of “The Military Spouse Job Continuity Act of 2015,” Senate Bill: S.210, is legislation that falls in that category.

If approved, S.210 would provide military spouses with a tax credit of up to $500 to cover the cost of renewing or transferring a state-issued professional license.  The text of the bill, at this time, does not specify which licenses are covered. But it can be assumed that  licenses for the following would be covered: teachers, lawyers, physicians, nurses, realtors, realtors, therapists, general contractors and commercial drivers would be included, among others.

Several states already offer independent provisions for out of state professional licenses and certificates held by military spouses. But, at this time, no states are offering a tax credit or fee discount.

According to a 2014 spouse employment report conducted by the Military Officers Association of America, 35% of employed military spouses require a professional license to work in their chosen profession. Military families spend an average of $280 to transfer or renew a professional license after a PCS move. While the provisions of the legislation won’t cover the costs of all professional license woes, it will definitely help to ease the financial burden on military families.

The Military Spouse Job Continuity Act of 2015 is not the first attempt to provide this type of credit for military spouses. Every year since 2009, bills that read very similar to S.210 have been introduced on Capitol Hill, only to fail. But this year’s S.210 looks promising, as it is already gaining traction in the Senate.

This year’s attempt at the legislation was introduced on January 21, and then referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Be sure to keep an eye on S.210 and all other pieces of legislation that interest or pertain to you, and make sure to contact your elected leaders to make sure that they are made aware of how to cast their vote on your behalf. It is not just your right to do so, but many would contend that it is your duty as a citizen.

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: Senate Bill S.210 Aims to Help Military Spouses: By Debbie Gregory

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