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Newsletter - July 2017

Tell a Friend

I usually open the newsletter focusing on the extraordinary organizations we work with, an observance, public service announcement or important event. In this newsletter, I hope you will allow me the indulgence of acknowledging the dedication and hard work of the Military Connection staff. Because of their efforts, we have hit a milestone: we surpassed one million combined fans/followers on social media and over two million page views on our website last month!

The Military Connection team is small but mighty. They are dedicated and committed to meeting the needs of the military and veteran communities and their loved ones. I am also fortunate to work with some of the best people on the planet whom I adore. I also want to take this opportunity to tell our users how much we appreciate your support. Please keep spreading the word that when the next tour is back home, it’s on MilitaryConnection.com, the Go-To Site.

Thank you,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

Like Us & Follow Us

Social

Join Us on Social Media

We are pleased to share that this month Military Connection and VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners exceed 1,000,000 combined fans and followers on social media. To keep current between newsletters or to find the latest news that affects Veteran Business Owners, "Like" Military Connection and VAMBOA on Facebook, Military Connection and VAMBOA on Twitter and Military Connection  and VAMBOA on Instagram

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Online Degree Scholarship

tuw

Military & Veteran Friendly Online University

Earn your degree online for less with Touro University Worldwide (TUW). Get the relevant, practical knowledge you need to enrich or advance your career, all in a flexible online environment. TUW is now offering Military Achievement Scholarship of up to 40% off Tuition and 100 percent scholarship (free tuition) for up to three courses based on degree and credits completed at TUW. This scholarship program follows the long tradition of Touro’s appreciation of and unique relationship with service members, veterans, and their families. TUW focuses on quality education, affordability, a military friendly environment, and exemplary student services. Achieve more with your education. Request more information today!

   
   

Explore 7-Night Vacations Starting At Just $349!

afvc

Armed Forces Vacation Club

Armed Forces Vacation Club offers access to weeklong vacations in destinations worldwide starting at just$349. Choose from popular destinations including Orlando, Myrtle Beach, the Caribbean, Las Vegas & MORE! Spread out in family-sized resort accommodations, many of which include on-site recreational facilities, living room, and kitchen! Search now.

Membership is open to active duty, guard, reserve, and retired members of the Armed Forces as well as civilian employees of the DOD. The best part? There is no cost to join! Become a member today.

   
   

What Do You Think?

GI

Big Changes for the GI Bill

The “forever” GI Bill, officially titled the “Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017" looks to be a broad, permanent bill of rights for student veterans and their families. And it has a pretty good chance of passing through Congress. It will just be known as the “GI Bill. Period. Read the full story here.

   
   

Featured Employer

Transit

Transit Professionals

As the largest private-sector provider of multiple modes of transportation in North America, Transdev North America is committed to improving quality of life for people in cities by providing enhanced options for mobility. Every year, from coast to coast, more than 400 million passengers travel with us to work, study, shop or play. In the U.S. and Canada, we operate public transit and other transportation services for 200 cities and communities. In every mode (bus, rail, paratransit, taxi and shuttle services), in both urban and regional areas, Transdev North America is committed to setting the standard for performance excellence. Our 20,000 transit professionals include employees with expertise in a variety of fields in our transit, rail and on-demand businesses. These include training, finance, commercial driving, human resources, facility management, customer service, environmental compliance, labor relations, business technology and IT, and many more.

   
   

Featured Employer

Olin

Easy Application with the Olin App

Olin Corporation is committed to hiring the best people. We understand that our employees define our future. Olin values the skills you mastered while serving our country in the military and offers a variety of jobs and career paths where you can apply those skills. At Olin, you’ll find a company large enough to make a real difference throughout the global chemical industry, but small enough to provide you an opportunity to be seen, appreciated, and supported in your career growth. Apply online at Olin.com/Careers or with our easy Olin Careers app (available on both Google and iTunes store). Olin is absolutely committed to diversity within its workforce and to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and job applicants.

   
   

A Win-Win

Veteran

Become A Veteran Friendly Employer

At MilitaryConnection.com, we are experts in reaching military and veteran candidates.  We can help you attract hire and retain viable candidates who have served.  Additionally, we will assist in branding you as a military/veteran friendly employer. If you would like to learn more about the various options we offer to place your company in front of this valuable pool of employment candidates, please contact us.

   
   

On the Blog

Women

Women Veterans Summit

Registration is now open for the Women Veterans Summit, which will take place at the Hyatt Regency Downtown in Houston, Texas, August 25-26, with an opening reception on August. 24. Focusing on the issues important to women veterans, the event will provide training and guidance in navigating VA resources, as well as the resources that are available at the state, local, and partner level. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

   
   

Deadline Approaching

AF

AF Flight Training Board

Application packages for the next Undergraduate Flying Training selection board are due to the Rated Officer Assignments branch of the Air Force Personnel Center by Nov. 17, 2017. The board, set for Jan. 22-25, 2018, will consider active-duty officer applicants to attend training as early as spring 2018. Those interested in becoming a pilot, combat systems officer, remotely piloted aircraft pilot or air battle manager are encouraged to apply. For more information, click here.

   
   

Mark Your Calendar

Calendar

September 6-8, 2017 – Hyatt Regency, Atlanta, GA

The Fourth Annual Warrior Community Integration Symposium will be held at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, GA.  September 6-8. During this three-day event, representatives of community agencies and national organizations will gather to share best practices, identify trends and find solutions, and solidify future collaborative relationships.  Panels of experts will discuss the most urgent problems facing those who serve veterans today.  Exhibit booths will offer participants a wealth of information about programs throughout the country.  Ample opportunity to network will be given for all participants.  Formal training sessions will be available for attendees. For information and registration links, click here.

   
   

On the Blog

Air Force

Changing the Air Force Culture

New Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson thinks the Air Force has too much bureaucracy, too many regulations and too many people stuck doing busy work. And she wants to breathe some fresh air into the branch. The Air Force is currently facing a crisis-level shortage in fighter pilots as well as an aging fleet, and this Rhodes Scholar is looking to improve all aspects of the service branch. Read the article in its entirety here.

   
   

Preserving Their Stories

Generations

For Future Generations

The Making History Project is a Florida non-profit organization located in Miami, Florida. The mission of the Making History Project is to preserve Veterans’ stories. Stories concerning a Veteran’s military service are preserved through in-person video oral history interviews. Once an oral history interview is completed, a DVD copy of the interview is given to the Veteran. The oral history interview is also permanently archived with the U.S. Library of Congress and the University of Florida Samuel Proctor Oral History Program so it may be accessed by future generations. The Making History Project is a regular attendee at Veteran reunions, commemorations, battlefields, and museums. In furtherance of research related to combat trauma, the Making History Project has presented at academic conferences for the Oral History Association, the Midwest World History Association, and to Veteran groups. For more information, visit them on the web.

   
   

Real Life SEAL Happenings

SEAL

Navy Has First Female Applicants for SEAL Officer

Two women will make history as the Navy’s first female candidates competing for some of the military branch’s most elite combat roles. The women were in boot camp as candidates for the Navy’s all-enlisted Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, Naval Special Warfare Center Deputy Commander Capt. Christian Dunbar told members of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Service in June. Another woman, who sources say is a junior in an ROTC program at an unnamed college, has applied for a spot in the SEAL officer selection process for fiscal 2018.

   
   

And the Screen Version

Screen

Tune In or Tune Out?

There’s a new televised military drama coming out this fall that will center around a group of Navy SEALs. The CBS show, Seal Team,  stars David Boreanaz and follows “the professional and personal lives of the most elite unit of Navy SEALs as they train, plan and execute the most dangerous, high stakes missions our country can ask of them,” according to a statement from the network. It’s one of several military-operator dramas hitting networks this fall that haven’t worked in conjunction with the Pentagon’s TV team. We’ll see if they get it right when the show premiers on September 27th.

   
   

Great Spokesmen!

Benefit

New Exchange Benefit

A 30-second Army and Air Force Exchange Service video has gone viral among service members and veterans. Why? Because Mark Wahlberg and Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell are in it. The duo teamed up to spread the word about a new Exchange benefit that will allow active duty, retired, reserve, Guard veterans and their family members to shop online, a move that marks the  Exchange’s decision to join the 21st century. The benefit goes live on Veterans Day, but some who sign up early through VetVerify.org will get the chance to act as  beta testers and gain  access to the online stores before Nov. 11. “All honorably discharged veterans are encouraged to visit VetVerify.org to confirm eligibility for their lifetime exchange online benefit today,” Luttrell says in the video.

   
   

Does This Apply to You?

Review

Review for Medically Separated Troops

Servicemembers who were medically separated between Sept. 11, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2009 with a combined disability rating of 20 percent or less and who received separation pay versus medical retirement may request a Physical Disability Board of Review (PDBR). The PDBR evaluates disability cases for all the military branches and their reserve components. If applicable, military records are updated with a retroactive effective date equal to the original date of separation. After the document review is completed and a final decision is rendered, applicants are notified of the decision and provided applicable information regarding changes to their disability rating. For more information, visit the PDBR webpage.

   
   

Fore!

Fore

Play for a Cause

Join World Series champion Michael “Pags”  Pagliarulo and coaches  Brian Schneider and Tim Wallach at the 7th annual America’s Adopt A Soldier Golf Tournament at the Fort Belvoir Golf Course on Monday, August 28th .  America’s Adopt A Soldier® is a nonprofit organization that supports our nation’s wounded, deployed service members, homeless veterans, veterans and their families.  Proceeds from this tournament will support their homeless veterans computer labs and training centers. Register online here.

   
   

LUKE Bionic Arm

VA

Launched By VA

The Life Under Kinetic Evolution (LUKE) arm, the world's most advanced commercial prosthetic, is about to change the lives of veterans and those with upper arm amputations. Unlike less-advanced prosthetics, the entire LUKE arm can move as one unit, reducing the labor-intensive process of controlling one joint at a time. The LUKE arm also features the first commercially available powered shoulder, with up to 10 powered degrees of freedom. For more information, read the VA VAntage Point Blog.

   
   

#CharacterMatters

Campaign

Navy Launches Campaign

The Navy Chaplain Corps is launching a social media campaign called #CharacterMatters to engage servicemembers in a conversation on the importance of character. The interactive campaign, published via the Chaplain Corps' social media accounts at and, will focus on character traits important in fostering healthy relationships and professional readiness. The campaign, running through September 2017, will offer participants a weekly opportunity to share reactions to an image depicting a selected character trait, and to provide an answer to a crossword puzzle clue. To join in, follow the #CharacterMatters campaign at Twitter (@NavyCHC) or Instagram (@NavyChaplains).

   
   

On the Move

vet

Replica Vietnam Veterans Memorial Walls

In 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was built and dedicated to those who served and died in the Vietnam War. While attending the dedication in 1982, a group of artists felt the positive power of The Wall and felt it should be shared not only in Washington D.C., but across the country. Sitting at about half the size of the actual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, the two replicas began their journey in Tyler, Texas in 1984. Today, the walls travel across the country from April to November, to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. For more information, visit The Moving Wall.

   
   

The New MilitaryConnection.com App

Website

Access Our Website Via Smart Phone and Tablet

Our newly released app accommodates our users who are accessing MilitaryConnection.com via cellular devices and tablets. The free app, available for both Apple and Android devices, was developed in-house, with the goal of making it extremely user friendly for the hundreds of thousands monthly unique visitors who rely

   
   

California Veterans

California Vets

Get the New Pass

The California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) has modernized the way it manages the Distinguished Veteran (DVP) and Disabled Discount (DDP) pass programs. The DPR is issuing new credit card design passes for current DVP and DDP pass holders as part of its transition to California’s new reservation system. Old cards can be used through the end of July. To find out where you can exchange your past, visit ReserveCalifornia.

   
   

The Go To Site

Audience

Reach An Audience of Military and Veterans

MilitaryConnection.com, the Go To Site, is your online connection to military service members, veterans and their supporters. If you are looking to hire or educate military and veterans or have an important product, service or message, allow us assist to you with a customized advertising program. We work with hundreds of non-profits serving the military and veteran communities, and can facilitate win/win partnerships to help brand you as “Military/Veteran Friendly.”   We have over 1,000,000 combined fans and followers on social media, a database of over 200,000 emails and last month received more than 2,000,000 page views. For more information, contact us by email at info@militaryconnection.com or call us at (800) 817-3777.

   
   

Online Access

Appointment

Veteran Appointment Request App

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has created a web-based app that allows veterans using its medical system to request or schedule certain appointments online. The Veteran Appointment Request (VAR) app is available to use at select locations and can be used with any compatible Web browser, whether on a desktop or mobile device. Currently, veterans can use VAR at 100 VA medical centers across the nation; more are coming online every few weeks. To see where VAR is available, visit the VA website. Download the app on your smartphone or tablet from the VA App Store.

   
   

Managing Challenges

Challenges

Air Force Wounded Warriors

The wounded members who enter the AF Wounded Warrior (AFW2) Program are provided personalized care, services and advocacy. The overarching goal is to provide a refined, simplified transition back to duty or into civilian life, while ensuring recovering members are properly equipped to manage challenges caused by wounds, injuries or illnesses. Also, the Air Force integrates adaptive sports and reconditioning programs as part of recovery and rehabilitation plans. For more information on Air Force Wounded Warrior program and other Airman programs, visit the Air Force Wounded Warrior Program website.

   
   

DANTES Releases App

DANTES

Voluntary Education Programs

The Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) has released a new mobile application called 'MyVolEdPath,' that gives military members on-demand access to the Defense Department's (DoD) Voluntary Education (VolEd) programs. Users can download the mobile app for free from the iTunes and Google Play online stores. Search 'MyVolEdPath' or 'DANTES' to find the MyVolEdPath app in app stores or in a Web browser. Users can also download the mobile app through the MyVolEdPath website. For more information, visit the DANTES website.

   
   

Now Open

Complaint

Complaint Line For Veterans

The hotline long-promised for Veteran complaint has launched.  The hotline, 855-948-2311, is designed to “collect, process and respond to the complaints of individual veterans in a responsive, timely and accountable manner”.   Secretary Shulkin promised that by August 15th, the hotline will have 24/7 coverage.   Calls to the hotline will be kept confidential but information will be shared by VA officials to respond to problems.