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Newsletter - December 2017 #2

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As 2017 draws to a close, I would like to acknowledge the contributions of the National Guard and Reserves towards our national defense.  Having recently celebrated its 381st  birthday, we have relied on the National Guard through every major conflict in our history.  Almost half our fighting force in the Middle East is made up of our citizen soldiers and activated Reserve troops. Guard and Reservists and their family members do not enjoy the same level of support as their active duty counterparts, and often face underemployment when they are not deployed. 

While I am proud to serve in the Department of Defense (DoD) volunteer position of Director of Employer Engagement for California’s ESGR, I am even more proud to be working towards legislation that will increase employment for those who serve in the Guard and Reserves.  For companies interested in signing an ESGR Statement of Support, please feel free to contact me

And last, but not least, to get you into the holiday spirit, spend a few minutes enjoying this USAF Band WWII Holiday Flashback when members of the U.S. Air Force Band surprised commuters at Union Station with a World War II inspired holiday serenade. The spontaneous nature of the performance made it special, and it showcased these talented musicians.

Thank you,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

Tuition Discounts for Military

Military Friendly and Online Courses

CSU-Global is a military-friendly university, designed for students like you. As the first and only 100% online, independent, regionally accredited, state university in the U.S., CSU-Global strives to make earning your degree simple. We offer military-specific support for service members, veterans, and their families. As the leader in online higher education for 10 years, CSU-Global takes the extra step to ensure service members and their families have what they need to succeed. In 2017, CSU-Global was named a Top School by the Military Advanced Education & Transition Guide to Colleges & Universities. Our courses are offered all online, and you can transfer up to 90 credits, including 60 from military training. To thank you for your service, military students and their families are eligible for a 10% tuition discount and we will waive your application fee. You’ve helped secure our future -- now it’s time we help secure yours. Earn your degree from a university that understands your lifestyle. No matter where you are, you're already on campus™ with CSU-Global.

   
   

The Forever GI Bill

Changes Are Coming

The “Forever GI Bill,” has replaced the former Post 9/11 GI Bill, and will increase veteran’s benefits by more than $3 billion over the next decade. One important change, reserved for those who become eligible after January 1, 2018, is the removal of the 15-year limit on using their GI Bill benefits, which offers them more flexibility. Additionally, the Forever GI Bill boosts education assistance for National Guard and Reserve troops, Purple Heart recipients and for the dependents of fallen troops. MilitaryConnection.com has a comprehensive education area, and we invite you to check out the numerous education resources here.

   
   

Going the Extra Mile

D’Youville College-Award Winning Yellow Ribbon School

D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY, a recipient of the Military Connection “Veteran School Salute” is a Yellow Ribbon School that has shown a dedicated commitment to their Veteran and military students. D’Youville is consistently developing innovative ways to serve those who have served. The Veteran School Salute recognizes Veteran-friendly colleges, universities and vocational schools that go above and beyond in their efforts to provide premium education services for their Military, Veteran and military-dependent students.

   
   

Going the Extra Mile

Advertise With Us

MilitaryConnection.com, the Go To Site, is your online connection to military service members, veterans and their supporters. If you are a corporation or educational institution looking to reach out to this audience, let us assist 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 and help brand you as “Military-Veteran Friendly.”  For more information, contact us by email at info@militaryconnection.com or call us at (800) 817-3777.

   
   

VA Expands Program

Decision Ready Claims

To improve veterans’ experience with the disability claims process, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has unveiled its latest enhancements to the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program. The DRC Program is the fastest way to get your VA claim processed. You can get a decision on your claim in 30 days or less by working with an accredited Veterans Service Organization. Also, Veterans will now be able to file certain claims for direct service connection, presumptive service connection and secondary service connection. Transitioning servicemembers will be able to file pre-discharge claims less than 90 days from leaving the military. For more information about DRC or to find an accredited VSO representative, visit the DRC webpage.

   
   

On the Blog

Always Ready, Always There

On December 13, 1636, the Massachusetts General Court in Salem issued an order requiring all able-bodied men between 16 and 60 years old to create a standing Army for protection. With that order, what we now know as the National Guard was born. Celebrating its 381st anniversary, the National Guard is integrated with the active Army and Air Force to meet the demands of our Nation's security and our local communities. Our Soldiers and Airmen actively serve at home, and overseas. Since 9/11, Guard members have deployed over 850,000 times, and today we have, on average, over 30,000 Guardsmen mobilized around the world in support of our warfighting commanders. To read the full article, click here.

   
   

Wreaths Across America

Remember, Honor, Teach

Each December, on National Wreaths Across America Day, Wreaths Across America fulfills its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad. Although the weather was chilling, volunteers turned up in droves at Arlington National Cemetery to lay more than 245,000 wreaths at grave sites. The annual event, now in its 26th year, honors those who served in the United States Armed Forces, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice while fighting. WAA relies on donations from individuals and corporations and volunteers to ensure the wreath laying takes place every year.

   
   

If you Served between 1942-1975

Some Army Vets May Qualify for Medical Care

The U.S. Army is notifying Veterans that they may be eligible to receive medical care if they participated in U.S. Army chemical or biological substance testing from 1942 to 1975 and have an injury or disease that they believe was proximately caused by their participation. To apply, eligible Veterans must have: (1) a Department of Defense Form 214 or the functional equivalent; (2) served as a volunteer medical research subject in a U.S. Army chemical or biological substance testing program from 1942 to 1975; and (3) a diagnosed medical condition they believe to be a direct result of their participation in a U.S. Army chemical or biological substance testing program. For more information, visit the Army Medicine website.

   
   

A Win-Win

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 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 viable candidates, please contact us.

   
   

For Women Veterans

Dedicated Resources

Here are several resources for women veterans. To learn about health care and other resources available to women Veterans, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Women Veterans Healthcare website. Need to talk with someone about how you’re feeling? Call the Women Veterans Call Center at 1.855.VA.WOMEN. All the representatives there are women, and many are Veterans themselves. They can connect you with the resources you need to start feeling better again. Need immediate help? Call the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 (Press 1) or visit the Veterans Crisis Line website. For more information, read the VA VAntage Point Blog.

   
   

Apply Early

Navy Tuition Assistance

Sailors planning to take college courses in 2018 can beat the holiday rush by selecting courses and applying now for Tuition Assistance (TA)/Navy College Program for Afloat College Education (NCPACE) Distance Learning (DL) funding. Questions about the TA/NCPACE DL application process can be handled by the Navy College Virtual Education Center (NCVEC) online via the NCP website. NCVEC hours are from 7 a.m. To 7 p.m. EST Monday - Friday and may be reached by calling (877) 838-1659 or DSN 492-4684. The NCP Mobile Application offers access to the NCP planning tools. Download the app by searching for 'NCP App' in the Apple or Google Play stores.

   
   

From the VA

Care Provider Database

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) database offers a directory of more than 40,000 full time and part time VA health care providers who are independently licensed to provide care to veterans, and who may be a member of your treatment team. Information about VA physicians, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, podiatrists, psychologists and other medical professionals can be found there. Users can filter their search for specific providers based on needs and preferences, and the service is scheduled to be updated every month to ensure timely information is available. It’s part of VA’s efforts to be more transparent and accountable to Veterans and their families.

   
   

Jobs & More Jobs

Register Today!

Visit our Job Area - Check out our Job Board with thousands of jobs in many occupational areas. Register as a Job Seeker and upload your resume so that Employers can find you. You should also check out our Virtual Job Fair of top jobs, and all the valuable employment resources we provide.

   
   

Accepting Nominations

Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award

Air Force officials are currently accepting nominations for the 2018 Air Force Association Joan Orr Air Force Spouse of the Year Award. This award honors significant contributions made by non-military spouses of Air Force military members. The nominee’s spouse must be an active-duty Air Force, Air National Guard or Air Force Reserve member. Organization and base-level personnel must contact their major command, combatant command, field operating agency or direct reporting unit for applicable suspense dates and additional information regarding nomination procedures. Each MAJCOM, COCOM, FOA and DRU may submit one nomination. Nomination packages are due to the Air Force’s Personnel Center by Feb. 1, 2018. Specifics regarding the award period and write-up are available via myPers. Select “any” from the dropdown menu and search “Joan.”

   
   

Pets For Vets

VA Partnering with The Humane Society

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to encourage veterans to consider pet ownership and volunteer opportunities with local humane societies in an effort to pair Veterans with rescued animals. VA and the HSUS will build model programs and networks with community organizations in order to establish connections with local VA medical facilities, making it easier to link veterans with animals ready for adoption in their local communities. For more information, visit the VA website.

   
   

Need a Calendar?

Pin-Ups For Vets

The 2018 Pin-Ups For Vets Calendar features 21 Veterans as models and is a bargain at just $15. To date, the non-profit has donated over $56,000 worth of state-of-the-art rehab equipment for VA & Military hospitals nationwide.  They have individually visited over 11,000 ill and injured Veterans at their bedsides in 62 VA Hospitals, military hospitals & state Veterans Homes in 31 states across the US.  If you don’t need a calendar, there are lots of other items you can purchase for yourself, or buy one for an active duty servicemember or hospitalized veteran.

   
   

Veteran Caregivers

Respite Care

Caregivers play an important role in the health and well-being of Veterans. Respite care is an occasional way to take a break from your caregiving duties and relax, renew your energy, and avoid caregiver burnout. Veterans who require a caregiver may be eligible for up to 30 days of respite care each year. This care can be offered in your home, at a VA community living center, at a VA-contracted community residential care facility, or at an adult day health care center. To see if you are eligible for respite care services, call the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274. For more information, visit the VA Caregiver Support webpage.

   
   

For Smart Phone or Tablet

The New MilitaryConnection.com App

The MilitaryConnection.com app accommodates our users who are accessing our website 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.

   
   

Apply by March 1, 2018

Legacy Scholarships for Mil Kids

Children of 9-11 veterans with a VA disability rating of 50 percent or higher are now eligible to apply for a renewable scholarship, courtesy of the expanded American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund. The fund has previously ensured higher education for children whose parents lost their lives while honorably serving on active duty on or after 9-11. Recipients of the Legacy Scholarship may reapply up to six times for the expense of graduate or post-graduate tuition, books, room and board, meal plans, transportation and other supplies needed to achieve a higher education. For more information about this and other American Legion scholarships, click here.

   
   

Great Non-Profit

Rebuilding America’s Warriors

Rebuilding America's Warriors (R.A.W.) is an extraordinary non-profit foundation dedicated to providing free reconstructive surgery to wounded and disfigured active service and veteran status warriors from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Disfiguring scars can remain as a result of shrapnel, burn and artillery wounds. R.A.W. has formed a network of 390 Board Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in 49 states, soliciting their services across the country to provide reconstructive surgeries on a national basis to our wounded and disfigured warriors. If you are a soldier or veteran who needs more information regarding R.A.W., please call 760 568-4039 or email infoforraw@aol.com .

   
   

Saluting San Diego

Support the Enlisted Project

San Diego will be recognized by the Congressional-appointed Association of Defense Communities as a Class of 2018 "Great American Defense Community". This designation specifically identifies Support the Enlisted Project as one of three innovative organizations whose best practices make an immediate and positive, lasting impact on our military families. The City of San Diego and STEP will be recognized at the National Conference in February, followed by the National Summit in Washington, D.C in June. There, CEO and Co-Founder Tony Teravainen, will share STEP's unique, holistic approach to getting military families out of crisis and onto a path of self-sufficiency to a national audience. STEP shares this honor with Stand Down San Diego, Veteran Ventures and all of the community partners that make San Diego a Great American Defense Community. 

   
   

For Veteran Business Owners

Connect With Corporations

VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, is a non-profit trade association with more than 7,000 members. The association works to ensure the development, growth and prosperity of Veteran Owned Businesses, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Businesses of all sizes. VAMBOA focuses on connecting you with corporations that want to work with a diverse supplier network. Join today, membership is complimentary.

   
   

TAPS

For Survivors of the Fallen

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones. TAPS also conducts regional survivor seminars for adults and youth programs at locations across the country, as well as retreats and expeditions around the world. For more information, visit the TAPS website or call the TAPS 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline toll free at 800-959-TAPS (8277).

   
   

Like Us & Follow Us

Join Us on Social Media

We are pleased to share that Military Connection and VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners, have exceeded 1,200,000 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.

   
   

Rates for 2018

Veteran Disability Compensation

The 2018 VA compensation rates for veterans with a disability rating 10 percent or higher went into effect December 1, 2017. Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses. To view the new rates, click here.

   
   

On the Blog

Another Option for PTSD Treatment

In a continuing effort to treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and reduce the number of veteran suicides, the Department of Veterans Affairs has approved hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to some veterans with PTSD. In a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber, the air pressure is increased to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. To read the entire article, click here.