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Newsletter - April 2017

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Military Connection appreciates the exceptional work of all Veteran Service Officers (VSOs) including state, county and those who work for support organizations, Transition Assistance Officers known as TAP officers, Disabled Veteran Outreach Program specialists known as DVOPs and Local Veteran Employment Representatives known as LVERs.  You all rock!  These folks are highly knowledgeable individuals who understand the VA system and can help navigate it.  They can help file for benefits including employment, education, disability, compensation/pensions, obtaining medical, mental health and dental care and just about everything from A to Z when it comes to those who serve. They will assist in submitting claims and gathering the information to support them.  They can also track your claim and help with appeals.  Their services are free. 

We invite all of you heroes that serve veterans to contact us at info@militaryconnection.com so we can put veterans in touch with you and you can use the multitude of resources we provide.  We Salute You! 

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

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!

 

   
   

You Earned These Benefits!

gibill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill

You served and sacrificed so claim your rich education benefits. Did you know that MilitaryConnection.com has an entire section devoted to educational resources? If you’re looking for a college, university, trade or technical college or university, you’ll want to check out the Virtual School Directory. If you want to calculate your housing benefits while you’re in school, we have the BAH Housing Calculator.

 

   
   

Armed Forces Vacation Club

afvc

Explore 7-Night Vacation Rentals From $349!

Armed Forces Vacation Club offers access to weeklong resort stays in destinations worldwide starting at $349. Choose from popular destinations including Orlando, Lake Tahoe, 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.

 

   
   

Calling All VSO’s

VSO

Attention VSOs, Transition Officers, DVOPs & LVERS

A big shout out!  We want to thank all of you who work with transitioning military and veterans.  We understand the important job that you do every day helping those who serve, find jobs, secure their education, disability and other benefits.  You ROCK!.   We also want to invite you to tell your clients to register as job seekers on the site or use the thousands of pages of resources and information that we provide. Please register: here . If we can assist you, do not hesitate to contact us by emailing to info@militaryconnection.com. We also recognize that veterans and military and veterans also make the most successful entrepreneurs.  Check out our sister organization VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association that is 7,000 strong.  There are not any fees to join and here is a link.

   
   

It’s Working

Crisis Line

VA Fixed Veterans Crisis Line

In response to the recently released Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that reviewed the Veterans Crisis Line (VCL), VA released the following statement: "The Department of Veterans Affairs is proud to announce that the challenges with the Veterans Crisis Line have been resolved…. Our current call rollover rate is less than 1 percent, with over 99 percent of all calls being answered by the VCL." If you are in crisis, or know someone who is, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline number, 800-273-TALK (8255). Veterans should choose option 1. Or, text 838255, or chat online at Veterans Crisis Line website.  MilitaryConnection.com encourages Veterans to use this resource.  Additionally for confidential and free mental health counseling for you and your loved ones contact  Give An Hour at: www.giveanhour.org or  The Soldiers Project at www.thesoldiersproject.org

   
   

Patriotic Apparel & More

Apparel

A Part of Every Sale Goes To Help Those With PTSD

We are impressed with the products on this site.  They offer top quality apparel and specialty items for military, veterans and those who support them. We invite you to check out Our Hero Apparel’s Best Sellers at www.ourheroapparel.com.   The prices are excellent values too.   

 A portion of every sale is donated to help those with PTSD.

 

   
   

VA Employees

VA Porn

Should VA Be Able to Fire Employee Watching Porn?

We want to know what you think!   This is an interesting story and dilemma that is in an article on our blog.  Should the Veteran Administration be able to fire an employee who watches pornography?   Please read the article here (put in the link to it on the blog Ivan and highlight here to go to it).   Please weight in and let us know your opinion.  You can send us an email at:  info@militaryconnection.com

 

   
   

Tax Credits For Employers

tax credits

Hiring Veterans Makes Sense!

Did you know that each year employers claim over $1 Billion in tax credits under the Work Opportunity Tax Program (WOTC)?  Hiring Veterans is the right thing to do and makes good business sense too. In addition to all that Veterans bring to your company including talent, work ethic and discipline, skills and more, you can also help your company earn tax credits!   Businesses and some eligible tax-exempt organizations that hire unemployed veterans can take advantage of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).  This is also referred to as The Returning Heroes Tax Credit and provides incentives from $2,400 to $9,600 per hire depending on specifics.  The success and growth of this income tax credit for business is beneficial for all who participate, while increasing America’s economic growth and productivity.  Please contact us here for more information (it should go to info@militaryconnection.com).

 

   
   

Like Us & Follow Us

Viral

WOW - OVER 655,000 Fans & Followers

Military Connection and VAMBOA (Veterans and Military Business Owners Association), have over 655,000 combined fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. So if you want to keep current in-between newsletters or find out the latest on news that impacts Military and Veterans including Veteran Business Owners, please "Like" us on Facebook and follow Military Connection and VAMBOA on Twitter!

   
   

The Go To Site

advertise

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.” For more information, contact us by email at info@militaryconnection.com or call us at (800) 817-3777.

 

   
   

No Fees

VAMBOA

Veteran Business Owners – Connect With Corporations

VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association that is over 7,000 strong working 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 and take the survey with the issues  that are important to you. Membership is Free! You have honorably served our nation.   Membership is complimentary.

 

   
   

A Win-Win

Become A Veteran Friendly Employere

Become A Veteran Friendly Employer

At MilitaryConnection.com, we are experts in reaching veteran candidates, and can help you hire and retain veteran employees. At the same time, we can assist you in improving your corporate brand to reflect your veteran friendly employer status. 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.

 

   
   

CA ESGR

CA ESGR

Show Your Support

I am proud to serve as the Director of Employer Engagement for California’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Department of Defense Agency. The ESGR recognizes those employers who go above and beyond in outstanding support of their employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. The ESGR also promotes awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between employers and service members.  If you are an employer interested in a Statement of Support signing ceremony or wish to learn more, please email debbieg@militaryconnection.com. The ESGR motto says it all, "WE ALL SERVE!"

 

   
   

Valuable Tool

tool

Compare The Best Schools for Veterans

The Veterans Administration takes your education benefits very seriously, which is why we encourage you to conduct thorough research before choosing a school. To assist you, the VA is constantly updating the GI Bill Comparison Tool with the number of complaints a school receives, and they add caution flags highlighting important information such as investigations, settlements, accreditation issues, or financial issues. This is information you need to know.

GI Bill beneficiaries, family, and friends can play a part in helping keep schools honest. Reporting Principles of Excellence violations and fraudulent schools through the GI Bill Feedback System can help other Veterans and dependents to avoid bad actors and protect the integrity of the GI Bill education programs. Students can also call the VA Office of the Inspector General hotline at 1-800-488-8244. In both cases, it’s up to you if you want to provide contact information or remain anonymous.

   
   

Double Down

ThanksUSA

Matching Funds for Scholarships To Military Families

Make a donation to ThanksUSA before June 30, 2017, and The Kovner Foundation will match it up to a total of $400,000. Your donation to ThanksUSA will help our organization grow and support the mission of providing scholarships to military families.

ThanksUSA, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2005, thanks the men and women of the United States Armed Forces by providing need-based college, technical and vocational school scholarships for their children and spouses.

Since 2006, ThanksUSA has awarded nearly 4,000 scholarships with a total value of $12 million to military spouses and kids from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Our scholars come from all branches of military service, including the Guard and Reserves and, with the help of targeted grants, the families of those killed and wounded.

Visit www.ThanksUSA.org to learn more and donate.

 

   
   

Scholarships

Crisis Line

Applications Due by May 1, 2017

The Reserve Officers Association, ROA, will award up to ten $2500 scholarships to students pursuing courses of study leading to certificate, associate, bachelor, and graduate degrees for the 2017-18 Academic Year opening on March 31, 2017 with applications due by May 1, 2017.   Eligibility Requirements include:

  • Must be a graduate student
  • Must attend a university
  • Must be a US Citizen
  • Must not be attending high school currently
  • Military service in any armed service branch is required
  • Must be affiliated with Reserve Officers Association

Scholarships are funded by the Henry J. Reilly Memorial Library and Scholarship Fund, part of the ROA’s STARs Foundation to honor Reilly’s love of education.  Applicants should use the online scholarship portal:  (http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.roa.org/resource/resmgr/docs/Reilly-Scholarships.pdf

   
   

Strong Women Wanted

Strong Women

Win $500,000

Ready for the ultimate survival experience? Can you make fire, source and find water, build a shelter? But can you do it while dragging along a privileged novice?

Fox, Lionsgate, and the executive producer of Wipeout and Fear Factor want to consider sending you on the race of your lives!  You and your partner will be dropped into the wilderness where you must survive for one month to win the competition and $500,000.  You will have to drag your privileged partner kicking and screaming across the finish line.

We are seeking all types of Survivalists especially female Military Veterans.

Please email info@militaryconnection.com with name, age, phone, email, photo, occupation, city and state, some background and skills to win including your expertise and survival skills and what branch of military you served and in what capacity.

 

   
   

Gary Sinise & Friends

Gary Sinise

Concert for Military, Veterans & First Responders

The Gary Sinise Foundation is hosting a FREE event, Concerts for Defenders, on Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Jackie Robinson Stadium Parking Lot (100 Constitution Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095). The evening will honor America’s military and first responder communities. Food trucks will open at 5 pm. At 6:30 pm Five for Fighting will perform with special guest, Katharine McPhee. Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band will take the stage at 8:00 pm. Join the Gary Sinise Foundation for an FREE evening of music, fun, and celebrating America’s defenders. RSVP today at http://ConcertForDefenders.com.

   
   

Mental Health Summit

give an hour

Mental Health Culture Change

Many well-respected organizations around the world are focusing on mental health in new and innovative ways. Some of these efforts are making great strides but no convening has brought together thought leaders, stakeholders, policy makers, change agents and the entertainment industry to focus exclusively on addressing culture as a primary barrier to changing the way we think about, talk about and address emotional well-being and mental health.

Give an Hour – the backbone organization behind the Campaign to Change Direction – created The Global Summit on Mental Health Culture Change to showcase successful efforts, forge new alliances and create a strategic vision to eradicate the fear, shame and guilt that prevents those who are suffering from receiving the compassionate care they deserve. Culture change will bring lasting change. Join us May 1-3 in Los Angeles, CA.  Register today at www.changedirection.org/global-summit.

 

   
   

Guns

Guns

Should Mentally Ill Veterans Have Gun Access ?

You may want to read this important article on our blog.   A coalition of retired admirals and generals are protesting what they characterize as  “irresponsible and dangerous legislation” that will place mentally ill Veterans in harm’s way.  This is all about H.R. 1181 – The Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act.  Please read about it here.   Tell us what you think because your opinion matters and you can send us an email at info@militaryconnection.com.

 

   
   

Re-launching Series

Series

VA’s “The American Veteran”

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is re-launching its award-winning video series, The American Veteran. As part of its ongoing effort to engage and reach out to the Veteran community, VA's quarterly half-hour video program will highlight VA's services and the benefits veterans have earned. Each episode will include information on benefits or products as well as stories from veterans and links to resources. VA also launched the 'This Week at VA' Podcast, which is available through both iTunes and Stitcher. For more information, read the VA VAntage Point Blog.

 

   
   

He’s Back!

ted

Veteran Scene Returning

Military Connection is very proud to announce that Ted Puntillo and his column, “Veterans Scene” will soon be returning and will featured regularly on our web site.   Without a doubt, Ted is one of the most knowledgeable and caring Veteran Service officers in the nation and we could not be happier to publish his column so those who need the information will receive it. 

Ted is currently the Director of the Solano County Veteran Services Office.  He previously served as Deputy Secretary of Veteran Affairs for CalVet (the California Department of Veteran Affairs). Ted is an Army Veteran who served in Vietnam and lost 14 members of his company in the TET Offensive.    

Ted began working with veterans after retiring  from a 37-year career with the U.S. Post Office, culminating as the Postmaster  for the City of Davis.  Puntillo also served as City Councilmember in  Davis from 2002 to 2006, where he formed the Yolo County Veterans Caucus to  address veteran issues.    Ted  is an avid baseball fan and lives in northern California.

You can check out some of Ted’s past columns here.

   
   

Great Read

Viral

A Book You Cannot Put Down!

Huebusch is the Executive Director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, a patriot and a very gifted writer. His novel is a must read. A forensic anthropologist sets out to prove that the Shroud of Turin is a fake. He quickly discovers the opposite and must race to stop the evil forces who want to use traces of blood in the fabric to clone Jesus Christ and bring on the second coming of their own design. According to our CEO, Debbie Gregory “I predict that The Shroud Conspiracy, will soon be on the New York Times Best Seller List”.

The novel is available at Barnes and Noble for purchase or you can order it from Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/Shroud-Conspiracy-Novel-John-Heubusch/dp/1501155709 For those who would like the book signed with a personalized message and mailed to them, the link is www.reaganfoundation.org/shroud.

 

   
   

NFL USO Tour

ted

3 Players will engage in the NFL USO Tour

The players were selected both for their play and charity work away from football for the league's Salute to Service campaign appreciating the military.  They NFL players are:  Cameron Jordan #94 of the New Orleans Saints, Miami Dolphins defensive back Byron Maxwell and Delanie Walker #82 of the Tennessee Titans. Anna Isaacson, the NFL's senior vice president of social responsibility, says the league is pleased to work with the USO on another goodwill tour and that Walker, Jordan and Maxwell look forward to the chance to thank service members in person.

   
   

GI Film Festival

GI Film Festival

11th annual Sundance for The Troops in Washington D.C.

Sundance for the troops’ is May 24-28 in Washington, D.C

More than 50 films, along with live entertainment and a mix of celebrities, will greet attendees at this year's GI Film Festival, set for May 24-28 in Washington, D.C.

It's the 11th year of the festival, which will boast a few new wrinkles along with the traditional cross-genre film offerings. Chief among them: A " Cinematic Salute to the Troops" on May 27 that will include live music and celebrity appearances along with a series of short films, and a " Pitchfest" set for May 26 that will link filmmakers with industry professionals in a style similar to the ABC television hit "Shark Tank."

   
   

APP

ted

NAVY APP LOCKER

The new Navy App Locker is an app version of the U.S. Navy's associated website and provides Navy Sailors, civilians, and family members a central location to view mobile applications, review detailed information about Navy-developed apps, and streamlined access to their device's appropriate app store. The Navy App Locker assures users the apps they are downloading were developed by the Department of the Navy and contain relevant, up-to-date information. The Navy App Locker App can be downloaded at no cost via Google Play or iTunes. Users can search by 'navy app locker' or 'seawarrior.' If a command would like an official Navy mobile application added to the Navy App Locker, please contact the Navy App Locker Team at navyapps@navy.mil.

   
   

Navy Social Aides

ted

The White House Wants You

Navy junior officers interested in serving as a White House social aide can now apply through April 30. The White House social aides help manage guests who attend social functions at the White House. Unmarried naval officers in the pay grades of O-2 through O-4 who are currently stationed in the National Capital Region may apply. Applicants must have at least 24 months remaining in their present tour if currently holding a secret clearance, and at least 18 months remaining if currently holding a top secret clearance. This is a collateral duty that requires a command endorsement providing support for participation in the program, to include a time commitment of one full morning, afternoon, or evening event per week. Application requests can be submitted via email to the Navy Service Program Manager, Lt. Cmdr. RoDeece Dean, at rodeece.dean@navy.mil.

   
   

Guest Blog Article

Guest Blog Article

Commander Wayne Leslie Johnson (Retired)

Please read our guest blog piece by Commander Wayne Johnson.  Commander Johnson provides valuable information about Federal Law and Regulations, as well as some State Laws, that protect our active duty, Guard and Reserve Who Are Attending School and Have to Stop or Miss Classes due to Military Orders.  Commander Johnson served in the United States Navy from 1975 to 1979 and was a  commissioned ensign in the Navy in 1982 advancing to Commander in 1996. He served as Senior Defense Counsel, Chief Legal Assistance Attorney, Navy Legal Service Office from 1983 to 1985 in Pensacola. He was a Staff Judge Advocate for the USS Canopus as well as a Military Law Instructor at the Naval Justice School.   Wayne retired in 1999 with 20 years of active military service.   Here is a link to his article here.

We invite guest bloggers to submit articles to us on important information for military, veterans and their loved ones.  We ask that you provide original content of 500 words or less.  We will not publish anything political, attacks or articles written to promote for profit entities.  Please submit to info@militaryconnection.com.

 

   
   

Offering Assistance

Airmen

Airmen Helping Airmen

The Air Force Aid Society (AFAS) continues its long tradition of Airmen helping Airmen, and educating America's future leaders.  When unexpected emergencies arise, when a financial need and help is needed, AFAS provides no-interest loans and grants to Airmen to help meet immediate needs.   Also, dependent children and spouses of active duty and retired Airmen can work towards a college degree with AFAS education grants, loans and scholarships. The AFAS also offers targeted community programs for Airmen and their families. For more information, visit the Air Force Aid Society website and read about the AFAS' 75 years of helping Airmen on the AFAS website. “Aim High… Fly-Fight- Win”