Trouble viewing this email? Click here to view in your browser.

Military Connection Logo

Follow us:

Newsletter - December 2013 #2

Unsubscribe | Tell a Friend

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that affects people based upon the time of year. Many individuals experience SAD during the end of year holidays. Because so much emphasis is placed on family and togetherness this time of year, it can prove to be overwhelming for those away from home or feeling isolated. And when you add post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, loss and grieving into the mix, the results can be catastrophic. At Military Connection, we are privileged to work with some top-notch, highly respected non-profits that diligently work to provide a safety net to the ever-increasing number of people suffering from mental health issues. Give an Hour is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan through direct counseling services, education and training. The Soldiers Project offers free, confidential psychological counseling for Military Servicemembers, Veterans and their loved ones. The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans and their families and friends with qualified VA responders via their toll-free hotline, an online chat, or by text.

To have the opportunity to interact with so many wonderful people on a daily basis, our users, clients, and the many groups we work and partner with throughout the year, make what I do truly enjoyable. As the saying goes, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” For this, I am truly grateful.

Have a safe and happy holiday and New Year.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO


Urgent Legislation

United States Flag Checks

Help Support Veterans - Contact Your Representatives Immediately

Your support of OTT13367, the Vow to Hire Heroes Extension Act of 2013, is URGENTLY needed. This bipartisan bill would not only extend the work opportunity tax credit for hiring veterans through December 31, 2016, it would also allow qualified tax-exempt organizations eligibility to receive payroll tax credit for hiring veterans. The current bill, a win-win for Veterans, employers and businesses, has stimulated Veteran hiring, but is set to expire on December 31st, 2013. Please join me in contacting your elected officials at and and urge their support. For a one page analysis of this bill click here.


Military/Veteran Offer


30 Days of LifeLock Ultimate™ Complimentary, Plus 15% Discount

There’s another threat that you may face while serving your country—the threat of identity theft. Your personal information goes everywhere you do. If it falls into the wrong hands, your identity could be facing a long list of abusive schemes. Identity theft is everywhere for those in the military. Military service personnel and their families are often targeted by scam artists and identity thieves.1 Until recently, Social Security numbers were used as soldier identifiers on everything from dog tags to duffle bags. Changes are under way to minimize the damage for soldiers, but you can take immediate actions to help make your identity safer. Your identity needs protection. LifeLock Ultimate™ is the most comprehensive identity theft protection available. For more information or to Enroll now and get 30 Days complimentary, in addition to a 15% Discount, click here and use Promo Code: MILITARY15.


Some Interesting Facts

Toys for Tots Santa

Delivering a Message of Hope

In 1947, when Marine Reservist Major Bill Hendricks gathered a group of fellow reservists to collect toys for needy children, he launched what would then become Toys for Tots. The iconic red toy train logo was designed by Walt Disney Studios. Up until 1980, the drive collected used toys that were then refurbished. From 1980 on, only new toys were accepted. In 1995, the Secretary of Defense approved Toys for Tots as an official mission of the Marine Corps Reserve. In 1996, the commander of the Marine Forces Reserve authorized Marine Corps League detachments and other local organizations to collection and distribute toys in areas where they were without a Marine reservist presence. The drop off for is at the VFW Military History Museum through the President Ronald Reagan Detachment 597 of the Marine Corps League at the Simi Valley Town Center Mall. To find your drop off, click here.


Featured School

Heavy Equipment

Growing Job Outlook-Heavy Equipment Operator

Through 2020 and beyond, the job outlook for heavy equipment operators is expected to grow significantly faster than the national average. The Colleges of Construction in Georgia, Northern California and Oklahoma offer training and certification that will prepare military veterans for these high-paying jobs. The Colleges are approved to accept your VA Benefits and they offer nationally recognized ADEPT certification through the National Association of Heavy Equipment Training Services. The schools offer 3 three-week courses that teach the necessary skills for the operation of heavy construction equipment such as bulldozers, skid steers, front loaders, excavators, backhoes and cranes. For military Veterans, certification from an approved heavy equipment training center can be the start of a rewarding and expanding civilian career. You have served and protected America, now is your opportunity to help build it - learn more at


MyCAA For Military Spouses

Military Family Home Steps

Funding Is Still Available

Claim your no cost to you military employment assistance benefits from Fisk University for a recession proof, well paid job in the exciting field of healthcare. The MyCAA Military Spouses Career Advancement Account program provides $4,000 employment assistance, paid directly to the school for job training, so there is no cost to you. Earn your healthcare program certifications anywhere, worldwide, 100% online 24/7. Certificate programs include Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS), Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). An eligible spouse must be married to an active duty member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2 or O1-O2. To get started in your new career with Fisk University, click here.


Benefits You Earned

Check out your benefits!

Your Post 9/11 GI Bill covers

Check out our Education Area including our Veteran School Directory You can also read about accredited universities for military distance learning here.

Online Help

Manage Stress

Manage Your Stress

The VA PTSD Coach Online offers simple exercises, tools and strategies for coping with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Provided by the VA National Center for PTSD, the site allows you to choose a problem to work on, be it sleep problems, anxiety, sadness, feelings of disconnection, etc. PTSD Coach Online is for anyone who needs help with upsetting feelings. Trauma survivors, their families, or anyone coping with stress can benefit from these tools.


Tell Us Your Passion

Writers Circle

Join Our Writers’ Circle Today!

Do you have something you’re passionate about, or want to let others know about your program or how you are making a difference? If you love to write, we invite you to participate in the Writers’ Circle. The Writers’ Circle features guest writers who want to share their thoughts, deeds and ideas with our audience. To be included, your article must be 300-600 words of original content, not copy written, and non-political. We will put articles in the Writers’ Circle on our web site, as well as featuring some of them in upcoming newsletters. For admission consideration, email your article to


Featured School

Dyouville College building entrance

D’Youville College-Serving Veterans and Military Families

Welcome home to the members of D’Youville College’s International Admissions Office, who swept through Germany this fall, making recruiting presentations at five DoD Dependent High Schools -Europe . In a busy eight days, Ron Dannecker and Brandon Moran introduced 800 American high school students to D’Youville College, a recipient of the Veteran School Salute. Dannecker retired from the U.S. Navy, and like the military dependent students he talks to, his family has traveled the world. The 800 students represent about 2.5% of the 33,500 children of military service members and DoD civilian employees in American high schools on U.S. military bases in Europe. Counselor Jennifer Heinen, of Bitburg High School said the students really appreciate colleges and universities coming to Europe and visiting their high schools. “It makes them feel a part of the mainland higher education system and not so isolated from their U.S. counter parts,” she said.


Veteran School Salute

Veteran School Salute

Recognizing Schools That Go the Extra Mile

The Veteran School Salute was conceived to recognize 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. If there is a school deserving of being “saluted” for its efforts in providing the best educational services for its Veteran Students, please let us know. We would love to recognize other schools so that Veterans will be cognizant of the very best schools for them.


Tax Assistance

Tax Forms

Benefitting Low Income Filers

The National Disability Institute (NDI) is a not-for-profit corporation delivering free tax preparation and filing assistance nationally, as part of their Veterans Initiative. The services of MyFreeTaxes are free for everyone who earns less than $58,000 per year. NDI, the United Way, Goodwill Industries and MyFreeTaxes partner to provide online and on-the-ground free tax filing and preparation for low to moderate income individuals. Of the 23.6 million military Veterans in the U.S., six million had disabilities with nearly half of all veterans returning from current conflicts having service-connected disabilities. And in 2009, the median income of a veteran was $35,622, qualifying many to use MyFreeTaxes. NDI staff has experience both personally and professionally related to disability and the military and veteran community.


Rebuilding Lives

AMVETS Welcome Home Program

Happy Anniversary Welcome Home Program!

Team AMVETS™ Welcome Home Program is a furniture and household goods assistance program that is a partnership between the VA and AMVETS Department of California Service Foundation. On Friday, December 13th, the ceremonial 500th package, marking the first anniversary of the program, was delivered to a very deserving Veteran, Frank Crawford, and his family. Recently reunited after being forced to live apart, Frank, his wife Melva and her son have now gone from the street, to a shelter, to a furnished home within a 4 month period. The program, which provides furniture and other household items to Veterans who have been homeless but are now rebuilding their lives, currently services the San Diego, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Orange County and Fresno areas, and plans to grow to over 1,000 deliveries in 2014.


Amazing Women

Ladies America

Women Helping Women

Ladies America is a national networking group comprised of professional women who abide by the motto, “Women Helping Women”. In 2013, the group took on an initiative focused on Women in Military. This has generated a dialogue around topics like job creation and transition assistance for women coming out of the military and into the workforce. Honored at a recent luncheon were Dawn Halfaker, Chief Executive Officer of Halfaker and Associates, an award winning professional services and technology solutions firm, and Jennifer Marino, Executive Director at Boulder Crest Retreat for Military and Veteran Wellness.


Featured Employer

Calvet is hiring

CalVet is Hiring!

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is hiring! In addition to the 36 Veterans Claims Representatives (VCR) being hired to speed up the processing of benefits claims filed by California veterans, CalVet has openings that run the gamut from analysts to cooks to engineers, and more! If you want to check out all of the openings, click here if you are already registered as a user or click here if you need to register. Once you are logged in, click on the CalVet link in the alphabetized listings to see what fantastic job opportunities await!


Jobs & More Jobs

Job Board

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.


Get Away From It All

Gov Vacation Rewards

Savings for Military, Veterans, Government Employees and Their Families

You are invited to join Government Vacation Rewards, the complimentary government and military travel program. Just sign-up to save up to 50% on your next vacation. Book hotels, cruises, flights, car rentals and more. With a Best Price Guarantee and No Booking Fees, you can rest assured that you are getting the lowest price on your vacation. Sign up now to start saving!


Special Discounts

Advertise with us

Your Company Featured on

Reach Active Duty Military, Guard and Reservists, Veterans and Military Spouses with jobs, educational opportunities, and excellent products and services. For more information, click here.


Become a User

Military Connection Logo

Access Premium Services - Complimentary offers thousands of pages of resources and information for our users. There is something for everyone, including our newsletter, full of valuable and timely information, the Job Board, our Directory of Scholarships, our Employer Directory and more. You will also receive our Newsletter. Sign Up Now.


Healing the Hidden Wounds

Military Mom with Baby

Confidential Psychological Counseling

The Soldiers Project is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing free, confidential psychological services to military personnel who have served during the Iraq/Afghanistan conflicts, as well as to their loved ones. Returning home, especially around the holidays, can be challenging. Mental health practitioners can provide the support that is needed to deal with moodiness, irritability, anger and hopelessness. Call Toll-free (877) 576-5343 or visit them on the web.


Mark Your Calendar

Women Veterans Conference

January 7, 2014 McLean, VA

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with fellow women Veterans, national employers, and non-profit organizations that provide valuable resources such as healthcare, education, and career resources. There is no cost to attend the Women Veterans Conference on January 7th in McLean, VA. Come and network with fellow veterans and leaders to share experiences and the common but unique thread that connects women who have served. For more information, contact Charlie Palumbo. To register for the event, click here.


Complimentary Membership


Veteran Business Owners

VAMBOA is a non-profit trade association 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 serves the needs of the Veteran and military business communities by uniting Veteran and military business owners for collaboration, connections and contracts with both private corporations and government agencies. Join today and take the survey to let us know what issues are important to you. Membership is Free! You have honorably served our nation. VAMBOA is here to serve you and be your voice.


VETS 360

VETS 360 Group

BIG Changes in 2014

In 2014, two notable changes to the VETS 360 program will happen. First, they will be adding female veterans to their program. Women Veterans often struggle to find their way when they separate, and many of them are dealing with Military Sexual Trauma, which can cause Post Traumatic Stress. VETS 360 will source accommodation for the women much like they have for the men, and will make their services available to the women as well. Secondly, VETS 360 will start their first class of Cloud Accreditation for their “Generation X-Box” Veterans on February 17th, putting these Veterans at the leading edge of this emerging technology. To support Vets 360 please visit If you would like to invest in the Cloud Education and Employment initiative and help put their Cloud Lab together, click here.


Good Read

US Veterans Magazine

Complimentary Subscription

Everyone at U.S. Veterans Magazine wish you the best this holiday season. The New Year is fast approaching, and they have all the latest information about the many career opportunity and resource fairs being held nationwide! These exciting events are geared toward Veterans, service-disabled Veterans and their spouses and families. Many events are free or low cost to veterans. Check out the online events calendar for the events that connect Veterans and their families and spouses with opportunities for career and business success! And don’t forget to Click Here for your complimentary subscription.


Giving Help. Giving Hope.

Mental Health Services

Complimentary Mental Health Services

Give an Hour provides free mental health services to military personnel and their families. If you or someone you love is struggling this holiday season, Give an Hour can help. To minimize stress, Give an Hour suggests the following:
• Ask for help from family and friends (e.g., Can you watch the baby while I do some holiday shopping? I’ve got so much on my plate, can you help me wrap presents?)
• Be firm with your limits. If you can’t muster the time, energy, or money to travel to visit relatives, say so; if you can’t organize this year’s bake sale at the school, say so.
• Look for opportunities to help others in need. The act of giving improves our mood and can lift our spirits.
• Avoid financial stress by avoiding the temptation to spend beyond your means, and instead focus on “gifts from the heart” (photo albums, written messages, and homemade items).


In the News Now

MC Blog

Check Out Our Blog - Latest and Greatest

The blog tackles some of the stories that are in the forefront of military news. With the top stories found on our homepage, the blog gives you the opportunity to state your opinion and interact with other users. We hope you will feel that the blog is provided as a service to our users, and participate by commenting on the stories you feel strongly about.


Over 236,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers on Twitter and the VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 236,000 followers! So if you want to keep current in-between newsletters or find out the latest on news that affects Veteran Business Owners, "Like" us on Facebook and join Military Connection and VAMBOA on Twitter!