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Newsletter - May, 2015 #2

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On this Memorial Day, as we do every year, we remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. I hope you will join me in taking a moment to honor those who gave so much to make our country great. Additionally, let us be mindful of Gold Star families. For them, Memorial Day is not just about a three-day weekend or the kick-off to summer. It is about their loved ones who paid a heavy price, giving up all of their tomorrows so that we could live our lives in freedom. Let us honor all who serve, past and present for their many sacrifices.

Debbie Gregory, CEO


AFVW is Now Altavita


New Name, Same Great Community!

Air Force Village West may be changing their name to Altavita, but that won’t change its commitment to their residents to provide camaraderie, courtesy and loyalty. Altavita is spreading their wings to include a broader base of residents, all welcomed to feel at home and a part of the family. In order to meet the needs of a new generation of mature adults, Altavita’s master plan includes the best in housing, dining, amenities and wellness. If this is your time to soar, check out Altavita at


Avoiding Financial Hazards


Planning Ahead With These Tips

As much as servicemembers may be focused on the day that they’ll complete their deployment, planning for post-deployment financial security should not be delayed until they return home.  Giving some thought to financial stability during military service will help skirt some common post-deployment hazards. We have compiled a list of some things that can be done in advance of returning home to help lessen the odds of something going wrong. To read Avoiding Post-Deployment Financial Hazards, click here.


Featured School

Featured School

Education Focused on High-Demand Civilian Careers

As you transition to civilian life, consider a career in the high-demand healthcare industry. Transformational leaders capable of solving critical issues are urgently needed. An advanced degree in nursing or healthcare management can open the door to a leadership opportunity in this fast growing industry. American Sentinel online degree programs are affordable and attainable. Flexible courses can be taken anywhere and anytime. Degree programs include: RN to BSN, RN to BSN/MSN, M.S Nursing (with 5 specializations), Doctor of Nursing Practice (2 specializations), MBA Healthcare, MS Business intelligence and Analytics, M.S. Information System Management and more. American Sentinel is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education. American Sentinel is a proud supporter of their military students, providing no-cost evaluation of military training, CLEP and DSST exams, ACE- evaluated and industry-certification training, as well as prior college credits. Learn more.


Help Support ThanksUSA


Buy Me Some Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

There’s a lot to be said about the Washington Nationals. What other major league baseball team can say they have mascot versions of old Presidents? And have you ever eaten at Ben’s Chili Bowl? It’s a DC landmark because it sells incredibly delicious chili dogs and half-smokes, a variety of sausage popular in the area. Nationals Park features a Ben’s Chili Bowl. But how about discounted tickets for ThanksUSA supporters AND a $5 donation for each of those tickets sold? It doesn’t get much better than that! The Washington Nationals are teaming up with ThanksUSA in support of military families. ThanksUSA supporters will enjoy online ticket discounts for every 2015 home game. For each ticket purchased, the Nats will donate $5 to the ThanksUSA Scholarship Fund.

To purchase discounted tickets, Click Here and select the game you want to attend. Enter the discount code THANKSUSA and click APPLY.


Benefits You Earned


Your Post 9/11 GI Bill covers

• Tuition & Fees
Monthly Tax Free Housing Allowance
• Up to $1000 Annual Stipend for books & supplies
Register for benefits
• More

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


Walking to Remember

Walking to Remember

A Meaningful Memorial Weekend

We would like to acknowledge the Carry the Load National Relay Team as they finishing their 2,000 mile walk, from West Point, NY to Dallas, TX on Sunday, May 24th. Conceived by Navy SEAL Veterans Clint Bruce and Stephen Holley,  Carry the Load restores the true meaning of Memorial Day while raising money for military charities. This year’s relay will support seven national non-profits that serve the military/veteran communities, among them Snowball Express. Snowball Express, entering its 10th year, supports and honors the fallen by giving their children a time to make happy memories and connect with other children who share their unique loss. We encourage you to support these two great non-profits.


Work for CalVet


CalVet is Hiring!

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is hiring! CalVet has openings that run the gamut from accountants to dental assistants, custodians to nurses, and more! There are job openings in 13 locations throughout the state, including West Los Angeles, Fresno, Ventura, Oakland and more. And when you choose a career with the State of California, you receive a comprehensive benefits package in addition to your salary. Veterans and disabled Veterans are encouraged to apply, and will receive preference points on all State of California examinations. If you want to check out all of CalVet’s current openings, click here.


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.


Good Read!

good read

Why is The Solder and the Squirrel Relevant?

The Soldier and the Squirrel is not just a book - it is a tool to introduce our youth to the humanity behind the wounded warrior. The story will also open the conversation between parent and child about the very real effects of war, while reminding us all that the greatest blessings and most meaningful moments in life are often the smallest ones. The wounded warrior is today's super-hero. But what about tomorrow? The one thing that should never change is our country's support for our returning wounded, no matter what the reason was for going to war. The Solder and the Squirrel ensures continued support for our wounded veterans of all ages, from all generations, and keeps their sacrifices front and center.


The Go To Site

Advertise With Us

Advertise With Us, the Go To Site, is your online connection to the Veteran and Military communities. If you are an employer seeking to hire military, veterans and spouses, an educational institution looking to reach military and veterans with rich education benefits or a corporation with excellent products and services, please allow us to assist you with a customized advertising program. For more information, contact us by email at or call us at (800) 817-3777.


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 will serve 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 them know what issues are important to you. Membership is Free! You have honorably served our nation. VAMBOA is here to serve you is here to serve you and be your voice.


Famous Vets

Famous Veterans

Did You Know They Served?

Most people know that Elvis Presley served in the United States Army. But there are a number of celebs who served, that you may not be aware of. Drew Carey left Kent State University in 1980, and enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Comedian Mel Brooks served during WWII. He was a corporal and combat engineer who diffused land mines. Singer Tony Bennett was drafted at the end of WWII. Jimi Hendrix was stationed at Fort Campbell during his stint. Clark Gable served in the Air Force, as did Morgan Freeman and Chuck Norris. Johnny Carson, Bob Barker and Henry Fonda all served in the Navy. Also having served in uniform were Clint Eastwood, Hugh Hefner, Ice T, Mickey Rooney, and Alan Alda.


Mark Your Calendar

Flag Day

Flag Day Concert in San Diego

Enjoy a relaxing Flag Day BBQ and concert on June 14th  in support of the Gary Sinise Foundation. Before paratroopers grace the sky and wave our nation’s flag over the beach in Coronado, you can rock out to Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band. The day begins at 11:00 am, with food being served at noon. Gary and his crew take the stage from 5:00-7:00 pm, and the amazing skydiving show will conclude the concert. Tickets are $75,  and $35 for military. Proceeds will go directly to the Gary Sinise Foundation, a non-profit that serves our nation by honoring our defenders, Veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. For ticket information, click here.


Join In!

Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is accepting applications from Veterans interested in participating in the 2015 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic. The 2015 National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic will be held Sept.13-18 at the VA San Diego Healthcare System in San Diego, California. The annual event is expected to attract Veterans from all over the country who have sustained a variety of injuries ranging from traumatic brain injury and polytrauma, to spinal cord injury or loss of limb. For more information or for an application, visit


Join the National Campaign

Change Mental Health

A Shared Mission

With one in five Americans living with a diagnosable mental health condition, it is expected that more Americans will die this year due to suicide than in car accidents. “The Campaign to Change Direction” is a collection of concerned citizens, nonprofit leaders, and leaders from the private sector who have come together to “change the story” in America about mental health, mental illness, and wellness. The movement aims to allow us to see mental health as having equal value to our physical health, encourage us to care for our mental well-being and the mental well-being of others, and allow us to recognize the signs of emotional suffering in ourselves and others. As part of the collective effort led by Give an Hour, is proud to join 50 other partners in this effort. Visit for more information.


Newly Redesigned


Doing Great Work

Our friends at Homefront America have been busy redesigning their new website. We hope you’ll take a minute to go check it out and while you’re there, look at all the great work they do. There are a 100% volunteer run non-profit serving the families that serve.


Booklet Now Available

Outreach Toolkit

CalVet’s Women Veterans Outreach Toolkit

The Women Veterans Outreach Toolkit educates government, business, education, healthcare, and community service organizations about the unique challenges facing the nearly 200,000 women Veterans in California. Created in response to requests for guidance by service providers, the Toolkit offers facts about women Veterans, best practices, a "to do list" of actions to assist women Veterans, plus links to state and national resources. The publication is the first-ever toolkit published in the nation designed to provide resources for groups assisting women Veterans. For access to the Toolkit online, click here.


Veteran Stand Downs

Veteran Stand Downs

Find Them on

Stand Downs are one part of the Department of Veterans Affairs' efforts to provide services to homeless veterans.  Stand Downs are typically one to three day events providing services to homeless Veterans such as food, shelter, clothing, health screenings, VA and Social Security benefits counseling, and referrals to a variety of other necessary services, such as housing, employment and substance abuse treatment.  Stand Downs are collaborative events, coordinated between local VAs, other government agencies, and community agencies who serve the homeless. We are pleased to bring you a listing of upcoming Stand Downs here. If you are aware of one that we do not have listed, please send the information to .


Express Your Gratitude

Operation Gratitude

Help However You Can

Why should you support Operation Gratitude? Because there are more than 150,000 American service members deployed far from home and loved ones, most in harm's way. Because they are still sending packages to Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to Liberia, Korea and to ships in international waters. Operation Gratitude also sends packages to tens of thousands of Veterans and new recruits here at home. All of our heroes need a reminder that the American people are thinking of them and appreciate their service. Whether you knit a warm scarf, write a letter, donate care package items, give $15 to send one package, $45 to send three packages, or send a package every month of the year for $180, your support of our brave men and women in uniform is always welcome.


Become a Champion for Military Families

Register as a Fundraiser for Fisher House

Register as a Fundraiser for Fisher House

Turn your words of “I support our troops” into action by raising funds and awareness for Fisher House Foundation.  Your efforts will have a direct and meaningful impact on the lives of service members, veterans, and their families when they need it most.  Join the Community designed to make fundraising for Fisher House easy, fun, and rewarding! For a listing of the upcoming races or for more info, click here.


Good Read

Register as a Fundraiser for Fisher House

Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit

In 2003, nineteen-year-old Private J.R. Martinez was on a routine patrol in Iraq, just one month in to his deployment, when the Humvee he was driving hit an anti-tank mine. J.R. sustained severe injuries and burns on his face and over one-third of his body. But out of that horrifying tragedy came a journey of inspiration and motivation. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, which he did for a while, , J.R. ran with the opportunity to reinvent his life. His first small step was to speak to another young burn victim. J.R. realized how valuable and gratifying it was to share his experiences with other patients and listen to theirs. This calling led him to motivational speaking engagements, acting gigs, and winning the coveted “Mirror Ball” on Dancing With the Stars. Follow J.R.’s journey in his new book, Full of Heart: My Story of Survival, Strength, and Spirit.


Over 497,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers and VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 404,000 followers on Twitter and over 93,000 on Facebook! 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!


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