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Newsletter - November 2015 #2

Tell a Friend

On Friday, November 20th, I had the honor of attending a luncheon for Medal of Honor recipient Captain Florent Groberg, U.S. Army (Retired). I felt fortunate to pay tribute to this man who had gone above and beyond the call of duty, and in doing so, saved the lives of many of his fellow servicemembers. The luncheon was a reminder that those who serve put themselves in harm’s way for our freedom. As you sit down to your Thanksgiving dinner, remember that not every family has the same opportunity to be together. Military families make these kinds of sacrifices daily. Strong, independent military spouses, as well as parents, siblings and children are keeping home and family together, while their loved are missing family celebrations. I hope that during this season of giving, you will remember the families of those who serve.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO


Full Scholarships Available

David Lynch

Learn The Evidence-based Transcendental Meditation

For a limited time, veterans of OEF/OIF are eligible to receive a full scholarship to learn the evidence-based Transcendental Meditation technique. TM has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, decrease insomnia, improve relationships, and decrease the use of psychotropic medication. Through a generous grant from the David Lynch Foundation, the scholarships are available to veterans in San Diego, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC. For more information, click here.


Demonstrating All He Can Be


Lunch With a Hero

Thank you to the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) for hosting a luncheon with Medal of Honor Recipient Florent Groberg. The sold-out event was still an intimate affair, offering attendees full access to “Flo”. Groberg was gracious, especially when speaking with other wounded warriors present at the event. To read more about the actions that led to Groberg receiving the Medal of Honor, click here.


Successful 5K


They Came, They Ran, They Walked, AND Raised Money!

On your marks….get set… have fun!! That is exactly what happened at Altavita’s First Annual RUN/Walk 4 RAW 5K on Saturday, November 14th.  Through months of planning, many generous donations,  sponsorships, staff and resident volunteers and 100 participants (ranging in age from 6 to 84)  the day was a huge success. In addition to raising funds for Rebuilding America’s Warriors (RAW),  the event brought together active duty personnel, Altavita staff, residents and family members, local high school students, mothers-to-be and their tots, and many other local community participants.


Mark Your Calendar

Mark Your Calendar

A Night of Honor

On February 20, 2016, Rebuilding America's Warriors (RAW) is hosting A Night of Honor, acknowledging injured U.S. combat vets who courageously served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The event at the Hyatt Regency, Indian Wells, CA,  will feature Army Veteran Bryan Anderson, a triple amputee injured in Iraq in 2007. Bryan, the author of “No Turning Back”, is an inspiration to everyone he meets. He serves as an Ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and speaks to veterans around the country via USA Cares. A 2015 Special Edition Trail Rated Willy's Jeep, custom-wrapped in a military theme depicting Army, Marines, Air Force, and Navy, will be auctioned at the event. Pre-event bids may be submitted by calling 760-568-4039. Injured vets that RAW has helped through free reconstructive services will be flown in from around the country for this special event, and you have the opportunity to sponsor a vet at your table. Entertainment will be provided by the Gatlin Brothers.


Jobs & More Jobs

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.


Reporting for Duty


True Stories of Wounded Veterans and Their Service Dogs

The impenetrable bond between human and canine can be an incredible, life-changing one.  Nobody knows this better than our wounded veterans who benefit from the assistance, companionship, and unconditional love of a trained service dog. In Reporting for Duty, True Stories of Wounded Veterans and Their Service Dogs (i-5 Press, 2015) by Tracy Libby, fifteen amazing veterans who paid an enormous price to protect our freedom, share their stories of hope and empowerment. Their skilled, reliable and loyal service dogs became instant therapists, comforting and watching over those struggling with recurring dreams, panic attacks, crippling migraines, insomnia, fear, loneliness, and grief. These canines guide the blind, retrieve objects, and assist the physically disabled. They interrupt nightmares, respond to seizures, and hit buttons that dial 911. This book honors our wounded veterans and the exceptional canines who serve them with love and devotion. A portion of the proceeds support Veterans Moving Forward.


We Couldn’t Be More Proud!

Bonnie Carroll

Congratulations to Bonnie Carroll

Military Connection’s very good friend, TAPS founder Bonnie Carroll, will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her longstanding efforts to provide support to the families of our nation’s fallen service members. For more than 20 years, TAPS has offered support to more than 60,000 surviving family members of our fallen military and their caregivers. To read more about this honor and the lofty company that Bonnie is in, 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 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 and be your voice.


HomeStrong USA


Assisting Military and Veterans

Retired Army Sgt. 1st Class Mark Romo now has a walk-in shower in his bathroom, new flooring in his bedroom, and a working fireplace, all courtesy of HomeStrong USA. The 501(c) (3) nonprofit community development organization assists military, veterans and low-income families with housing and other services. Romo was injured in 2005 when an IED hit his Humvee in Iraq. The blast sent him flying. He had two spinal surgeries to fuse several of his vertebrae, along with knee, jaw and eye surgeries. He earned the Purple Heart for his combat wounds, but had a hard time adjusting to life after his 24-year military career ended last year. He went through a divorce and nearly lost his home after falling behind on mortgage payments. ”This represents a new beginning, a new chapter in my life, to believe again, and to find purpose, direction and motivation.”


Operation Cookie Drop

Operation Cookie Drop

Calling All Elves

If you live anywhere near Travis Air Force Base, it’s time to spread a little holiday cheer. Operation Cookie Drop makes the holidays a little nicer for Travis’ legion of young airmen who live in the dorms, and spend the holiday season away from their families. To pull this off, they need lots of volunteers to help set up, collect and sort cookies, organize boxes of cookies, and clean up.  The work will be done in shifts, so if you can find a shift that works for you, please support this wonderful event on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 8th and 9th.


Benefits You Earned

Post 9/11 GI Bill

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.


California Veterans

Post 9/11 GI Bill

Have You Gotten Yours Yet?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) have joined forces to honor our Veterans by allowing qualified servicemen and servicewomen to apply for a "Veteran" designation on California driver licenses and identification cards. It’s as easy as 1,2,3. For more information, click here.


A Milestone Reached!

Operation Gratitude

Operation Gratitude

On December 7, 2013, Operation Gratitude celebrated its biggest milestone to date: their One Millionth Care Package. Less than two years later, another milestone… on October 17th, their volunteers assembled and shipped their 1.3 millionth package! If you would like to join them this holiday season to say "Thank You" to our men and women in uniform, here are the three ways you can help: Donate funds to ship care packages. Join Operation Gratitude as they march towards their Second Million!


Well Done!

Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise, By the Numbers

Gary Sinise’s passion is ensuring America’s heroes get the support and honor they deserve. He has accomplished so much through the Gary Sinise Foundation is just four years. Did you know that more than 130 wounded heroes, their caregivers and loved ones have been supported through the foundation? Or that 36 custom Smart Homes have been completed or are underway? How about the fact that the Lt. Dan Band has performed more than 300 concerts in support of America’s defenders? More than 50,000 people from military medical centers have attended the Invincible Spirit Festivals, more than 1,300 veterans have received help through Relief and Resiliency Outreach, and more than 28,000 meals have been served through Serving Heroes. Through the Soaring Valor program, the foundation is bringing WWII veterans to The National WWII Museum in New Orleans for a one-of-a-kind. Hats off to you, Mr. Sinise!


Featured Employer


Calling All Experienced RNs: Take Your Career to the Next Level!

Why do top healthcare professionals choose Guthrie? For many, it’s the opportunity to work within a nationally recognized integrated health care system. Add to that a generous loan repayment program and relocation assistance, all in a setting that is unmatched for its beauty and quality of life, and you have a winning combination. With a long history of excellence in health care, Guthrie provides a first class working environment which combines a love of nursing with excellent compensation and benefits. If you are looking for the medical sophistication of a metropolitan hospital with the advantages of living and working within a rural community, Guthrie may be the right choice for you. If you are an experienced RN interested in learning more, Guthrie wants to make it easy. Just email your resume to Recruiter Rose Peguero or give Rose a call at (570) 887-5053.


The Go To Site


Advertise With Us, the Go To Site, is your online connection to the Veteran and Military communities. If you are a corporation or educational institution looking to reach out to these communities, let us assist you with a customized advertising program. For more information, contact us by email at [email protected] or call us at (800) 817-3777.


Turkey Time!


Share Your Good Fortune

Each year, the Homefront America "Giving Thanks to Heroes" program provides over 250 military families with all the necessary groceries and a Turkey Certificate for their Thanksgiving dinners.  You can help by sponsoring one or more Turkey Certificates for our military families this Thanksgiving holiday.  Each certificate is valued at $ 10.00 and can be redeemed at any grocery store or commissary. For more information, call 949-248-9468 or e-mail [email protected]


All Aboard!

snowball express

The 9th Annual Snowball Express

Snowball Express remembers the fallen heroes of the U.S. military who will never return, and honors the supreme sacrifices their families have made. Snowball Express serves the children who will never be reunited with their mom or dad. Dallas, Texas will host this year’s event, Saturday, December 12th to Wednesday, December 16th, and will connect the children and surviving spouses of the fallen with others going through the same experience. The children who attend the annual event leave knowing they are not alone, and that the sacrifice their parent made while serving our country is acknowledged. Children often return year after year to reunite with the friends they have made through Snowball Express.


Soldiers’ Angels

Soldiers’ Angels

CA’s New Head of Veteran Affairs

Many military families  live on a very tight budget. Putting together a holiday celebration can be a real challenge.  The Soldiers’ Angels Adopt-A-Family program matches military families with sponsors who "adopt" the family for the holidays. The sponsor provides presents for the children and a grocery gift card or prepaid Visa gift card for the family to purchase their holiday dinner and trimmings. If you are the family of a deployed service member or the family of a Post 9-11 wounded, ill or injured service member, please visit the link below to read more about the program.  Applications will close once they run out of Angels, so sign up quickly! For more information, click here.


Welcome Aboard!

CA’s New Head of Veteran Affairs

CA’s New Head of Veteran Affairs

Congratulations to Dr. Vito Imbasciani, California’s new Secretary of Veteran Affairs. This appointment carries a lot of responsibility, as California has the largest veteran population in the United States. But Dr. Imbasciani, has some pretty impressive credentials: he is a musicologist, LGBT activist, aspiring politician, former hospital administrator, surgeon and 27-year military veteran who deployed overseas four times in two wars. He speaks six languages: English, Spanish, German, Italian, French and Arabic. We are thrilled to have the good doctor at the state’s veteran helm.


Great News!

Reserve and Guard Retirees

Reserve and Guard Retirees

The Senate recently passed a bill with language to grant “honorary” veteran status to as many as 200,000 Reserve and National Guard retirees — those not deemed veterans now because they did not serve a qualifying period of active service under federal orders. The House is expected to adopt similar language soon. Impacted retirees are those who left service without a DD-214 or Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Though they had 20 or more “good” years of drill points earned on weekends and through annual training, they were never called to active duty.


Over 536,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers and VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 446,000 followers on Twitter and over 90,000 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!