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Newsletter - February 2016 #2

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As International Random Acts of Kindness Week (yes, it’s a real thing) comes to a close on February 20th, I got to thinking about how we respond to certain designations; on Valentines Day, it’s cards and flowers. On Mother’s Day, it’s brunch. On Memorial Day, we remember those who died in military service to our country, and on Veterans Day, we thank those who have served. But why do we need a day, week, or even month-long designation to do so? The U.S. war in Afghanistan began in October 2001, and it became the longest war in American history several years ago. That means more and more, we need to remember, thank and appreciate those who serve, and recognize the sacrifices they and their families make every day. Just something to think about.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

Save 20%* On Select 7 Night Resort Stays

Beat Those Winter Blues!

Beat Those Winter Blues!

Now through February 23rd, Armed Forces Vacation Club is offering 20% off select weeklong resort stays. Choose from destinations including Lake Tahoe, Myrtle Beach, Sedona, Bahamas, Orlando and more. Explore today!

Armed Forces Vacation Club is a free membership club open to active duty, guard, reserve, and retired members of the Armed Forces as well as civilian employees of the DOD. Forget cramped quarters. Spread out in family-sized resort accommodations, many of which include on-site recreational facilities, living rooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, kids’ activities and on-site pools!

   
   

Special Discounts

Advertise on MilitaryConnection.com

Advertise on MilitaryConnection.com

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.

   
   

Mark Your Calendar

Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band

Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band

You won’t want to miss the opportunity to see Gary Sinise & the Lt. Dan Band on May 21st as they help kick off the GI Film Festival at the historic Howard Theater in Washington, DC. There’s something for everyone as the twelve-member group covers hits from every genre. Whether boosting morale on military bases at home and abroad, raising awareness at benefit concerts across the country or headlining their own Invincible Spirit Festivals, the band entertains, educates, inspires and builds communities with its explosive live show everywhere it goes. With limited capacity, this event will sell out, so buy your tickets early.

   
   

Register Early

Los Angeles Celebrates Military Children

Los Angeles Celebrates Military Children

The annual Month of the Military Child event in Los Angeles will take place on Sunday, April 17th at the Los Angeles Public Library – Downtown. This event is presented by members of the Los Angeles Veterans Collaborative - Families & Children Working Group.  There will be activities such as storytelling, music and craft, as well as goodies for children up to age 12 years, but all are welcome to attend. Children registered by March 4th will receive a certificate from the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti. Registration closes on April 10th.

   
   

Featured Veteran Business Owner

Kalen Marie

Kalen Marie

Kalen Arreola is a marketing coach who helps small businesses get more clients through digital and traditional marketing systems. After six years of running a successful marketing agency, she is focusing her passion for helping others through consulting services that empower small business owners to stay on track and thrive. We urge you to support veteran-owned businesses.

   
   

Tillman Scholar

Tillman Scholar

Application Deadline March 1, 2016

Founded in 2008, the Tillman Scholars program supports our nation’s active-duty service members, veterans and military spouses by investing in their higher education. Since the program’s inception, the Foundation has named over 400 Tillman Scholars at more than 100 institutions nationwide. The scholarship covers educational expenses, including tuition and fees, books and living expenses. But scholars receive much more than just funding. The program unites the best talent and leadership in the military to make a significant impact in the fields of medicine, law, business, policy, technology, education and the arts. The application to become a 2016 Tillman Scholar will close on March 1, 2016 at 11:59pm PT. To get started on your application, click here.

   
   

Your Benefits

Post 9/11 GI Bill

You’ve Earned Them

Your Post 9/11 GI Bill covers:   

☑ Tuition & Fees  ☑ Monthly Tax Free Housing Allowance  ☑ Up to $1000 Annual Stipend for books & supplies  Check out our Education Area including our Veteran School Directory You can also read about accredited universities for military distance learning here.

   
   

Tax Prep Assistance

Tax Prep Assistance

More Help, Less Stress

The tax season is in full swing. Compiling your tax information and documents is a difficult task for anyone. But for military families, this experience can be compounded by tax events such as out of state relocations and other confusing pay and residence issues. Military OneSource helps service members and eligible family members by providing access to free financial counseling, tax consultations, and secure online tax preparation and filing. Get started on your taxes now by meeting with a trained Military OneSource tax consultant for military-specific advice regarding your tax questions, free. Call 800-342-9647 today. Or if you prefer to get face-to-face assistance, visit a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program location near you.

   
   

Three Hots & A Cot

Three Hots & A Cot

Only One Hundred  -   Make That 99

That’s how many people are needed to donate $13 each in order to pay for a new roof to keep Eastlake, Alabama veterans dry. We made our donation, so now only 99 more are needed. The house is the Three Hots & A Cot “Vettes-4-Vets” house in Eastlake.  The roofing material has been delivered at a cost of $1,304.21. The contractors will be there soon to put the roof on. Isn’t $13 worth it to say, “Thank you for your service?”

   
   

Seeking Corporate Sponsors

Benefit Concert

Nationally Televised Veteran Benefit Concert

If your company is looking to increase its visibility within the military and veteran community, you now have the opportunity to be a corporate sponsor for a nationally televised veteran benefit concert. This concert will benefit many.  By signing on to this opportunity early, your company will be guaranteed outstanding national exposure, including television, radio, Internet and more. For additional information, please contact [email protected]

   
   

The Power of a Pin

Purple Star Veterans and Families

Purple Star Veterans and Families

Senator Flake (R-AZ) and Congressman Peters (D-CA) are working on a bill to establish a Purple Star pin for the next of kin of individuals who commit suicide while a member of the Armed Forces, or post-service due to post-traumatic stress disorder in connection with combat. Currently, there is no Congressionally mandated national organization or registry that serves this population, and no rallying point for the families coping with loss, or any symbolic official recognition of their loved ones' service to the United States. The pin would memorialize those so who die so tragically, and no family would be expected to pay for a pin or to become part of the National Registry. For more information, click here.

   
   

Easter Eggstravaganza

Easter Eggstravaganza

Homefront America

Hippity, hoppity, Easter’s on its way. Each year, more than 300 Southern California military families enjoy Homefront America’s annual Easter EggStravaganza at Zoomars Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano. Military families enjoy an Easter brunch, followed by a visit to the petting zoo, and photo ops with the Easter Bunny.  Activities include face painting, egg coloring, and an egg hunt for the children. At the end of the day, each child gets to take home a generously filled Easter basket made possible by Homefront America’s wonderful friends and supporters. Join the fun with a $5 donation (or more if you can) and ensure a great day for these special families that sacrifice so much.

   
   

Military Saves Week

Military Saves Week

February 22 - 27, 2016

Military Saves is a campaign coordinated by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and is dedicated to helping servicemembers and their families save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. Military Saves Week is an annual opportunity for installations and organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for servicemembers and their families to assess their own saving status. Typically hundreds of organizations participate in the Week, reaching millions of people. For more information, click here.

   
   

Good News For Veterans

Military Connection Blog

Better Late Than Never

If you’re a regular reader of the Military Connection Blog, than you know that a bill sponsored by Sen. Al Franken and Rep. Tim Walz aimed at tackling the Department of Veterans Affairs benefit-claims backlog has cleared the House.  Although next month will mark the one year anniversary of the bill’s re-introduction, we like to thing better late than never. For all the details, click here. To keep up on all the current blog articles, visit us on the web.

   
   

Can’t Pass A Smog Test?

Smog Test

There’s Help Available

The California Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) has recently expanded its anti-pollution Consumer Assistance Program. In addition to the popular “Cash for Clunkers” program that pays $1,000-$1,500 to get highly polluting cars off the road, BAR is now offering up to $500 to help low income people make automotive repairs necessary to pass a SMOG test. Both programs have income eligibility requirements and other stipulations to participate. To learn more, visit the CAP program website at http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/.

   
   

Complimentary Membership

VAMBOA

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.

   
   

Changing the Story

Change Direction

Join the National Campaign

First Lady Michelle Obama recently weighed in on the Duchess of Cambridge’s HuffPost series “Young Minds Matter.” Her words bring attention to the mental health issues that often lead to suicidal thoughts. The first lady gave a nod to our friends at Give an Hour, in particular the Campaign to Change Direction, which raise awareness about mental health, give people tools to help those in need, and change the conversation about mental health in this country. Mrs. Obama urged everyone to recognize the Five Signs that someone needs help: agitation, withdrawal, hopelessness, a decline in personal care and a change in personality, all which can be indications that someone is dealing with a mental-health issue. By recognizing these signs, we can help the people we know get the help they need before it's too late.

   
   

For Duty. For Honor. Forever

Requiem for a Young Man

Requiem for a Young Man

Requiem For A Young Man is a multi-genre stage work incorporating elements of opera, oratorio, musical theatre and dance into a moving and memorable musical production. It is dedicated to all of the men and women, in all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States of America who have served faithfully, fought courageously, and given sacrificially in times of war and peace, throughout the history of our nation. For more information, click here.

   
   

Veteran Comradery

Veteran Comradery

Find Your Outpost

Point Man International Ministries is run by veterans from all conflicts, nationalities and backgrounds. Point Man a system of small groups, known as Outposts, where veterans can talk, share and listen to others who have walked in their shoes. All vets are welcome. Pointman’s Homefront groups are led by the mothers, wives and friends of both active duty military and veterans. They have experienced the stress of dealing with deployments and the effects of a loved one returning home from war. If you have someone you love deployed or having issues readjusting since coming home get connected with a local group. We thank our friends at Point Man Whittier for bringing their good work to our attention as they provide services to California veterans in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire.

   
   

Semper Paratus

Diamond Celebration

Diamond Celebration

Happy diamond anniversary to the Coast Guard Reserve, founded on Feb. 19, as part of the Auxiliary and Reserve Act of 1941. For 75 years, Coast Guard Reserve members have served alongside the active duty force in every major conflict, or crisis, this nation has faced. From WWII, to Korea and Vietnam, the Coast Guard Reserve has been “Semper Paratus — Always Ready.” And since 1972, Coast Guard reservists have been called up when needed after natural and environmental disasters, humanitarian crises, and shipping and aircraft accidents. The nearly 7,000 men and women who make up the current Reserve force are citizen sailors. Flexible and responsive, many freely sacrifice their free time to serve their community and nation. They dedicate their weekends and vacation time to support the service’s missions.

   
   

Good Watch

Touched With Fire

Touched With Fire

In Touched With Fire, Katie Holmes plays a manic-depressive poet who struggles to remember what she was like before she got sick. Luke Kirby portrays a guy who's off his meds and obsessively draws chalk images of the moon across New York City. The two meet in a mental institution and begin a romance that continues to blossom after their release. This is an important movie that explains bi-polar disorder, the good and the bad. Check your local listings.

   
   

Over 558,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers and VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 471,000 followers on Twitter and over 87,000 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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