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Newsletter - November 2017

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On Veterans Day, we come together to pay tribute to those who have served our nation. In 1938, Armistice Day was declared a legal holiday, to be observed on November 11th. In 1954, the act was amended, replacing the word "Armistice" with the word "Veterans", and November 11th became the day we honor all American veterans. So it is fitting that November is also Military Family Awareness Month, when we recognize the many sacrifices by military family members who have also served and made sacrifices for the freedoms we hold dear.

As of way of expressing gratitude, many restaurants and retail establishments offer free and/or discounted items for veterans and their families on Veterans Day. We also have a list of military discounts that are offered year round on our deals page.  At Military Connection, we work hard to bring you valuable information, so we invite you to visit the site and look at jobs, schools, benefits, news and more.

Thank you,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

The Best for Mom

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The Best for Baby

As a mother, you want only the best for baby. The Breastfeeding Shop wants the best for you and baby. That's why they only carry top-of-the-line breast pumps. And as a Tricare provider,  eligible moms have no out-of-pocket cost. Simply fill out the order form, choose your breast pump, upload your prescription, and The Breastfeeding Shop will take care of the rest! Don't have a prescription? No problem! The Breastfeeding Shop will contact your doctor for you to get a prescription. Call with any questions 866-255-6779.

   
   

To Thank You for Your Service

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Military Veterans, Active Duty and Reserves

We believe the best way to honor veterans is to HELP VETERANS.  And one of the best ways to help veterans is to give them money.  Heroes Come First with the Homes for Heroes program rewards all current and former Military (Veterans, Active, Reserves), as well as  Law Enforcement, Healthcare workers, EMS, Firefighters and Education professionals with an average reward of over $2500 when they buy, sell, refinance a home.  No Red Tape | No Fees | No Catch.  Free enrollment at Heroes Come First.

   
   

Featured Employer

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Dedicated to Professionals Who Are Dedicated to Children

As one of the nation's leading pediatric healthcare systems, Nemours is committed to providing all children with their best chance to grow up healthy. Nemours offers integrated, family-centered care to more than 300,000 children each year in their pediatric hospitals, specialty clinics and primary care practices in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Their dedicated professionals integrate medical care, research, health education, and prevention to help improve the lives of children every day. As a Nemours Associate, you'll have the opportunity to collaborate across disciplines, pursue your passion for excellence in children's health care, and advance professionally as you work alongside some of the country's top pediatric practitioners. To learn more about Nemours and view current opportunities, click here.

   
   

Attention: Employers

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Tax Credits for Hiring Veterans

Hiring Veterans is not only good for your business and bottom line, it’s the right thing to do. And now there is good news: the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), a federal tax credit available to employers for hiring veterans. There is no limit on the number of individuals an employer can hire to qualify to claim the tax credit. To read more about the credits, click here. If you are interested in reaching a viable audience of veteran candidates and advertising your openings, contact us [email protected].

   
   

Jobs & More Jobs

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Is Your Next Job Waiting to be Discovered?

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.

   
   

Yellow Ribbon School

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Meeting the Needs of Military-Aligned Students

Carrying on a long tradition of welcoming active duty service members, veterans, and their dependents, St. Bonaventure University strives to ease the transition from military to academic life. As a Yellow Ribbon school with two full-time directors in our Office of Veterans Services, we understand the needs of those who serve, providing an inclusive environment with specialized resources to support military/veteran students and their dependents. St. Bonaventure is proud to be ranked as a Gold Military Friendly School and named to the Military Advanced Education & Transition’s Top Colleges and Universities for 2017. St. Bonaventure offers: a Student Veteran of America chapter, a brand new Student Veterans Center—featuring a new lounge and academic support center, and recent outreach programs such as faculty training on veterans issues in the classroom, resilience workshop and counselor training on veterans issues. For more information or to arrange a campus tour, click here.

   
   

The Forever GI Bill

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Changes Are Coming

The “Forever GI Bill,” has replaced the former Post 9/11 GI Bill, and will increase veteran’s benefits by more than $3 billion over the next decade. One important change, reserved for those who become eligible after January 1, 2018, is the removal of the 15-year limit on using their GI Bill benefits, which offers them more flexibility. Additionally, the Forever GI Bill boosts education assistance for National Guard and Reserve troops, Purple Heart recipients and for the dependents of fallen troops. MilitaryConnection.com has a comprehensive education area, and we invite you to check out the numerous education resources here.

   
   

The Go To Site

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Advertise With Us

MilitaryConnection.com, the Go To Site, is your online connection to military service members, veterans and their supporters. If you are an employer looking to hire military and veterans, an educational institution looking to reach out to this audience with rich education benefits or wanting to advertise an excellent product or service, allow us to assist you with a customized and effective advertising program. We work with hundreds of non-profits serving the military and veteran communities, and can facilitate win/win partnerships and help brand you as “Military-Veteran Friendly.” For more information, contact us by email at [email protected] or call us at (800) 817-3777.

   
   

Like Us & Follow Us

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Join Us on Social Media

We are pleased to share that this month Military Connection and VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners exceed 1,200,000 combined fans and followers on social media. To keep current between newsletters or to find the latest news that affects Veteran Business Owners, "Like" Military Connection and VAMBOA on Facebook, Military Connection and VAMBOA on Twitter and Military Connection  and VAMBOA on Instagram.

   
   

November 11th is the Day!

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On Your Mark, Get Set, Shop!

November 11th marks the much-anticipated official launch of the veterans online shopping benefit, more than 225,000 honorably discharged veterans have been verified to shop through an earned lifelong online military exchange shopping benefit beginning this Veterans Day. This new program, the first military exchange benefits expansion in nearly 30 years, will allow America's 18.5 million veterans to shop online at the military exchange websites: ShopMyExchange.com, shopcgx.com, mymcx.com, and mynavyexchange.com. All honorably discharged veterans can go to ShopMyExchange.com to verify eligibility to shop their military exchanges. For more information, check out the article on our blog.

   
   

On the Blog

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Advertising on ID Cards?

The Veterans Identification Card Act of 2015 was enacted so that veterans who weren’t entitled to military retired pay nor enrolled in the VA health-care system could prove their veteran status without having to carry their DD214s. In exchange for advertising on the card, Office Depot is absorbing the cost of making the cards, so that veterans can receive them without having to pay for them. To read the story in its entirety, click here.

   
   

Your Chance to Win

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Private Online Screening

No Greater Love, an award-winning documentary shot and directed by Army Chaplain Justin Roberts while deployed in Afghanistan, is opening in theaters Veterans Day weekend. Layering real war footage with heartfelt interviews, the film invites the audience to experience war, its aftermath, and the hard road home from a soldier’s perspective. No Greater Love opens theatrically November 10th, but a small group of Military Connection newsletter subscibers will be picked at random to watch the film before it’s in theaters! Interested? Sign up now and you could get an official invite to the No Greater Love online screening taking place Tuesday, November 7 through Thursday, November 9. Sign up now: click here.

   
   

Wall of Faces

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Photos Sought for Memorial

There are 58,318 names etched in the black granite walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The Wall of Faces, an effort begun by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, is an online database that features a photo of each of these servicemembers, along with a brief biography. There are less than 5,000 photos from 26 states needed to complete the project, a time-sensitive goal hopefully reached in time to commemorate this year's 35th anniversary of the memorial. To see if your state is one of the 26 U.S. States with missing photos of their fallen Vietnam service members, click here. For more information, visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website.

   
   

Northern California

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Hazwoper Work Available

If you have a 40 hr. Hazwoper certification, there are 12 Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response temp jobs in Northern California to do fire clean-up. There is also potential to longer term employment through other contracts in the Bay Area.  For info, contact [email protected].

   
   

Veterans Day Discounts

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Thank You For Your Service

Although Veterans Day is about much more than shopping and eating, enjoying a few perks is a great way of feeling appreciated! Check out the discounts and thank you freebies for Veterans Day here. Remember, it is always a good idea to call ahead to make sure of participation, dates, times, and if proof of service is needed. Bon appetite!

   
   

For Service Dogs

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Insurance Benefits for Man’s Best Friend

The VA Mental Health Mobility Service Dog Initiative authorizes the veterinary health insurance benefit for service dogs of veterans with chronic mobility limitations associated with a mental health disorder. (VA does not provide service dogs; it refers veterans to accredited service dog organizations.) VA provides the veterinary health insurance benefit to eligible veterans with service dogs obtained from these organizations, when it is determined that a service dog is the optimal means for the Veteran to manage the chronic mobility impairment and live independently. For more information, contact your VA mental health provider and visit the VA Guide and Service Dog webpage.

   
   

MWD on the Blog

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Because Everyone Loves Dog Stories

Five retired military dogs who have received the Lois Pope K-9 Medal of Courage to America demonstrated exceptional valor in serving our country by uncovering improvised explosive devices, sniffing out weapons caches, surviving ambushes, boosting morale, and saving lives. Over 1,600 dogs currently serve in the U.S. military. Since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, 34 dogs have been killed in action. To read the whole story, click here.

   
   

Operation Gratitude

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Reaching Another Milestone

On December 9, Operation Gratitude will celebrate their 2 Millionth Care Package, and they need help! Volunteers in Southern California will assemble 10,000 Entertainment Kits to include in the Care Packages that day. They have everything we need except Paperback Puzzle Books (9" tall x 6" wide x 1/4" thick, or smaller), such as: Sudoku, Crossword, Word Search and Brain Teasers. They also need Fun Picture Postcards from across America (left blank), such as special places of interest in your hometown,  amusement parks or scenic spots.  You can purchase these online using our Amazon "Wish List," send on your own, or organize a collection drive in your community with your friends, family, co-workers, clubs, school, etc. Questions?  Feel free to contact us at [email protected].

   
   

Rates for 2018

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Veteran Disability Compensation

The 2018 VA compensation rates for veterans with a disability rating 10 percent or higher goes into effect December 1, 2017. Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses. To view the new rates, click here.

   
   

Great Non-Profit

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Rebuilding America’s Warriors

Rebuilding America's Warriors (R.A.W.) is an extraordinary non-profit foundation dedicated to providing free reconstructive surgery to wounded and disfigured active service and veteran status warriors from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Disfiguring scars can remain as a result of shrapnel, burn and artillery wounds. R.A.W. has formed a network of 390 Board  Certified Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons in 49 states, soliciting their services across the country to provide reconstructive surgeries on a national basis to our wounded and disfigured warriors. If you are a soldier or veteran who needs more information regarding R.A.W., please call 760 568-4039 or email [email protected] .

   
   

Veteran Caregivers

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Help Navigating the Veterans Health Administration

The Department of Veterans Affairs is offering a free course for caregivers that breaks down the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) so that caregivers and Veterans can better utilize its services. In just ten minutes, you will cover essential information including: how the VA is organized, who is eligible, how to enroll, what documents are needed, and where to apply. Additionally, this course offers tips and guidance on what actions to take after enrollment is complete, and resources to help you and your veteran contact the VA and ask more questions. For assistance and support, caregivers can call the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.

   
   

Giving Thanks

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Help Homefront America Help Military Families

Every military family deserves to celebrate Thanksgiving with a delicious turkey. Each year, the Homefront America "Giving Thanks to Heroes" program provides military families with all the necessary side fixings 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, and can be redeemed at any grocery store or supermarket (even commissaries). For more information, call 949-248-9468, e-mail [email protected] or visit them on the web.

   
   

Access Important Info

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Have You Download Our APP?

The MilitaryConnection.com app accommodates our users who are accessing our website via cellular devices and tablets. The free app, available for both Apple and Android devices, was developed in-house, with the goal of making it extremely user friendly for the hundreds of thousands monthly unique visitors who rely on the website daily.

   
   

Your Opinion Matters

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Participate in this Study

Are you an active duty service member or veteran? If so, The National Disability Institute (NDI) has been working closely with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to look for respondents for a voluntary, anonymous and confidential survey to identify opportunities to improve the overall financial wellness of veterans, servicemembers and their families. For more information and questions, read the VA VAntage Point Blog and visit the National Disability Institute website.

   
   

Complimentary Membership

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Interested in Corporate Sponsorship?

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. Free to join, VAMBOA serves the needs of the Veteran and military business communities.  For companies interested in corporate sponsorship, there is a limited time opportunity to receive the benefits of two years of sponsorship for the cost of one year. This opportunity is also available to current corporate sponsors who renew. For more information, please contact [email protected].

   
   

A Chip off the Old Block

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Self-contained Encryption Engine

The Air Force's new Mini Crypto chip is a self-contained encryption engine that generates its own session-based "key." Designed to be small and lightweight, it is about the size of a cracker. Its power requirement is roughly the same as a hearing aid, at 400 milliwatts, meaning it can be installed on equipment carried by one-person parties operating as scouts and forward air controllers. Airmen in the field rely on secured communications to accomplish their missions without enemy knowledge of their plans. The chip can be used in joint and coalition environments, providing tailored access to data. Data can be segregated based on a need-to-know, and its portability and losability make it ideal for things like precision air drops of supplies.

   
   

For the Pearly Whites

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VA Dental Insurance Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it has selected Delta Dental of California and MetLife to once again offer private dental insurance plans as part of the VA Dental Insurance Program (VADIP). The program has been extended until Dec. 31, 2021. Veterans enrolled in the VA health-care system and beneficiaries of the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the VA (CHAMPVA) can enroll in the program beginning Nov. 15, 2017, for coverage to start Dec. 1, 2017. Enrollment is voluntary and does not affect eligibility for VA outpatient dental services and treatment. For more information, visit the VA Dental Insurance Program website or call 877-222-VETS (8387).

   
   

Mail Early

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Holiday Cards and Gifts for the Troops

Naval Supply Systems Command, in cooperation with the U.S Postal Service, Military Postal Service Agency, and Joint Military Postal Activity, has released mail-by dates for pre-Dec. 25 deliveries of holiday cards, letters, and packages. A list of the mailing deadlines is available on the U.S. Navy website. Customers should check with local civilian or military post offices for information regarding size restrictions and customs declaration form requirements. Mailing restrictions apply, and some items cannot be mailed. Customers should ensure articles are packaged properly for mailing and packages do not display markings related to any type of hazardous material.