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Newsletter - December 2017

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As I sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family, I thought about the things that I am grateful for.  But I was also well aware that not every family has the same opportunity to be together. Military families make these kinds of sacrifices daily, missing holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. 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 step up for those who serve. We can all make a difference when we remember our  military servicemembers and their families There are a number of great non-profit  organizations, many of them featured in our newsletters,  that could use your support. Please consider donating your time, energy or money to assist those who protect our freedoms.

Thank you,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

Online Degree Scholarship

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Military & Veteran Friendly Online University

Earn your degree online for less with Touro University Worldwide (TUW). Get the relevant, practical knowledge you need to enrich or advance your career, all in a flexible online environment. TUW is now offering Military Achievement Scholarship of up to 40% off Tuition and 100 percent scholarship (free tuition) for up to three courses based on degree and credits completed at TUW. This scholarship program follows the long tradition of Touro’s appreciation of and unique relationship with service members, veterans, and their families. TUW focuses on quality education, affordability, a military friendly environment, and exemplary student services. Achieve more with your education. Request more information today!

   
   

The Forever GI Bill

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.

   
   

D'Youville College

Top Shelf Veteran-friendly Education

The Student Veterans of America chapter at D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY has been busy. Its October 28th 5K fundraiser at Hoyt Lake raised $1,000 for Mission 22.  That was followed by their annual Veterans Ball on Thursday, November 9th where they not only had a great turn out, but were also able to honor several local veterans. Also honored at the event was Home Depot, for donating supplies to help fix issues at a local VFW. D’Youville, a Yellow Ribbon school, is also the recipient of the Military Connection Veteran School Salute, recognizing the  college’s commitment to go above and beyond for their veteran students. To see why so many members of the military, veteran, and veteran-dependent students choose D’Youville, click here.

   
   

For Tricare Recipients

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Breast Pumps at No Cost

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.

   
   

Easy Application with the Olin App

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Hundreds of Transportation Jobs

Olin Corporation is committed to hiring the best people. They understand that their employees define their future. Olin values the skills you mastered while serving our country in the military and offers a variety of jobs and career paths where you can apply those skills. At Olin, you'll find a company large enough to make a real difference throughout the global chemical industry, but small enough to provide you an opportunity to be seen, appreciated, and supported in your career growth. Apply online at Olin.com/Careers or with their easy Olin Careers app (available on both Google and iTunes store). Olin is absolutely committed to diversity within its workforce and to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and job applicants.

   
   

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 is 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].

   
   

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.

   
   

To Arrive by 12/25

Military Shipping Holiday Deadlines

Getting your holiday care package overseas or to your service member far away takes a little planning. While First –Class and Priority International Service deadlines for shipping to Africa, Central America and South America have past, there are still options to get your holiday parcels there by December 25th.  To see the deadlines for U.S. and all other international mailings and mail sent to APO/FPO/DPO AE , click here.

   
   

On the Blog

Higher Disability Ratings for Service-Connected Injuries

Many veterans file claims for disabilities that, while chronic, are worse on some days than on others. So, while on a typical day a veteran with a disability may experience pain in the 3 or 4 out of 10 range, on another day when the veteran experiences a flare-up of his condition, he may experience 10/10 pain. Not observing the impact of a flare-up on the veteran’s functionality could result in a drastically lower rating for the veteran’s disability. Now the VA must now ensure that Compensation and Pension (C&P) examiners do not overlook flare-ups and pain when assessing a disabled veteran. To read the story in its entirety, click here.

   
   

Toys for the Holidays

Bringing Joy to Military Children

The Homefront America Christmas Toy Store offers active duty military families the opportunity to "shop" for name brand, premium quality toys (Mattel, Disney, Habro, Legos, Nerf, Hot Wheels, Barbies, American Girl, etc) at no cost.  While the parents shop, the children enjoy crafts and activities, face painting, caroling, and the opportunity to visit with Santa and his Elves. The program, which serves some 1000 active duty military children stationed at Camp Pendleton and surrounding military communities, is possible through a strong partnership between Homefront America and toy wholesales/retailers who sell toys at substantially reduced costs. For more information, visit them on the web.

   
   

VA Scheduling

Now Available Online

You can now manage your primary care and certain specialty care Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) appointments online at participating VA facilities. You will need a Premium My HealtheVet Account to use online scheduling. If you do not have a Premium account, visit My HealtheVet or contact the My HealtheVet Coordinator at your nearest VA facility. Currently, online scheduling is available at more than 100 VA facilities and their associated Community Based Outpatient Clinics. VA plans to add more appointment types in the future and is working to make online scheduling available at nearly all VA facilities next year. Check to see if your VA facility offers online scheduling online. For more information, visit the VA website.

   
   

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.

   
   

Women Veterans

National Cyberseminars

The 2017 National Women Veterans Summit that had been scheduled for August 25-26 in Houston, Texas, ended early due to  Hurricane Harvey. The Center for Women Veterans has been developing ways to deliver information from the summit. There is a series of webinars available that provides women veterans and the local/state/ Federal/non-government organization (NGO) partners who serve them with information about the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits and services, especially those designated for women veterans. A list of future webinars is available on the VA Center for Women Veterans webpage.

   
   

Disability Decisions

Benefits Delivery at Discharge Program

The Benefits Delivery at Discharge program was recently redesigned to allow most servicemembers to receive disability benefit decisions the day after their discharge. These changes will allow Veterans Affairs to conduct exams, review medical evidence and process ratings before servicemembers are released from active duty. Service members using the program can submit their claim for a service-connected disability 90 to 180 days before being discharged from active duty. To participate, Airmen must attend a VA examination 45 days after the claim is submitted. Claims will not be processed until after their separation. For more information, visit the Department of Veterans Affairs Pre-Discharge webpage or call the Veterans Affairs Call Center at 1-800-827-1000.

   
   

Caregiver Support

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is here to support you! VA's Caregiver Support Program offers a range of online courses, face-to face classes, telephone support, and peer mentoring to caregivers of Veterans from all eras. Learn more by visiting the VA Caregiver Support website. For assistance and support, caregivers can call the Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274.

   
   

The Go To Site

Reach An Audience of Military and Veterans

MilitaryConnection.com, the Go To Site, is your online connection to military service members, veterans and their supporters. If you are looking to hire or educate military and veterans or have an important product, service or message, allow us assist to you with a customized advertising program. We work with hundreds of non-profits serving the military and veteran communities, and can facilitate win/win partnerships to help brand you as "Military/Veteran Friendly." For more information, contact us by email at [email protected] or call us at (800) 817-3777.

   
   

Air Reserve School

Seeking Applicants

CY18A Air Force Reserve School Selection Board (RSSB) will convene 5-9 Feb 2018 at the Air Reserve Personnel Center, Buckley Air Force Base, CO. The Invitation to Apply can be found via the myPers scrolling banner and on the Force Development page or online. To apply, log in to the myPers vPC Dashboard and the RSSB application will be accessible under the 'Action Requests' tab. Applications are due to ARPC NLT 1630 MT on 8 Jan 2018; however, applicants are urged to check with their units for local deadlines. For more information, call the Total Force Service Center at 1-800-525-0102. Questions specific to the RSSB process can also be directly addressed by e-mail.

   
   

Deadline- Dec. 5th

Veteran Army Trials

Warrior Care and Transition's Adaptive Reconditioning Program will accept applications until December 5th  from veterans interested in competing in the 2018 Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas. Army Trials, scheduled for February 25-March 9, 2018, is the competition that supports the AR Program in determining who will represent Team Army at the 2018 Colorado Springs, CO Department of Defense Warrior Games in June. Army Trials is open to veterans who have not competed in two or more Warrior Games and meet additional criteria. All veterans interested in participating should review all eligibility requirements at the Warrior Care and Transition website then download and complete the application and submit it to the AR Mailbox at [email protected] no later than December 5th.

   
   

Reducing VA Facilities

Is Your Local VA on the List?

The Department of Veterans Affairs and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs are taking a hard look at VA facilities across the country to determine which ones have been outlived their usefulness. Many aging and underused facilities could be subject to closure. To read the story in its entirety, click here.

   
   

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.

   
   

VA Program for Faster Appeals

Rapid Appeals Modernization Program

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that it is launching the Rapid Appeals Modernization Program (RAMP) with the goal of providing veterans with the earliest possible resolution of their disagreement with VA's decision on their benefit claims. By February 2019, all requests for review of VA decisions will be processed under the new, multi-lane process. The new law includes safeguards ensuring claimants receive the earliest effective date possible for their claims. Veterans who disagree with the decisions they receive in RAMP can appeal to the Board of Veterans' Appeals in the new process and have their appeal decided by the Board when the new law becomes effective in February 2019. Veterans who participate in RAMP will not be able to return to the legacy appeals process.

   
   

Mark Your Calendar

Army vs. Navy Fundraiser

On Saturday, December 9th, Veterans in Media and Entertainment (VME) will host a fundraising viewing party to watch the Army/Navy football game at the State Social House on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. Your General Admission Ticket includes a commemorative Army/Navy Game T-shirt, a buffet brunch, one complimentary drink, and all day $5 drink specials. You can sponsor a veteran to attend the event with you, or in your place if you can't make it. VME is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that connects veterans with fulfilling opportunities in the media and entertainment industry.  VME is an all-volunteer organization.  To purchase tickets or learn more about VME, visit http://www.vmeconnect.org.

   
   

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].

   
   

Honoring our Military/Veterans

The Third Graders are Singing Again

In 2009, Michael Souders, a music teacher in Colonial Heights, Virginia, posted a video on Youtube featuring students from Tussing Elementary singing a song that he and his wife, Angela, wrote, called "Thank You, Soldiers!" To date, the video has more than 3.2 million views. Every year since, Souders has produced a brand new song dedicated to our veterans and current military in an attempt to get more positive  American music in schools across America. If you would like to watch the most recent offering from Souders and the Third Graders, click here. Souders is happy to provide the sheet music absolutely free to anyone who emails to ask for it.

   
   

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.