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Newsletter - September 2017 #2

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September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, a time to share resources and have a dialogue to try to de-stigmatized the mental health conditions that often lead to suicidal thoughts. Mental health issues can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. Among the numerous resources available are:  the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), a free 24-hour hotline and support website to connect people to nearby crisis counselors. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The service is available to everyone. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889; VA's Suicide Prevention Program,  suicide prevention resources and support for veterans and their loved ones, including the confidential Veterans Crisis Line, Veterans chat, and educational materials;   National Resource Directory , an online resource that connects veterans and Servicemembers with support groups and programs; and Give an Hour, a non-profit organization providing free confidential mental health services to servicemembers, veterans and their loved ones. When you don't ask for help when you need it, you assume all of a burden that might be shared. But you also deprive those who would do anything to help you the opportunity to do so. Remember that asking for help reveals strength, not weakness.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com


Buying, Selling or Refinancing a Home?

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Hero Rewards Helps Heroes Save

Service deserves rewards, and Hero Rewards delivers just that! The benefits of the program are available to all current and former Military (Active, Reserves, Veterans), Law Enforcement, Healthcare workers, EMS, Firefighters and Education professionals.  There is no red tape, no fees, no catch, and enrollment is free. Save thousands of dollars when you buy, sell, or refinance a home.  Hero Grant programs up to $10,000 PLUS lender, agent and title discounts. Visit Heroes Come First to learn more.


The Best for Mom

 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.


Featured Employer

edicated

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.


A Win-Win

hire

Become A Veteran Friendly Employer

At MilitaryConnection.com, we are experts in reaching military and veteran candidates.  We can help you attract, hire and retain viable candidates who have served.  Additionally, we will assist branding you as a military/veteran friendly employer. Contact us if you would like to learn more about the various options we offer to place your company in front of viable candidates.


AFVC

Explore 7-Night Vacations Starting At Just $349!

Armed Forces Vacation Club offers access to weeklong vacations in destinations worldwide starting at just $349. Choose from popular destinations including Orlando, Myrtle Beach, the Caribbean, Las Vegas & MORE! Spread out in family-sized resort accommodations, many of which include on-site recreational facilities, living room, and kitchen!

Membership is open to active duty, guard, reserve, and retired members of the Armed Forces as well as civilian employees of the DOD. The best part? There is no cost to join! Become a member today.


On the Blog

Need Childcare?

MilitaryChildCare.com (MCC) could be a game-changer for military parents. The online portal allows military parents to access comprehensive information on military-operated and military-subsidized child care options worldwide. It enables families to search for and request care, manage their requests, and update their profile online, making it easier for families to find the child care they need. MCC supports requests for full time and part time care. To read the story in its entirety, click here.


Programs and Services

National Resource Directory

Support for Active Duty Military, Veterans and Their Supporters

The National Resource Directory is a federal government website connecting wounded warriors, Service Members, Veterans, families and caregivers to services and programs at the national, state and local levels. Visitors can find information on topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder, benefits, health care, education, homeless assistance, employment and more. Stay up to date on programs and services for wounded warriors, Veterans, Service Members and their families by subscribing to NRD email updates. For more information on the NRD, click here or email [email protected].


Compete with the Best

Calling All Veteran Women Chefs

'Guy's Grocery Games' on the Food Network is seeking women military veterans who are chefs in restaurants to compete in an episode of challenges against other firehouse cooks from across the country. The winner of each show will win a cash prize up to $20,000. Apply online at the Guy's Grocery Games Casting webpage. Candidates should mention on the application that they were referred by Kirsten Diebold. Production will pay for travel and lodging during the taping of the show this fall in Northern California.


Decision Ready Claims

VA Turn Around Within 30 Days

The Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) has announced the official launch of the Decision Ready Claims (DRC) initiative, a program that should deliver faster claims decisions for veterans. Veterans who submit their claim under DRC with accredited Veterans service organizations (VSO) can expect to receive a decision within 30 days from the time VA receives the claim. These organizations include Disabled American Veterans, the American Legion, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. To read the full story, click here.


Hurricane Assistance Resources

For American Legion Members

The American Legion's National Emergency Fund (NEF) provides immediate financial assistance to Legion Family members and posts affected by natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires and flooding. The fund provides up to $3,000 for qualified Legion Family members and up to $10,000 for posts. The NEF covers expenses such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing and other daily household items. The applicant must be an active member of the American Legion at the time of the disaster. To apply for assistance, visit the American Legion website, or call the Texas American Legion headquarters at (512) 472-4138. To donate to the NAF, visit the American Legion website.


Hurricane Assistance

For Veterans and VA Employees

Many Veterans and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) employees have lost their possessions and homes. An exception has been authorized for a special solicitation to allow federal employees to assist the disaster relief efforts with cash or check donations outside of the normal Combined Federal Campaign. This special solicitation has been authorized at VA. Donations can be made on the PenFed Foundation website or by sending a check to PenFed Foundation, 2930 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314. Also, the Veterans Canteen Service will make available collection boxes in all Canteens. This special solicitation will conclude on September 29, 2017.


Hurricane Assistance

VA Houston at Convention Center

VA Recipients

Significant disruptions in US Postal Service (USPS) are expected around the areas that were impacted by the recent hurricanes, which may affect receiving VA benefits. VA's Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) has developed mechanisms to help Veterans receive their benefit payments if their normal mail cannot be delivered. Veterans participating in VR&E services programs may be eligible for up to two additional months of the Employment Adjustment Allowance, if they are displaced from their home as a result of a natural or other disaster. For more information regarding Hurricane Harvey victims, click here. For more information regarding Hurricane Irma victims, click here.


Hurricane Assistance

GI

For GI Bill Students

The VA says that "If your school is, or was, temporarily closed due to Hurricane Harvey, VA will consider your attendance as continuous and your payment will not be affected." This means that you will continue to receive your housing allowance even if you cannot attend classes. Veterans using the Montgomery GI Bill must verify their attendance online as normal to receive payment.  Unfortunately, if you are enrolled and the school has not yet sent the VA your enrollment, this will not apply. For more information you should contact the VA at 888-442-4551.


Changes Are Coming

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The New Forever GI Bill

The "Forever GI Bill," a sweeping expansion of GI Bill education benefits, is on its way to the Oval Office. Passed by both houses of Congress, the bill 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. To read the full article, click here. MilitaryConnection.com has a comprehensive education area, and we invite you to check out the numerous education resources here.


Like Us & Follow Us

Join Us on Social Media

Military Connection and VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, have exceed 1,166,812 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.


Making Connections

Benefits

Supporting Veteran Success

On Sept. 20, Walmart and the Coalition for Veteran Owned Business (CVOB) hosted a first-of-its-kind event, VetSource, to support the success of veteran, military and military spouse-owned businesses by connecting them to Fortune 500 companies in one day for procurement opportunities. Over 200 participants took part in the inaugural event held in Norfolk, VA, including top corporate and retail industry leaders, who introduced tools, resources and training opportunities needed to become successful veteran entrepreneurs. VetSource was created by the CVOB, part of the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, as a unique way to convene corporations and military entrepreneurs, offering resources both for those ready to sell their offerings and those interested in learning how to become procurement-ready. As one of the 14 founding companies of the CVOB, Walmart hopes VetSource will encourage other companies to join in lending counsel, support and purchasing opportunities for veteran-owned businesses.


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.


DoD Social Media Warning

Protecting Soldiers and their Families

Leaders are calling on servicemembers, Department of Defense (DoD) employees and families to take a more proactive role in social media. Potential foreign adversaries are using social media to make threats toward servicemembers. A Soldier within the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria footprint recently received messages on a private Facebook page deemed by investigators as malicious and aggressive. Be smart and keep a low profile. If you or someone you know is in receipt of threatening or malicious social media messaging, you can submit an online report at iSalute. To learn more on how to protect you and your family on social media, visit the Army's Social Media Handbook or the Army Cyber Command's cybersecurity awareness factsheets.


Use Your Smart Phone or Tablet

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 The New MilitaryConnection.com App

Our newly released app accommodates our users who are accessing MilitaryConnection.com 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.


Great Non-Profit

Rebuilding

 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].


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 is here to serve you and be your voice.


National Global War On Terrorism

Special Consideration for the Memorial

The Senate has approved a special waiver that will allow a monument for the post-9/11 war on terror to be built. Following action by the House in July, the waiver paves the way for construction of what's being called the National Global War on Terrorism Memorial (GWOT Memorial). The Commemorative Works Act requires Congress to wait 10 years after the official end of a military conflict before considering a memorial in the nation's capital. With the war on terror far from over, that presented a problem. The waiver ensures that the first generation of warriors who fought the GWOT will be able to appreciate the memorial. For more information, visit the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Foundation website.


Vet Centers

Readjustment

 Readjustment Counseling

Life isn't always easy after a deployment. That's where Vet Centers can help. Vet Centers across the country provide a broad range of counseling, outreach, and referral services to combat Veterans and their families. The VA provides outreach and readjustment counseling services at 300 community based Vet centers in all 50 states.  Counseling is available to any veteran, active duty service member including Guard or Reserve and their family members.  Services for a Veteran may include individual and group counseling in areas such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug assessment, and suicide prevention referrals. All services are free of cost and are strictly confidential. For more information:  https://www.vetcenter.va.gov/.


Dole Foundation

Seeking Military Caregivers

Applications are being sought from military caregivers for the 2018 Dole Caregiver Fellowship. Dole Caregiver Fellows are military caregivers carefully selected each year from across to the country to represent the Foundation. Each class consists of approximately 50 Fellows who serve a two-year term. Our country's 5.5 million military caregivers are the spouses, parents, family members, and friends who care for America's wounded, ill, or injured veterans. For more information and to apply visit the Elizabeth Dole Foundation website.


California Residents

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Help the Organizations that Help Our Vets

AB 1249-Gray (Property taxation: exemptions: veterans' organizations) will bring relief to Veterans Service Organizations who have veterans posts.  This bill will also benefit the veterans and community organizations that meet in these locations halls.  Currently,  many veteran halls are not receiving the property tax exemptions for portions of  their property that have social purposes due to confusion over a current state statute.  AB 1249 will clarify and align state law to reflect the unique nature of these congressionally chartered non-profit veterans' service organizations. Governor Brown has until October 15 to sign or veto the bill.  Please contact his office and ask him to sign the bill to help keep veterans halls open so they can continue to provide valuable services to veterans and their families. You can also mail your request to Governor Jerry Brown, c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814.


TAPS

survivors

 For Survivors of the Fallen

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers compassionate care to all those grieving the loss of a loved one who died while serving in the Armed Forces or as a result of his or her service. Since 1994, TAPS has provided comfort and hope 24/7 through a national peer support network and connection to grief resources, all at no cost to surviving families and loved ones. TAPS also conducts regional survivor seminars for adults and youth programs at locations across the country, as well as retreats and expeditions around the world. For more information, visit the TAPS website or call the TAPS 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline toll free at 800-959-TAPS (8277).


State Provided Legal Aid

Assisting Deported California Veterans

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has announced that the state will provide legal services to deported military veterans from California, which is a huge victory for these often-overlooked veterans as they seek citizenship. California becomes the first to provide this legal help, which will be available to all deported veterans who formerly lived in California and were honorably discharged from the military. Many veterans mistakenly believed their military service automatically made them citizens. In other cases, the federal government failed to make sure these veterans followed the necessary procedures to become citizens. For more information, click here.


Run Free Run

Follow Maggie's Journey

Maggie Seymour, U.S. Marine Corps Captain transitioning to the Reserves, is an avid ultra-runner on a mission. She's running across the country to raise awareness and support for those who have supported her during her military career. Her mission, Run Free Run, began at the Women's Museum of California in San Diego. Her first stop was Phoenix, followed by Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and finally, Virginia Beach on October 28th. On October 22nd, Maggie will stop in Washington, D.C. to run her 9th Marine Corps Marathon, where she will complete the race alongside a special needs athlete. She will then run to Virginia Beach to end the 100 day journey. To follow Maggie's run, click here. If she stops by your town, be sure to grab this carb-lover a slice of pizza!


Featured Job

Veterans Service Representative

The County of Napa, CA has an opening for a Veteran Service Representative. Working in this full time position, you will provide information and advice to veterans, their dependents and survivors and the general public on a variety of veterans' program benefits and services. The Veterans' Service Representative interviews clients to determine client needs and eligibility for benefits in accordance with state and federal law and submits benefit claims in accordance with established procedures. The Ideal Candidate will have served in the US Military or have an immediate family member who has served in the US Military and will have proficient knowledge of veteran services and the process to receive those services. Online applications are available at http://www.napacountycareers.com. This position is open until October 2, 2017.

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