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Newsletter - May 2013 #2

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On May 27th, we will continue a tradition that began following the Civil War. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle, or from wounds sustained in battle. I hope you will join me in taking a moment to honor, remember and thank those who gave so much to make our country great. Let us be mindful of the Gold Star families, to whom this day is not just about a three-day weekend or the kick-off to summer. It is about their loved ones, who gave up all of their tomorrows so that we could live ours in freedom. Let us also remember those who survived and sacrificed so much. They paid a heavy price so we live and prosper in the greatest nation in the world.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com


Win a Dream Wedding

Breezes - Salute to Love

Breezes Bahamas Launches “Salute to Love” Military Video Contest & Discount

In honor of Memorial Day, Breezes Bahamas Resort & Spa is recognizing our troops with their “Salute to Love” video contest, giving U.S. military couples a chance to win a destination wedding at the super-inclusive Breezes Resort. To enter, couples must submit a link to their two-minute YouTube video on Breezes’ Facebook page, explaining why they deserve to win the “Timeless Love” wedding package. The prize-package consists of a six-night VIP stay, including roundtrip airfare from within the continental U.S. The deadline to enter is June 24th, and the winner will be announced July 8th. In addition, to say thank you to the military community that selflessly protects our nation, Breezes Bahamas is offering 20% off vacations as well as every third night free for all military personnel with a valid ID. The discount is valid for travel now through December 20, and must be booked by December 16, 2013. To redeem the discount, use booking code MILIT13.


Get Your Tickets

Celebration of Service

June 2nd at B.B. Kings, Times Square, NY

A Celebration of Service” is a series of events June 2-3, 2013, that will bring together those from the military, government, corporate, and nonprofit worlds who work year-round to honor and support the men and women who serve our country, and their families. On the evening of June 2nd, there will be a benefit concert featuring Mark Rivera and Little Big Band, American Idol winner Kris Allen, with special guests The Secret State, Danielle Peck, Gloria Reuben, and The 9th. To purchase concert tickets, click here.


Hotline for Women Veterans

Hotline for Women Veterans

Making Sure SHE Gets the Message

The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new hotline — 1-855-VA-WOMEN — to receive and respond to questions from Veterans, their families and caregivers about the many VA services and resources available to women Veterans. Women make up nearly 15 percent of today’s active duty military, and 18 percent of National Guard and Reserve forces. Despite these increasing statistics, women constitute only six percent of VA’s total patient population. VA has also found that women Veterans underutilize VA care, largely due to a lack of knowledge about VA benefits and available services. In response, the outbound Call Center was established to contact women Veterans and encourage them to try VA care. It has been expanded, and the Call Center’s telephone agents now receive incoming calls and inquiries about VA care and other services for women. If you have questions regarding eligibility, benefits, health care and other services, give them a call. Agents are also trained to respond to crisis situations such as suicidal behavior, homelessness, sexual trauma, and domestic violence.


Special Discounts

Advertise with us

Your Company Featured 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.


We Like Kris!
American Idol

Kris Allen

Spring Tour on Now

Since skyrocketing to stardom as the 2009 winner of American Idol, Kris Allen has taken his impressive talent and warm-hearted charm on the road with the likes of Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies and Lifehouse, as well as headlining club tours across the country. When he’s not on the road, Kris can be found lending his talent and time to organizations like World Vision, Little Kids Rock and Donorschoose.org or spending time with his family in Arkansas. When the USO asked Allen and his band to take on an overseas tour to play for service members and their families in Europe, he said it was a “no-brainer.” He also called it an honor. Kris is on the road through May with his latest album, "Thank You Camellia.". For more information, click here.


Benefits You Earned

Check out your benefits!

The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers

Check out our Education Area including our Veteran School Directory You can also read about accredited universities for military distance learning here.

Featured School

National Tractor Trailer School

Serving the Military/Veteran Community for 41 Years

Founded by veterans, the National Tractor Trailer School (NTTS) has been training veterans, active duty military, Guard and Reservists for 41 years. Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with Professional Truck Driver Institute certified courses, NTTS is approved by the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs for the training of veterans (POST 9/11 GI Bill). Other financial aid programs include Stafford Loans, Parental Loans for Undergraduate Students, and Pell Grants. NTTS is a viable training option for veterans and transitioning military, offering daily or weekend courses and convenient housing. Graduates enjoy a high job placement rate, and first year income of $36,000 to $45,000. If qualified, tuition for training and housing is covered through the POST 9/11 GI Bill, New York State Veterans Tuition Award, Federal Tuition Assistance Programs, and Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. Additionally, several NTTS graduate employers offer VA approved paid apprenticeships and tuition reimbursement. For more information click here or call 1-800-243-9300.


MyCAA Courses

MyCAA

New Career Funding For Military Spouses

If you are a military spouse and qualify for MyCAA funding, your tuition could be 100% covered! MyCareerSkill is a Distance Learning Initiative offering MyCAA approved, fully funded Career Training. The online learning portal and easy to use portable training allow military spouses to learn at home or remotely while tracking their progress. Students also have access to interactive learning support over the Internet featuring live online mentors and self-paced learning materials. The Medical Front Office Assistant & Administration Program and Pharmacy Technician Program train military spouses for exciting new careers in Health Information Systems Administration. These 100% online video-based distance learning programs not only prepare a student for a rewarding career, they validate a student's knowledge through nationally recognized industry certifications. All brought to you by Florida Gulf Coast University. To learn more, click here.


Mesa CC eLearning

Mesa Community College

Earn Your Online Degree or Certificate – Anywhere, Anytime

Now you can access the highly regarded faculty and programs of Arizona’s Mesa Community College no matter where you are! MCC is now making 20 popular programs available online from start to finish. As long as assignments are completed on time, you can do the work whenever your schedule allows. There are over 500 online classes to choose from and all kinds of online tools and support are available. Plus, MCC faculty members are experts in their field and created the online version of the topic they teach. You should also know that our classes are fully accredited – so no matter where you complete your degree, your MCC class credits count. Get started today. Click here or call 480-461-7000. As part of the Maricopa County Community College District, MCC is an EEO/AA institution.


Valor Games, Far West

Valor Games

Participants and Volunteers Welcome

Veterans and service members with physical and visual disabilities are encourage to register for the 2013 Valor Games Far West, June 11-13, in the San Francisco Bay Area. This introductory competition is an opportunity for veterans and service members with physical and visual disabilities to learn about and compete in a variety of adaptive sports. Activities include shot put, discus, archery, cycling, and powerlifting. Individuals that qualify to compete are those with amputation, spinal cord injuries, blindness/vision, traumatic brain injury, permanent orthopedic injuries, any disability rating from the VA and those with PTSD. Participants are responsible for the cost of their travel to/from the area, but upon arrival, all expenses related to lodging, meals and ground transportation are covered. There is no cost to register and adaptive equipment is provided. For more information, or to register, click here.


 

Memorial Day Deals

Memorial Day Discounts

We have a list of merchants offering discounts this Memorial Day. As with all of the deals we list on our website, we highly recommend that you call ahead to verify the deal, as not all franchises and locations may be participating. Also, keep in mind that many stores give a military discount and don’t advertise it. It is always worth asking a store whether they have one or not, and you should have proof of service on you. To see the list, click here.


Save the Date- July 27th

Homefront America

Heroes Night Out

Homefront America, an all-volunteer 501c3 military outreach and support organization that provides year-round programs to help enhance the quality of life for military families, especially the children. On July 27, 2013 they will be presenting Heroes Night Out, an evening of food, fun and camaraderie at the Hamilton Oaks Winery in scenic San Juan Capistrano. The event is expected to sell out, so reserve your seat soon. If you’re unable to attend in person, you’re invited to sponsor an American hero to attend.


True Talent

Danielle Peck

Danielle Peck

Country music singer-songwriter Danielle Peck is reaffirming her hopes and dreams with a new single, "Impossible Dreams," and video that's sure to do the same for her fans and music lovers. The song celebrates the "everyday heroes" who strive and achieve despite the odds. It sets the stage ahead of an upcoming new album, How Freedom Feels, produced by Lari White, which will build on her prior chart successes including "I Don't," "Findin' A Good Man" and "Isn't That Everything." A tireless performer who has spent most of her adult life on tour, Peck continues to travel the country, including performances and appearances at this summer’s CMA Music Festival, in support of the new project.


21 Paw Salute!

21 Paw Salute

Not Just A Pet

Operation Freedom Paws (OFP) was founded two and a half years ago by Mary Cortani, and she just paired up her 121st veteran/service dog team! What sets OFP apart from the rest of the pack (pardon the pun) is that in addition to supplying a lifeline to a disabled veteran through a service dog (at no charge), they typically use shelter dogs, saving the animal’s life as well. Also the veteran and dog train together from day one. To read more about Mary and her fabulous crew at OFP, click here.


Program Extended through 2013

Hire A Veteran

Returning Heroes and Wounded Warriors Work Opportunity Tax Credits

On January 1, 2013, Congress passed a bill that extended the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits through December 31, 2013. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, to up to $9,600. There is no limit to the number of qualified veterans for whom you can claim this credit.. This program rewards employers who demonstrate they value hiring our nation’s Veterans. For more information, click here.


Featured Employer

Nemours

Dedicated to Professionals who are Dedicated to Children

Nemours is a pediatric health system of hospitals and specialty clinics serving children and families throughout the Delaware Valley and Florida. Our dedicated professionals integrate medical care, research, health education, and prevention to help improve the lives of children every day. Our team of more than 4,600 Associates has cared for millions of kids and their families in our world-class pediatric health system of hospitals and specialty clinics. Nemours began more than 70 years ago with the vision of Alfred I. duPont to improve the lives of children and to do whatever it takes to prevent and treat even the most disabling childhood conditions. 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 view current opportunities or learn more, click here. EOE


Jobs & More

Job Board

Register For Jobs

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.


The Military Edge

The Military Edge

Connecting Employers with the Military Community

Founded by a disabled veteran, The Military Edge is a woman-owned, minority firm that connects individuals with military backgrounds ( Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, and Coast Guard) with military friendly companies nationwide. They use advanced online and offline products, including job fairs, to connect employers with the military community. If you are looking for employment opportunities, feel free to attend one of their job fairs and/or post your resume on their website. The next four job fairs will be held in Huntsville, AL, Cocoa Beach, FL, Arlington, TX, and Fort Hood, TX. To see the schedule of all upcoming job fairs, or for more information, visit them online and don’t forget to like them on Facebook.


Mark Your Calendar

Hire a Patriot

Patriot Job Fair

Hire A Patriot, in partnership with The Patriot Group, Inc., is presenting “HIRE A PATRIOT”, a Military/Veteran Career, Education and Resource Fair. The fair is open to the public, and especially welcomes Active Duty Military, Veterans & their Families. The event will take place on Thursday June 13, 2013 from 10am - 2pm at the Commerce Hotel & Casino - 6131 East Telegraph Road, in Commerce, CA. The Patriot Group, Inc. is a Certified CA Disabled Veteran Business (CA DVBE) and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business.


Making the Transition

Military Skills Translator

Military Skills Translator is Here!

It is expected that within the next four years, approximately 1 million U.S. Armed Forces personnel will transition from military to civilian life. Unfortunately, military servicemen and women often have difficulties transitioning to jobs in the private sector. One of the challenges is that military job codes don't easily translate to civilian job descriptions, making it difficult for veterans to find meaningful civilian careers that match their skills and interests. The Military Occupational Specialty Translator is a comprehensive database of occupational skills, knowledge, and abilities that can help you align your military experience, education, and training with current civilian workplace needs. This invaluable tool will help you zero in the key words that a prospective civilian employer will recognize. We are proud to make this invaluable tool available on our website here.


The American Dream

Heroes Home

Moving Our Heroes Home

Part of the American dream has always been owning a home. Operation Homefront has created the “Homes on the Homefront” program through a new partnership with Chase Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. After helping to secure the freedoms all Americans enjoy, Operation Homefront wants to help our warriors and their families realize their own American dreams. Open to military families and veterans, once accepted, families will reside in the property as a tenant of Operation Homefront for a period between one and two years. During this time, they only pay the actual costs of property taxes, insurance, and homeowner's association fees. As they work to save enough funds to ensure they can maintain the property long-term and meet the requirements of the transition plan, the property will be deeded to the family. To apply, click here.


FYI...

Give an Hour

We Are So Proud

We, the staff at MilitaryConnection.com, are so proud of our fearless leader, Debbie Gregory. Debbie is the recipient of the Give an Hour “Commitment to Service” award, which will be presented to her at “A Celebration of Service” on June 2nd. Debbie is in great company- also receiving the award is Colonel Dave Sutherland. Following 29 years of military service, Colonel Sutherland now serves as the Chairman for the Center for Military and Veterans Community Services (Dixon Center) and actively contributes to numerous national veteran and military family committees and boards.


Rock With Gary Sinise

Gary Sinise

The Lt. Dan Band Is Hitting the Road

Dates and Locations for the summer/fall concert dates for the Lt. Dan Band are now available. Many of the concerts are fund raisers for “Building for America’s Bravest”, a joint effort of the Gary Sinise Foundation and the Stephen Siller Tunnel to the Tower Foundation. Through this strategic partnership, Building for America’s Bravest builds Smart Homes for severely injured military personnel, giving them the opportunity to lead full and independent lives in spite of their injuries. To see the tour schedule, click here.


CalVet in Action

CalVet

Helping Veteran Entrepreneurs

The California Department of Veterans Affairs and Deloitte Sacramento are partnering to provide a small business planning workshop for veterans. This workshop will be dedicated to helping veterans with an entrepreneurial interest not just envision their small business ownership dreams, but provide them with the skills and resources to make it happen. The workshop, to be held in Sacramento on June 7th, will provide one-on-one coaching from the Deloitte team through interactive workshops. Space is limited and participation will be restricted to the first 50 veterans to register. To register, click here.


Expanding Mental Health Services

VA, DoD and HHS Partner

VA, DoD and HHS Partner

On August 31, 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing the VA, the DoD, and the Department of Health and Human Services to take steps to ensure that Veterans, Service Members, and their families receive the mental health services and supports they need. To date, they have successfully increased the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line by 50 percent, ensuring that Veterans in crisis can readily reach help. Additionally, the VA is working with community-based mental health providers to facilitate timely access to mental health services, hiring over 1,600 mental health providers and peer specialists. Furthermore, the departments have successfully implemented a national suicide prevention campaign to connect Veterans and Service Members to mental health services. To read the full report of their results, click here.


Give A Soldier The Night Off

Army Birthday Ball 2013

Looking For a Way to Say “Thank You For Your Service”?

Soldiers and their dates will dance the night away at the Army Birthday Ball. The event will take place on Friday, June 7th , at the Westin Hotel, Long Beach, CA. And now it’s your turn to be a hero. “Give a Soldier A Night Off" is an opportunity for you to treat a local Soldier and his/her date to the annual Army Birthday Ball. Tickets are $285 per person. Everyone is welcome to make a tax-deductible donations of one or more seats, or contributions of $25, $50, $100 or more to sponsor enlisted soldiers, non-commissioned officers and junior officers. The Army Birthday Ball is open to the public. Donations can be made or seats can be purchased online via a secure Pay Pal site. For more information, visit them on the web or call email Jim.Fuller@ngc.com.


Tell Us Your Passion

Writers Circle

Join Our Writers’ Circle Today!

Do you have something you’re passionate about, or want to let others know about your program or how you are making a difference? If you love to write, we invite you to participate in the MilitaryConnection.com Writers’ Circle. The Writers’ Circle features guest writers who want to share their thoughts, deeds and ideas with our audience. To be included, your article must be 300-600 words of original content, not copy written, and non-political. We will put articles in the Writers’ Circle on our web site, as well as featuring some of them in upcoming newsletters. For admission consideration, email your article to info@militaryconnection.com.


Like Us On Facebook and Follow Us On Twitter!

Our social media diva strives to consistently post items of interest. So if you want to keep current in between newsletters, "Like" us on Facebook and join the other 121,000 people who follow us on Twitter!

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The Little C.H.A.M.P.S

Little Champs

Helping Our Littlest Heroes

Debbie Fink recently returned from a whirlwind USO Tour to mainland Japan and Okinawa, where she happily spent time ‘edu-taining’ over 6,000 “C.H.A.M.P.S” – Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel – during 26 performances in 13 DoDEA schools over 10 days. Whew! The Finks' book, “The Little C.H.A.M.P.S – Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel,” helps these children, who serve by virtue of the fact that they have a military parent, build a bridge of understanding between them and their civilian classmates and educators. To read the highlights of Debbie’s tour, click here.


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