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Newsletter - December 2013

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Both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah 2013 are in the history books, and Christmas and Kwanzaa will be here before we know it. I would like to take this opportunity to join the staff at in thanking you for your continued support. We hope that throughout the year, you have utilized the valuable resources and information we send out through this newsletter, as well as the resources on our website. We hope you visit often.

As we enjoy our holidays with loved ones, let's remember that those who sacrifice and serve our nation are far from home and families. Among the fantastic non-profit groups that send a bit of home and comfort to our troops year-round, we congratulate Operation Gratitude for sending out their Millionth package! I invite you to read more about it below. And remember to do those much appreciated random acts of kindness for military families, who also serve, but seldom get the recognition.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO


Gary and the Lt. Dan Band

Gary Sinise

Playing for the Children of the Fallen

Snowball Express remembers the fallen heroes of the U.S. military who will never return, and honors the supreme sacrifices their families have made. Snowball Express serves the children who will never be reunited with their mom or dad. On December 14th, The Lt. Dan Band will proudly participate in the weekend events that connect the children and surviving spouses of the fallen with others going through the same experience. The children who attend the annual event leave knowing they are not alone, and that the sacrifice their parent made while serving our country is acknowledged. Children often return year after year to reunite with the friends they have made through Snowball Express.


Great Holiday Gifts

Battlefield Collection

Wear Your Pride at a Special Discounted Price

Battlefield Collection® Authentic Military Sportswear is our nation's premier Military Sportswear line and an Officially Licensed Product of the US Army, US Marine Corps, US Navy and US Air Force. Their products feature Authentic Football Jerseys, Baseball Jerseys and Hats designed using US Military insignias. Their mission is to Honor the Past, Inspire the Future® generations of the United States Armed Forces. Battlefield Collection® is dedicated to service members, veterans and families who have served and those who continue to serve in our prestigious Armed Forces. They especially honor the fallen who have made the ultimate sacrifice while defending our freedom and preserving our way of life. Please use Promo Code: MILITARY at checkout to receive 20% off your entire order and $8.99 Standard Flat Rate Shipping. USCG TM License has been secured. Look for the Coast Guard line in Spring, 2014.


Located in Riverside, CA

AF Village West

Take a Tour and Get to Know AF Village West

AF Village West is an active community designed for those 60 or better, and dedicated to providing unparalleled services to those who have served their community or country. AF Village West is an oasis of lush green lawns, swaying palm trees, streets lined with pepper trees, and red tile roofs, allowing you to live an active lifestyle while enjoying the beautiful Southern California climate. Residents have the opportunity to continue enjoying a rewarding life with family and friends, firm in the knowledge that their long term well-being is secure. At AF Village West, they leave no stone unturned to provide the very best service and care. Come for a visit and you will surely want to stay to share great friends, delicious food and the healthy, active lifestyle you so richly deserve. You, too will believe that there is no place like home at AF Village West.


Be Prepared

Tax Form

Tax Season is Around the Corner

With a little more than three weeks left in the year, service members should begin gathering documentation to file their 2013 taxes. Relocations and deployments have tax implications; for example, deployed service members can receive an extension to file taxes. Also, keep in mind that most military installations offer volunteer income tax assistance to service members and their families, while certain banks and credit unions provide education and training on tax preparation. If you are able to file the short form tax return, tax preparers at Military OneSource will do short-form tax filing free of charge for service members and their families. April 15th will be here before you know it. Will you be ready?


Complimentary Membership


Join Today

ASMBA is a non-profit, fraternal benefit association made up of people just like you. They’ve been serving active duty and retired military personnel and their families for 50 years. They want you to become a part of their family. Sign up online TODAY! FREE ASMBA Basic Membership includes:
• $5,000 of FREE Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. There is never any cost or obligation and it’s yours to keep!
• Access to a variety of discounted programs from companies like Dell, MetLife, LifeLine, ID Theft Assist and more!
• E-newsletters to keep you up-to-date on all the benefits of your membership.
• Eligibility to apply for additional low-cost policies, including long-term care, cancer, hospital care, and more!
As a bonus, you’ll receive a complimentary copy of If Something Should Happen: How to Organize Your Financial and Legal Affairs. ASMBA offers so much more than basic membership. See everything they provide!


Jobs & More Jobs

Job Board

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.


Jobs! Jobs! Jobs!

Calvet is hiring

CalVet is Hiring!

The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) is hiring! In addition to the 36 Veterans Claims Representatives (VCR) being hired to speed up the processing of benefits claims filed by California veterans, CalVet has openings that run the gamut from analysts to cooks to engineers, and more! If you want to check out all of the openings, click here if you are already registered as a user or click here if you need to register. Once you are logged in, click on the CalVet link in the alphabetized listings to see what fantastic job opportunities await!


Featured Employer

Gwinnet County

Georgia On My Mind

As Georgia's second largest county, Gwinnett is a family of lively, growing communities and a great place to live. Known for its laid-back lifestyle and unique town centers, Gwinnett offers the best of all worlds: family-friendly communities and big city amenities the Atlanta region has to offer. If you are looking for a career in Law Enforcement, Public Administration or Technology, Gwinnett County is hiring. Click here to view job openings.


In the News Now

MC Blog

Check Out Our Blog - Latest and Greatest

The blog tackles some of the stories that are in the forefront of military news. With the top stories found on our homepage, the blog gives you the opportunity to state your opinion and interact with other users. We hope you will feel that the blog is provided as a service to our users, and participate by commenting on the stories you feel strongly about.


Benefit Increase

Piggy Bank

Good News for the New Year

Beginning January 1, 2014, Veterans, their families and survivors receiving disability compensation and pension benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs will receive a 1.5 percent cost-of-living increase in their monthly payments. For Veterans without dependents, the new compensation rates will range from $130.94 monthly for a disability rated at 10 percent to $2,858.24 monthly for 100 percent. For more information about VA benefits, visit, or call 1-800-827-1000.


Special Discounts

Advertise with us

Your Company Featured on

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.


Strike a Pose

Family Pose

Veterans in the Bay Area

The Veterans Crisis Line is looking for Veterans and their families to participate in a one hour photo shoot on December 15th. Images will be used in materials for the national “It Matters” campaign to support Veterans and their families in crisis. If you are in the Central San Francisco area and you’re interested in participating, please send an email with the following details: Veteran’s name and age, Military Service affiliation, Discharge status (as listed on your DD-214), and family members and their ages. Each family will receive a stipend for their time.


Helping Our Heroes

Operation First Response

Financial Aid for Wounded and Disabled Veterans

Operation First Response, Inc., supports our nation’s Wounded Heroes/Disabled Veterans and their families with personal and financial needs. When a Veteran enters the VA system, it can take up to a year or more to receive benefits. Operation First Response assists with basic emergency needs to ease the pressure for our nation’s heroes. Services are provided from the onset of injury, through the recovery period, and as they transition from military to civilian life. Financial aid varies, as each case is based on individual needs ranging from rent, utilities, vehicle payments, groceries, clothing, and travel expenses. With your support, OFR ‘has their back’ on the home front. For more information, click here.


Become a User

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Attention Runners

Fisher House

Be a Champion for Military Families

You can support the Fisher House Foundation through the Team Fisher House program in 2014. Combining the fundraising efforts of their 800+ team runners at the military races with the donations from their Corporate Champions, more than $775,000 was contributed to Fisher House Foundation. Both the number of runners and the total contributions set new record highs for Team Fisher House! You can help make 2014 even better! Registration opens February 1st. For race dates, click here. is a proud supporter of Team Fisher House.


Improving Education Benefits

GI Education

How the GI Bill Could be Better

There are a number of pending proposals in Congress to improve upon the current GI Bill. Although the current Post-9/11 GI Bill has served 1 million students at a cost of almost $35 billion, some lawmakers think it could be doing more to serve troops, veterans and their families. Among the suggested improvement are: giving more time to transfer benefits, raising the age limit for children from 26 to 29, expanding Fry Scholarships, increased credit for Guard and Reserve members, and extending transferability to foster children.


Benefits You Earned

Check out your benefits!

Your 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.

Yellow Ribbon School

D'youville College

D'Youville College - Going the Extra Mile

D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY, a recipient of the Military Connection “Veteran School Salute” is a Yellow Ribbon School that has shown a dedicated commitment to their Veteran and military students. D’Youville is consistently developing innovative ways to serve those who have served. The Veteran School Salute recognizes Veteran-friendly colleges, universities and vocational schools that go above and beyond in their efforts to provide premium education services for their Military, Veteran and military-dependent students.


Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Holiday Packages

Deadline for 1st Class and Priority Mail is Fast Approaching

Although it is easier to send e-cards via the Internet, our service member really prefer to receive something that they can hold. They so appreciate getting letters and packages year-round, but especially at the holidays. To get mail to a Soldier by Christmas at APO/FPO/DPO AE 090-092, 094-098, 340, or 962-966, the latest a package can be sent to arrive on time is December 17th, but that means senders will have to pay for Express mail. To pay less, senders can put them in the mail by December 10th, and pay for either 1st Class or Priority mail.


...And Speaking of Packages

Operation Gratitude

Congratulations to Operation Gratitude

It’s been 10 years in the making, but Operation Gratitude has reached a milestone-the shipping of the Millionth care package! Operation Gratitude annually sends 100,000+ care packages filled with snacks, entertainment and hand-made items and personal letters of appreciation addressed to Veterans, First Responders, Wounded Warriors, Care Givers and to individually named U.S. Service Members deployed in hostile regions. They have certainly met their mission of lifting the spirits and meeting the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, and providing volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military.


Going to Bat for the NCOs

NCOs Salute

Employing the Military's Finest

Col. David Sutherland (Ret.), who commanded a combat brigade in Iraq, has served as special assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and is co-founder and chairman of Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Community Services. Col. Sutherland has written an op-ed piece for Forbes in defense of hiring NCOs when they are looking for MBAs. He states that NCOs know how to problem-solve, especially when they are facing deadlines, and often in the throes of crises. Also, they have managed large teams of varying ages and skills, while ensuring that multi-million dollar equipment stays in fighting order. He urges hiring managers to consider NCOs for their open positions. To read the piece in its entirety, click here.


Tennis Thanks the Troops


ThanksUSA Scholarships

Show your love of country through your love of tennis. That’s what ThanksUSA and the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) thought when they came together for a national fundraising campaign called “Tennis Thanks the Troops”. The campaign encourages tennis professionals and enthusiasts to thank the troops by raising funds for the ThanksUSA Scholarship Program. Since 2006, ThanksUSA has provided 3,000 college, technical and vocational schools with need-based scholarships for the children and spouses of U.S. military personnel. The fundraising participants of Tennis Thanks the Troops can get as creative as they like, hosting themed tennis mixers, round robins, or adding a donation piece to an already existing tennis event, e.g., tournaments. Most events are hosted on Memorial Day Weekend or other military affiliated holidays. To learn more about this campaign, click here.


Over 230,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers on Twitter and the VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 230,000 followers! 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!


Complimentary Membership


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 serves 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 us 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.


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 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


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