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Newsletter - January 2014

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It is my pleasure to wish everyone a happy, healthy and prosperous 2014! My sincerest thanks and gratitude go out to those who serve our country, past and present. With that said, your support of OTT13367, the Vow to Hire Heroes Extension Act of 2013, is URGENTLY needed. This bipartisan bill extends the work opportunity tax credit for hiring veterans through December 31, 2016. Please join me in contacting your elected officials at and and urge their support. For a one page analysis of this bill, click here.

I hope you have had an opportunity to check out our Blog. With Navy Veteran Joe Silva at the helm, we are striving to bring you interesting, informative and entertaining information. Additionally, I hope you have checked out the deals that are available to the military and Veteran communities. And don’t forget that contains important education information, job information, a Skills Translator, and an abundance of resources to help you on your career path.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO


Complimentary Membership


Start the New Year Off Right with ASMBA!

With 2013 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward to 2014! January is a time for planning with a purpose. ASMBA would like to help you sort through the details of your family’s insurance coverage in three simple steps. STEP 1: JOIN ASMBA - ASMBA is a non-profit, fraternal benefit association made up of people just like you. Membership is free for all active duty, retired, National Guard and Reserve (including IRR) personnel under the age of 65. STEP 2: REVIEW OPTIONS FOR ADDITIONAL COVERAGE - ASMBA members have access to special policies that increase coverage without putting a big dent in your bank account. STEP 3: TAKE A LOOK AT SPECIAL DISCOUNT OFFERS - ASMBA staff works daily to make sure that our members get the most out of our service. There you have it. Three simple steps to a well-planned 2014. Join ASMBA today!


Change Begins Within

David Lynch Foundation Ringo Starr

Working to Heal Traumatic Stress

On Monday, January 20th, the David Lynch Foundation will honor Ringo Starr with the “Lifetime of Peace and Love Award”. The event, at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles, will also celebrate David Lynch’s 68th birthday. The show will feature performances by surprise guests and an appearance in the finale by Starr. All proceeds will benefit the David Lynch Foundation, which teaches the implementation of scientifically proven stress-reducing modalities, including Transcendental Meditation. This program has proven to be effective for at-risk populations such as Veterans with PTSD and their families; women and girls who are victims of domestic violence; American Indians suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high suicide rates; homeless men participating in reentry programs who are striving to overcome addictions; and incarcerated juveniles and adults.


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.


Recognizing Gwinnett County Government

Veteran Employer Salute

Featured Employer and Inaugural Award Winner

Because we value employers who make a conscience effort to hire those who have served, has created the “Veteran Friendly Employer Salute”. This award recognizes Veteran-friendly companies that go the extra mile to repay the debt owed to our nation’s Veterans. The first Veteran Friendly Employer Salute is awarded to Gwinnett County Government in Gwinnett County, GA. Gwinnett views Veterans as logical, preferred hires for staffing their county. Approximately 790 of Gwinnett County’s employees are either Veterans, active duty military or serving in the Reserve. Gwinnett County Government exemplifies the dedication to the Military and Veteran community that all employers should strive for.


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.


Ready to Compete?

ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt

Ninth Annual ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt

The ThanksUSA Treasure Hunt (TH9) is open and ready to play! Presented by ESA Foundation, the annual hunt is a free, fully interactive digital trivia game about U.S. history, culture and values. This year’s hunt spotlights the United States Bill of Rights. Now through May 31st 2014, a new chapter is being introduced on the first of each month until all six chapters are released. The hunt is available online ( and via mobile application. Four randomly selected players who correctly answer each chapter’s questions will receive a $250 Walmart gift certificate. One lucky player who answers all six chapters correctly will win the grand prize – a $500 Walmart gift certificate. The hunt serves to generate attention and donations for ThanksUSA’s scholarship fund, benefitting the children and spouses of active-duty military personnel. Go to the Hunt today!


Featured School
Mesa Community College

Mesa College

Veteran Services. Online and On Campus.

MCC has been named a Military Friendly School – proof positive that they’ve gone the extra mile so you don’t have to. Their Office of Veteran Services makes it easier and more efficient than ever to get the education you want. They’ll assist you with registering for classes, creating a degree plan, requesting benefits, deferring tuition, signing up for a book advance, and many other steps along your educational journey. Choose classes that fit your schedule and attend MCC either on campus or online. They offer over 500 classes online that lead to over 20 degrees or certificates. They also make it easy to access online tools and get support at no cost. So enroll today and register for the classes that will get you where you want to go. Click here or call 480-461-7425


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.

The Habitat Hearts for Heroes Builders Ball

Habitat Builders Ball 2014

Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys

Join more than 350 community and business leaders, caring corporations and dedicated individuals who, for one night, trade in a tool belt and hard hat for a little glitz and glamour! The Habitat for Humanity SF/SCV Builder’s Ball raises funds to build Enriched Neighborhoods™ for low-income veteran families, while honoring community leaders who help make that dream a reality. This year, Habitat will honor the Home Depot Foundation and “The Santa Clarita 7”. (The number 7 represents the 7% of the Santa Clarita population that is made up of Veterans). The evening is also a unique opportunity to hear from and celebrate the Veteran families who will be moving in soon! This year’s event is Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6 pm at the Universal Sheraton. To purchase tickets or to inquire about sponsorships, click here. Military Connection is a proud supporter of Habitat for Heroes and serves on their Advisory Board.


Resource Fair

National Women Veterans Association of America

National Women Veterans Association of America

The National Women Veterans Association of America provides a range of veteran services for female Veterans and their children. NWVAA helps women who have bravely defended our country in areas such as claims, child care, employment and housing, just to name a few. Additionally, NWVAA hosts a Healing and Hiring Fair on the last Thursday of the month at Liberty Station, San Diego. For more information including complimentary pre-register for the fair, click here.


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Donate Your Delta SkyMiles

Lukes Wings

Bringing Loved Ones to the Bedsides of the Wounded

Luke’s Wings is a non-profit organization that helps transport the families of wounded warriors to their bedsides during their long, difficult recoveries. Named for Luke Shirley, a wounded warrior at Walter Reed, and Sarah Wingfield, a Redskins Cheerleader Ambassador who met Luke when she was visiting the troops at Walter Reed, Luke’s Wings aims to raise the spirits of those who have sacrificed so much. Luke’s Wings has raised more than $2 million and assisted more than 1200 wounded warrior families. If you would like to request travel assistance or just find out more about this great non-profit, click here. Luke’s Wings is a Delta SkyWish partner, and Delta Frequent Flyers can contribute airline miles by clicking here.


You’re Not Alone

Help is Available

Mental Health Help Is Available

If you or a loved is suffering with a mental health issue, there are a number of highly respected non-profits that work to provide help and support. Give an Hour is dedicated to meeting the mental health needs of the troops and families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan through direct counseling services, education and training. The Soldiers Project offers free, confidential psychological counseling for Military Servicemembers, Veterans and their loved ones. The Veterans Crisis Line connects Veterans and their families and friends with qualified VA responders via their toll-free hotline, an online chat, or by text.


One-Stop Service Center

Gold Coast Veterans Foundation

Taking Care of Our Veterans

The Gold Coast Veterans Foundation (GCVF) is proof that great things can be accomplished when “the tough get going”. The tri-county area of Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara can now lay claim to a one-stop Veterans Service Center, thanks to the hard work and determination of the GCVF. The service center also houses the Veteran Court, in addition to a number of other non-profit groups. GCVF hopes that what they have accomplished here is Southern CA can serve as a model for the rest of the country. If you would like to support the Veterans Service Center, or would like more information, click here. Military Connection’s CEO Debbie Gregory serves as a GCVF officer and board member.


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.


Clearing the Backlog


CalVet Claims Teams Making Strides

The CalVet/USDVA Joint Claims Initiative to help alleviate the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (USDVA) Veterans claims backlog is beginning to make a real difference. As of December 26, 2013, the Strike Teams at CalVet have collectively reviewed 3,171 claims since September of 2013. The compensation awarded through these efforts is over 1.3 Million in lump sum payments (retroactive payments based on the time the claim has been sitting at the USDVA). Monthly award payments totaling $139,472 have been awarded. Annualized, that is over 1.6 Million in payments going to California Veterans every year for the rest of their lives. The award amounts are based on only those which have been reviewed by the Strike Teams and Adjudicated/Rated by the USDVA by December 26, 2013. These amazing numbers are a source of pride for CalVet, considering only a small percentage of the 3,171 claims reviewed have been rated. CalVet expects the numbers to rise exponentially as the CalVet/USDVA Joint Claims Initiative effort continues.


Ready to Join Up?

Mission Continues Platoon

Happenings from The Mission Continues

Veterans are invited to enlist in one of The Mission Continues’ 30 service platoons forming nationwide over the next year. Platoon members will work in partnership with other Veterans, community organizations, local companies and area volunteers to have a positive and lasting impact in their city. Each platoon will select a mission based on the specific needs and challenges of their community. Missions might include tackling hunger or obesity, mentoring troubled youth, improving the environment, or the local homeless population with needed resources. Platoons are now forming and need leaders like you to join the ranks. In return, you will have the opportunity to network and serve with other veterans, active duty service members, reservists and guardsmen in your area. Join a new unit today, and put your skills to work where they are needed the most. For more information, click here.


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 [email protected].


Casting Call for Military Men

Live Well Network

Ready to Pop the Question?

Live Well Network is producing a new TV show that will help grooms-to-be execute amazing marriage proposals. As a way to say thank you to those who serve, the show is looking to feature a man from the Armed Forces. The ideal candidate will live on the east coast, have an outgoing personality, and is planning to propose within the next few months. For more information or to be considered, contact the casting team.


Support TAPS

TAPS Members

Help Families Grieving Military Deaths

Our troops put their lives on the line every day to help us – not just in Afghanistan or other far-off places, but also here at home. Coping with the death of a spouse, parent, child, or sibling who served in the Armed Forces can be a difficult journey. But the survivors left behind by our fallen troops don’t have to face their grief alone. The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, retreats and seminars for adults, and Good Grief Camps for children. TAPS also offers case work assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person care groups, and a 24/7 resource and information helpline for all who have been affected On average, TAPS in takes 13 new people per day seeking help and support. Your help is needed. To volunteer or donate, go to


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.


Lights! Camera! Education!

White House Student Film Festival 2014

Calling All Budding Filmmakers

Are you a student filmmaker or know someone who is? If you're a K-12 student who wants to make a short film, with a chance to screen it at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, enter the first-ever White House Student Film Festival. The topic? Technology in classrooms. There's huge power in what technology can do for education, from taking a course online, to collaborating with other students from across the country or even the world! So come on, all of you awesome student filmmakers-show the power of technology in classrooms in a short film. Go to and find out how you can participate. But hurry! You've only got until January 29th to send in your submission.


Help is Available

The Soldiers Project

Free Psychological Services

Through their network of 400+ licensed mental health professionals, The Soldiers Project (TSP) offers free psychotherapy to any military service member/Veteran who has served in Iraq or Afghanistan. TSP also offers therapy to their loved ones at no cost – boyfriends, girlfriends, spouses, children, parents and grandparents. There is no red tape, there are no fees, and there is no arbitrary limit on the number of sessions provided. Each of us, in our own way, can show our military families that we will stand with them as they come “all the way home”. If you'd like more information on how you can support TSP, please visit them on the web.


Join Ride 2 Recovery

Ride 2 Recovery

Cycle for America’s Healing Heroes

Ride 2 Recovery’s (R2R) primary mission is to improve the health and wellness of our nation’s healing heroes by using cycling as the core activity for rehabilitation. R2R prides itself on being the only program of its kind that provides professional, all-inclusive cycling programs at no cost to our nation’s bravest. In order to provide these complimentary, R2R relies on funding from many sources, one being the Honor Ride Series, which are one-day cycling events open to the public. Funds raised through R2R support individual and group cycling programs at Military and VA locations throughout the U.S., as well as local rides for healing heroes, all aimed at helping injured Veterans overcome obstacles they face as part of their rehabilitation. To support R2R’s efforts and find an Honor Ride in your area, click here.


Working Through Trauma

Midwest Military Outreach

Empowered Through Art

From January 20th to February 7th, 2014, Survivors Empowered Through Art (SETA) will have artwork related to Military Sexual Trauma on display at the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Building. Project Retrospect: "Flipping the Script on Rape" is a joint collaboration of the Cedar Rapids Veterans Memorial Commission, The Riverview Center, Midwest Military Outreach and SETA of La Crosse, WI. SETA was founded by artist Rachel Beauchene, who was a victim of assault while in the military. Midwest Military Outreach connects Service Members, Veterans and their families to the resources they need in the critical life areas of family, employment, education, financial education and health. Their mission is to empower and retain the talent of our Service Members, Veterans and their families as they transition to productive civilian life.


Over 240,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers and VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 240,000 followers on Twitter and over 37,000 on Facebook! 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!