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Newsletter - February 2014

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When we ask our fellow citizens to serve in the armed forces, we make a promise that we will provide them with the resources they need to do their jobs, and take care of them when they return home. We, as a nation, have an obligation to support those who have sacrificed for us. We clearly hold those who have served in high esteem. You have the opportunity to say “thank you” by helping these Veterans transition their dedicated service into the steady civilian employment that they deserve. 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 contact your elected officials at and and urge their support. For a one page analysis of this bill, click here.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO


Coming Soon

Veteran ID

The New Veteran Health Identification Card

If you are a Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system, be on the lookout for your new ID card. In addition to increased security for your personal information, the new card contains a salute to your military service – the emblem of your branch of service. Several special awards will also be listed. Veterans who have the old Veteran Identification Card (VIC) will automatically have the VHIC mailed to them. Enrolled Veterans who do not have the VIC (the old identification card), may contact their local VA medical center Enrollment Coordinator to arrange to have their picture taken for the new VHIC, or they may request a new VHIC at their next VA health care appointment. If you are not currently enrolled with the VA for your health care, apply online or call 1-877-222-VETS (8387). You may also apply for enrollment in person at your local VA medical facility.


Live Chat

Give an Hour

Heroes Hangout

Join Veterans United on Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. ET for a live chat with Give an Hour. Among those participating will be Barbara Van Dahlen, the founder and president of Give an Hour, Erin Timmermans, program specialist for Give an Hour, Brendan O’Toole, who launched the nonprofit The Run for Veterans, COL Maureen H. Weigl, Executive Assistant to the Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau, Lauren Itzkowitz, the director of public relations for Give an Hour, and Miranda Chapin, the outreach coordinator for Veterans United Foundation. To join in, click here.


Weeklong Resort Stays For $349


You Deserve Some R&R!

Armed Forces Vacation Club (AFVC) is a FREE membership club open to active duty, Guard, Reserve, Veteran and retired members of the Armed Forces. AFVC provides access to Space-A resort rentals worldwide for $349* per week – that’s per unit, which sleeps 2-8! Forget cramped quarters. Spread out in family-sized resort accommodations, many of which include on-site recreational facilities, living rooms, full kitchen, washer and dryer, kids activities and on-site pools! Destinations include Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Aruba, Branson, Sedona and more! Start your search today, you’ve earned it! Learn More.


Feeling Lucky?

USS Constitution

USS Constitution Independence Day Lottery

Be sure to enter the lottery for the USS Constitution’s 2014 Independence Day turnaround cruise. The lottery will select 150 winners from the general public. Each winner and their guest will ride aboard the Constitution for its annual Fourth of July cruise in Boston Harbor. This will be the ship's final Independence Day voyage until 2018. All lottery entries must be received by noon on April 15th , with the drawing scheduled for April 30th . Lottery entries are limited to one per household. To download the official 2014 lottery entry form, visit the USS Constitution website.


Top Dog

Service Dog

Honoring Your Four-Legged Friend

The Humane Association wants to honor man’s best friend via the 2014 Hero Dog Awards. If there is a dog in your life that has made an impact on you, your family, or even your community, now is your opportunity to recognize their contributions. There are multiple categories including Emerging Hero, Guide Dog, Law Enforcement Dog, and Therapy Dog. Winners in each category will receive a trip to Hollywood and up to $6,500 for a charity dedicated to dogs. The deadline for nominations is February 28th, and voting begins March 7th. To nominate a dog, click here. To see finalists from 2013, click here.


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.

MyCAA For Military Spouses

Military Family Home Steps

Funding Is Still Available

Claim your no cost to you military employment assistance benefits from Fisk University for a recession proof, well paid job in the exciting field of healthcare. The MyCAA Military Spouses Career Advancement Account program provides $4,000 employment assistance, paid directly to the school for job training, so there is no cost to you. Earn your healthcare program certifications anywhere, worldwide, 100% online 24/7. Certificate programs include Electronic Health Records Specialist (CEHRS), Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), Billing and Coding Specialist (CBCS), and Medical Administrative Assistant (CMAA). An eligible spouse must be married to an active duty member of the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines, in pay grades E1-E5, W1-W2 or O1-O2. To get started in your new career with Fisk University, click here.


Proud Yellow Ribbon School

D'Youville College

Recipient of the Veteran School Salute

D'Youville College is a proud Yellow Ribbon School located in Buffalo, New York, easily accessible from NYC, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Rochester and Syracuse. D’Youville was also the first recipient of the Veteran School Salute award. The school has been a pioneer in developing innovative ways to serve those who have served. At D'Youville, they offer various degree healthcare programs including: International Business - Accounting - Information Technology - Childhood Education - Adolescence Education - Nursing - Physical Therapy - Chiropractic - Pharmacy & More...For more information: 1-800-777-3921.


Great Non-Profit

Wings for Warriors

Adjusting to the New Normal

Wings for Warriors is a volunteer driven, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that supports combat wounded military service members returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. By providing the necessary tools, insights and resources for wounded Veterans, Wings for Warriors aids these brave men and women as they go through the recovery process and transition into their new realities. Since December of 2010, they have assisted over 1,000 wounded warriors nationwide through guidance and counseling dealing with military and government entities to secure healthcare, financial and legal benefits. Additionally, they offer financial assistance for immediate family members traveling to visit wounded loved ones located at military and hospital facilities around the nation. For more information, visit them on the web.


Become a User

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Complimentary Membership


Start the New Year Off Right with ASMBA!

With 2013 in the rearview mirror, and 2014 in full gear, it’s 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!


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.


Featured Employer
Nursing Opportunities in GA

DeKalb Medical

Where Opportunity Meets Future

DeKalb Medical values your military service, and invites you to serve your community through your nursing career. Recognized by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as a Top Workplace, and voted by their employees and Atlanta Magazine as a Best Place to Work, DeKalb Medical offers excellent orientation programs and mentoring opportunities. They excel at matching nurses to roles that showcase their strengths while highlighting their expertise. “My experiences in the military shaped me into the nurse I am today. Once I left the military, there was only one hospital I wanted: DeKalb Medical. I chose DeKalb Medical because of the great nursing environment, and the competitive salary and benefits…this is a stable work environment, and my manager has been here over 12 years. Everyone is willing to help”. –Katie, RNC. To learn more and apply online, visit them on the web. EOE


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.


Use Your VA Benefits


Waiting for the Right Time to Buy?

NOW is a great time to buy a home! Home values are on the rise, and while mortgage rates have started to rise as well, rates are still very good. There are different lending programs to choose from, and you need to make an informed decision about which one will best suit your financial needs. VA eligible? You can buy a home with ZERO down, and in many cases, at no cost! At VetsCanSave, we offer FHA, VA, and Conventional mortgages nationwide, and our clients benefit from an additional mortgage management program called ArcLoan®. Automatic Rate Cut (ARC). This program allows Veterans to take advantage of interest rate cycles by lowering their mortgages for little to no cost when rates fall. This results in increased savings and reduced debt. For more information with no obligation, or to get pre-approved, click here. VetsCanSave passionately serves Veterans and their families.


CalVet Advice

CalVet Advice

Get a “Benefits” Check-up

Regardless of your age, branch of service, assignment or post, if you were discharged honorably, you may be entitled to an impressive array of state and federal benefits. Veterans’ benefits can put money in your pockets while compensating you for a service-connected disability, help you begin or resume your college education, get job training, find employment, care for your health, start a business, buy or improve a home, and live out your years with dignity and respect in a California Veterans Home. Other benefit you may qualify for include free or reduced-fee licenses, state parks passes, property tax exemptions and specialty license plates. What’s more, if you are a service-connected disabled veteran, your dependents may qualify to attend a state college or university tuition-free. For more information, visit


URGENT Call to Action

Take Action

Giving Veteran Job Seekers an Edge

You have the opportunity to say “thank you” to those who have served by helping these Veterans transition their dedicated service into the steady civilian employment that they deserve. 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 contact your elected officials at and and urge their support. This is a win-win for all, and will help our economy get back on track. For a one page analysis of this bill, click here.


VAMBOA Corporate Sponsorship


Trade Association for Veteran Business Owners

Corporate Sponsorship opportunities are currently available for the fastest growing Service Disabled Veteran (SDV) and Military Business Owners Trade Association. With a registered membership of more than 5,000 Service Disabled Veteran and Military Owned Businesses, VAMBOA has a reach to many more, as well as almost 100,000 Twitter followers. VAMBOA is working to enable the development, growth and prosperity of SDVOB and military businesses of all sizes. There are also limited opportunities for corporations to join our advisory board. 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. VAMBOA is the Go To Site for Service Disabled Veteran and Military Business Owners. For information, please email us.


Buying vs Renting?

Buying vs Renting

Food for Thought

Matt Battaglia is no stranger when it comes to arranging loans for Active Duty Military and Veterans. In fact, he is so passionate about his work, he'd like to share the top eight reasons why buying a home is a better option than renting. It's an appreciating real estate market and rates are at 60 year lows. If you have any questions about your particular circumstances regarding buying, refinancing, selling, etc., Matt is happy to answer any questions you may. You can email him or call him at 818 584-1774.




Survey for Combat Families

The FOCUS-CI Study, conducted by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) in Bethesda, MD, is led by a team of professionals experienced with military lifestyle, family well-being, and child development. The FOCUS-CI study is looking for families who would like to participate in the study. To complete the brief screening checklist to see if you qualify, click here. Compensation is available. USUHS is also nationally recognized for its research promoting the health and well-being of military service members and their families.


Run the Runways

Race on the Base

Los Alamitos, CA

Start the New Year right by participating in the Los Alamitos Race on the Base on Saturday, February 22, 2014. Held on the runways on Los Alamitos Army Airfield at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos (courtesy of the California National Guard), feature events including a Reverse Triathlon, Jr. Reverse Triathlon, 10K Run, 5K Run / Walk, Mission:1K Kids Run, 10K Inline Skating and Wheelchair/Handcycle Race. Also at the event will be helicopters, planes and military vehicles, with music throughout the course. The event also features a distinctive safe-wick moisture management long sleeved shirt for all participants and volunteers. There will also be free breakfast or lunch for all racers, 2-day vendor expo, free race clinics, and finisher medals. For more information, click here.


So. CA Support


Emergency Financial and Transition Assistance

Like many of us, active duty service members and recently discharged Veterans sometimes find themselves in emergency situations. Whether a family needs assistance with food, unexpected car repairs, utility bills or other expenses, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), a Southern California nonprofit organization, is here to help. STEP provides emergency financial grants, not loans, to income-eligible active duty service members and recently discharged veterans (Ranks E1 to E6) and their families. Assistance is provided in areas such as transportation, baby needs, dental emergencies, food, rent and mortgage, and more. For more information about STEP, to apply for services, or to offer your support of the organization, to go


Transform Your Look


From Fatigues to Fabulous

Attention active duty military men and women, Guard, Reserves and Veterans: Are you so accustomed to wearing your uniform that you need help dressing like a civilian in general or for a special event? Katy Perry's stylist, Johnny Wujek is traveling the country to help several lucky people with a fashion transformation. If you have a heartfelt story and have put more energy into fighting for and supporting our country than into how you dress, we hope you will apply and be a part of this uplifting, self-esteem building, confidence-boosting experience. Email your name, contact info, 3 or 4 photos and a synopsis of your story to [email protected]. For more information, click here.


Save the Date

Combat Stress Conference

Battling Combat Stress, May 14th-18th

The 21st International Military & Civilian Combat Stress Conference, the longest running conference in the world on combat stress, will take place at Tri-City Wellness Center in Carlsbad, CA, May 14th-18th. The 21st Combat Stress Conference is sponsored by in cooperation with Dr Bart P Billings, Conference Founder and Director. This year’s theme is "From the Battlefield to the Neighborhood." For more information, click here.


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.


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].


Over 259,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers and VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 259,000 followers on Twitter and over 52,000 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!


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