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Newsletter - August 2014 #2

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This week, we lost a great humanitarian. Robin Williams was so much more than his public persona. He was a kind, generous, deeply thoughtful man who gave so much of himself to so many. Williams was known for his charity work with the USO, Comic Relief, the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, just to name a few. During a 2008 USO show at Camp Arifijan, Williams told the troops, "I come here for you, because I believe you're amazing. It's good to be in a room with fake beer. Having just gotten out of rehab, that's a good choice, because I was violating my standards quicker than I could lower them…" Yes, he was flawed, often speaking openly about his struggles with addiction and depression. But perhaps his death won’t be in vain, because since Monday’s announcement, there seems to be a national dialogue about depression and suicide prevention.

I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen and her organization, Give an Hour, for a number of years. Give an Hour is a network of mental healthcare providers dedicated to meeting the needs of our troops and their families affected by the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They provide counseling to those suffering from anxiety, depression, substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, sexual health and intimacy concerns, and loss and grieving. Barbara is currently working on a documentary called The Runner and the Therapist. Please read about it below to see how you can be a part of this ground-breaking film. And remember, as Robin Williams said, "No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." He will be sorely missed.

Best regards,

Debbie Gregory, CEO


Mental Health Issues

Be a Part of the Dialogue

Currently in production, The Runner and the Therapist is poised to launch a movement that could change how we think about and address mental health, mental illness and wellness. This feature-length documentary tells the true story of Brendan O’Toole, a Marine returning from Afghanistan with the invisible injuries of war, who meets a therapist confronting her own family history of mental illness. As the dialogue regarding depression and suicide currently permeates the leading story on the evening news and newspaper headlines across the country, this documentary can give these discussions some direction. Through the extraordinary footage shot by Joey Dwyer, filmmaker Charles Stuart hopes The Runner and the Therapist will help de-stigmatize the mental health issues that have been hidden, unaddressed and untreated. If you would like to share your story or learn more about this documentary, click here.


Veteran Employer Salute

C.R. England- Valuing Our Veterans

There are few companies that go above and beyond when it comes to providing Veterans with careers that exceed their expectations. Employers who compensate Veterans for their military occupational experience, provide sustainable income and provide opportunities for advancement are awarded the Veteran Employer Salute. C.R. England has received this accolade because of their consistent dedication to those who have served. When you see a C.R. England truck on the road, it is highly likely that the truck is being driven by a Veteran. To learn more about this family-owned company and their zero cost truck driving school for Veterans, click here.


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.


Need a Break?

Summer Getaways

BOGO Vacation Sale! For a limited time only, when you purchase a 7 Night Space A Stay for $349, you can get another one FREE‡*. Sale ends August 20, 2014 at 11:59 PM ET. See website for full terms and conditions. Armed Forces Vacation Club is a FREE membership club open to active duty, guard, reserve and retired members of the Armed Forces. AFVC provides access to Space-A resort rentals worldwide for one low price! 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, Las Vegas, Williamsburg, Lake Tahoe, the Poconos, Sedona and more!


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Serve Your Community

Continue Your Service

The Mission Continues gives Veterans the opportunity to serve their country in new ways by engaging in innovative and action-oriented programs that benefit their communities. If you want to continue your service and put your strength, skills and compassion to work, the Mission Continues has the following opportunities available in multiple locations: ♦Development Director ♦Executive Assistant ♦National Resource Specialist ♦Service Platoon Manager ♦Service Platoon Specialist ♦Veteran Outreach Specialist. For more information, click here. Volunteer Opportunities and Internships are also available.


Paying Tribute

If Ever A Video Should Go Viral…

Breakaway Patriot's music video, "The Homecoming", was filmed at Travis Air Force Base. Bradly Tyner, a OEF Veteran and Breakaway Patriot band member is using the band’s music video as a way of raising funds for and spreading the word about The Pathway Home. This healing community embraces and assists military personnel who have served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. These men have survived the stress of war, but find themselves having difficulty transitioning to civilian life because of the debilitating effects of Post-Traumatic Stress, Traumatic Brain Injury, or other post-combat mental health challenges. The men holding signs in the video are actual residents of The Pathway Home. By simply watching and sharing the video, you can help, as all proceeds from the video will be donated to The Pathway Home.


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.

Preparing for College

SAT and ACT College Test Prep Programs

Through the Military Donation Project, eKnowledge has donated more than 207,000 SAT and ACT programs valued at over $48 million. The SAT and ACT PowerPrep™ Programs are available online or on a single DVD. Each program includes more than 11 hours of video instruction and 3000 files of supplemental test prep material, thousands of interactive diagnostic tools, sample questions, and practice tests. Students select the training they need and study at their own pace. Order online or by phone at 951-256-4076.



A Great Day Out

A Great Day Out

Artists for Trauma will be Joining the Rhythm and Joy Festival (RAJ14), providing a full day of soulful celebration, healing music, art and dance, featuring dynamic singers, musicians and performance artists. Created by Music & Arts director of the Agape International Spiritual Center, Rickie Byars Beckwith, RAJ14 will take place on August 30th, 2014 from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm at Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills, CA. In addition to the music and art, the event features an array innovative, sustainable, eco- friendly, socially conscious vendors and exhibitors offering a variety of products and services to work green, play green and live green. The event is free and open to the public, with lawn seating available on a first come, first served basis. For those who prefer reserved seating and parking, tickets are available for purchase as a "Very Inspiring Person." VIP ticket sales also support the ongoing work of both Artists for Trauma and the Rhythm & Joy Festival.


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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.


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


Home for Veterans

Community At Its Best

Habitat for Humanity, San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys in collaboration with the California Department of Veterans Affairs is offering an affordable homeownership program for Veterans and their families. Veterans earning $52,000 combined family income annually or more & wishing to live in the Santa Clarita area will pay no more than 30-35% of their monthly income for mortgage, tax, HOA, insurance and water. Adapting the well-tested Habitat Enriched Neighborhood™ model developed by Habitat SF/SCV, homeownership is provided along with transitional training and services to promote self-sufficiency. Partnering with other non-profits, local businesses and community organizations, services include veteran-specific counseling, financial training, health and dental screenings, homework help for the children and much more. Inside the community will be several community parks with a large central playground. For more information, click here


Answering the Call

Keeping Up With Demand

In a matter of days, Operation Gratitude's requests for care packages went from 4,000 to 7,000! Why the sudden increase? It could be due to the sudden change in operational tempo and resulting extended deployments. Operation Gratitude is determined to meet this increased demand for care packages. So, they are putting out a call for volunteers to join them at the CA Army National Guard Armory in Van Nuys on Saturday, August 23rd, starting at 9:00 am, and going until all of these requests are packed and shipped. We know that you care deeply about their mission to lift the spirits and meet the needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, so if you unable to volunteer in person, please consider two other ways you can assist: you can make a gift of $15 to send one package, $45 to send three, or $180 for 12, or write a letter of appreciation to one of our service members. Operation Gratitude appreciates any love and support you can send our troops!


Support For Mil Spouses

2nd Annual Warrior Wives Conference

Veterans 360 is hosting a conference for the wives of our combat Veterans. This short conference is designed to educate military spouses, who are often the leaders of the family unit, on the impact that combat trauma can have at home. This August 28th educational conference will empower spouses to take back their family from the damaging effects of PTS/combat trauma. Education can be key in reducing the epidemic levels of domestic violence, divorce, suicide and the negative effects of combat trauma on children. The event, to be held in Oceanside, CA, will feature speakers Dr. Paula Caplan, Welby O’Brien and LTC Mike Grice. For more information, visit them on the web.


CAL-EANGUS Conference

Fighting for Enlisted Guard Members

Mark your calendar to attend the Cal-EANGUS Fall conference at the Okinawa Armory in Sacramento, September 20-21st . The Enlisted Association of the National Guard is the only professional organization that fights for the Enlisted Guard member, and has your interests at heart. The conference will give you the opportunity to learn about your organization and legislative bills that will affect you now and in your future retirement. You will also learn about the latest national and state news related to the National Guard from guest speakers and VIPs. The conference is also an opportunity to meet new people, network and spend time with friends. For more information, contact: CSM (Ret) Harry Courtney by email at or call (831) 264-3603 -Or- CMSgt Steven Taber (Ret) by email at or call (530) 265-3829.


Do You Have Something to Say?

Do You Have Something to Say

Calling All Bloggers

The blog tackles stories that are in the forefront of military news. But now we want to hear from you. Do you have a thought or an idea that is best shared in a blog post? Something you want to share that would be of interest to our readers? Let us know by emailing us at If you put "Blog Post" in the subject line, we'll be able to get to it right away.


Still Competing

Adaptive Sports Competition for Disabled Veterans

The Valor Games Midwest seeks to bring wounded, ill or injured active duty service members and Veterans together through various sporting activities. Hosted by World Sport Chicago – a nonprofit that works to enhance the lives of Chicago’s residents through active participation in sport – the three-day event will take place from August 20-22 and will include a Veteran’s research expo. The opening events (opening ceremony, shot put, discus, biathlon clinic, and Veterans’ resource expo) will begin on August 20th at 10 am at Soldier Field, Gate O. The August 21st events (indoor rowing and cycling) will begin at 9 am at the United Center (South Parking Lot and Concourse) on Madison Street. The final day, August 22nd, will feature archery, powerlifting, and the closing ceremony at Armour Square Park, 3309 S. Shields Ave, from 9 am-3:30 pm. For more information visit them online, email Valor Games or call (312) 861-4848.


Over 409,000 Combined Followers and Growing!

Between Military Connection followers and VAMBOA followers on Twitter, we now have over 319,000 followers on Twitter and over 90,000 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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