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Newsletter - February 2018 #1

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Our sister-site, VAMBOA.org, the Veterans and Military Business Owners Association, is a non-profit trade association for military and veterans business owners, with over 7,000 members nationwide. Those who serve, past and present, have the skills and leadership traits to run successful businesses. There is a saying that goes "Small businesses are the engine of the economy." VAMBOA strives to help keep that engine running. If you are a military, veteran or mil/vet spouse business owner, we hope you will consider joining VAMBOA. There are not any membership costs as  VAMBOA is funded by wonderful corporate sponsors. You can register here. If you have any questions, you can email [email protected].

Thank you,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com

   
   

For Tricare Recipients

Breast Pumps at No Cost

As a mother, you want only the best for baby. The Breastfeeding Shop wants the best for you and baby. That's why they only carry top-of-the-line breast pumps. And as a Tricare provider,  eligible moms have no out-of-pocket cost. Simply fill out the order form, choose your breast pump, upload your prescription, and The Breastfeeding Shop will take care of the rest! Don't have a prescription? No problem! The Breastfeeding Shop will contact your doctor for you to get a prescription. Call with any questions 866-255-6779.

   
   

Thank You for your Service

Military-Friendly University

CSU-Global is a military-friendly university, designed for students like you. As the first and only 100% online, independent, regionally accredited, state university in the U.S., CSU-Global strives to make earning your degree simple. We offer military-specific support for service members, veterans, and their families.

CSU-Global allows you to complete coursework on a flexible schedule, and from wherever you have internet access, so you can balance work, family, and other responsibilities. What's more, we allow students to apply up to 90 transfer credits toward a degree -- including 60 credits from non-traditional sources like military training. To thank you for your service, military students and their families are eligible for a 10% tuition discount, and we'll waive your application fee.

Earn your degree from a university that understands your lifestyle. No matter where you are, you're already on campus with CSU-Global.

   
   

Online Degree Scholarship

Military & Veteran Tuition Scholarships

Earn your degree online for less with Touro University Worldwide (TUW). Get the relevant, practical knowledge you need to enrich or advance your career, all in a flexible online environment. TUW is now offering Military Achievement Scholarship of up to 40% off Tuition and 100 percent scholarship (free tuition) for up to three courses based on degree and credits completed at TUW. This scholarship program follows the long tradition of Touro's appreciation of and unique relationship with service members, veterans, and their families. TUW focuses on quality education, affordability, a military friendly environment, and exemplary student services. Achieve more with your education. 

   
   

The Forever GI Bill

Now Better than Ever

The "Forever GI Bill," has replaced the former Post 9/11 GI Bill, and increases the benefit by more than $3 billion over the next decade. One important change, reserved for those who became eligible after January 1, 2018, is the removal of the 15-year limit on using their GI Bill benefits, which offers them more flexibility. Additionally, the Forever GI Bill boosts education assistance for National Guard and Reserve troops, Purple Heart recipients and for the dependents of fallen troops. MilitaryConnection.com has a comprehensive education area, and we invite you to check out the numerous education resources here.

   
   

Top Ranked Yellow Ribbon University

Meeting Your Online Educational Needs

At Drexel University, those who have served our country are honored through Drexel's military student support services and programs. Drexel's veteran student benefits include:

•   Advisement from a specialized military enrollment counselor

•   Military tuition reduction, which extends to immediate family

•   Programs tailored to the military lifestyle

•   Undergraduate credit for military learning

Veterans eligible for the maximum benefit rate under the Post-9/11 GI Bill® may be able to attend Drexel at no cost through the Yellow Ribbon program. Drexel offers over 140 top-ranked degrees and certificates online, with programs available in cybersecurity, construction management, engineering, business, information technology, health care, nursing and more! Drexel University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the Top 20 Best Colleges for Veterans. Learn more today!

   
   

Easy Application with the Olin App

Hundreds of Transportation Jobs

Olin Corporation is committed to hiring the best people. They understand that their employees define their future. Olin values the skills you mastered while serving our country in the military and offers a variety of jobs and career paths where you can apply those skills. At Olin, you'll find a company large enough to make a real difference throughout the global chemical industry, but small enough to provide you an opportunity to be seen, appreciated, and supported in your career growth. Apply online at Olin.com/Careers or with their easy Olin Careers app (available on both Google and iTunes store). Olin is absolutely committed to diversity within its workforce and to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees and job applicants.

   
   

The Go To Site

Reach An Audience of Military and Veterans

MilitaryConnection.com, The Go To Site, is your online connection to military service members, veterans and their supporters. If you are looking to hire or educate military and veterans or have an important product, service or message, allow us assist to you with a customized advertising program. We work with hundreds of non-profits serving the military and veteran communities, and can facilitate win/win partnerships to help brand you as "Military/Veteran Friendly." For more information, contact us by email at [email protected] or call us at (800) 817-3777.

   
   

It’s That Time of Year

Income Tax Assistance for Military and Veterans

The DoD's annual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program has officially launched, and VITA tax centers fleet wide are opening their doors. VITA is a free self-service program available to active-duty and retired servicemembers and their dependents, as well as deployed Department of Defense civilians. VITA is run by the Internal Revenue Service. Customers can find their nearest VITA tax center via Military OneSource. They also have the option of doing their taxes online. The VITA tax service is free.

   
   

Teaming Up

USA Rugby and the Marine Corps

The Marine Corps has created a new partnership with USA Rugby (USAR). As an official partner of USAR, Marines will have the opportunities to attend several USAR events such as training and education seminars, college championships, and high school regional cup tournaments. This will allow Marines to engage with rugby athletes as well as an ever-growing influencer network of coaches, where they hope to impact their play on the rugby field and possibly influence them toward service in the Marine Corps. For more on USAR, visit the USA Rugby site.

   
   

Check Out the Deals

Thanking Those Who Serve

There is no way we can ever properly thank those who serve and have served in the U.S. Military for all that they have done. They and their families and loved ones have made many sacrifices for their fellow citizens. As a way of saying thank you for your service, there are a number of goods and services providers who offer a military/veteran discount. Please visit our Deals page to see if we can help you save some money.

   
   

Calling All Female Veterans

Are You Ready for your Closeup?

PinsUps for Vets is now casting female veterans to appear in their 2019 calendar. You can help put a smile on the face of a hospitalized veteran as the finished product will be delivered and given to these veterans at no charge.  Photo shoots will take place in Southern California. Please send an e-mail with images, info about yourself and your military service, and why you would like to be in the next calendar! 

   
   

Access Important Info

Have You Download Our APP?

The MilitaryConnection.com app accommodates our users who are accessing our website via cellular devices and tablets. The free app, available for both Apple and Android devices, was developed in-house, with the goal of making it extremely user friendly for the hundreds of thousands monthly unique visitors.

   
   

Get Certified

Is Your Organization Veteran Ready?

Organizations that equip staff and volunteers to better interact with and understand the military community deserve to be recognized! Our friends at PsychArmor Institute and the Bob Woodruff Foundation have teamed up to launch the Veteran Ready Organization Certification — a way to showcase your commitment to more effectively engage with veterans, service members, and their families. Want to help your organization become #VeteranReady? Learn how here.

   
   

Jobs & More Jobs

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.

   
   

Now Open

New Navy Flight Lab

The Orlando Science Center, in partnership with the Office of Naval Research, recently held a ribbon-cutting for its new Flight Lab. This permanent exhibit will provide visitors with a virtual, hands-on experience where they can learn how to pilot an F-35, the Marine Corps variant of the most advanced aircraft on Earth. Visitors to this interactive exhibit can experience real-world missions while having fun and learning about the science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM. The Flight Lab, using 13 Oculus Rift virtual display units, will invite visitors to test their aviation skills as either a pilot or co-pilot and work together to complete a mission. The exhibit will be used not only as a daily experience for visitors to the science center, but also as part of summer camps and workshops. For information about the center, visit the Orlando Science Center website.

   
   

Complimentary Membership

Interested in Corporate Sponsorship?

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. Free to join, VAMBOA serves the needs of the Veteran and military business communities. For companies interested in corporate sponsorship, there is a limited time opportunity to receive the benefits of two years of sponsorship for the cost of one year. This opportunity is also available to current corporate sponsors who renew. For more information, please contact [email protected].

   
   

DOL Launches New Program

Recognizing Veteran Employers

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the launch of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration, an effort that will recognize up to 300 employers for their investments in recruiting, employing, and retaining our nation's veterans. The program demonstration will raise awareness of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, which kicks off in 2019. Program demonstration applications are available online  and is limited to the first 300 applications across all categories (large, medium, and small employers). Any employer with at least one employee on staff is eligible to apply. For more information, visit the HIREVets website for updates, or contact [email protected].

   
   

Calling All Volunteers

Veterans’ Wheelchair Games

The 38th National Veterans Wheelchair Games is coming to Orlando, Florida, July 30th to August 4th. Co-presented by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Paralyzed Veterans of America, the games inspire veterans living with conditions such as spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, amputations and other physical disabilities. More than 3,000 volunteers are needed during the week to help with the events, transportation and countless other support roles necessary to make the games happen. For opportunities to get involved and to sign up, visit the National Veterans Wheelchair Games website.

   
   

On the Blog

Looking to Upgrade your Military Discharge?

The Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs have launched a new online tool to help guide veterans through upgrading their military discharge. The online tool simplifies and customizes guidance for those seeking to upgrade their discharge. Affected veterans may include those who were discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" or similar policies, as well as those discharged for post-traumatic stress or traumatic brain injuries. Read the story in its entirety here.

   
   

Win $100 CASH!

Exclusive Contest for our Readers

Sign up here to win a $100 cash prize exclusively for Military Connection newsletter subscribers. When the military community needs a good military discount they look to MilitaryShoppers.com. Military Shoppers knows that the military community deserves additional military savings for their sacrifice to their country and its citizens, and the consumer website is focused on military lifestyle issues, highlighting discounts, special offers, promotions and services for the military community.

Commissary Specials – Contests – Sweepstakes – Coupons – Military Discounts – Hot Topics – all at MilitaryShoppers.com

   
   

Tricare Users

Pharmacy Overcharge Issue

Last month, Tricare's pharmacy contractor Express Scripts caused about 35,000 beneficiaries to be overcharged for medications.  Express Scripts misinterpreted a plan design rule in Defense Health Agency manuals, which resulted in some beneficiaries paying a deductible on prescriptions filled at an in-network pharmacy when they should not have been. The error occurred on January 1st and 2nd. Any Tricare beneficiary who used an in-network retail pharmacy on those dates, including Tricare for Life users and military retirees, may have been affected by the error. Beneficiaries who were overcharged will be reimbursed by Express Scripts for the overcharge.

   
   

Same Day Urgent Care

Primary and Mental Health Care

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced that 100 percent of its more than 1,000 medical facilities across the country now offer same-day services for urgent primary and mental health-care needs. Same-day services means a Veteran with an urgent need for primary care and mental health-care receives services that may include: a face-to-face visit with a clinician; advice provided during a call with a nurse; a telehealth or video care visit; an appointment made with a specialist; or a prescription filled the same day. To view access information about each facility nationwide, visit the Access and Quality in VA Healthcare website.

   
   

On the Blog

Important Info for South Korean Adoptees

Non-profit 325 Kamra is on a mission to build a DNA database to help South Korean adoptees find their birth parents, including U.S. military veterans, by offering free DNA kits to all veterans and their descendants. Many of these children were illegitimate, born during the 1950-53 Korean War and after it ended while fulfilling peace-keeping duties. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

   
   

For Qualified Students

Bonus for Joining ROTC

For the first time, the Army is offering a $5,000 bonus to sophomores who join Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC.) The bonus is intended for college sophomores as lateral entry cadets who only have two years of school left. It's also aimed at enticing potential cadets who haven't received a scholarship through ROTC, he said. The bonus isn't available to students already in ROTC or in the Army.

   
   

2018 Competition

National Veterans Creative Arts Festival

Now through March, veterans enrolled at VA medical facilities or outpatient clinics are invited to enter their art, music, dance, drama and creative writing entries into the local competition phase of the 2018 National Veterans Creative Arts Competition. Check with your VA facility's recreation/creative arts therapy departments for deadlines. Veterans must work with a staff person from the VA facility where they are enrolled. If you need assistance in identifying a VA staff person from your facility, please contact Amy Kimbler, Program Specialist at [email protected] or Elizabeth Mackey, Director at [email protected]. For more information, the National Creative Arts Festival website.

   
   

Mark the Date- 2/23/18

San Diego Area Women Vets

An open discussion to provide updated and relevant information regarding available healthcare services, benefits, and options to the women veterans of San Diego County will be held on February 23rd at the Liberty Station Conference Center. Lunch and child activities for toddlers+ is available with RSVP. Admission and parking are both free by ordering your ticket(s) here.

   
   

HillVets

HillVets is a bipartisan group of veterans, service members, and supporters focused on empowerment through networking, community involvement, and education. HillVets has worked to raise national awareness of the value that Veterans bring to relevant policy decisions, as well as the positive impact that they have on our local communities. More importantly, HillVets has helped raise awareness of the value that veterans also bring to policymakers and our Nation. For more information visit the HillVets website.

   
   

Like Us & Follow Us

Join Us on Social Media

We are pleased to share that this month Military Connection and VAMBOA, the Veterans and Military Business Owners exceed 1,200,000 combined fans and followers on social media. To keep current between newsletters or to find the latest news that affects Veteran Business Owners, "Like" Military Connection and VAMBOA on Facebook, Military Connection and VAMBOA on Twitter and Military Connection and VAMBOA on Instagram.