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The holiday decorations have been put away, and the celebrations ushering in 2012 are over. In addition to wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year, I would also like to express my thanks and gratitude to those who serve our country, past and present. Furthermore, thanks to all of you who have contacted MilitaryConnection.com to express your appreciation for the monthly newsletter. We work hard to put together all of the information that we hope is of value to our readership. We hope you will continue to recommend us and continue to forward the newsletter to your friends, families and co-workers. When the next tour is back home, it's on MilitaryConnection.com, the Go To Site.

Sincerely,

Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com


ASMBA

Membership in ASMBA is open to all persons under age 65, who are currently serving on active duty in the Armed Forces, National Guard or Reserve (including IRR), or who are military retirees. Membership is FREE and comes with $5,000 FREE Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage and a FREE copy of “What If Something Should Happen”, a comprehensive financial planning guide, along with many other benefits! Join today!


Help for a Little Hero

John Freer

Three year old John Freer, the son of Rory Freer, a USAF veteran, is undergoing treatment for stage 4 neuroblastoma cancer  at the Sanford Children’s Hospital in Fargo. At John’s side is mom Carey, while dad Rory remains in Langdon, where he is employed with NDDOT and cares for the couple's other 2 sons.

Besides the emotional toll, there are additional expenses that are taxing the couple's already tight budget.  If you can find it in your heart to help this family, checks can be sent to:Farmers and Merchants Bank, John Freer Benefit Account, 816 3rd Street, Langdon, ND 58249. Additionally, you can donate using PayPal, sending it to JohnDFreer@yahoo.com. To mail gifts or notes of support to John, send them C/O Jody Harms, NDANG Family Support, ATTEN: John Freer 1400 32nd Ave N. Fargo, ND 58102  You can stay up to date on John's progress at www.caringbridge.org/visit/johnfreer.


VetsCanSave

VetsCanSave

VA Mortgage Rates are at ALL TIME Lows

If your current mortgage rate is 4.25% or higher, and your loan amount is over $100,000, you could be saving hundreds of dollars each month! VetsCanSave.com specializes in helping veterans increase their savings and reduce their debt through mortgage strategies, programs and education. Current homeowners can lower their interest rate with little or no out-of-pocket costs. With mortgage rates at an all-time low, Veterans should consider refinancing with NO CLOSING COSTS! No other program is as simple to enroll in or as easy to qualify for than the VA Streamline Refinance. Loans can close in as few as 30 days. You can even skip up to 2 mortgage payments! For more information, with no obligation, contact them on the web at VetsCanSave.com.


Gary Sinise Foundation & the Lt. Dan Band

Gary Sinise Foundation

Gary Sinise has been a huge supporter of those who serve. He is the “Bob Hope” of our generation and gives generously of his time and resources. Gary and the Lt. Dan Band perform for our troops at over 40 bases annually. In July of last year, Gary launched the Gary Sinise Foundation to honor the Nation's defenders, veterans, first responders, their families, and those in need. The foundation provides and supports unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. Click here for more info.


EMPLOYERS
Do The Right Thing

Veteran Tax Credits

Receive Tax Credits & Gain Viable Employees

PRESIDENT SIGNS "VOW TO HIRE HEROES ACT" WITH GENEROUS TAX CREDITS FOR EMPLOYERS

Breaking News - On November 21st, President Obama signed into law Returning Heroes & Wounded Warrior Tax Credits

  • The Returning Heroes Tax Credit is a new hiring tax credit that will provide an incentive for businesses to hire unemployed veterans of $2,400 to $5,600.
  • The Wounded Warrior Tax Credit will double the existing tax credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities up to $9,600.

For more information on these tax credits & to reach an audience of viable Veterans in occupational areas across the board, contact us by email or call 800-817-3777, ext. 124.
To check out our Employment Area, click here.


Featured Employer
Be Part of the Sterling Team

Sterling Meat Company

So. CA Job Opportunities

With job openings for both experienced personnel and those ready to be trained, Sterling Meat Company values your Military experience. At Sterling Meat Company they recognize that when you transition from the military, you come to them with a stellar work ethic and a willingness to be a part of the team. They have various openings, from Customer Service Reps and Shipping/Receiving Clerks to Drivers and Meat Cutters. To see all the available job openings, click here. To apply for any of these positions, please send your Resume or Letter of Interest to Wendy Polanco.


Military Connection.com Job Board

Thousands of Jobs

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.


Featured Employer
Gwinnett County Government

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. Check out their job openings


2012 Freedom Award

2012 Freedom Award

Time Running Out to Submit Employers for 2012 Freedom Award

ARLINGTON, Va. – Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), a Defense Department agency, is calling on Guard and Reserve members to nominate their supportive employers for the 2012 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award before the January 16 deadline. The Freedom Award is the Defense Department’s highest recognition for civilian employers supporting Guard and Reserve members. All employers - large, small and public - are eligible to receive the honor. Guard and Reserve members, or a family member acting on their behalf, may nominate their employers at www.FreedomAward.mil.


ESGR Statement of Support

ESGR Support

Attention Employers

The ESGR Statement of Support Program seeks to inform and educate employers about their rights and responsibilities towards their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve, and to also recognize and reward those employers who go "over and above" the requirements of the law. If you are interested in signing a Statement of Support with the Guard & Reserve, please contact us and we will assist in facilitating a signing ceremony.


News from CalVet

CalVet

Here are some important additions to CalVet benefits:

  • El Dorado and Riverside County Superior Courts have begun hearings in specialized veterans treatment courts. These new “Vet Courts” take a veteran’s psychological and physical issues into account when that individual has broken the law, and focus on the specialized needs of veterans who may be suffering from service-related disabilities or illnesses.  For more information, click here.
  • Veterans now have a new smart phone tool to help them connect with their benefits and find services that will help them successfully transition from military to civilian life. CalVet has released mobile applications (apps) for California veterans and their families that provide any-where, any-time access to information about employment, education, housing, health and other benefits and services available to California veterans. For more information, click here.
  • Secretary Peter J. Gravett announced the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) and the California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office have signed a memorandum of understanding that will facilitate enrollment in a community college for members of the military exiting active duty. Under the new agreement, veterans will find it even easier to connect with a community college to begin their transition to civilian life and the state's workforce. For more information, click here.

Scholarships Available Soon

ThanksUSA

MilitaryConnection.com is proud to join forces with ThanksUSA and their military family scholarship program to help military families worldwide with the gift of education.  ThanksUSA provides need-based post secondary school scholarships for two-year, four-year, and vocational schools for the children and spouses of active-duty military personnel in all branches of services, including the National Guard and Reserve, and the families of those killed and wounded in action. Over the last six years, 2500 scholarships have been awarded to military families in all 50 states, totaling nearly $7.5 million.  For more information or to register for a reminder for the scholarship applications opening in April, click here.

Training for Military Spouses

Training for Military Spouses

MyCAA Courses

If you are a military spouse and qualify for MyCAA funding, your tuition could be 100% covered! MyCareerSkill is a Distance Learning Initiative offering MyCAA approved, fully funded Career Training. The online learning portal and easy to use portable training allow military spouses to learn at home or remotely while tracking their progress. Students also have access to interactive learning support over the Internet featuring live online mentors and self-paced learning materials. The Medical Front Office Assistant & Administration Program and Pharmacy Technician Program train military spouses for exciting new careers in Health Information Systems Administration. These 100% online video-based distance learning programs not only prepare a student for a rewarding career, they validate a student's knowledge through nationally recognized industry certifications.   All brought to you by Florida Gulf Coast University. To learn more, click here.


Check out your benefits!

Post 9/11 GI Bill

The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers

Check out our Education Area including our Veteran School Directory & thousands of scholarships.


Care Packages for the Wounded Airman Program

Air Force Association

The AFA has taken on a new initiative to help care for our Air Force wounded. They are putting together packages of needed items for airmen who arrive at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD and at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio TX. Local chapters in each of these areas are working with the wounded airmen’s families to determine their needs. Because when an airman is injured they are usually returned quickly to the States, they usually arrive with nothing – no clothing, no personal items. When their families are able to join them, they are often unprepared for their own needs. There is a requirement for a variety of items for our airmen, and for their families who are with them. If you can help with a monetary contribution, please contact Mary Ellen Dobrowolski at 703-247-5823 or mdobrowolski@afa.org. These donations can be sent to her attention to AFA, 1501 Lee Hwy., Arlington, VA 22209. We appreciate anything you can do to help the Wounded Airman project.

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We Salute You

We Salute You

Those Who Serve Our Veterans

We want you to know that we at MilitaryConnection.com consider it an honor to work with you. We applaud all of you...

  • Transition Assistance Officers of all Services Branches,  Nationwide
  • Veteran Service Officers, Nationwide
  • Veterans' Employment & Training Officers, Nationwide
  • Veterans' Vocational Officers

...who work so hard to help those who serve transition, find jobs and training.


Column of Interest

Ted Puntillo

Q&A with Ted Puntillo, Director of Veteran Services, Solano County and former CA VA Deputy Secretary

When it comes to Veterans’ benefits, Ted Puntillo is one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet! The former Deputy Director of CalVet and current Director of Veteran Services for Solano County, Ted will be sharing important information on topics such as Veteran benefits, disability, compensation, etc. If you have a GENERAL question, please send it to info@militaryconnection.com and put “Question for Ted Puntillo” in the subject line. Please remember that this is for General questions only, and specific questions should go to your local Veteran Service Officer. Here is a link to Ted’s area on our site:


National Resource Directory

The National Resource Directory (NRD) is a web site for wounded, ill and injured Service Members, Veterans, their families and those who support them.

It provides access to services and resources at the national, state and local levels to support recovery, rehabilitation and community reintegration. The NRD is a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs.

For more information, click here.

Resources

Free Government
Resource Sites

Veteran Government Resource Sites

Attention All Veterans!

There are a large number of websites that provide information on Veterans benefits and how to file and/or ask for them. Accordingly, there are many sites that explain how to obtain books, military/medical records, information and how to appeal a denied claim with the VA. Most of this information is free and available to all veterans, but you have to ask for it. We invite you to look over the list of websites in the event that one or more of them will be advantageous to you. We also recommend that you bookmark the page for future use.

Check out our Veteran Government Resource Sites Directory


Membership is Free

VAMBOA - Veteran and Military Business Owners Association

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 will serve 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 them 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.


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