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May is National Mental Health Month, a designation that began in 1949 to raise awareness of mental health issues. The vast majority of mental health issues are treatable. The first and most important step is overcoming the fear of asking for help. This can be a huge stumbling block for those who serve and have served in the military, who may feel that needing help is a sign of weakness. It is up to all of us, as friends, family, co-workers and peers, to "have the backs" of our nation’s heroes. We need to encourage them to get professional help when they need it, and take the stigma out of treatment. Please check out some of the mental health resources featured in this special edition of the MilitaryConnection.com newsletter.

Sincerely,
Debbie Gregory, CEO
MilitaryConnection.com


L.A. Galaxy Military Salute

LA Galaxy - June 3rd at 8PM - Home Depot Center

2 for 1 Ticket Offer

Your LA Galaxy will be honoring the men and women of our Armed Forces before and during the match against D.C. United on Friday, June 3 at 8pm at The Home Depot Center. The 1st Marine Division band will be hosting a pre-game concert and singing the national anthem. The Marine Corps Color Guard from Camp Pendleton will present the colors. The Air Force recruits will take their Oath of Enrollment in a pre-game ceremony. One member of the Air Force, Marines, Army, Navy, and Coast Guard will be honored prior to the match. Military members wishing to attend this special night are entitled to a 2 for 1 ticket offer and will receive 40% off concessions during the match. To purchase tickets, click here.


National Resource Directory is GOING MOBILE

National Resource Directory going Mobile

Wounded Warriors, Service Members, Veterans and their families can now stay connected on the go with the new mobile version of the National Resource Directory (NRD). A partnership between the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs, this web portal contains thousands of resources to aid in recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Access it at NRD.gov on your mobile device.


ThanksUSA

ThanksUSA.org is a non-profit organization that provides financial need- based scholarships to children and spouses of US military personnel. Now in its sixth year, ThanksUSA has awarded 2,200 scholarships worth almost $6.5 million, and plans to award an additional 500 scholarships valued at $3,000 each this year. ThanksUSA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation and donations are tax-deductible.


Give An Hour

Nationwide Free and Private Mental Health Counseling for Military, Veterans and Their Families

MilitaryConnection.com wants to let you know about our friends at GiveAnHour.org who are there to help you with counseling for PTSD or any other mental health issue. GiveAnHour.org provides free and private mental health services by licensed mental health professionals, to those who serve in our military, veterans and their families, suffering from the psychological effects of war.


Important Lifeline

Suicude Prevention Hotline

As more and more men and women in uniform return from Iraq and Afghanistan, there is an increasing need for mental health care. The VA is reaching out to Veterans in crisis and their families to raise awareness about suicide prevention resources, such as the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). The PSA encourages Veterans in crisis to call the crisis hotline number at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a trained VA mental health professional, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The PSA can be viewed at here.

An online Veterans Chat program, which provides the ability to communicate anonymously online in real-time with a trained VA mental health professional, can be accessed through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s web page. Suicide is 100% preventable, and it is everyone’s responsibility.


Military Connection Honored again!

Weddle's selects MilitaryConnection.com as a top 100 Employment Website

Check Out Thousands of Jobs

WEDDLE'S, the leading authority on employment websites

MilitaryConnection.com is once again honored to have been selected as a Top 100 Employment Website.

MilitaryConnection.com is one of the most comprehensive Military & Veteran directories of resources & information on the internet with thousands of pages. One of our areas of focus is connecting Military & Veteran candidates with top civilian & government employers. Check us out today!


SEGAMI Healthcare Fund

SEGAMI Healthcare Fund

SEGAMI (Soldiers Empowerment Group Assisting Military Individuals) is a 501c3 nonprofit that provides healthcare grants to uninsured veterans and their families. Visit their website at www.segamihcfund.org to find out how to apply for grant funding, or contact Billy Brown at 478-508-9734.


Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Dodgers

Free Tickets

The Los Angeles Dodgers are offering free tickets to military members in May in honor of Armed Forces Month.

All members of the joint services with a valid military ID, including active duty, Guard and Reserves as well as retired veterans and their dependents can take advantage by showing their military ID at a Dodger Stadium ticket booth on the day of the game. Each military ID is good for two complimentary tickets, based upon availability. More details are available at: www.Dodgers.com/military


Tell A Friend

Tell a friend...

If you know someone who would like to receive our newsletters, you can refer them to our registration page: Military Connection Premium Services to be added to our mailing list and be able to access all premium areas of MilitaryConnection.com.


Phone Apps for Heroes

TBI Phone App

TBI and PTSD Aided by Technology

Smartphone applications and upgrades designed to aid in the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are coming in April, providing new options for service members and their families. Users monitor anxiety, stress, depression, brain injury, post-traumatic stress or general well-being, and the results are charted over time. The goal is to a gain better understanding of emotions and the events they are linked to or caused by, and provide health care professionals with better data for diagnostic planning and the treatment analysis.

Developers at T2 are making an upgraded version of the software also available for iPhone and iPad through the iTunes store. Coming in April is a new app called “Breathe2Relax,” a portable stress management tool.

Visit their website: http://t2health.org/


You've Earned Them!

eBenefits

Attention Veterans

eBenefits is your one-stop shop for online benefits-related tools and information. This portal is designed for Wounded Warriors, Veterans, Service Members, their families, and their caregivers. A Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense Explore eBenefits


School Directory

School Directory

Pursue Your Educational Dream

Finding colleges and universities that fit your personal criteria, as well as the specifications of certain military educational benefits, can be overwhelming. Our School Directory makes the process easier by offering an easily-navigated directory covering a large variety of schools. These schools offer a vast array of programs, certifications and degrees.


Caregivers

VA Caregiver Support

VA Provides National Caregiver Support Line

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs has launched a toll-free National Caregiver Support Line 1-855-260-3274. The Caregiver Support Line was created to recognize the significant contributions made by caregivers allowing Veterans to remain at home surrounded by family and friends. Open Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time; licensed clinical social workers will be available to answer your questions, listen to your concerns and directly link you to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center. Each VA Medical Center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator who can locate assistance tailored to your unique situation.

Visit them on the web: http://www.caregiver.va.gov/


Free Photos For Military

HeartsApart.org

HeartsApart.org was created to keep families connected while our military men and women are serving abroad. Through their efforts and their volunteer photographers, HeartsApart.org provides our soon to be deployed servicemen and women with pictures of their spouses and children, at no charge. The photographs are printed on waterproof and durable bi-folded cards, which fit securely in their uniform pockets. HeartsApart.org believes that our military personnel deserve and need the memory of their families to carry them through the difficult times that lie ahead. 

Click here for more information.


Deadline: October 21, 2011

Retroactive Stop Loss Special Pay

Calling All Stop-lossed Servicemembers...

Just in case you had forgotten, the 2009 War Supplemental Appropriations Act authorized retroactive stop loss special pay of $500 for every month/partial month served in stop loss status.

Service members, veterans, and beneficiaries of service members who were involuntarily extended under stop loss between 9/11 and September 30th 2009 are eligible.
The following service-specific sites provide more information and allow you to begin the RSLSP claim process.

Army: 877-736-5554 | Marine Corps: 877-242-2830 
Navy: 901-874-4427 | Air Force: 800-525-0102


Fisher House Foundation

Marine Corps Marathon

*No Federal or Marine Corps endorsement of sponsor is implied

Support Team Fisher House

GUARANTEED Marine Corps Marathon Race Slots! Run to support our wounded warriors and their families. Become a Champion for Military Families at the 2011 MCM to raise money and awareness for Fisher House Foundation. Only a $500 fundraising requirement with all the tools you need to meet and beat that minimum. For more information and/or to register for the team go to http://www.teamfisherhouse.org/MCM


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


Gary Sinise

A Musical Treat

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Gary Sinise and the Lt. Dan Band!  Upcoming Military events for this outstanding band include: July 2nd  at Ft. Rucker,  July 4th at Joint Base Lewis/McChord, July 5th at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, and July 15th at Great Lakes Naval Base.

Upcoming public events include: Friday, May 27th, a Benefit for US Marine Cpl. Todd Nicely at The Family Arena, St Charles, MO; Saturday, July 16th, 6th Annual Rockin' For the Troops Benefit Concert, Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL; and Friday, July 29th, Salute to Veterans, EAA AirVenture  Oshkosh, WI, sponsored by EAA Warbirds of America and the Disabled American Veterans. Click here for more info.


Drive With Pride

Veteran License Plates

Veteran License Plates

The State of California’s specialized veteran’s license plates are now available for purchase online. Previously, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in conjunction with the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) has offered these specialized license plates through in person and mail-in sales only.

The cost for sequential plate is $30 per year and a one time $10 fee for personalized plates.

To purchase your plate or to learn more click here.
In addition to these plates, over 200 insignias are available to put on these plates to help signify which organizations or military affiliations each motorist represents. To view all available logos for your cars, motorcycles and trucks, click here.


Bonnie Carroll
Founder of TAPS

Bonnie Carroll

Congratulations Bonnie!

On May 12th, Bonnie Carroll was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Award by Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Bonnie is the president and founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). Since 1994, TAPS has assisted more than 30,000 people impacted by the death of someone who served in the military. TAPS offers good grief camps for children, seminars for adults, grief and trauma resources, peer-based emotional support, casework assistance, and a 24/7 resource and information helpline. More information is available at www.taps.org. Bonnie, a dear friend of MilitaryConnection.com, truly makes a difference to the loved ones of our fallen soldiers.   MilitaryConnection.com encourages you to support TAPS – Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.


   
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