Military Connection: Mega Concert Aids Give an Hour: By Debbie Gregory

Concert for ValorVeterans and patriotic Americans throughout the nation are eagerly anticipating  the airing of The Concert for Valor on Veterans Day.

The Concert for Valor is an extravaganza sponsored in part by Starbucks, HBO and Chase. The event will feature musical performances by The Black Keys, Bruce Springsteen, Carrie Underwood, Dave Grohl, Eminem, Jessie J, Metallica, Rihanna, and the Zac Brown Band. It will also feature special appearances by Bob Woodruff, Bryan Cranston, George Lopez, Jack Black, Jamie Foxx, and John Oliver. Also participating will be Meryl Streep, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and Will Smith.

The Concert for Valor will be broadcasted live from the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 at 7:00 pm EST (4:00 pm PST). The concert will air on HBO, available to subscribers and nonsubscribers alike.

In addition to honoring the men and women who have served their country in uniform, the show will also raise funds to support charities that benefit Veterans and their families. Sixteen charities were selected to as beneficiaries, based on their outstanding service and support to the Veteran community.

We are proud to announce that our friends at Give an Hour (GAH) were one of the sixteen organizations chosen by the Concert for Valor.  Give an Hour has proven to be one of the most effective resources for Veterans battling mental health concerns.

Since 2001, over 2.5 million service members have deployed in support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been estimated that around 20% of those who deployed suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and approximately 18% suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in connection with their service. Give an Hour exists to help these men and women get the treatment and support they need, at no cost to them.

Give an Hour functions as a support network of visitors (Veteran patients), mental healthcare providers, and community organizations. All participants register with Give an Hour, and when a visitor is in need of treatment, GAH browses their directory for a registered provider near the visitor. An appointment is scheduled, and treatment begins. When treatment has been completed, the visitor returns to the Give an Hour website and fills out a questionnaire about their care. Visitors are then encouraged to browse community organizations near them, and volunteer their time to pay it forward.

Give an Hour is in every state, with a national network of over 7,000 mental healthcare professionals. The organization has provided more than 100,000 hours of treatment to Veterans and their family members, without the use of insurance or any money exchanging hands.

All Americans are invited to celebrate Veterans Day 2014 by thanking our nation’s Veterans, and tuning in to watch The Concert for Valor. Watching the event and participating in the fundraiser is a great way to show your appreciation for America’s Veterans, and to support the organizations that are helping them the most.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Mega Concert Will Aid Give an Hour: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Oak Ridge Boys Combat PTSD: By Debbie Gregory

oak ridge boysThe American Legion National Headquarters recently announced the organization’s partnership with country superstars The Oak Ridge Boys.

The American Legion is America’s largest Veterans service organization, with nearly two and a half million members. The Legion exists to support the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. Part of the organization’s function is to raise awareness for Veterans in areas such as benefits, legislation, education, and treatment for ailments that are prevalent among the Veteran community, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In an effort to reach more Veterans and inform the public about PTSD, the American Legion is partnering with Grammy Award-winning singing group, The Oak Ridge Boys. The legacy of the group dates back to the 1940’s, with all current members performing together since the 1970’s. The group consists of lead singer Duane Allen, bass singer Richard Sterban, tenor Joe Bonsall and baritone William Lee Golden. Besides winning Grammy Awards, The Oak Ridge Boys have won CMA and Academy of Country Music Awards. They continue to tour the country, performing such country and gospel favorites as “Elvira, “GI Joe and Lillie” and “American Made.”

The Oak Ridge Boys have agreed to participate in a national awareness and fundraising campaign to support the detection and treatment of mental health issues in Veterans, including PTSD.

Joe Bonsall, a member of The Oak Ridge Boys since 1973, wrote the inspirational song that was biographical about his Veteran parents, titled, “G.I. Joe and Lillie.” Bonsall’s parents were both World War II Veterans. His father spent much of his life living with the emotional scars of war.

Growing up, Bonsall experienced firsthand how mental health issues can affect a Veteran family, making The Oak Ridge Boys fitting allies for the American Legion.

“Uniting with the American Legion to raise awareness of those who are suffering, as my father did, is work we are proud to champion.” Bonsall said.

The American Legion estimates that around 20% of Veterans from the wars in Iraq and Iraq will face varying degrees of PTSD. The organization has been working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Defense, several research institutions, as well as individual Veterans who suffer from PTSD, as part of their effort to find solutions and treatments for those who suffer with TBI and PTSD.

The inclusion of The Oak Ridge Boys will help take the American Legion’s fight to an additional front. As part of the battle plan, this alliance will reach more Americans and help more Veterans and Veteran families afflicted with the invisible wounds of war.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Oak Ridge Boys Combat PTSD: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: DOD Reviews Nonprofit Policies: By Debbie Gregory

DOD policiesThe Defense Department (DOD) has announced that it will be reconsidering the current measures that thwart efforts made by well-intentioned nonprofit groups.

Every year, thousands of military families receive support from nonprofit organizations. The overwhelming majority of nonprofit organizations are above board, known and respected for the work they do for service members and their families. With that said, there are some organizations that have turned out to be fraudulent or outright scams. The DOD, and each branch of service, have been forced to try to find a way to protect service members, while still allowing them to receive the support they need.

Previously, there has been a history of inconsistent policies concerning nonprofit organizations on military installations. While a nonprofit organization may hold an office space on one base, its representatives may not even be permitted access to another installation within the same branch of service.

There have also been occasions where Moral, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) officials on certain installations have asked nonprofit organizations to pay hundreds of dollars to set up a table at an on-base event. Many organizations, especially the local ones that can have a huge impact in their communities, can’t afford to pay the “entrance fees” just to spread the word about how they can help.

What the DOD is realizing is that service members need access to the support that these organizations can provide. And the department is trying to facilitate better conduits for these service members to receive the help that they need.

In 2013, DOD Secretary Chuck Hagel enacted a policy which allowed enlisted service members in pay grades E-6 and below to accept gifts valued at more than $20 from charitable and Veterans’ service tax-exempt organizations. An earlier restriction prohibited service members and military families in need from accepting provisions from nonprofit organizations, including holiday gifts, food and clothing.

Of course Mr. Hagel and the DOD are not about to direct the branches of the military to simply grant access to anyone claiming to represent a military-friendly nonprofit organization. But they are in discussions as to how to eliminate as many obstacles as possible that bring the provisions and beneficial programs these organizations provide to the service members who need them.

The DOD and each service branch are in the process of reviewing current policies regarding nonprofit organizations in order to give them more consistency. While it is not a formal review, it should pave the way for better access to provisions offered by military friendly nonprofit organizations, while protecting service members and their families.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: DOD Reviews Nonprofit Policies: By Debbie Gregory

A Quick Click Will Help Military Families

coxOur good friends at Homefront America need your help! From October 13th – 17th, we’re asking the Military Connection community to cast your vote and help Homefront America win $5,000 from Cox Cares. The Cox Cares Advisory Board, made up of Cox employee volunteers, has narrowed the pool of nominees from over 350 applications down to the top recipients in each market.

Homefront America is an all-volunteer 501(c)(3) military family outreach and support organization. Founded in 2005 by Arthur Hasselbrink, a WWII and Korean War Seabee and former LAPD officer, and Mamie Yong Maywhort, the spouse of a former Coast Guardsman, Homefront America provides programs for military families, especially the children, by providing quality, caring, and meaningful assistance in their times of need.

Casting your vote is as easy as 1 – 2 – 3!

  1. Choose your region from the dropdown menu to see a complete list of finalists
  2. Click on the name of the organization you’d like to vote for (One vote per person)
  3. Encourage your friends, family and co-workers to do the same

That’s it! No registration, you don’t have to give them your email address, easy as pie!

Homefront America provides scholarships, Easter baskets, school backpacks, Thanksgiving meals, and of course, Christmas presents for little unsung heroes. We hope you will take a minute out of your busy day to click here and vote. It will take you less than 20 seconds.

Thank you for your support!

Military Connection: Veteran Non-Profits Recognized: By Debbie Gregory

AwardsThis year, 288 non-profit organizations and programs that benefit service members, Veterans and their families entered to win recognition and grants from the Newman’s Own Awards and the Fisher House Foundation.

The Newman’s Own Awards are presented by the Newman’s Own Foundation, which receives 100% of its funding from the sales of Newman’s Own products. Founded by actor Paul Newman, the company is famous for its salad dressings, pasta sauces, frozen dinners, drinks, and other items, all packaged with the actor’s award winning smile on full display.

Five charities won a total of $200,000 in grants, presented in a ceremony at the Pentagon. Half of the money, $100,000, came from the Newman’s Own Foundation, and the remaining half was matched by the Fisher House Foundation. The top prize of $50,000 was awarded to the Veterans Group, established in 2007 to empower Philadelphia area Veterans and their family members to once again become productive members of society.

Other winners, awarded $37,500 each, include:

Angels of America’s Fallen of Colorado Springs, CO – This non-profit connects the children of our fallen military heroes with a coach or instructor who can mentor them.

Adopt a Vet Dental Program of Reno, NV – Provides pro bono dental care for Veterans. The organization’s founder discovered that 95% of Reno-area Veterans aren’t eligible for VA healthcare, and that most are in need of dental work. The program provides a much needed, and often overlooked service for Veterans.

Mission: Youth Outreach, Boys & Girls Club of Cypress, CA –  This facility, is located near multiple military installations, offers scholarships to all children of military families so that they can participate in programs at no cost to their parents.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, of Hartford, CT – Offers a course in entrepreneurship through the School of Business at the University of Connecticut, at no cost to the Veteran.

Over the last fifteen years, 158 programs have received a total of $1.1 million in grants from the Newman’s Own Awards.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Veteran Non-Profits Recognized: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Veterans Day Concert: By Debbie Gregory

Veterans concertAttention all Veterans: Make plans to attend a free Veterans Day concert on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

In tribute to Veterans and members of the Armed Forces, Garry Greene Esq. and His Big Band of Barristers will be performing tunes from the golden age of big bands. The band is comprised of lawyers, judges, legal staff and law students. The band’s mission is to raise funds for those who cannot afford legal services, as well as for other charitable organizations.

The November concert will also feature Pat Boone, Tom Dreesen, June Lockhart, Patrick Kelly, Hal Linden, Judge Judy’s bailiff, Bailiff Byrd, and the Singers in Law. Garry Greene Esq. and his Big Band of Barristers, with the accompaniment of their special guests, will play an array of patriotic and Americana music. The tunes were some of the favorites of service members from several generations. From “Stars and Stripes Forever” to a medley of Beach Boys songs, the concert should provide entertainment for everyone.

The concert will run from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (PST). Tickets for the event are complimentary and available to the general public, but they must be pre-ordered.  Seating is limited and available on a first come, first serve basis,  so Veterans are strongly encouraged to register today!

To register for your complimentary tickets to the concert, go to http://www.eventbrite.com/e/big-band-veterans-day-concert-tickets-5367552494

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Veterans Day Concert: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Bob Woodruff Foundation Presents Stand Up for Heroes: By Debbie Gregory

stand-up-for-hereos-2014The Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival will once again be at the Stand Up for Heroes event.

Stand Up for Heroes kicks off the New York Comedy Festival with an electrifying night of comedy and entertainment, all the while honoring the sacrifice of service members, Veterans and military families.

Among the stars headlining Stand Up for Heroes 2014 will be Louis C.K., Bruce Springsteen, John Mulaney, John Oliver, Brian Williams and other surprise guests.

The event will take place on Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. at the Theater, Madison Square Garden. Proceeds from Stand Up for Heroes go to the Bob Woodruff Foundation to help wounded Veterans and their families succeed in all aspects of their lives. This will be the eighth year that the Bob Woodruff Foundation and the New York Comedy Festival have joined forces to offer Stand Up for Heroes. To date, the event has raised more than $21 million for their cause.

“Lee and I are so humbled by the generous contributions of the talent, sponsors, and variety of organizations in honor of our nation’s heroes and their families,” said Bob Woodruff, ABC News Journalist and co-founder of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. Woodruff continued, “Each year the show gets bigger and better, demonstrating the unwavering support of all those involved.”

Speaking for both he and his wife, Woodruff said, “We, as well as the show’s talented performers, want to show our appreciation for and give back to the brave men and women who served our country and have come home injured. We are inspired and moved by the grand presence of all these groups on such an incredible night for us to commend and remember our heroes.”

Tickets for Stand Up for Heroes 2014 are available for purchase through bobwoodrufffoundation.org, or www.nycomedyfestival.com. Corporate sponsor packages and VIP benefit packages can be purchased by emailing [email protected].

This year’s event will be brought to you by Veterans on Wall Street, as well as the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation supported by founding sponsor GFI Group, Inc.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation:

The Bob Woodruff Foundation is a national nonprofit organization with a grassroots reach, dedicated to ensuring injured service members and their families are thriving long after they return home.  The foundation diligently navigates the labyrinth of more than 40,000 programs and organizations that provide service to Veterans. As of 2014, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has invested more than $22 million in public education and solutions, reaching more than two million service members, Veterans and their families. The foundation was co-founded in 2006 by award-winning news anchor Bob Woodruff and his family. Woodruff was injured while covering the war in Iraq, which inspired him and his family to help make sure the nation’s heroes have access to the highest level of support and resources, for as long as they need it. For more information about the Bob Woodruff Foundation, please visit www.bobwoodrufffoundation.org

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Stand Up for Heroes Event: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Snowball Express 5K Event: By Debbie Gregory

Snowball Express

We have all seen the photos and videos– children rushing to their daddies and mommies in uniform, ending the separation caused by a deployment that lasted anywhere from several months to over a year. We have seen the videos of the surprise homecoming, where the parent in uniform emerges at the child’s school or a sporting event, to the delight of all who witness it. We get emotional watching, maybe even shedding a tear for the moment of celebration at the reunion. But it is imperative that we also remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, and are denied this reunion. We need to honor their families, who will never be the same family again.

Since 2006, Snowball Express, presented by American Airlines, has been carrying out a campaign to “provide hope and new happy memories to the children of military fallen heroes who have died while on active duty since 9/11.” The non-profit organization gathers gold-star children together, from all over the world, for a four-day experience filled with fun activities like sporting events, dances, amusement parks, and more. The surviving parents often say that their child is now  reserved, withdrawn or unwilling to talk about their loss. Participating in Snowball Express helps gold-star families, partially by letting the children know that they are not alone, but also by creating new, happy memories by making each child feel special.

Snowball Express’ efforts are powered by sponsorship, participation and donations. To find out how you can support this wonderful non-profit, please visit www.snowballexpress.org/support/

Snowball Express would also like to announce its first annual 5K Run. This fundraising event will be held on September 27, 2014, at Trinity Park Pavilion, 2300 West 7th Street, in Fort Worth, Texas.

The event will include a 5K walk/run and a 1K fun walk/run for the kids. Registration starts at $20 per participant for those who register before September 1st. The entrance fee goes up to $30 per participant for those who register between September 2nd and the 24th. Registration will be $40 per participant the day of the event. Click here to register.

Everyone in the region is encouraged to contribute by participating in the race or volunteering to help. And all Americans are encouraged to donate to Snowball Express. By doing so, you are remembering the military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Snowball Express 5K Event:By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Trust Your Charity? By Debbie Gregory

stewardIn October, 2013, Joseph Earl Steward was arrested in Ohio for illegally soliciting funds for a popular Veterans charity. On August 8, 2014, the 45 year old was sentenced to three years in prison.

Prior to his arrest, Steward went door to door, claiming to work for the Wounded Warrior Project. He solicited several thousands dollars in donations from good people who believed that their money was going to help wounded Veterans. Steward went as far as to offer fake tax receipts to individuals who gave him money. Most of the donations were in increments of $10-$25, but some were as high as $500.

Last year, Steward was formally charged with illegally soliciting for a charity, identity theft, impersonating an officer, theft, and tampering with records.

Steward pleaded guilty to the soliciting, impersonating and tampering charges. The other charges against him were dropped. Along with his sentence, Steward was ordered to pay $1,577 in restitution to the charity.

After his arrest, representatives from the Wounded Warrior Project said they had no record of Steward working for their organization, and that they never received any donations from him. Donors should keep in mind that the charity does not solicit door-to-door

Good people who want to help Veterans– or any charity– should be careful who they give their donations to. In recent years, there have been an increasing number of impostors looking to make a profit on the backs of those who serve, past and present.

Most reputable charities have established websites equipped with a secure donations page.  Even when donating online, you should give your money to non-profits that have a proven track-record. Many of these reputable organizations are on our Charity Connection page.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Trust Your Charity?  By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Huge Event for USO: By Debbie Gregory

By Debbie Gregory

the uso

Los Angeles area radio station K-EARTH 101 (101.1FM) and the world famous Laugh Factory in Hollywood are hosting an event to benefit American service members through the Bob Hope USO.

The event will include a radiothon, online auction and comedy festival on July 3rd.  Broadcast live from the Laugh Factory over the airways on K-EARTH 101, performance by celebrity comedians include Jon Lovitz, Paul Rodriguez, Richard Lewis, Tom Arnold, Whitney Cummings, and more! There will  be other surprise celebrity guests and participants from the Huntington Beach Independence Day Parade.

While the event promises to produce a lot of laughs, the ultimate goal is raising funds for active duty service members. Julien’s Auctions of Beverly Hills will be holding an online auction as part of the fundraising efforts. The auction can be found at www.julienslive.com, and will run through July 14th.

USO supporters can make secure credit card donations online any time at www.bobhopeuso.org or by sending checks, made out to Bob Hope USO, to 203 World Way, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA 90045.  During the radiothon, donations to the Bob Hope USO can also be made by calling 1-800-USO-0101 or texting “USO” to 56512.

The event is chaired and hosted by K-EARTH’s own Gary Bryan, with support from Laugh Factory owner Jamie Masada, and entertainment industry leader Jimmy Honore.

Proceeds will be used to benefit the 130,000+ troops who visit the Bob Hope USO centers in Los Angeles, Ontario and Palm Springs International Airports, and soon, at John Wayne Airport in Orange County. USO airport facilities offer a haven for service members in transit, and give troops the means to stay connected with the families they leave behind. The USO also assists service members with their transition back to civilian life and provides support to the families of fallen heroes.

Military Connection has been a long-time supporter of the Bob Hope USO, and an ally in their cause to serve those who serve. We invite service members in the LA area to email [email protected] to get their complimentary tickets for the event at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. The event will take place from 6:00 am until 10:00 am on Thursday July 3, 2014.

We encourage everyone to contribute to the Bob Hope USO’s cause by participating in the online auction or by donating what they can.

For more information about the event or to donate go to www.bobhopeuso.org.  To learn how you can help the Bob Hope USO through donations, sponsorships or other activities, contact USO Executive Director Bob Kurkjian at (310) 645-4710.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard & Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Huge Event for USO: By Debbie Gregory