Guest blogger James Schenck, a U.S. Army veteran and president of the PenFed Foundation, reflects on the military community as we prepare to celebrate our nation's birthday. "This Fourth of July, I ask you to join me in saluting the sacrifices of all veterans who served to defend our nation and remembering their contributions. While the nation reflects on sacrifices of veterans this Independence Day who did not return back from war, I also would like to salute members of the military who sacrificed in other ways."
CareerOneStop is accessible through the HireVetsFirst site, but companies seeking veterans and veterans seeking employment can save time by going directly to the military transition section.
America's Heroes at Work addresses the employment challenges facing service members returning from overseas duties who suffer from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Come check out SIGNAL Connections' new Homefront Help page on Facebook! People and organizations can use the page as a forum to post messages of thanks and encouragement to the troops, tout organizations and programs that assist the military community and connect with other troop supporters.
The USO in conjunction with the Trevor Romain Foundation has released a free, animated movie titled "With You All the Way! Dealing With Deployment." The DVD addresses preparing for deployment, staying connected during the separation and planning for reunion. The movie also helps civilian children understand the challenges their friends in the military community face when a loved one is deployed.
The Defense Department is offering H&R Block At Home online tax filing free to active duty, National Guard and Reserve service members and their families. Eligible participants can access the service through Military OneSource. Users must go to the link on the Military OneSource Web site to access the customized product and create an account. Please do not create an account on the public H&R Block site.
Outback Steakhouse has pledged $1 million to Operation Homefront, a nonprofit organization that provides emergency and morale support for active troops, veterans and their families. The public can help the restaurant chain meet its obligation by dining at Outback restaurants in the United States during the month of March and ordering off the "Red, White and Bloomin'" menu.
The Blinded Veterans Association (BVA) is a group of blinded veterans who help other blinded veterans. It was established to help veterans and their families overcome the challenges of sight limitations. The organization offers service programs, regional groups, resources and government advocacy to improve life for blinded veterans.
Ahhhh, February. A time when thoughts naturally turn to love or at least to the need to buy tokens of that love and hand them out on the 14th. The Internet is full of sites selling cards, diamonds and everything in between, but it also offers more substantial materials. Anyone looking to learn about the history of, unique takes on or international customs celebrating the holiday need look no further than their favorite browser.
The name says it all. This organization connects Americans with deployed military members, enabling participants to choose their level of involvement, from writing letters to sending entire care packages.
A fallen soldier has been honored in an unusual way. Lance Cpl. Ryan McCurdy, USMC, was killed by a sniper in Fallujah, Iraq, in January 2006 when he attempted to save a comrade who was also injured. In recognition of his sacrifice, a portable armored wall system has been named "McCurdy's Armor" in his honor.
For several years Fumar Cigars has partnered with Blue Star Moms to send boxes of cigars to troops deployed in the Middle East. In collaboration with Oliva Tobacco, the company manufactures cigars with logos for all five branches of the armed forces. Anyone interested can sponsor a box, which will be matched one-for-one.
All that running is bound to make a person hungry. Operation Chefs Unite aims to fill up military members traveling through the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta. The Greater Atlanta Chapter of the American Culinary Federation formed Operation Chefs Unite and partnered with the USO to provide meals to the troops to show support for what the warfighters do for the country.
In honor of Veterans Day, Applebee's invites veterans and active-duty military members to eat free at its restaurant locations on Wednesday, November 11.
The first American Heroes Challenge will take place in Las Vegas Nov. 7-8, 2009. The event features four-man teams comprised of military, law enforcement and security personnel who will compete in a six-stage, live-fire firearms and tactics competition. Each stage is named in honor of a fallen American hero.
The Outback Steakhouse Annual Golf Classic is raising money for the American Freedom Foundation for the second year in a row. The foundation supports veterans and their families by raising money and awareness for veterans' organizations. The non-profit group has a special focus on welfare and education issues facing troops wounded or disabled in action and the families of veterans killed in action during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
Injured veterans looking to get back in the saddle can find what they need through the help of Project Healing Horse. The veterans therapeutic riding program uses horses as a medium to provide physical, psychological and social benefits to recovering veterans. The group raises money and promotes therapeutic riding at facilities across the country to heal troops who are injured or suffering from illness.
In the sphere of military community support, Army Community Covenant operates at the strategic level. The organization aims at raising awareness and encouraging businesses, agencies and groups at the local and state levels to create and foster state and community partnerships that assist service members. The first phase of the program is the signing of the Community Covenant. Each community determines its own wording for the document and decides on the number of signatories, usually between 16 and 20 people.
The New England Center for Homeless Veterans (NECHV) extends a helping hand to any homeless veteran facing the challenges of addiction, trauma, severe and persistent mental illness, and unemployment; however, the veterans must be committed to sobriety, nonviolence and working for personal change. The organization is located in Boston, and though most clients are from the Boston area, the NECHV has aided veterans from all 50 states.