The TAPS tragedy assistance organization is seeking current military members or recent veterans to serve as mentors for children and teens attending the Good Grief Camp. During the event, young persons who have lost a parent, stepparent or sibling in combat will gather to form peer support networks and to learn to cope with their heartache. They also will discover how America honors its warfighters and take breaks from the grief focus to have some fun. The camp will be held Friday to Sunday over Memorial Day weekend (May 25 to 27) in Arlington, Virginia, with an optional Monday activity.
Just when you think Disney can't get any better, it goes and announces the Heroes Work Here initiative. Over the next three years, the company has pledged to provide at least 1,000 jobs and career opportunities for returning U.S. veterans. It also will support troops and their families as they transition to civilian life and will launch a national public awareness campaign to encourage job opportunities for veterans.
The 2012 NAB Show in Las Vegas this month includes an extra-special event-a concert to honor the U.S. military featuring Rodney Atkins and Lucas Hoge. The show will raise funds for ThanksUSA, which provides need-based scholarships to the children and spouses of active-duty troops. ThanksUSA is inviting 400 families from nearby Nellis Air Force Base to attend. NAB Show registrants can pick up tickets at the door for a charitable donation of $20. The program begins at 7:30 p.m.
Catastrophically wounded or ill service members and people involved in their care can access the Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL) calculator to determine the amount of stipend they can receive to help cover nonmedical expenses. Authorized under the Fiscal Year 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, SCAADL is a monthly compensation for eligible service members who require assistance with daily living or who are at high risk for personal safety and cannot live independently.
A new app from the U.S. Defense Department provides wounded warriors with a comprehensive mobile resource guide. The Compensation and Benefits Handbook for Wounded, Ill and Injured Members of the Armed Forces is available for Android and iOS devices. The application allows service members and their families to access information at any time about benefits available to them upon separation or retirement as a result of a serious injury or illness. It includes resources for recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration, including chapters on medical care, Defense Department pay and allowances, the Disability Evaluation System and returning to civilian life.
Homes on the Homefront is more than just a catchy name. This partnership between Operation Homefront and Chase Bank will give at least 100 wounded-warrior, military and veterans' families their own permanent homes this year. In addition, selectees will receive financial counseling. First priority will go to families currently living in Operation Homefront Village.
The hard-and-fast, no-exceptions deadline to apply for the Scholarships for Military Children Program is fast approaching. All applications must be received at eligible military commissaries by February 24. At least one $1,500 scholarship will be awarded at each commissary location where qualified applications are received. More than one scholarship may be handed out depending on response and funding. Recipients can use the awards for tuition, books, lab fees and other education-related expenses.
Promoting the idea that "Kids Deploy Too!" when they see parents go to battle overseas, Military Kids Connect offers children of the armed forces an online forum to network with others in the same situation. Users can participate on message boards, take part in activities and games or watch videos of children who have experienced a parent's deployment. Monitored social networking features allow military dependents to share their struggles and experiences in a secure environment. Resources are divided by age groups: 6 to 8 years; 9 to 12 years; and 13 to 17 years. Developers of the site hope it eases the pain children go through during a deployment.
American Hometown Heroes is an initiative launched late last year by a coalition of independent Yellow Pages publishers. It aims to give veterans a leg up on becoming entrepreneurs and to reduce the high numbers of unemployment and underemployment among those who have served in the U.S. military. The involved partners offer business and professional advice to veterans starting companies in the communities the publishers serve. Approved grant applicants will receive free online and Yellow Pages advertising along with help throughout the first year of starting a new business.
Military families are enjoying a little extra financial support thanks to Troopons, a joint venture between Support Our Troops and CouponCabin. The program asks people to send in manufacturers' coupons (and only manufacturers' coupons) from any source except the Internet, and the deals will be sent to those who need them. Troopons even accepts expired coupons, which can be used on military bases for up to six months past their expiration dates.
During a horrific battle in Afghanistan, Sgt. Dakota Meyer, USMC, saved the lives of 13 U.S. Marines and soldiers and 23 Afghans, enduring injuries to himself in the process; he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor. Sgt. Meyer showed more dedication to others in that single firefight than most will do in their entire lives, but instead of resting on his laurels, he has embarked on a new venture to help his fellow Marines. The hero has partnered with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation to create the Sergeant Dakota Meyer Scholarship for the children of wounded Marines and Navy Corpsmen.
Most deadlines for shipping cards and packages to warzones in time for the holidays have passed, but you can still send e-cards to deployed loved ones overseas courtesy of Real Warriors. Users can choose the animated or still version of the "Happy Holidays from Afar" card. Both feature a military theme as well as the contact information for Real Warriors, which provides help for troops, veterans and family members readjusting to life after deployment.
The organization also offers several non-holiday e-card options with "Welcome Home" or "Reaching Out is a Sign of Strength" themes.
This musical compilation offers buyers a chance to celebrate Christmas, help the military community and receive a reminder of all their blessings in one compact disc. The A Lil Heroes Christmas CD includes traditional songs wholly or partially sung by the children of troops killed in battle after 9/11. The discs cost $15 for one or $12/each for two or more, and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit Operation Ensuring Christmas. This charity provides financial, moral and rehabilitative support to help children recover from the grief and trauma caused by the ultimate sacrifice they can make for their country-the loss of a parent.
SIGNAL and AFCEA extend our admiration and gratitude to all veterans. We appreciate your sacrifice not only on November 11, but every day. We have produced a special veterans supplement publication to our November edition. The resource is full of information about programs that benefit U.S. veterans and words of praise from citizens in many walks of life.
The content can be accessed on SIGNAL's A Salute to Veterans, Troops and Their Families site, which includes a section for people to leave their own messages of support to those who have fought for freedom.
On Thursday, November 10, inns and bed and breakfasts around the U.S. and Canada are offering free rooms to veterans and a guest in observance of Veterans and Remembrance days. Those who served in the American armed forces can find a list of participating U.S. locations at www.bnbsforvets.org; Canadian veterans and military members can find properties in their country at www.bbcanada.com/bbforvets. Additional information about the offers also can be found on the sites. Veterans should book their rooms directly through the inns and B&Bs, which may require proof of prior service.
Birdies for the Brave is a PGA Tour Charities program that raises money for organizations established to support the military community. The effort involves several types of activities such as letter writing, distributing care packages and fundraising golf tournaments conducted at a network of golf clubs across the United States.
The Code of Support Foundation has created a code that transitions the phrase "support our troops" into meaningful promises that actually benefit troops, veterans and their families. Citizens can read the pledge online and then electronically sign it to become part of the Corps of Support, a dispersed group of people who take action to help the military community. The website features a list of organizations endorsed by the foundation. Signers are encouraged to volunteer at them or to donate money.
Go all in to support the troops at the USO of Metropolitan Washington's (USO-Metro's) 8th Annual Stars and Stripes Casino Night on Friday, October 28, from 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the Sheraton National Hotel. Proceeds will benefit the military community through programs such as outreach to children with deployed parents, support services for spouses, emergency housing and wounded warrior care. Attendees will enjoy a buffet and can play a variety of games including Blackjack, Texas Hold 'em and Roulette. The evening also will feature a raffle and auctions.
An initiative of Microsoft, Elevate America Veterans helps former troops and their spouses acquire the skills and resources necessary for success in the workplace. The effort brings together public, private and nonprofit organizations interested in contributing their expertise, cash or other assets. In August, Microsoft partnered with the U.S. Department of Labor to expand the program and distribute 10,000 training and certification packages to veterans over a two-year period.
Lockheed Martin Corporation Missiles and Fire Control, Orlando, Florida, is being awarded a nearly $50 million firm-fixed-price contract for procurement of 18 AN/AAQ-30 target sight systems (TSS) that will be integrated into the AH-1Z Cobra attack helicopter. This integration is part of the USMC H-1 upgrade program to remanufacture legacy aircraft with state of the art designs incorporated into the existing fleet of AH-1Ws, converting them to AH-1Zs. The TSS provides target identification and tracking, passive targeting for integrated weapons, including Hellfire missiles, and a laser designation capability supporting friendly laser-guided weapons.