Why are the younger Veterans avoiding the Veteran Service Organizations?

LinkedIn

By: Les Davis, MA (Director of Military Affairs at International Education Corporation)

Before I researched why the post-Vietnam generation of Veterans were not joining Veteran Service Organizations (VSO), I asked myself, “Why wouldn’t veterans want to be around other veterans?” Truly, participating in a VSO provides a unique opportunity to serve our community with people from all walks of life, and also offers the opportunity to share the bond and comradery that melds us together as proud United States Veterans.

After months of research, most of which involved visiting many VSOs in several states, the answer became obvious: In all of the VSOs that I had the pleasure of visiting, I found that VSOs are standing by and waiting for this younger generation of veterans to just walk in and join like their fathers and grandfathers before them. And this appeared to be the “marketing strategy” to bolster membership in many, if not all, of the VSOs. Many VSOs rely solely on their names to entice these young veterans to show up and join, and most have a marketing campaign that hasn’t quite made it into the 21st Century. And quite frankly, some of the messaging is a little misleading. For example, I remember getting a package from a VSO that looked like an official government envelope until I opened it and discovered much to my dismay that this official-looking correspondence was in fact a membership package.  I thought the BOLD RED ink demanding some type of action was a little over the top.  When I read “send money along with application and you will receive a multi-tool with your new membership”, I decided to throw the whole envelope away.

The current VSO image and what the younger veteran generation think about local VSOs is real; they see a building with a couple windows, a dimly lit smoke-filled room with a pool table or darts with “Bingo Night” being boldly advertised as the biggest event happening at that particular location. How do we get the younger veterans to be part of that? The answer is we don’t.  WE MUST CHANGE.  The thought that eventually the younger veterans will join because they are missing the comradery is a false notion.  There are too many newer and younger VSOs that have popped-up in the recent years for them to join leaving a vast number of VSOs competing for membership from a much smaller pool of veterans.

The one positive aspect from the VSOs, one that no one can take away, is that they have held firm in the support of the various veteran issues in Washington, D.C. for decades, and have dedicated much of their efforts in resolving very troubling veteran issues involving the Veterans Administration that have surfaced in recent years. The more established veteran service organizations have a voice with the Congress and President regardless of the dominant political party.  Senators, Representatives, and Presidents have made speeches at VSO national conventions because politicians know that they need the support of these Veteran Service Organizations.  Politicians listen to them because of the membership numbers which unfortunately are declining.

What positive actions can the VSOs take to build membership? After talking to Desert Storm, OEF and OIF veterans over the past 9 years, I suggest the following 12 common sense steps to appeal to that younger generation of veterans who are the very life-blood of the existing VSOs:

  1. Be honest and transparent when sending out material to attract new members. Educate the younger veteran generation by conveying to them what you have accomplished locally and nationally to ensure that veteran issues stay at the forefront of the discussion. Show them that you are making a difference. Let them know about your whole organization, not just a narrow scope of membership and money.
  2. Treat all veterans equally. Both men and women have served honorable in the Armed Forces. To assume only men deployed or served is backwards thinking, and has no room in today’s VSO.
  3. Update posts with free WIFI, offer video gaming like an XBOX or PlayStation 4, and install flat screen TVs, and select programming, such as sports programming, that would appeal to all veterans
  4. I know the more seasoned veterans have life experience and perhaps a different frame of reference. But we should never think that the younger generation is any different. As a leader, I’ve always welcomed new ideas from everyone, and the younger veterans are full of ideas-just as we were at that age. You should embrace their energy and let them share their ideas about improving your post; you will be pleasantly surprised with the innovative ideas that they come up with. Be open to these new ideas.
  5. Welcome all veterans into your post. When you see someone new walk in, welcome them with open arms, make them feel like they are part of your post and have found a new family and friends. And don’t criticize the way they look now or their time in service. If you’re welcoming, we may overlook the stale beer smell and nicotine stained walls and windows and stay for a while.
  6. Keep your meetings short and to the point. If you have younger veterans at your post, assign them a task during the meeting and ask them to work with the membership and complete it. Get them involved in the administration of your VSO and encourage their involvement. The younger generation, especially the millennials like to solve problems by working and teaming with a group. This is a prime opportunity for the VSO leadership to mentor those younger veterans. Be patient. Some of these young veterans suffer from a malady of challenges, such as Traumatic Brain Injury.
  7. Turn your post or part of your post into a community type of center. Our younger veterans want a place to network, drop their child off for daycare, or do homework.
  8. Turn your post into a place where veterans can network with the community. Invite local business owners, company executives, your local college Veteran’s Representatives, or members of the local Chamber of Commerce to speak at your meetings.
  9. Don’t be afraid to work with other veteran organizations within your community. Build a strong support network for all veterans.
  10. If you have a post close to a military base, begin working with the base transition office or AW2/AF2/USMC Wound Warrior Regiment or the Navy’s Safe Harbor Program. These once flourishing programs have had their share of budget cuts, but the mission remains the same. This is where VSOs could make a positive impact with the base leadership as well as the surrounding veteran population.
  11. Introduce yourself and your post to your local Guard and Reserve centers. Most of the members live, work, and shop in your community.
  12. Sign up for and attend every veteran event that you can. Make sure the people in your community know that you are the person and post to contact when it comes to supporting veterans.

At the end of the day talking the talk and walking the walk will bring a more positive response and ensure that the new generation of vets will know that they are not alone and have a family within these VSOs.

This top military working dog is a Purple Heart recipient with nearly 100 Marine combat patrols under his collar

LinkedIn
military working dog with two soldiers investigating a suspicious bag on the ground

This year’s American Humane top military working dog sniffed out bombs and explosives over three combat tours with the Marine Corps across Iraq and Afghanistan and is now competing for the grand prize title of American Hero Dog.

Sgt. Yeager, a Marine Corps improvised explosive detection dog, carried out nearly 100 combat patrols and was awarded the Purple Heart after an IED explosion in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in April 2012, took out part of his ear, according to a press release

His handler, Marine Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, was killed in that explosion during a dismounted patrol in Helmand province’s Marjah district.

The pair, whose bond was described as “unbreakable,” according to American Humane, were both assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.

Yeager was transported back to U.S. and treated for his injuries and eventually retired from the Marine Corps, according to a press release.

A press release said that while 12-year-old Yeager is showing signs of aging, his spirit is “undiminished.” Yeager was adopted by a family in North Carolina, according to the release.

Yeager is now headed to Hollywood, California, on Oct. 5 where he will be one of seven dogs to receive a 2019 American Humane Hero Dog award, the News Observer reported.

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are a nationwide competition held every year to recognize dogs that do amazing things.

Yeager will also compete for the top award the 2019 American Hero Dog. According to American Humane, the gala will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel on Oct. 23.

Continue on to the Marine Corps Times to read the complete article.

In Dorian’s path? Here are some last-minute disaster tips for those in the military community

LinkedIn
hurricane evacuees on the road leaving town in droves

If you’re in the path of possible wrath from Hurricane Dorian, here are some quick reminders. (And even if you’re not, consider these tips to help you get ready well before any future natural disaster strikes.)

    • Know your emergency procedures. Sign up for community-wide or installation-wide alerts, and follow leaders’ instructions.
    • Know your orders. When military family members are traveling with evacuation orders in hand, you’re eligible for certain reimbursements for lodging and meals. There are procedures for submitting requests for travel advances, and for submitting claims.
    • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank. (And make it a habit in the future to keep at least a half a tank full of gas at all times.) Check the availability of fuel at your exchange gas station on base. But note some bases in the expected area of impact are under evacuation orders, which generally means closures of facilities.
    • Get your prescriptions refilled now, if at all possible. If not, there are options.
  • Know Tricare’s policies related to health benefits during disasters. Currently, there are temporary emergency refill policies in effect for all counties in Florida, and 12 counties in Georgia, as well as all areas of Puerto Rico and all counties in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check back at tricare.mil/Resources for updates that will likely happen. These emergency policies are in place through Sept. 6 in Puerto Rico, and through Sept. 9 in the other areas.

This means you can get an emergency refill at any Tricare network pharmacy. It’s best to get the refill at the pharmacy where the prescription was filled, but you can get the refill at any pharmacy in the network. Take your prescription bottle with you.

Tricare beneficiaries not on active duty don’t need a referral to get care from Tricare-authorized urgent care providers. This allows you to get nonemergency care for illnesses or injuries if the primary care provider is unavailable because of weather disruptions, or, for example, you’ve evacuated the area.

Tricare has also temporarily suspended the requirement for a physician referral for Prime and Prime Remote beneficiaries in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, due to Hurricane Dorian. Thus, those who have evacuated from these areas don’t need to get a referral from their primary care provider in order to receive care in the community where they’ve evacuated. This waiver applies until Sept. 30.

  • If you still need emergency supplies, check with installation stores. Commissaries have been running specials on a variety of emergency supplies, and will continue to do so through Oct. 31; and they always adjust to add extra storm-related supplies. Commissary officials always work with their suppliers to adjust inventory before and after a storm, said Defense Commissary Agency spokesman Kevin Robinson. Stores in Florida and Georgia have sufficient hurricane supplies to meet customer’s needs.Additional pallets of water came in Thursday, with more scheduled for today, he said. Store officials also work with installation leaders to adjust commissary hours — the commissary at Patrick Air Force Base is staying open until 8 p.m. for the second day to give troops and families extra time to prepare. The exchanges also lay in extra supplies needed for natural disasters. For example, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores had been building inventory on critical emergency supplies including water, batteries, flashlights and generators since earlier this year.

Continue on to Military Times to read the complete article.

Military Veterans Try and Overcome PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries Through Music

LinkedIn
Two musicians pictured on the album cover

DFD Music (dfdmusic.com/) recently announced the release of “Hits the Collection,” Shane Foster & Christopher Davis bring together an extraordinary group of musicians to join them, something that has never been done by military veterans and industry producers.

Notable collaborators and featured musicians delivering instrumental & vocal performances include Yo Gotti, Young Dolph, Boosie Bad Azz, and Project Pat. These are artists with diverse musical backgrounds coming together to create a timeless musical quality. “Hits the Collection” is available for purchase on all major digital platforms and on iTunes.

Check out “Hits the Collection” on Spotify HERE.

Buy tracks from “Hits the Collection” on iTunes HERE.

About DFD Producers Shane Foster and Davis Chris
DFD Music is a production company dually located in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. Helmed by producers Shane Foster and Davis Chris, DFD Music offers music production, engineering, songwriting and a wide variety of marketing directions for musical artists.

Shane Foster is an American producer and marketing executive, in addition to being a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served with distinction as an elite Paratrooper. Having first studied law, Shane is an alumnus of V.C.U., and an alumnus of The Los Angeles Film School where he obtained degrees in both Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business. Shane’s most recent work has graced the iTunes Top 200 Songs chart with Yo Gotti’s single “Play” (Remix), where it peaked at number 17. Shane’s other credits involve mentions in Hype Magazine as well as television, including collaborations with Showtime, MTV, BET, VH1 and Amazon Prime Video. Shane formed DFD Music with collaborating producer Davis Chris in 2016.

“Our purpose is to create music that heals the souls of everyday people and the veterans who have served. It is a battle every day for so many to stay mentally healthy after serving our country. There are too many men and women who have fought for the country like me that end up taking their lives because of depression and PTSD. This cycle needs to stop. Working in partnership with fellow veteran Christopher Davis and other unique artists to release this album has been a step in the right direction in helping those who need healing to be healed like us.” Shane Foster said.

An American songwriter, producer and engineer from Houston, Davis Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, Davis studied Kinesiology before also attending The Los Angeles Film School to obtain degrees in Music Production, Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business. Davis’s most recent work appeared on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, with Iggy Azalea’s album “In My Defense,” which peaked at number six for independent albums, and number 22 for Top Rap Albums in 2019. The album itself has been streamed over 220 million times to date.

Both producers are BMI and Grammy U members who provide fast and reliable service to all their clients, while living by the three Ds: Determination, Dedication and Discipline. They welcome media inquiries, in addition to reviewing and receiving new talent. Follow them on social media at:

Davis Chris: @godavischris for all platforms.

Shane Foster: @therealshanefoster on Instagram and Facebook.

DFD Music: @therealdfdmusic on Twitter

Daymond John — Turning Heroes into CEOs

LinkedIn
Daymond John speaking into microphone on stage

The Shark Tank’s Daymond John encourages veteran entrepreneurs to make waves in business.

By Lori Denman

Entrepreneur extraordinaire Daymond John has cast a pretty large net in the realm of business.

John, otherwise known as, “The People’s Shark,” is a busy man—leading his multi-million dollar FUBU clothing line and hosting the popular reality ABC hit, “Shark Tank,” that’s celebrating its 11th season.

But he never hesitates to take time to help a promising entrepreneur—particularly those who have served our country. “I’m working with veterans as much as I can,” he said.

John is in his third year of partnering with Bob Evans Farms to host an entrepreneurial contest called “Heroes to CEOs.” Finalists receive a free trip to New York City for a personalized, 45-minute session with John to help them perfect a pitch that could win them a $30,000 grant for their business.

John says the same traits that make veterans successful in combat—courage, teamwork, overcoming challenging obstacles, taking inventory of a situation—also apply in the boardroom. A veteran’s large network of supportive comrades is a further advantage, he added.

“I call it OPM, or other people’s manufacturing, mind power or marketing,” he said. “Meaning if you want to start up a business, make a list of friends and acquaintances who can assist in the mission. Soak up their knowledge and insight.”

Still, there’s a few personality traits characteristic of the military that may actually hinder a veteran entrepreneur, according to John in a recent interview for The Motley Fool.

Shark Tank panel seated together
Panel: (L-R) Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin OLeary, and Daymond John of Tribeca Talks: Ten Years of Shark Tank poses for a portrait. MATT DOYLE/GETTY IMAGES

“Vets were brought up to think about everybody else and stand in the line of fire. They don’t always put their needs first.”

There’s been more than a few veterans who have heeded John’s advice. Last month, Jonathan Norton, founder and CEO of Peak Safety Systems, was voted the winner of the third annual “Heroes to CEOs” program. A former Army Ranger, Norton invented the RopeSafe Edge protection system—life-saving equipment for military, first responders, and rope access professionals.

Norton says his company was born out of personal experience. ““I witnessed a student nearly fall to his death while he was repelling because the edge protector that we were using failed,” he said in a recent interview on cheddar.com.

“It was a scary moment and created a lot of fear, doubt and uncertainty. But it inspired me to find a solution. That was the impetus for developing the product.”

Although RopeSafe just launched, Norton has successfully sold to several areas throughout the U.S., including FDNY, NYPD, Dallas SWAT and more. Even a window washing company in Rochester, New York.

Daymond John books on display at book signing
Books on display during Daymond John book signing ” Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life”. JOHNNY LOUIS/GETTY IMAGES

When asked about entrepreneurial qualities he acquired during his time in the military, Norton says, “In spite of the hardships or the bumps in the road, it’s really about commitment to the mission and knowing I am serving a bigger purpose.”

John says he was blown away with Norton’s creativity, innovation and solid business plan. “He really rose to the top as an exceptional leader who is ready to take his business to the next level.

With several successful ventures under his belt over the last 30 years, John says he’s often asked what advice he gives veterans and others who wish to start their own business.

“I would say don’t mortgage your house for 100K,” he joked recently on Ladders.com, citing his own personal experience as John did indeed get his start by mortgaging his mother’s house.

After that, John started his successful clothing line but considers the risky move very lucky, adding, “It turned out for all the better, but knowing what I know now, I was very close to losing the house and everything we had.”

Daymond John standing wearing a gray suit
Photo: ADRIAN EDWARDS/GETTY IMAGES

His top 5 tips to veterans wanting to start a business as well as other entrepreneurs on Shark Tank:

  1. Set goals to know where you’re headed

By age 16, John had told himself he’d be a millionaire by age 30. But when he turned 22, he was broke and struggling to make a buck by buying and selling cars.

“I didn’t know how to properly execute goal-setting. It’s not just visualizing of a number or a certain age,” said John.

When the idea for FUBU came along, he decided to reshape the goal he set for himself. Instead of committing to making a million dollars by age 30, John instead made it his goal to outfit the hip-hop culture. Designing a clothing line became less about earning money and more about dedicating himself to a community — one that he thought would turn into future consumers.

“My goal became doing the best I can for the company I love,” John said.

  1. Homework — you still have to do it

After sneaking his way into a menswear conference in Las Vegas, John proudly showed off early prototypes of T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of his budding company, FUBU, an acronym that means “For Us, By Us.” He secured $300,000 worth of orders, and after his mother took out an equity line on their house in Queens, he took $100,000 to outfit a factory to get production going.

Just one problem: He hadn’t done any research on what it would cost to start a clothing line and get production going. In the process, he nearly lost his mom’s house and ended FUBU before it got off the ground.

Knowing what you need to launch a venture is something John stresses to the hopefuls who appear before him on Shark Tank. He has to see that an entrepreneur looking for funding has done their work to know what their market is and who their competitors are — and that they’ve used that knowledge to not only start driving sales but also improve on their track record.

  1. Adore what you do, and success will follow

A true entrepreneur must love what they’re doing—a seemingly trite lesson that John said is crucial for any successful entrepreneur. It’s passion for a project that will allow a person to push past failures and feeling burned out.

“Do what you love, and success will follow. Money may follow; but I can’t promise that it will,” he said. “But money’s more likely to follow when you’re doing something you love, because you’ll do it for 10 years or 20 years.”

  1. Remember, you — not just your business — are a brand

These days it’s easy to manufacture a personality using social media. But building a business is as much about how you carry yourself as it is about meeting quarterly sales figures or developing new products.

“Be very honest with yourself, especially today with social media. At any given time, your employees can see you,” John said. “So you have to know what the DNA of the brand is. It only takes your employees two weeks to treat your customers the same way they’re being treated.”

  1. Keep swimming, no matter what

John’s final point makes use of what he calls the power of positive thinking. Even as FUBU grew into a bigger company, he maintained a “healthy paranoia” about running a clothing company.

“I always said fashion brands are hot for five years and then they’re gone,” he said.

But keeping a persevering attitude spurred him to come up with solutions to problems instead of giving up. As John wrote in his book, The Power of Broke: “You have to be relentless, nimble, moving ever forward. No matter what.”

Joe Walsh Announces Lineup For Vetsaid 2019 In Houston

LinkedIn

(HOUSTON, TEXAS) – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and multi-GRAMMY Award winning musician Joe Walsh and VetsAid, his national 501(c)3 non-profit veterans organization, announced the lineup and on-sale date for their 3rd annual music festival. VetsAid 2019 will feature sets from ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and Joe Walsh and will take place at 5:30pm on Sunday, November 10, 2019, on the eve of Veterans Day, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Tickets will be available through the Toyota Center Box Office, at www.toyotacenter.com or by calling 1-866-4-HOUTIX and will be priced at $199.50, $149.50, $119.50, $99.50, $79.50, $49.50 and $25.

The inaugural VetsAid took place on September 20, 2017 with a concert at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia featuring performances by Walsh, Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. VetsAid 2018 was a blockbuster event featuring Don Henley, James Taylor, Chris Stapleton, Haim and Joe, who was joined by special guest Ringo Starr. They performed to a sell out crowd of nearly 18,000. It was also in Tacoma where Walsh and VetsAid hosted its first Veterans Jobs Fair where dozens of local vets found meaningful full-time employment with established regional employers in the Pacific Northwest.

As every year, all net proceeds from the concert will go directly to the veterans’ services charities selected through a vetting process-coordinated in tandem with the National Association of Veterans Serving Organizations (NAVSO). In its first two years, VetsAid has disbursed nearly $1.2M in grants to veterans’ services organizations on the national level and the regional level with a focus on the festival’s host city. This year, VetsAid plans to disburse grants to Houston-area organizations; small grant applications have been open since May 2019 via the VetsAid website (www.vetsaid.org).

Veterans and their wellbeing have always been important to Walsh, a Gold Star son himself. His father was a flight instructor for the first US operational jet powered aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, and died while stationed and on active duty on Okinawa when Walsh was 20 months old.

Walsh has been involved with veterans’ related causes for years, supporting various charities, visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and offering free guitar lessons to the wounded veterans there. He has campaigned for his good friend, (now) United States Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee.

Walsh aims to use this platform to raise funds and awareness for the still urgent and significant needs of our returning soldiers and their families. Through the establishment of VetsAid and this annual benefit concert, he aims to give back to those who have given so much in sacrifice for this country.

“It’s about time we brought VetsAid down to Texas and who better to share the stage with than my old buddies and Houston’s own ZZ Top! With Brad, Sheryl, Jason and more special guests to be announced joining us too this will be yet another historic night of incredible music for our vets.” Joe Walsh continues, “This is a night where all are welcome to celebrate the things that unite us as Americans: good friends, open hearts and great music!”

For more information, including grant applications for small veterans services groups, please visit www.vetsaid.org.

6 Terms You Won’t Believe Have Military Origins

LinkedIn
veterans looking at computer and smiling

There’s a long history of military slang, probably dating all the way back to when the first people hit each other with sticks and rocks. While military slang can be fun, it’s even more fun when it seeps into the common vernacular of everyday people. The only problem is when a word or phrase is too good, its origin gets lost in time, and people forget where it came from – but no longer.

Here are just a few words and phrases that came from military tradition.

1. “Best man”

n the days of yore, it was quite possible that a betrothed man might lose his wife even before their wedding to any number of possible hazards – rival bands, enemy leaders, or even random highwaymen. So while he was in the middle of the ceremony, he would enlist his best swordsman to cover his back while his attention was focused elsewhere or hold off an attacking party while the new couple made their getaway.

2. “Boondocks”

These days, to be way out in the boonies means you’re out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the sticks. When the term was coined, it meant that too, only the actual boondocks are in the Philippines. In Tagalog, “bundok” literally translates to “mountains” so when Filipino fighters told American troops they were headed to the bundoks during the 1898 Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine-American War, it meant they were headed to the islands’ inner wilderness.

3. “Cowboys”

Sorry, but the term “cowboy” used to define the ranchers and vaqueros of the Old West was never actually used for those guys at the time. They were usually just called cow herders or cowhands. The term “cowboy” goes well past the 19th Century. The original cowboys were American colonists loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. They would band together in guerrilla units and lure other units of rebel farmers into ambushes using cowbells to coax them in. After the war, it was used to describe criminals from Texas who made raids into Mexico.

4. “Face the music”

In the European military tradition (from which the U.S. tradition is derived), any disgraced officer who was summarily kicked out of his unit was done so in the most demeaning manner possible. As the regiment’s drummer played on, the officer would have his sword broken, his buttons removed, and his charges read to the entire room. The officer was them marched across the parade ground to the tune of the “Rogue’s March” toward the regimental band.

5. “Last ditch effort”

In the kind of fighting that took place in the 16th and 17 Century, troops didn’t just maneuver around the battlefields in the open, in tight formations, wearing bright colors. I mean, they did that, but they also constructed a series of earthwork redoubts and other protective places to hold. Among these was a series of trenches they could fall back to if the stuff started hitting the fan – and they would dig many in case things went really wrong. But everyone knew by the time you got to your last one, you had to do something amazing, or everyone was likely to die in that last ditch.

6. “The whole nine yards”

This term appeared in the 1950s, after the end of World War II – and it has nothing to do with football or anything else where yardage is a factor. It refers to the length of the ammunition belts designed for American and British fighter planes during the war, 27 feet (or nine yards). When flying a particularly tough mission or otherwise using a lot of ammo, a pilot might have been said to use “the whole nine yards.”

Continue on to Military.com to read the complete article.

Beacon Roofing Supply Launches Beacon of Hope Contest for Military Veterans

LinkedIn
picture of two men working on a new roof

Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc. announced the launch of its first annual contest, through which Beacon will award deserving veteran homeowners new roofs. The contest is open to all military veterans who received honorable or general discharges. There will be a total of five that will be chosen.

“The Beacon of Hope contest is one way we can give back to the men and women who have given so much to our country,” said Eric Swank, Beacon’s Chief Operating Officer. “It is an honor and privilege to provide a safe roof that they can be proud of and that will protect their family and their belongings.”

From now through September 20, 2019, the public can nominate a deserving U.S. veteran at go.becn.com/beaconofhope Nominations must include a photo and short bio of the veteran, which includes their military branch, years of service and why the nominee is deserving of a new roof.

Ten finalists will be announced in September, and the public will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite finalists. Beacon will announce the winners and runners-up on Veterans Day.

To learn more about the Beacon of Hope contest and read the official contest rules, visit go.becn.com/beaconofhope.

About Beacon Roofing Supply

Founded in 1928, Beacon Roofing Supply is the largest publicly traded distributor of residential and commercial roofing materials and complementary building products in North America, operating over 500 branches throughout all 50 states in the U.S. and 6 provinces in Canada. Beacon serves an extensive base of over 100,000 customers, utilizing its vast branch network and diverse service offerings to provide high-quality products and support throughout the entire business lifecycle. Beacon also offers its own private label brand, TRI-BUILT, and has a proprietary digital account management suite, Beacon Pro+, which allows customers to manage their businesses online. A Fortune 500 company, Beacon’s stock is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol BECN. To learn more about Beacon and its brands, please visit becn.com.

Planes, Frogs & Obstacles? They’re All Happening at LA Fleet Week 2019

LinkedIn
Skydivers in the air with an American Flag attached

Things will really be jumping at this year’s LA Fleet Week—literally.  Added to the line-up of this annual multi-day LA Waterfront celebration of our nation’s Sea Services, Aug. 30- Sept. 2, will be two new crowd-pleasing events, U.S. Navy Leap Frog jumpers and an all-out battle of the fittest with USAA’s high-stakes Obstacle Course Competition. Aerial flyovers and demonstrations are back by popular demand as well.

The Leap Frogs” are the official parachute demonstration team of the U.S. Navy and part of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Command. The team is made up of active-duty Navy SEALs, Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen (SWCC) and support personnel. Each day starting Saturday of LA Fleet Week, the Leap Frogs will make a spectacular parachute landing into the event. Often jumping from aircraft hovering more than two miles above, the Leap Frogs are a unique visual experience not to be missed.

Also new this year at LA Fleet Week will be a high-intensity Obstacle Course Competition presented by USAA. As much a participant as a spectator sport, the relay-style competition will feature two-person teams racing against the clock to complete the athletically challenging course in the fastest time. From 150- to 200-lb. tire flips to track sprints, to weighted rope pulls and accuracy throwing drills, a winning team will be determined at the end of each competition day.

For the Obstacle Course Competition, advanced team sign ups are recommended, though walk-up teams will accommodated as scheduling allows. Team competitions will be held Friday through Monday during LA Fleet Week from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. The obstacle course will be located in the Battleship IOWA parking lot near the Military Village. See more details here.

Dozens of military and first responder aircraft demonstrations will entertain event goers throughout the Labor Day Weekend. Aircrafts will soar over the Main Channel at the Port of Los Angeles to kick off Friday night’s Military Appreciation concert headlined by Cheap Trick, then regularly take to the skies between 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Saturday through Monday.

On tap for the weekend will be U.S. Navy F/A 18 combat jet flyovers, as well as Search and Rescue (SAR) demonstrations by the U.S. Coast Guard. Other aerial demonstrations by various Los Angeles city and county first responders are also in the works.

“It promises to be a great weekend of flyovers with the line-up we’ve got planned,” said Dennis Lord, LA Fleet Week aerial coordinator. “It’s a rare opportunity to see how the aviation component of so many agencies works to protect and guard the freedoms we all enjoy.”

Public ship tours will be available throughout the weekend on a first-come, first-serve basis, with no online reservations needed. Visitors will also be able to enjoy free live entertainment on the event’s Main Stage, a Veteran’s Village, a First Responder Village, a Military Village, a kids’ STEM Expo, and a selection of eats from food trucks onsite.

About LA Fleet Week®

LA Fleet Week® is a multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services that takes place on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles. Now in its fourth year, the event has become a Southern California end-of-summer tradition over Labor Day Weekend that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

LA Fleet Week is organized by the LA Fleet Week Foundation, in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. Other LA Fleet Week 2019 sponsors include Ambassador Frank Baxter / Alliance Alice Baxter Ready School, Anchor Brewing Company, Annenberg Foundation, AT&T, Black Knight Patrol, Clear Channel, Collier Walsh Nakazawa LLP, Comcast, Dante Valve, Delta Airlines, Fast Lane Transportation, Humana, KRLA, LA County Veteran Peer Access Network, LA Department of Water and Power, LA Waterfront Alliance, Marathon Petroleum, Outfront Media, Paramount Pictures, Phillips 66, Princess Cruises. Providence Little Company of Mary, Qualcomm, Rancho LPG, Sailor Jerry Rum, The Ahmanson Foundation, The Boeing Company, UPS, USAA, Valero, Verizon, Vistaprint, Wells Fargo and Westrec Marinas.

LA Fleet Week Celebration 2019-Free Public Ship Tours

LinkedIn
LA-FLEET-WEEK-2019

Visiting Military Vessels Arrive at the Port of Los Angeles for the Labor Day Weekend Celebration; Free Public Ship Tours Aug. 30 – Sept. 2. Among the highlights of the annual LA Fleet Week celebration of the U.S. Sea Services are free public ship tours, which get underway Friday, Aug. 30.

Names and details of the four U.S. Navy and two U.S. Coast Guard participating ships were officially released:

  • USS Comstock (LSD 45) – A U.S. Navy Whidbey Island-class Arleigh Burke-class dock landing ship. Second Navy ship to be named for the Comstock Lode in Nevada. The USS Comstock’s official motto is “Teamwork, Drive, Courage”.
  • USS Spruance (DDG 111) – A U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer. Second ship to be named for Admiral Raymond A. Spruance, who commanded American naval forces at the Battles of Midway and the Philippine Sea. The USS Spruance’s official motto is “Launch the Attack”.
  • USS Tulsa (LCS 16) – A U.S. Navy Independence-class littoral combat ship Third ship to be named for Tulsa, Oklahoma’s second largest city.
  • USS Scout (MCM 8) – A U.S. Navy Avenger-class mine countermeasures ship. The USS Scout’s official motto is Pathfinders – We Lead the Way”.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Forrest Rednour (WPC-1129) –  The 29th Sentinel-class cutters built for the United States Coast Guard. She is the first of four Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutters (FRC) to be home-ported on the west coast of the continental US, California.
  • U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMEC-630) –  The United States Coast Guard medium endurance cutter is the last 210-foot medium endurance cutter constructed. The US Cutter Alert is the fourth cutter to carry the name.

Public ship tours offer visitors up-close and personal glimpses of active U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard vessels, and show what life is like aboard a working military ship. Tours are on a first-come, first-serve basis, unlike previous years when reservations were required. Closed-toed shoes for ship tours are also highly recommended (no sandals or flip flops).

  • Public Ship Tours Daily: Aug. 30 – Sept. 2, 2019, 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
  • Official Media Day: Aug. 29 – 5:15 a.m. – 10 a.m. Request media credential here.

WHERE:
LA Waterfront at the World Cruise Center & Battleship Iowa Museum
100 Swinford St. San Pedro, CA 90731

PARKING:
Los Angeles World Cruise Terminal, $2/hr. with $19 maximum.
Remote Lot:  Located at 22nd St., between Samson Way and Miner St. w/ FREE shuttle to event site. Shuttle operations: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily.
Downtown San Pedro parking lots

About LA Fleet Week®

LA Fleet Week® is a multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services that takes place on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles. Now in its fourth year, the event has become a Southern California end-of-summer tradition over Labor Day Weekend that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

LA Fleet Week is organized by the LA Fleet Week Foundation, in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles and the City of Los Angeles. Other LA Fleet Week 2019 sponsors include Port of Los Angeles, Battleship IOWA Board and Crew, Bob Hope USO, Annenberg Foundation, Comcast NBC Universal, Delta Airlines, Princess Cruises, San Pedro Historic Downtown Waterfront, The Ahmanson Foundation, Wells Fargo, American Legion 283, The Boeing Company, UPS, Marathon, Qualcomm, VistaPrint, Outfront Media, Clear Channel Outdoor,  USAA, Humana, Marathon Petroleum, Verizon, Sailor Jerry, Dante Valve, San Pedro Public Market, Supervisor Janice Hahn, Providence Little Company of Mary, Collier Walsh Nakazawa , Black Knight Patrol, AltaSea, and REBOOT. For sponsorship information and opportunities call 310-971-4461.

For the latest updates on LA Fleet Week 2019, sign up for news announcements at LAFleetWeek.com, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @LAFleetWeek, or locate us using the official hashtag: #LAFleetWeek2019.

Bennett’s War–Riding into theaters Nationwide August 30, 2019

LinkedIn
Movie poster for the movie Bennett's War

Opening in select theaters nationwide on August 30, 2019 is the independent feature, Bennett’s War. This exciting, edge-of-your-seat, thrill-ride of a film stars CMA Award®-winning music superstar and actor Trace Adkins and features some of the most exciting and death-defying professional motocross racing sequences captured on film in years! 

Bennett’s War is written and directed by Alex Ranarivelo (The Ride, Dirt, American Wrestler: The Wizard, Running Wild) and stars Michael Roark (Magic Mike, Beauty and the Beast), Trace Adkins (Deepwater Horizon), Ali Afshar (American Wrestler: The Wizard, Born to Race) and Allison Paige (The Flash, “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”).

Forrest Lucas is the executive producer and Ali Afshar and Christina Moore are the producers.

Marshall Bennett (Michael Roark) is a young soldier with the Army Motorcycle Unit who survives an IED explosion in combat overseas, and is medically discharged with a broken back and leg and sent back to the U.S.

When he gets home to his family farm, he discovers that his dad, Cal Bennett (Trace Adkins), is behind in the mortgage and may lose the farm. Against all odds, Marshall Bennett pledges to help his family by the only means he knows how, as a motocross racer. Allison Paige plays Sophie Bennett, Marshall’s concerned wife, and Ali Afshar is Cyrus, Marshall’s mentor.

“This film has a wide appeal that showcases and supports our men and women in uniform and our brand of family values and entertainment,” said Scott Kennedy, President Worldwide Marketing & Distribution, Forrest Films.

Check out the trailer!