US Army Master Sgt. Cedric King (Ret.) Receives Customized ELAN Smart Home from the Gary Sinise Foundation

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Master Sgt. Cedric King

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, June, 2017 — On July 25, 2012, during his third deployment in Afghanistan, US Army Master Sgt. Cedric King’s platoon conducted a reconnaissance of a possible explosive distributor in an Afghan village.

As they approached the target, they fell under machine gun fire. Once the firefight ended, Cedric proceeded forward, only to step on a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED). The blast lifted him from his feet, resulting in the loss of both of his legs and disfigurement of his right hand.

When the Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment) learned about King’s service, they decided to honor his bravery with a newly built, completely customized specially adapted smart home. The residence, based in Atlanta, relies on an ELAN Entertainment & Control System to enable control and automation of the home’s audio, video, lighting, security, and more.

“Core Brands’ Regional Sales Manager Jason Davis asked us if we could provide our services to Gary Sinise Foundation for this project, and we were honored to do so,” said Phillip Ampel of Atlanta Audio and Automation, the integration firm responsible for the project. “We built a sophisticated smart home that is highly functional, and jam-packed with exciting entertainment features. It truly offers Cedric and his family an elevated level of freedom — and fun.”

One ELAN gSC10 controller serves as the brains of the system, and is accessible through two ELAN TP7 touch panels in the master suite and living room, as wellSmart Home as an ELAN HR200 remote which they use for controlling the home’s surround-sound audio system. King can also use the ELAN App on his smartphone device to easily and simply make any adjustments throughout the home.

Atlanta Audio and Automation integrated an extensive Lutron lighting and climate system into the ELAN platform, enabling the King family to control the lighting — or automate its functionality — instantly. “The Lutron system includes lighting control through 24 dimmers and two Lutron thermostats,” Atlanta Audio & Automation explained. “It is so much easier to access all of three systems from the easy-to-use ELAN interface. King does not need to physically walk into each room to turn the lights on or off. It’s as simple as a tap on a screen.”

Atlanta Audio & Automation also integrated a security system with 6 IP cameras placed throughout the property to be accessed instantly through ELAN. “It was important for King to be able to easily manage the residence’s indoor and outdoor security feeds,” AAA commented. “ELAN is the ideal platform for checking in on security from anywhere and anytime. He could be in the living room checking out video of his backyard on a centrally located touch panel, or out-and-about watching from the ELAN Mobile App.”

In addition to its customized convenience, AAA tricked out the home with an entertainment system for the King family to enjoy. They designed an extensive multi-room audio and video system, enabled through an ELAN S1616A Multi-Room Controller, that distributes music and video to six different locations throughout the home. The entertainment system includes a surround sound system including Niles DS7HD and DS7FX in-ceiling speakers and three Sunfire HRS10 subwoofers.

For the King family’s outdoor enjoyment Atlanta Audio & Automation installed a waterproof Séura television on the patio. “Séura’s Outdoor Waterproof TV is completely functional outside, in any weather,” AAA said. “It’s a fantastic addition to their entertainment system.”

Since King relies heavily on his home’s technology for independence, Smart HomeAAA made sure to protect the equipment with a Panamax M4315-PRO Power Power Conditioner with key components protected by a Furman F1500 Uninterruptible Power Supply. Both feature BlueBOLT remote energy management. “Aside from the danger of catastrophic surges, ‘dirty power’ can interrupt high-end electronics so they won’t work as they should,” Atlanta Audio & Automation commented. “The Furman and Panamax products ensure that we can guarantee clean power, and as an integrator, I can check in on it or troubleshoot it remotely.”

According to Judy Otter, Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation, the home checks off all of the boxes for the King family. “We are honored to recognize Cedric’s service with this customized specially adapted smart home that really does give him a new level of independence,” she said. “Since his injury, Cedric has persevered, earning numerous medals and awards, he’s run marathons, and even climbed mountains. Cedric is a true inspiration and an American hero.”

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About ELAN

ELAN, from Core Brands, develops an award-winning line of whole-house entertainment and control solutions distributed through a comprehensive channel of select dealers throughout the United States, Canada, and countries worldwide. The new ELAN 8 update was honored with the “2017 Human Interface Product of the Year” award from the Consumer Technology Association’s Mark of Excellence Award Program Committee at CES 2017. To learn more, visit elanhomesystems.com.

 

About Core Brands

Anchored by the ELAN Smart Home Control Platform, Core Brands combines the strengths of its iconic control, audio, power management, connectivity and video distribution brands – ELAN®, SpeakerCraft®, Gefen®, Niles®, Panamax®, Proficient®, Furman®, Sunfire® and Xantech® – to deliver a portfolio of connected home and commercial solutions to its channel partners and end users. For further information, visit corebrands.com.

 

Not sure who to help and how this Giving Tuesday? Think Veterans!

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veteran standing with service dog on a leash in a class

Each year, the first Tuesday that follows Black Friday is known as Giving Tuesday. The event follows a weekend of shoppers out getting bargains and being stuck in spending mode. Giving Tuesday is a day that reminds people to help others through gifts, time, donations, goods, and by using your voice. This year, Paws or War is asking people to rise to the challenge of helping them to help our military veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 

 

“Many people don’t know who to help or how to do it,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “You can never go wrong helping our veterans. They have conditions from their service that greatly impacts their life. We make it our mission to try and be there for them, helping them to live a more comfortable and enjoyable life.”

 

Paws of War is a non-profit organization that has a mission of matching these veterans with the trained service dogs that they need and that can help them through these tough times. The organization rescues most of the dogs from shelters and provides them with the intensive service dog training that they need in order to help the veterans they are paired up with. The veterans receive a service dog in training at no expense to them. Not only are people helping the veteran, but they are also helping to rescue a dog, when they support the charity.

 

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), PTSD can stem from traumatic incidents. Those who have PTSD may have long term feelings of upsetting memories, feelings of being on the edge, sleep problems, be irritable, avoidance, and they may no longer engage in activities they once enjoyed. The condition makes it difficult for those with it to have jobs and often simply function in life as they once did. Those with PTSD may also have depression, substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders as well. TBI, according to the NIH, is often caused from blast waves from explosions that rattles the brain inside the skull. They report that around 31 percent of Vietnam veterans have PTSD, as do 10 percent of Gulf War veterans, 11 percent of veterans of the war in Afghanistan, and 20 percent of Iraqi war veterans.

 

“We are asking that people give to Paws of War on this Giving Tuesday,” explained Misseri. “When they give to us they will help our mission of helping veterans in need by getting them trained service dogs. They will also be helping to support our mobile RV veterinary clinic that provides free care to veteran’s dogs.”

 

Two-time Iraq war veteran Jose Rios is one of the veterans who needs the help of the Paws of War program. He served 22 years in the U.S. Navy and received many commendations and medals. During his deployment, he was stationed where the worst terrorists are kept. Due to his service overseas, he suffered from physical and mental harm. Upon returning from his duty in Iraq he contacted Paws of War so he could learn more about the program and how they can help. 

 

“When I came back from Iraq, there were limited options for treating my PTSD,” said Rios.  “A friend of mine told me that I should get a dog and my doctor recommended Paws of War. Now I have Hunter, my golden retriever, and looking forward to the future together with him. Being accepted into the Paws of War family has changed my life already. I would not be able to do this alone, I am truly grateful beyond words to Paws of War.”

 

A 2018 study out of Purdue University reports that veterans with PTSD may benefit physiologically from using service dogs. In fact, they found that there may be significant scientific evidence of potential mental health benefits experienced by veterans with PTSD who have service dogs. 

 

While those who offer donations on Giving Tuesday will be doing a lot to help veterans and support the Paws of War mission, they will also benefit themselves. The Cleveland Clinic reports that studies find that that those who give get a mental and physical health boost. They report that giving is associated with lower blood pressure, increased self esteem, less depression, lower stress levels, longer life, and greater happiness. Considering it’s a win-win for everyone when we give, it only makes sense that it should be a high priority.

 

In addition to training service dogs and providing them to veterans in need, Paws of War recently launched a new mobile RV veterinary clinic. Called “Vets for Vets,” the program uses a custom-designed RV that has been outfitted to be a mobile veterinary clinic. It will be on the move, providing care to many veterans’ pets. The mobile clinic will help those veterans who are in need, by providing their pets with annual vaccinations, dental care, allergy care, grooming, microchipping, minor surgeries, and more.

 

Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a Giving Tuesday donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: pawsofwar.org. For those who would like to sponsor Rios and Hunter and make a donation, please visit: Paws of War Sponsor Jose Rios and Hunter.

 

 

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at pawsofwar.org.

 

 

Sources:

Cleveland Clinic. Wanna give? This is your brain on helper’s high. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/why-giving-is-good-for-your-health/

 

National Institutes of Health.  PTSD. medlineplus.gov

 

Purdue University. Study shows physiological and behavioral benefits may be experienced by veterans with PTSD who have service dogs. purdue.edu/newsroom

Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation Supports Paralyzed Veterans of America on Veteran’s Day

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Brad Keselowski presents check to Bill Lawson

WASHINGTON (Nov. 13, 2018) — Earlier this year, NASCAR driver and 2018 Richtopia Top 100 Philanthropist, Brad Keselowski, announced his Checkered Flag Foundation would support Paralyzed Veterans of America’s employment program, PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment).

Team Penske partners’ Alliance Truck Parts, Snap-On and Würth have also joined these efforts, and on Friday, Keselowski presented a check for $25,000 to Bill Lawson, former president of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Started in 2007, the PAVE program provides career assistance and vocational support to transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and caregivers across the country. Through the PAVE program, clients receive high-touch engagement as they look for meaningful employment. PAVE staff work with members of the veteran community to provide one-on-one support with resume development, sharpen interviewing and networking skills, and build a strong LinkedIn profile. PAVE operates through eight locations nationwide and in 2018, PAVE staff has placed 319 individuals with meaningful employment opportunities.

“Supporting America’s heroes is something that is very important to me, so I’m glad the Checkered Flag Foundation and Paralyzed Veterans of America partnered earlier this year,” said Keselowski. “I’m incredibly thankful that some of my Team Penske partners joined myself and the foundation in our efforts to support this program. This donation will allow Paralyzed Veterans of America the opportunity to continue to serve veterans by providing them, their families and caretakers with career support via the PAVE program. It’s very fitting that we were able to do this on such a special weekend, where we honor and remember all of the veterans who have served.”

Paralyzed Veterans of America not only supports disabled veterans, but all veterans. The organization advocates for quality health care and governmental benefits on behalf of veterans who have rightfully earned them. In addition, the organization is also a champion in fighting for job opportunities for veterans.

“We must be diligent in our efforts to combat unemployment and underemployment of veterans. This summer the veteran unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, an increase from a year ago. But, most concerning, is that nearly one-third of veteran job seekers are underemployed at a rate 15.6 percent higher than non-veteran job seekers,” said David Zurfluh, national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America. “When organizations such as Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation support our veterans’ employment program, together we are able to improve the lives of veterans, making them unstoppable in their quest for meaningful employment.”

For additional information about Paralyzed Veterans of America’s PAVE program, or to make a donation, visit pva.org.

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About Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation

Brad Keselowski’s Checkered Flag Foundation honors and assists those who have sacrificed greatly for our country. Since 2010, the foundation has supported more than 250 organizations and individuals in order to help veterans and first responders during their road to recovery. There are numerous ways for those interested to become involved. Visit CheckeredFlagFoundation.org for details.

About Paralyzed Veterans of America

Paralyzed Veterans of America is the only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely for the benefit and representation of veterans with spinal cord injury or disease. For more than 70 years, the organization has ensured that veterans receive the benefits earned through service to our nation; monitored their care in VA spinal cord injury units; and funded research and education in the search for a cure and improved care for individuals with paralysis.

As a life-long partner and advocate for veterans and all people with disabilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America also develops training and career services, works to ensure accessibility in public buildings and spaces, and provides health and rehabilitation opportunities through sports and recreation. With more than 70 offices and 33 chapters, Paralyzed Veterans of America serves veterans, their families and their caregivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Learn more at pva.org.

The John And Daria Barry Foundation Donates $2.5 Million To The Prostate Cancer Foundation To Establish A New Precision Oncology Center Of Excellence To Serve U.S. Veterans In New York

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Barry Foundation ceremony

The VALOR Ceremony honored hundreds of thousands of courageous U.S. veterans battling prostate cancer during National Veterans and Military Families Month in November.

Helping to advance revolutionary research in prostate cancer and delivery of precision treatments to U.S. Veterans, the John and Daria Barry Foundation has generously donated $2.5 million to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) to establish the John and Daria Barry Precision Oncology Center of Excellence at the Manhattan VA. John and Daria Barry acceped a special award on behalf of the Barry Foundation for their groundbreaking philanthropy.

The John and Daria Barry Precision Oncology Center of Excellence will serve as a precision oncology hub in the PCF’s preeminent network of centers working to fulfill the ambitious mission of improving the care of U.S. Veterans with prostate cancer in the New York metropolitan area and beyond. The PCF has committed to funding a series of precision medicine teams at leading VA medical centers and universities across the country.

The Barry family accepting award
The Barry family accepting award at the ceremony.

The John and Daria Barry Foundation’s gift will serve the nation’s heroes by delivering first-in-class prostate cancer care to U.S. veterans and will pave the way for transformational research that will have a far lasting impact on generations to come. One out of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Veterans, accounting for a third of all male cancer cases.  African-American men, who represent the largest population group within the VA are 73% more likely to develop prostate cancer and are 2.3 times more likely to die from the disease than any other ethnicity. To date, little is known about the biological reasons for the alarming disparities. For more information, visit PCF.org.

David Goggins Defies the Odds

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Chief Petty Officer David Goggins stands at attention with members of the U.S. Naval Academy’s triathlon team

David Goggins is a hard guy. A survivor of abuse and bigotry who overcame asthma, a learning disability, a stutter, obesity, crushingly low self-esteem and countless fears. A world-record-breaking endurance athlete who once performed 4,030 pull-ups in 17 hours.

A Navy SEAL and combat veteran.

After Goggins lost several friends in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in 2005, he started running as a way to support severely wounded warriors and their families. Since 2005, he has helped raise funds and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides scholarships and grants to the children of fallen special operations soldiers.

Nothing stops him—except his emotions, especially when speaking to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW) in Kansas City, Missouri, who awarded him the 2018 Americanism Award. Choked up, Chief Petty Officer Goggins paused a long moment as he thanked his mother and uncle, then began a heartfelt speech, saying, “I want to thank the VFW very much for giving me this award. It means more to me than anything I have received in my entire life.” He noted that if his grandfather, Sgt. Jack Gardner, were still living, it would be the happiest day of his life to see his grandson accept the award.

After receiving two standing ovations, he told the crowd, “All my life, all I wanted to be was an uncommon man. I was not that. In fact, I was much worse than that. But I read a book about the Medal of Honor—stories about men like you, ‘Doc’ [Donald E. Ballard, Medal of Honor recipient], who had the courage to jump on grenades.”

“I used to look for courage,” Goggins said. “I thought courage was a man who received the Medal of Honor (MOH). It is, but courage is the man who is willing to put those boots on every single day of his life to go out there and fight for his country.”

“I am not a hero. I served with heroes,” he concluded. “I have the upmost respect for all of you in this room. I know what it takes to be a combat soldier.”David Goggins running in triathalon
He knows because he served in Iraq.

In an interview with U.S. Veterans Magazine, he reflected, “I know what a lot of the veterans have gone through. A lot of these vets have been in combat. To put those boots on every day, not knowing if you’ll come back, and the fear you live with all the time and the sacrifices you make to be in the military, I have no words. I only have feelings.”

While the retired 21-year Chief Navy SEAL was defending his country, he says he was rescuing himself.

“To be a veteran is everything to me,” reports Goggins, 43, “[Serving] saved me from the person I was.”

From 1994 to 1999, Goggins served in the United States Air Force Tactical Air Control Party. He left the military and was working in pest control when he decided he wanted to try out to be a Navy SEAL. He weighed 300 pounds, couldn’t learn without rewriting books word for word (filling dozens of notebooks), and was afraid of deep water.

It was sink or swim. He did plenty of sinking, but he didn’t drown. His commanders wouldn’t let him, and, ultimately, he wouldn’t let himself.

Using scenes from the movie Rocky as inspiration, and willing to suffer through anything to achieve his goals, he failed and failed … and then he thrived.

After enduring three hell weeks, he was assigned to SEAL Team Five in 2001, and in 2004, Goggins graduated from Army Ranger School as “Enlisted Honor Man.”

“A person who is driven and obsessed … they don’t give a damn what’s in front of them,” he says. “A person who is singularly focused on a mission can get it done.”

Tough love didn’t hurt.

Navy SEAL David Goggins“I found in the military a way to find myself through discipline, through training. It was a kick in the butt.”

That discipline and training—and a nearly-inhuman capacity for suffering—are forged in his character to this day.

Goggins is one of the greatest endurance athletes in the world. He has completed multiple ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons, setting new course records and regularly placing in the top five. He’s run more than 200 miles nonstop in 39 hours and placed third in the toughest foot race on the planet: the Badwater 135, which takes place in Death Valley during the summer.

He set a Guinness World Record with those 4,030 pull-ups (the record was later broken).

“My greatest strength is my mind,” reports Goggins. “I figured out one thing: Life is one big mind game … and you’re playing against yourself.”

Goggins’ achievements made him the subject of a feature in Runner’s World, where he was named “Running Hero.” Outside Magazine named him “The Fittest (Real) Man in America.” The Navy SEALs tagged him as their poster boy and lead recruiter.

In November 2015, he was the subject of the New York Times bestseller, Living with a SEAL, and since leaving the military, he’s become a prize public speaker. He’s spoken to professional sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, and other large organizations in both the public and private sector.

Everyone wants to know what it takes to become a SEAL, his fitness tips, his inspirational mantras and how in the heck he ran 205 miles in 39 hours.

It was 2005. Goggins got hit with bad news: Several of his buddies had died in Afghanistan in Operation Red Wings. Goggins, never a natural runner, decided to pound ground in the San Diego One Day, which raised money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

He said he wasn’t motivated. Motivation comes and goes. He was, and is, driven.

He nearly died. He tore muscles, broke all the metatarsal bones in his feet and endured screamingly painful shin splints. On bathroom breaks, he was urinating blood. He knew his body was breaking down, but his mind? That’s another story.

“I am scared to death of one thing: disappointing God,” he said. “I know there’s something above David Goggins … I believe in God, and that’s my strength.

“I used everything that God gave me and created a miracle.”

He wants to inspire others—especially those abused in their homes, or stricken with health problems, or living in fear and despair—to do the same.

On December 4, his book, Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds, will be released.

If you want a quick fix, it’s probably not for you. Miracles, Goggins believes, are made, and that’s good news.

“I got tired of ‘In five easy steps you can fix your life,'” he said. “You’re not going to get better with that mindset.”

How do you improve?

“Suffering and grinding,” he said.

David Goggins stands at attentionHere are some highlights from the book:
• He thanks people who insulted him, even bigots. “You want to get back at people who don’t like you? Be the best.”
• He elaborates on his 40% Rule. The upshot? You can push past pain, demolish fear and reach your full potential.
• He writes about the concept of the “only.” That’s short-hand for the feeling you get when people isolate you, or you isolate yourself. Goggins said it need not be a negative. “It was my fuel.”

Goggins, who works out about five hours a day, needs fuel. He’s a human conflagration of passion, which is ironic, because he’s a wildland firefighter. Putting out fires is another way to fuel his commitment to serve.

For the last couple of years, he’s spent the fire season slowing and knocking down fires with his crew mates.

He’s in a position where he doesn’t have to do it. That’s the exact reason he should dig fire lines, he says.

“I’m just a guy on the line, man. I’m a guy who sleeps in the dirt … and digs ditches.”

It’s a metaphor for his life. In the face of overwhelming odds, he digs and digs.

“My legacy would be: That was one guy right there that if you told him he couldn’t do it, he is going to find a way through all the doubt, through all the throes. That’s my legacy. A man who didn’t stop trying to achieve more.”

Hollywood Meets the Pentagon

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Actor Gerard Butler spoke to Pentagon reporters about his collaboration with the Navy in making the movie “Hunter Killer” that was recently released.

The Pentagon press briefing studio was filled to capacity as Butler — who plays the commander of the fictional attack sub USS Arkansas in the movie — answered questions about the experience. DOD officials approved the request in December 2014, and the Navy provided access and technical support to the filmmakers.

The movie’s plot focuses on an operation aimed at averting war with Russia. Butler said it brings the submarine genre into the 21st century. “Hunter Killer” is a chance to take viewers into submarines and let them see the culture, “and really see how these people think, work, their courage, their intelligence, basically their brilliance,” the actor said.

The plot alternates between the submarine, a special operations team inserted in Russia and the Pentagon.

Navy Vice Adm. Fritz Roegge, now the president of the National Defense University, was the commander of the U.S. Submarine Force in the Pacific during filming.

Only a small fraction of young Americans qualify to serve in the military. An even smaller number are aware of the opportunities the services offer. “Although the Navy benefits from technology that gives us the world’s most capable platforms and equipment, it is our people who are truly our greatest strength,” he said.

”It’s more important than ever that we find ways to inspire the next generation of warfighters to consider serving our country in the Navy,” Roegge said. Officials stressed that support to “Hunter Killer” or any other movie is done at zero cost to the American taxpayer.

The Actor and Director Donovan Marsh also visited Naval Submarine Base New London in Groton, Connecticut recently, to meet Navy submariners, tour the attack submarine USS Hartford, and share a special premiere of the movie with sailors on base. The movie also stars Gary Oldman and Common.

Continue on to the DoD to read the complete article

Paws of War Launches Nations First Mobile Veterinary Clinic Exclusively for Veterans and First Responders

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Paws of War’s latest mission is to help veterans and first responders get the veterinary care they need for their pets that they may be having difficulty obtaining. On November 8, 2018, they will roll out the “Vets for Vets” program, which is a custom-designed RV that has been outfitted to be a mobile veterinary clinic. The mobile clinic, staffed by a veterinarian, will be on the move providing care to many veteran pets.

“This is the first of its kind,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws pawsofwar.org. “It’s exclusively for the pets of our disabled veterans and first responders. They need the assistance, we heard their call, and are doing all we can to answer it.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 4 million veterans who have a service-connected disability. A service-connected disability is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Additionally, there are many disabled first responders also in need of assistance. Through the “Vets for Vets” mobile veterinary clinic, both disabled veterans and first responders will have the ability to obtain care for their pets. Some of the people may have difficulty getting out of their homes, while others may find veterinary care to be a financial burden.

Paws of War obtained the used 2006 26-foot RV and found that it was in some serious need of repair and renovation in order to meet their mission. That’s when the original manufacturer, LaBoit Specialty Vehicles, stepped in and offered to completely refurbish the RV, all free of charge. Now the mobile veterinary clinic has been completely customized for the Paws of War team and its mission.

“When we first heard about Paws of War, we did a thorough research of the organization and were very impressed with what they do, stated Gil Blais, president of La Boit Specialty Vehicles. “Being a veteran myself, I knew I wanted to help any way I could and renovating their vehicle was right up our alley. The entire La Boit staff felt the urge to help and did so by volunteering their time. We also had vendors donate equipment so it truly was a group effort. We wish Paws of War all the best for such an innovative program!”

Some of the veterinary services that will be provided by the Vets for Vets mobile clinic include:

  • Annual vaccinations
  • Dental care
  • Allergy care
  • Grooming/nail trimming
  • Microchipping
  • Wellness checks
  • Medication that they may not otherwise be able to afford
  • Minor surgeries
  • Bloodwork/testing

“We are really excited about this new program and grateful to La Boit for their generosity in restoring the vehicle,” explained Misseri. “We look forward to hitting the road and helping out our nation’s heroes.”

Paws of War is currently seeking sponsors for the “Vets for Vets” mobile clinic. Those interested in sponsoring the clinic should contact the organization for more details and information. Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at pawsofwar.org.

Sources:

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. Homelessness in America: Focus on Veterans. usich.gov/resources

U.S. Census Bureau. Veterans Day 2017census.gov/newsroom

Decorated Naval Officer turned Talk Show Host, Montel Williams, signs on as Host and Co- Executive Producer of “Military Makeover”

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Montel Williams-Military Makeover

When most Americans hear the name, “Montel Williams,” they remember the Emmy Award-winning host of Montel Williams Show, which aired nationally for seventeen years.

Along with being a New York Times bestselling author, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Montel is also a passionate advocate for veterans, education and health. While his colleagues tended to invite the dramatic or ultra-celebrity guests, Williams often took the platform of education through self help and mental health advocates. Montel’s unrelenting, empathetic kindness acted as a major directive in his pre-and post-show efforts as he was the first to employ a holistic, therapeutic approach. He now serves on the board of directors for the Fisher House Foundation and the Anne Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

What America may not remember is that Williams is also a decorated military officer, beginning his professional career in the United States Marine Corps, becoming the first black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to go on to graduate the Naval Academy and be commissioned a Naval Officer. Montel graduated from the United States Naval Academy with a degree in general engineering and a minor in international security affairs and served in the military for a total of 22 years. Montel is thrilled to be a part of Military Makeover, relishing the opportunity to give back to his fellow veterans through this new role allowing him to not only lead as a host, but also to creatively co-produce the show in its new season. Montel’s heart has actively guided him through his career efforts and there is no doubt this show will further his mission of making America a more loving, giving community by leading the Military Makeover team in generously giving back to those who fought for our freedom.

“In the nearly three decades since I retired from the Navy, I’ve never really taken the uniform off Montel-home makeoverbecause standing up for those who are serving now and those who have served has been the greatest honor of my professional career.” – Montel Williams

“We are so excited to welcome Montel Williams into our Military Makeover family and have no doubt that he will take the show to new levels of engagement and success!”
– Mark Alfieri, Founder and CEO of BrandStar

Military Makeover with Montel®, produced by BrandStar, offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. A veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams seeks to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country. This special series enlists conscientious Fortune 500 companies, designers, contractors, landscapers and other home improvement professionals. Help starts at home for veterans.

White House Chef and Combat Veteran Andre Rush Has Signed a Deal to Produce ‘Chef in the City’

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White House Chef Andre Rush is pleased to announce that he has signed a deal to produce an upcoming television show called “Chef in the City.” This unique concept on location cooking show will have acclaimed Chef Rush take the audience on adventures across the United States, visiting restaurants, first responder units, children’s hospitals, local community centers, military bases, and more.

“I’m honored to be able to take all of my years of experience and skills and produce a brand-new television show that will take audiences to locations not normally highlighted on current cooking shows,” says Chef Rush. “Each week I will meet new and interesting people, cook with them, talk over the preparation, and discover new adventures in cooking. It’s going to be an amazing experience for me as well as the audience viewing to take cooking out of the studio and into communities across the U.S.”

Chef Rush is a master ice carver, sommelier, pastry chef, chocolatier, and sugar sculptor, among other specialties. He has had the exciting opportunity to bring his expertise and skill to the White House over the course of several administrations as the executive chef for special dinners, gatherings, banquets and anything directly involving the first family and their invited guests.

Chef Rush is also a combat veteran who retired as a master sergeant after 23 years in the United States Army. During his career, he worked for many leaders including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Secretary of the Army, Chief of Staff, and Superintendents of the United States Military Academy (West Point).

In his capacity at West Point, Chef Rush was the senior aide and advisor, chef, and security detail assigned and protocol liaison. He planned, prepared and serviced social functions to thousands of high-ranking foreign and domestic dignitaries, both civilian and military, and was responsible for the training, performance and welfare of dedicated personnel.

Never far from his military roots, Chef Rush is a key advocate for the United Service Organizations (USO), Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion as well as a full supporter of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition with the goal of leading a younger generation to a healthier tomorrow.

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Paws of War Receives Donation, Aims to Help More Veterans with New Location

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Paws of War

Paws of War, an organization that helps veterans and first responders to obtain and train companion and service dogs, is moving to a new, larger location. The new location will help them provide their important services to more veterans and first responders.

One local construction company, NDA Construction, lead a community effort that made all the difference. The new Paws of War location will be at 127-6 Smithtown Blvd in Nesconset, New York. They are in the same shopping center, but will now be in a new location within it. The public is invited to attend a grand opening event on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 11:00 am. Refreshments and a light lunch will be served.

“We have long outgrown our space and it was preventing us from helping more people,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “We are so grateful that NDA Construction and the community of sub contractors they brought on have stepped up to make it possible for us have a larger and more functional space. Their donation of time and resources has made it possible for us to help many more veterans and first responders. We couldn’t have made this move without their kind donation.”

The new space will be 3,400 square feet, which is double the size of the old location. It has been Paws of War Constructionbuilt out to provide more areas that will be used to help veterans during their training sessions. The group will now also be able to help those veterans and first responders who are wheelchair-bound or who use scooters. Their prior space was not sufficient for those in wheelchairs to properly participate in the training programs.

NDA Construction and its sister company NDA Kitchens have veterans working for them. The company is owned by Ed Rowland, who started it in 1992. Since that time, they have built a solid reputation for building and design. Through NDA Kitchens, they offer custom kitchen remodeling in the Long Island area.

“It would have been a real financial strain for Paws of War to try to move to a larger facility without receiving some assistance from a builder,” explained Rowland. “We believe in what they are doing and wanted to step up and help make it easier for them to continue doing it on a larger scale. We’re helping them, but then in turn they are helping people who have given a lot for all of us.”

Since the organization started in 2014, they have supported over 100 veterans with service dogs that were rescued from kill shelters and given the proper training. They have rescued 455 dogs from kill shelters and have graduated 102 dogs from the training program. Their mission is to help veterans and first responders who are in need of service dogs, whether for emotional issues, PTSD, depression, or for physical conditions. The new location will make it easier for them to help even more be able to get the assistance they need.

Paws of War Construction“I started in the program over a year ago,” says William Wurm, who is retired from the US Army and served in Iraq. “And now we are busting at the seams. This new space is going to be so ideal for all of us who make Paws of War a second home.”

Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans that suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at pawsofwar.org.

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Taya Kyle, Widow of Late U.S. Navy SEAL and “American Sniper” Chris Kyle, Announced as Keynote Speaker for Upcoming Brave B.A.S.H.

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Taya Kyle Keynote Speaker

TAMPA–ART International recently announced that Taya Kyle, widow of late United States Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, commonly known as the “American Sniper” after the title of his New York Times bestselling memoir of the same title, will be the keynote speaker at the organization’s upcoming Brave B.A.S.H. (Building Advocates for Successful Healing) gala.

The organization also announced an all-star musical lineup featuring country artists LOCASH, Billy Dean, Tim Rushlow, Monty Powell, along with jazz artist Anna Wilson. Sawyer Fredericks, winner of “The Voice,” will perform a private concert at an after-party in Ybor City. The Golf Channel’s Lauren Thompson will be emceeing the main event.

The Tampa event, scheduled for Friday, October 19th at The Gathering at Armature Works, is a fundraiser to support the work of ART International, a nonprofit formed by restauranteur and entrepreneur Chris T. Sullivan, with a mission of expanding the reach of Accelerated Resolution Therapy, or ART, and making it more widely accessible to individuals suffering from mental health issues.

Ms. Kyle published a New York Times bestselling memoir, American Wife, after her husband’s book was made into an Academy Award-winning film directed by Clint Eastwood starring Bradley Cooper and Sienna Miller. With humor and vulnerability, Kyle recounts the tremendous highs and lows in her unpredictable life as the wife and now widow of an American hero. She continues to be a contributor on television networks, is a passionate author with new books coming out later this year and next year, and is a public speaker inspiring others to find light in the midst of darkness.

Following the murder of her husband, Chris Kyle, Ms. Kyle founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation (CKFF) where she volunteers her time as executive director. The foundation continues Chris Kyle’s legacy of honoring God, country and family. With a team of people behind the mission and donations coming in from across the globe, CKFF is helping first responder and military families not only survive their life of service, but thrive.

ART is an evidenced-based psychotherapy that has demonstrated proven results in treating individuals with post-traumatic stress (PTSD). This treatment provides effective relief from strong physical and emotional reactions associated with PTSD in as few as one to five sessions, with the average being four sessions.

“What motivated me to get involved in connecting more patients and therapists to ART are the staggering number of military, active and retired, deeply and perhaps permanently damaged by PTSD; and the published data that speaks to the effectiveness of ART,” said Chris T. Sullivan, chairman of ART International. “One in five veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars is diagnosed with PTSD. Brave B.A.S.H. will look to inspire attendees to support our mission of helping those who have protected us. I’m thrilled that Taya Kyle, along with our musical acts, have joined in to be a part of this special evening.”

ART International is excited to create a memorable experience for their guests at the inaugural Brave B.A.S.H. A VIP reception for sponsors and patrons begins at 6:00 p.m. The gala and music jam, which will be emceed by Lauren Thompson, begins at 7:00 p.m. Guests will experience an electric musical evening featuring performances by award-winning artists LOCASH, Billy Dean, Tim Rushlow, Monty Powell and Anna Wilson during this one-of-a-kind music jam. The after-party, set for 11:00 p.m. at The Attic – Rock Brothers Brewing in Ybor City, will include a private concert by Sawyer Fredericks, winner of “The Voice”.

To purchase a sponsorship or tickets to Brave B.A.S.H or for more information on ART International, please visit artherapyinternational.org or call (813) 435-1374.

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About ART International Training and Research

ART International Training and Research Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was created and is supported by the Chris T. Sullivan Foundation and private funding sources. ART International offers training in Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) to licensed mental health clinicians to increase access of treatment worldwide; provides financial support of the most current, effective and innovative clinical research related to ART; and develops financial assistance opportunities for those in need of the therapy.

ART has been successful in treating individuals with post-traumatic stress (PTSD) by reprograming distressing memories and negative images that are stored in the brain so that they no longer trigger strong physical and emotional reactions — and establish a positive change for adverse psychological conditions. For more information, visit artherapyinternational.org.