Veteran Owned Film Company Recreates War Experience on Realistic Set

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San Diego, CA- Veteran Television (VET Tv), an independent and veteran owned film company, has built a life-size replica of a Marine Corps patrol base in Southern California for their newest TV show, “A Grunt’s Life”.

The show is set in the Helmand Province of Iraq in 2008 and will showcase a very real glimpse into the minds of combat hardened service members and demonstrate the humor they must maintain to keep up with the miserable conditions. Filming will end on August 4, 2017.

The show is not meant to glorify war like Hollywood usually does, it is meant to show the truth, and the truth is not always so honorable and professional. It takes a certain mindset to get through war. VET Tv adds a twist of dark, irreverent humor that their audience, comprised mostly of combat veterans, can relate too. Recreating this experience is therapeutic to many combat veterans and laughing is a step towards mental health rehabilitation.VETtv

The authenticity is demonstrated in the attention to detail in the set and costume design. VET Tv brings in actual combat veterans for the cast and crew.

They have already released one season of programming on their subscriber based platform via VHX – a digital distribution platform that allows independent filmmakers to create their own Netflix without the need for large budgets.

Check out A Grunt’s Life’s sneak peek:

A Grunt’s Life will premiere in mid-September, only on their subscription-based streaming TV network that can only be found at www.veterantv.tv

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Operation 11/11 Gives Veterans Concierge- Level Health Care at No Cost on Veterans Day

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App for Medical advice pictured on phone

Medici, a virtual health care company, recently announced the launch of Operation 11/11, a new initiative providing virtual consults across multiple specialties to all U.S. veterans on Veterans Day, November 11.

During Operation 11/11, all veterans who register at Medici will have access to text, voice or video consultations with doctors specializing in general practice, psychiatry, dermatology, orthopedics and more. With this access, veterans can receive expert advice, diagnosis, prescriptions or referrals to other specialists. Proof of military service is required, although health insurance is not needed.

“Veterans Day is not about furniture and car sales. It is about recognizing the extraordinary service of our veterans,” says Clint Phillips, founder and CEO of Medici. “We can think of no better way to thank our veterans than to provide them with concierge-level care across multiple specialties without leaving their homes.”

Access to care will be provided using Medici’s simple-to-use virtual care app, which connects users directly with doctors. Veterans can pre-register now at https://www.medici.md/veterans for zero cost across multiple specialties on Veterans Day from 8 am to 8 pm for each U.S. time zone.

Military heroes support Operation 11/11

In addition to announcing Operation 11/11, Medici is welcoming four military heroes as advisors of the new initiative, including:

  • Marcus Luttrell, former Navy SEAL who received the Navy Red Cross and Purple Heart for his actions in June 2005 against Taliban fighters during Operation Red Wings;
  • Mark Geist, United States Marine and member of the Annex Security team that fought the Battle of Benghazi;
  • Rob O’Neill, member of Seal Team Six who is believed to be the man who fired the shot which killed Osama Bin Laden and
  • Omar Avila, a former military member who was hit by an IED in Iraq and had two-thirds of his body burned and remains one of the world’s strongest athletes.

“Having these military heroes come alongside us and tell us that the work we are doing is life-changing is all the validation we needed to dedicate all our resources to this initiative,” said Phillips. “Operation 11/11 allows us and hundreds of remarkable doctors the opportunity to give back to those who deserve it most.”

Medici has also partnered with 2nd.MD, which provides access to the world’s leading specialists across 130 subspecialties at the top U.S. hospitals. A limited number of veterans with complex cases will be able to have virtual second opinions thanks to 2nd.MD.

About Medici

Medici is working to change how health care is delivered by recreating the doctor-patient relationship. With the secure messaging app, physicians and patients can connect via text, call or video from anywhere and on their schedule. This enables patients to chat with their doctor, vet or therapist at any time, and clinicians to extend care and get paid without extra overhead or burdensome schedules. With over 20,000 doctors across all platforms, Medici is leading the way in the future of health care. For more information, visit http://www.medici.md.

Roche Partners with iHeartMedia to Present ‘iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military’ Concert to Bring Further Awareness of The Impact Diabetes Has On The Nation’s Veteran Population

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Event poster for the Roche veterans diabetes awareness concert

The Second Annual Concert Will Feature Performances from Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

Event Will Broadcast Nationwide On Veteran’s Day From The Country Music Hall of Fame, Honoring The One In Four Veterans Living With Diabetes In The U.S.

Roche recently announced that it has again partnered with iHeartMedia, the number one audio company in the United States, to present the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military concert on Thursday, November 7,[1] at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. In recognition of National Diabetes Month, and the one in four U.S. veterans living with the chronic condition, the exclusive event will include performances by Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and the evening’s host Scotty McCreery.

The iconic venue will be filled with American heroes from across the nation, and the performance will broadcast across iHeartRadio’s Country stations nationwide and livestream exclusively on LiveXLive.com at 7 p.m. local time on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11.

 “With diabetes on the rise and affecting nearly 25 percent of the VA’s patient population,[2] this sponsorship fits our mission of helping people with diabetes live more active and unrestricted lives,” said Matt Logan, Vice President of Marketing, Roche Diabetes Care.As a proud Military Friendly® Employer,[3] the iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military partnership allows us to celebrate our servicemen and women while simultaneously raising much-needed awareness about diabetes among the military population.”

In support of this event, Roche is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to donate comfort kits to our military abroad.  Deployed troops will receive much-needed items, including healthy snacks, sunscreen, insect repellent, and other toiletries. “Our nation’s military needs the comforts of home while they are so valiantly protecting our freedom,” said Jeff Imel, Manager of Service to the Armed Forces and International Services for the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross. “We are grateful that Roche has recognized this need and is providing hundreds of comfort kits to our brave military members.”

“iHeartMedia has long been committed to honoring the men and women who have served our country by using our diverse platforms to address the most pressing issues facing our military. Over the years we have invested heavily in their transition from the military back into civilian life,” said Rod Phillips, EVP Programming for iHeartCountry. “iHeartCountry One Night For Our Military Concert is a natural extension of our deep commitment to our military and an opportunity to celebrate our service members while bringing attention to the high prevalence of diabetes among the military population.”

To learn more, visit accu-chek.com.

About the Indiana Region of the American Red Cross:
The Indiana Region serves 87 counties statewide through its six chapter areas: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest, and Greater Indianapolis (Regional Headquarters). For more information on the Indiana Region: redcross.org/indiana. Follow the Indiana Region on Twitter at: @INRedCross, on Instagram at: @indianaredcross or www.facebook.com/INRedCross.

About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About iHeartMedia

iHeartMedia is the number one audio company in the United States, reaching nine out of 10 Americans every month – and with its quarter of a billion monthly listeners, has a greater reach than any other media company in the U.S. The company’s leadership position in audio extends across multiple platforms including more than 850 live broadcast stations; streaming music, radio and on demand via its iHeartRadio digital service available across more than 250 platforms and 2,000 devices including smart speakers, digital auto dashes, tablets, wearables, smartphones, virtual assistants, TVs and gaming consoles; through its influencers; social; branded iconic live music events; and podcasts as the #1 commercial podcast publisher globally. iHeartMedia also leads the audio industry in analytics and attribution technology for its marketing partners, using data from its massive consumer base. iHeartMedia is a division of iHeartMedia, Inc. (NASDAQ: IHRT). Visit iHeartMedia.com for more company information.

About Roche Diabetes Care

Roche Diabetes Care is pioneering innovative diabetes technologies and services for more than 40 years. Being a global leader in integrated diabetes management, more than 5,000 employees in over 100 markets worldwide work every day to support people with diabetes and those at risk to achieve more time in their target range and experience true relief from the daily therapy routines. Roche Diabetes Care collaborates with caregivers, healthcare providers and payers to optimally manage this complex condition and contribute to sustainable care structures. Under the brand Accu-Chek and in collaboration with partners, Roche Diabetes Care creates value by providing integrated solutions to monitor glucose levels, deliver insulin and track as well as contextualize relevant data points for a successful therapy. By establishing a leading open ecosystem, connecting devices, digital solutions, Roche Diabetes Care will enable optimal personalised diabetes management and thus improve therapy outcomes. Since 2017, mySugr with its world-leading mobile diabetes management app and services is part of Roche Diabetes Care. For more information, please visit www.accu-chek.com and mysugr.com.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.  Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the tenth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as the most sustainable company in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI). The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit roche.com.

Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes Third Annual Marriage Retreat

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combat wounded veteran pictured with family outdoors

The Heroes Freedom Weekend is a 3-4 day relaxing marriage enrichment retreat for combat wounded veteran couples.

The primary goal is strengthening the bonds of marriage for Veteran couples who have so much additional stress in their lives due to physical and mental wounds from war.

Along with the couples who attend, we see so much value in the efficacy of our program, helping to avoid situations that include divorce, custody battles, depression and often suicide or attempted suicide. A strong marriage acts as a pillar of support in the life of a wounded veteran, to allow him/her to survive, recover and rebuild.

A recent study showed that suicide rates in the military were highest among people divorced or separated — with a rate of 19 per 100,000 — 24% higher than troops who are single. It also showed that relationship problems are a common occurrence preceding suicide. showing that 39.5 percent of suicide attempt cases had experienced a failed relationship within 90 days of the suicide event. Primarily these involved romantic partners, but also included close friends and family.

Combat wounded veterans sit with spouses in a meeting room to discuss marital issues

The HFW19 implements the Warriors to Soulmate Program which:

Warrior to Soul Mate (W2SM) is a program that:

  • Aids in helping Warriors reconnect with their spouse.
    • Works to help spouses understand the emotional toll military service can take.
      • Improves communication techniques to reduce conflict in a healthy manner.
      • Helps to restore the bond between soul mates.
      • Teaches couples how to reclaim the love they once shared.
      • Provides a plan for how to renew a life together.

Due to the success of our previous marriage retreats and other programs, we are stretched thin with our number of wounded veterans applying for help. With support from donors and sponsors, we’re working to bring in 12+ Wounded veteran couples to help strengthen and enrich their marriages.

combat wounded veteran sitting outdoors with familyThe retreat will take place from Nov 1-4 (Fri – Mon) in Colonial Williamsburg Virginia. For more information, please click here.

This event would also give us a great opportunity to update the face of the invisibly wounded veteran family, which make up 90% of the 200 applications we’re now getting each month.

For more information regarding supporting this events, we are still in need of sponsorship, gift-in-kind donations and volunteers. Please contact ddaughenbaugh@saluteheroes.org to learn more.

Gary Sinise To Host Hope For The Warriors 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala

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Hope for warriors logo

Award-winning actor/humanitarian Gary Sinise will host Hope For The Warriors 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala Thursday, Oct. 17 at Union Station in Washington, DC.

Sinise’s portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in “Forrest Gump” formed a connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. After several USO handshake tours in 2003, Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” in early 2004 and began entertaining troops serving at home and abroad.

In 2011, Sinise established the Gary Sinise Foundation with a mission to serve and honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs that entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. Of its many outreach efforts, the Gary Sinise Foundation is building custom Smart Homes for severely wounded veterans, serving hearty meals to deploying troops and hosting spirit-boosting festivals for patients, families and medical staff at military hospitals.

Hope For The Warriors has partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation to help its R.I.S.E. program provide adaptive homes to combat-wounded veterans. Hope For The Warriors’ Make a House a Home program offers grants to enhance the homes by incorporating hobbies, in-home businesses and other life passions that personalize the space for the individual/family.

Gary Sinise professional headshot
Gary Sinise will host Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala

Joining Sinise as co-host is retired U.S. Marine Col. Barney Barnum Jr. Barnum served 27 years in the United States Marine Corps and was the fourth Marine to receive the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.

Beginning at 6 p.m., the annual event honors members of our nation’s armed forces and their families with the Vigiano Family Hope & Courage Awards. In addition, Hope For The Warriors will introduce six new awards highlighting individuals, corporations and organizations who have stood beside the organization in serving military families.

This year’s gala honors the memory of John Vigiano (1938-2018). A longtime Hope For The Warriors volunteer and supporter, Vigiano and his family have lived a life of service. Vigiano, a former Marine, retired as decorated FDNY fire captain. Despite his record of service, Vigiano was most proud of his family and the paths his two sons chose: John Jr., a FDNY firefighter, and Joe, a NYPD detective, both losing their lives in the 9/11 attacks.

“As we embark on the 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala, we’re honored to have Gary Sinise and Col. Barnum host such a memorable night honoring John Vigiano,” said Robin Kelleher, Hope For The Warriors co-founder and president. “Each year we honor service members and military family members who have demonstrated both hope and courage in the face of extraordinary circumstances. Being that John Vigiano and Gary Sinise have the same passion and profound respect for those who serve, we couldn’t have a more perfect host to help us honor John’s legacy while celebrating the night’s honorees.”

For more information on attending, sponsoring or donating to the 10th Annual Got Heart Give Hope Gala, visit hopeforthewarriors.org.

About Hope For The Warriors: 

Founded in 2006, Hope For The Warriors is a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for post 9/11 veterans, service members and military families. Since its inception, Hope For The Warriors has served over 23,200 through a variety of support programs focused on clinical health and wellness, sports and recreation and transition. One of the nonprofit’s first programs, Military Spouse and Caregiver Scholarships, has awarded over 135 scholarships to caregivers and families of the fallen. In addition, Run For The Warriors has captured the hearts of over 25,500 since 2010. For more information, visit hopeforthewarriors.org, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

Best Veterans Day Deals and Freebies for 2019

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Veterans Day Freebies text with image of a patriotic star

Here is your guide to some of the great Veterans Day free meals brought to you by Spruce!

Below are all the popular restaurants and other retailers that are giving away free meals, discounts, and other freebies to veterans on Veterans Day (Monday, November 11, 2019).

If you’re not seeing your favorite restaurant from last year, they may still be participating but haven’t listed their 2019 information. This list is updated many times a day, so keep checking back on the Spruce website for more information.

Important: Please read through the Veterans Day Free Meals FAQ for important information you need to know before getting your freebie or a free meal, like military qualifications, restaurant participation details, and lots more.

You can find even more freebies for vets on the list of Veterans Day Freebies and Discounts for 2019. Here you’ll find freebies like free haircuts, car washes, and even hotel stays.

Golden Corral Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

On Monday, November 11, 2019, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Golden Corral will be giving out Veterans Day free meals and a beverage to any person who has ever served in the U.S. military or is on current active duty. This includes retirees, veterans, National Guard, and Reserves.

Details of the Free Golden Corral Military Buffet

All Golden Corral locations will be participating, and no identification is required to get your free dinner buffet and beverage.

Over the last 17 years, Golden Corral served over 5.4 million veterans a Veterans Day free meal!

Red Lobster Veterans Day Free Appetizer or Dessert (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Active duty military, reserve, and military veterans can stop by Red Lobster and get a free appetizer or dessert on Monday, November 11, 2019.

More Details on the Red Lobster Veterans Day Freebie Including Appetizer and Dessert Choices

Valid proof of military service is required to get this free food.

Chili’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Visit a participating Chili’s on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get your Veterans Day free meal if you’re a veteran or on active military duty.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal Including Menu Options at Chili’s

You’ll need to show proof of military service to get your Veterans Day free meal.

Olive Garden Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Olive Garden is having a Veterans Day free meal for all active-duty military and military veterans on Monday, November 11, 2019.

Details of the Free Meal Including Entree Choices at Olive Garden on Veterans Day

You’ll need to verify with Olive Garden that you currently are or used to be in the military. Proof of military service usually includes bringing your military ID, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, or Veterans Organization Card.

Applebee’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Stop into a participating Applebee’s on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get your Veterans day free meal.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal at Applebee’s

Check out the link above for everything you need to know about this Veterans Day free meal, including what sorts of ID they consider valid, the full list of menu items you get to choose from, who is eligible, etc.

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion & Beverage (November 11, 2019)

Stop into any Outback Steakhouse on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get a free Bloomin’ Onion and coke product. This offer is for all military personnel that has a military ID.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal at Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse is also giving out a discount of 20% off the total check from November 8 to November 11, 2019, valid for military, police, firefighters, and first responders with a valid ID. A 10% discount continues thereafter.

Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Lunch (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Texas Roadhouse will be giving away Veterans Day free meals for lunch on Monday, November 11, 2019, to active, former, or retired military.

Details on the Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Meal Including Entree Options

This is for dine-in only. Hours may vary by location, so be sure to check a Texas Roadhouse near you for specific details.

Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Veterans and active duty military can stop into any participating Red Robin location on Monday, November 11, to get a free Red’s Tavern Double burger and Bottomless Steak Fries.

More Details on the Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal

Be sure to bring your military ID to take advantage of this Veterans Day freebie.

Free Veterans Day Pancakes at IHOP (Monday, November 11, 2019)

This year on Monday, November 11, IHOP will be honoring veterans and active military men and women with the choice of a free breakfast combo or a free stack of Red, White, and Blueberry pancakes.

More Details on the Veterans Day Free Meal at IHOP

Individuals must show proof of their service before receiving this offer, such as coming in their uniform, showing a photo of them in their uniform, or showing a military ID card.

Dunkin’ Donuts Veterans Day Free Donut (Monday, November 11, 2019)

To show their support, Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free donuts to active duty military and veterans on Monday, November 11, 2019.

This free Veterans Day donut is limited to one per customer while supplies last, but no purchase or military ID is required.

It’s possible that not every Dunkin’ Donuts location is participating, so be sure to call ahead to double-check.

Cracker Barrel Veterans Day Free Dessert (Monday, November 11, 2019)

On Veterans Day, Cracker Barrel is giving veterans a Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert or Pumpkin Pie Latte…for free!

All 660 locations are participating in this Veterans Day free food offer this year.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (November 11, 2019)

Visit a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers near you this Veterans Day, November 11, to get a free combo meal card.

You must be a veteran or active duty military to pick up the card, but it can be redeemed by anyone through November 30, 2019.

White Castle Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

White Castle is giving out a free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo Meal (numbers 1-6) to any veteran or other military members who come in on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11th.

Proof of military service is requested but might not be required. Be sure to contact your local White Castle restaurant ahead of time to confirm that they’re participating.

Buffalo Wild Wings Veterans Day Free Wings and Fries (November 11, 2019)

Buffalo Wild Wings is having their annual Veterans Day free food deal on Veterans Day, which is Monday, November 11. All day, veterans and active duty military get a free order of small boneless or traditional wings and a side of fries.

This offer is valid at participating Buffalo Wild Wings locations and is for dine-in only. Beverages, taxes, and gratuity are not included in this offer.

Proof of military service is required, which can include a permanent or temporary military ID card, DD214, or veteran’s card. You may also come wearing your military uniform or bring a photo of you wearing it.

TCBY Veterans Day Free Frozen Yogurt (Monday, November 11, 2019)

This year for Veterans Day, all vets get their first 6 oz of frozen yogurt absolutely free.

This Veterans Day freebie is valid at participating TCBY locations only, so be sure to call and confirm before you head out on Monday the 11th. Proof of service might be required, so make sure to ask about that, too.

Twin Peaks Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Active and retired military members can visit Twin Peaks on Monday, November 11, for a complimentary Veterans Day meal.

This Veterans Day free meal includes items from a special menu, so be sure to ask about it when you visit a participating Twin Peaks locations.

Veterans Day Free Lunch or Dinner at Green Mill (November 11, 2019)

This Veterans Day free offer from Green Mill is for veterans who show proof of service.

Eligible customers can pick any one item from their menu (pizza is limited to a small 1-topping deep dish, and Wing Samplers are excluded). This offer is for dine-in only.

Contact your local Green Mill Restaurant & Bar to see if they’re participating.

Green Mill also gives out a 10% discount to veterans and active-duty military all year long.

Nekter’s Free Veterans Day Smoothies and Juices (November 11, 2019)

If you’re a veteran or active military member, you can stop in to Nekter’s on Veterans Day, November 11, for a free 16oz smoothie or juice.

You can take advantage of this free Veterans Day offer at your local Nekter location, but it’s possible that not all of them are participating, so you might call ahead of time to double-check.

You need to bring proof of military service with you.

Friendly’s Free Veterans Day Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Friendly’s is giving veterans and active military a free Veterans Day breakfast, lunch, or dinner (dine-in only) on Monday, November 11.

If you come in the morning for breakfast, the Veterans Day free meal is the Big-Two-Do, which comes with your choice of Brioche French toast, two buttermilk pancakes or two slices of toast, two strips of crispy Applewood-smoked bacon or two sausage links, and a side of two made-to-order farm fresh eggs. Also included is a cup of coffee.

For lunch and dinner, veterans and active service members get the All-American Burger (with or without cheese) served with fries and your choice of soda, iced tea, or a hot beverage.

You’ll need to present your military ID or honorable discharge card to get this Veterans Day freebie at a Friendly’s near you.

54th Street Grill Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

54th Street Grill will be having a free meal up to a $12 value for veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

Proof of military service is appreciated and can be shown via military ID or by visiting in uniform or showing a photo in uniform.

Find out where a 54th Street Grill is near you.

Hurricane Grill & Wings Veterans Day Free Meal (November 11, 2019)

Another free Veterans Day meal can be had on November 11 at Hurricane Grill & Wings. Veterans and active duty military can stop in on Monday to pick from a menu of seven items.

These are the options: 10 Boneless Wings, Yuengling Beer-Battered Fish & Chips, Teriyaki Beef Bowl, Half Pound Steakburger, Chicken Caesar Salad, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and Chicken BLT Tacos.

This free meal deal is for dine-in only, coupons and other offers can’t be used simultaneously, taxes and gratuity are not included, and military ID or uniform is required. Check with your local Hurricane Grill & Wings to see if they’re participating.

Hy-Vee Veterans Day Free Breakfast (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Veterans and active duty military can stop into a Hy-Vee grocery store with in-store dining and get a free breakfast on Monday, November 11, 2019, between 6-11 AM.

You’ll get to choose from a wide variety of breakfast foods set out on a buffet.

All stores are said to be participating, but you might still check with a Hy-Vee near you to confirm.

Continue on to Spruce to view the complete 2019 list.

New Program Helps Veterans Heal

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Suicide Prevention

Volunteers of America (VOA), a national non-profit organization focused on helping veterans, homeless people, and those with mental and behavioral disabilities, is spearheading a new national initiative aimed at addressing a debilitating mental health disorder called Moral Injury.

Moral Injury can result from exposure to unprecedented traumatic life events linked to perpetrating, failing to prevent, or witnessing actions that transgress deeply held moral beliefs and expectations. This exposure can cause silent, devastating suffering that has shown to lead to depression, burnout, self-criticism, destructive coping strategies, and even suicide. While PTSD is a clinically diagnosed condition, Moral Injury is not.

VOA has developed a program that is showing promise in healing veterans and others who suffer from Moral Injury. Resilience Strength Training (RST), a new pilot program operating in New York, California, and Florida, is helping dozens of veterans overcome suffering from Moral Injury.

“At VOA we call moral injury, the war inside,” said Dr. Rita Brock, Senior Vice President, Moral Injury and Director of the Shay Moral Injury Center. “It’s the war inside because the conscience attacks an experience that wrecks an individual’s moral foundation in an attempt make sense out of it, but the experience is so devastating that making sense is impossible… this can lead to severe internal suffering and pain.”  

Through VOA’s Shay Moral Injury Center, the RST initiative teaches people how to address, alleviate, cope with and manage their suffering. Preliminary data shows the program is working. New York participants have demonstrated a reduction in stress and trauma and report an increase in self-worth and optimism. While this pilot program treated mostly veterans, VOA believes RST will help anyone suffering from Moral Injury.

Since 1994, Veterans Affairs clinicians have sought to understand suffering that is not captured in current methods of diagnosis and treatment for PTSD. In 2009, they suggested that the biggest factor in veterans’ inability to reintegrate into civilian life is Moral Injury, which is a profound affliction of moral conscience and is often times life threatening.

About Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those in need live healthy, safe and productive lives. Since 1896, VOA services have supported and empowered America’s most vulnerable groups, including veterans, seniors, people with disabilities, at-risk youth, men and women returning from prison, homeless individuals and families, those recovering from addictions and many others. Through hundreds of human service programs, including housing and health care, Volunteers of America helps 1.5 million people in over 400 communities. VOA integrates compassion with highly effective programs and services, which touches the mind, body, heart and ultimately the spirit of those served. For more information about Volunteers of America, visit VolunteersofAmerica.org

Michael Anthony Offers Healing Haven for Veterans with PTSD

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Michael Anthony headshot

By Mackenna Cummings

Michael Anthony is proving that you don’t have to be a veteran to help veterans, particularly those with PTSD. Offering his EcoPod retreat center to those needing a place to heal and reconnect with nature is his way of making a difference in the military community.

Early in life, Anthony realized he had a passion for creating. He loved woodworking and began building a boat to fulfill his dream of sailing throughout the Caribbean. His first boat unfortunately burned in a fire, but he was able to procure another boat and still live out his dream.

It was during Anthony’s time alone in nature where he found a spiritual peace that changed his life forever. He wanted to share his life changing experience with others, so after selling his boat he purchased 34 acres in northwest Indiana. It was on that land that he began building his tiny EcoPod homes to enable weary people to regain their spiritual connection with life. Anthony knew that most people were unable to sail out at sea for years on a boat as he did, so he created a place in hopes that people could experience a similar spiritual peace.

Thirty five years later, he was approached by a man named Dr. Connor, who runs a veterans clinic in Sarasota, Florida. He expressed interest in buying 95 of Anthony’s EcoPod homes for veterans suffering from PTSD. It was through Dr. Connor that Anthony learned about how even after rehabilitation programs, veterans still need support—which they often do not receive.

Anthony was so inspired by Dr. Connor’s work that he decided to make a contribution to veterans with PTSD by donating his remaining lots and retreat center in northwest Indiana. All he asks is for interested veterans to write him a letter expressing how they would benefit from living in a spiritual sanctuary close to nature. Letters can be sent to P.O. Box 232 Welaka, FL 32193.

Anthony’s retreat center has since been taken over by the American Honey Bee Protection Agency but more information can be found at info@ahbpa.org or tinyhouseestates.com.

VA recognizes September as Suicide Prevention Month

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VA poster #BeThere for suicide prevention month

In observance of Suicide Prevention Month, the VA encourages Veterans, community leaders, co-workers, families and friends to #BeThere — to help prevent suicide. You can #BeThere by being present, supportive and strong for those who may be going through a difficult time.

As part of this approach, the VA is working closely with The White House and other partners to implement the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide or PREVENTS.

“This September, and all year, I encourage everyone to take a moment to be there for Veterans in need.” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “One act of thoughtfulness can make a big difference and may even save a life. That’s why VA is proud to work on initiatives like PREVENTS, to prevent suicide and find innovative ways to deliver support and care to all 20 million U.S. Veterans whenever and wherever they need it.”

PREVENTS

The PREVENTS roadmap, initiated by an executive order signed by President Trump in March 2019, will serve as an important tool for promoting research, community engagement — and collaboration in the public and private sector — and ultimately, for ending Veteran suicide.

Suicide is a complex, national, public health issue that affects communities nationwide, with more than 45,000 Americans, including more than 6,000 Veterans, dying by suicide every year.

Suicide is preventable, and special training is not needed to prevent suicide. Everyone can play a role by learning to recognize warning signs, showing compassion to Veterans in need and offering support. Listed are actions anyone can take to Be There:

  • Reach out to Veterans to show them you care. Send a check-in text, cook them dinner or simply ask, “How are you?”
  • Learn the warning signs of suicide, found on the Veterans Crisis Line website.
  • Watch the free S.A.V.E. training video to equip yourself to respond with care and compassion if someone you know indicates they are having thoughts of suicide.
  • Check out VA’s Social Media Safety Toolkit to learn how to recognize and respond to social media posts that may indicate emotional distress, feelings of crisis or thoughts of suicide.
  • Contact VA’s Coaching Into Care program when worried about a Veteran or loved one. A licensed psychologist or social worker will provide guidance on motivating your loved one to seek support.

Learn more about the #BeThere campaign and access resources to help support Veterans at BeThereForVeterans.com.

Veterans who are in crisis or having thoughts of suicide, and those who know a Veteran in crisis, can call the Veterans Crisis Line. Confidential support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Call 800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.

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

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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.

Find your new job: Retraining slots open for more than 2,700 airmen

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Little Rock Air Force Base

The Air Force this month has opened up retraining opportunities for as many as 2,773 active-duty airmen across its career fields in fiscal 2020.

According to retraining statistics provided by the Air Force Personnel Center, there are 1,708 slots available for first-term airmen to retrain into new jobs. There are also 797 retraining slots for staff sergeants, 258 slots for technical sergeants, and 10 slots available for master sergeants. In all, there are 111 career fields that need airmen.

That’s more than the 2,597 retraining opportunities the Air Force unveiled for fiscal 2019, which included 1,634 first-term airmen, 730 staff sergeants, 202 technical sergeants, and 31 master sergeants, and remains far higher than the retraining opportunities in the prior two years.

There are also 1,435 airmen in 63 career fields that are overmanned who need to retrain into other jobs. Only second-term airmen are eligible to retrain out.

In an Aug. 12 tweet announcing the opening of 2020 retraining, AFPC said that phase 1 of the non-commissioned officer retraining program, or NCORP, is open through Dec. 1.

If the Air Force does not get enough volunteers to retrain, it could move into a “mandatory retraining” phase.

AFPC said that these statistics, provided Aug. 19, are a snapshot in time that can fluctuate as needs change throughout the year.

The career field with the most retraining-in opportunities is 3P011 security forces, which has 312 vacancies among first-term airmen and staff sergeants. Education and training airmen in the 3F211 career field are short 140 first-term and staff sergeant airmen, and 4N011 aerospace medical service airmen have 231 vacancies in those categories.

There are also 120 first-term and staff sergeant vacancies among 1C111 air traffic controllers, as well as 112 1B411 cyber warfare operations vacancies and 100 1C311 command and control operations vacancies.

Continue on to the Air Force Times to read the complete article.