Global Explosive Ordnance Disposal Symposium to look at force of the future

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ARLINGTON, VA- The training and technology for future joint forces – along with the experiences of those wounded during their service – are the focus of the 2017 Global Explosive Ordnance Disposal Symposium and Exhibition, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 8 and 9, at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, North Bethesda, MD.

The National Defense Industrial Association produces this event in partnership with the EOD Warrior Foundation. This year’s event looks at “realigning the EOD force of the future,” including ways to effectively deter threats while protecting the warfighter as much as possible.

Beside military, attendees also include first responders and relevant professionals from federal agencies. More than 50 exhibitors will be set up at the symposium, which also will feature:

  1. Sessions and panels discussions of the latest measures against improvised explosive devices and unexploded ordnance, as well as combating weapons of mass destruction
  2. Technical papers from Johns Hopkins University’s Energetics Research that address EOD threat solutions
  3. Interagency speakers and panelists, including the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Bombing Prevention
  4. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization’s annual technology outreach event
  5. Joint service EOD program board updates
  6. Service EOD program manager’s capability gap updates

Attendees can meet and talk to wounded EOD service members about their injuries and recovery.  They’ll be on hand during an EOD Warrior Foundation Silent Auction, which begins Tuesday of the event.

“The Global EOD Symposium and Exhibition is an incredibly valuable way to bring the EOD community together and ensure that industry leaders have an opportunity to speak first hand with those doing this critical and lifesaving job every day,” said Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation in Niceville, FL. The foundation and NDIA collaboration is one “that we value greatly,” Motsek said. “Partnerships between organizations like ours are invaluable in the non-profit arena, and we are thankful for all NDIA does to support EOD warriors and their families.”

For an agenda and speakers of the Global EOD Symposium and Exhibition, visit www.ndia.org and click on “events.”

ABOUT NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is the trusted leader in defense and national security associations. As a 501(c)(3) corporate and individual membership association, NDIA engages thoughtful and innovative leaders to exchange ideas, information, and capabilities that lead to the development of the best policies, practices, products, and technologies to ensure the safety and security of our nation. NDIA’s membership embodies the full spectrum of corporate, government, academic, and individual stakeholders who form a vigorous, responsive, and collaborative community in support of defense and national security. For more information, visit www.ndia.org.

ABOUT EOD WARRIOR FOUNDATION

The EOD Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help EOD warriors and their family members; a priority is on wounded EOD warriors and the families of fallen EOD warriors. Specific programs include financial relief, college scholarships, hope, and wellness programs that include therapeutic healing retreats and care for the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin Air Force Base, FL. To learn more about the foundation or see its events calendar, visit www.eodwarriorfoundation.org.

Florida man loses more than 180 pounds to join the Army

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Christopher Montijo speaks live on air about his weight loss

One Florida man is living proof that you can do anything if you want it badly enough. Christopher Montijo, a 28-year-old father of two, said his dream of joining the Army was put on the hold because he was almost 150 pounds over the weight limit, according to WOFL, an Orlando Fox affiliate.

It was “draining to walk, to sleep, to do anything,” he told WOFL; he knew if he wanted to see his children grow up, he’d have to make a major life change.

So he did.

Through cutting out soda and eating out along with walking more, Montijo has dropped over 180 pounds — almost half his body weight — and passed the Army’s physical fitness test. (It doesn’t appear he took a page out of this veteran’s book, who dropped weight by consuming beer and beer only for Lent.)

He told WOFL he “feels amazing,” and he’ll arrive at Fort Jackson at the beginning of 2020 with the rest of the recruits heading to basic training.

Continue on to Task and Purpose to read the complete article.

Standard Operating Procedures for the Military Transition Process

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Veteran looking at iPad

By Brian Niswander

For the past decade, I’ve conducted interviews and collected data from thousands of veterans and spouses about their transition out of the military and into the civilian workforce.

After countless hours analyzing survey data and comments, I’m convinced that a successful transition embodies five key elements.

After making this discovery, I started thinking about my time in uniform and the importance of adhering to Standard Operating Procedures.

I couldn’t help but remember how we had procedures and checklists for important mission activities, and I think we owe the same level of rigor to veterans as they consider their future transition.

Based upon extensive research conducted by the team at Military-Transition.org, I developed a 5-step process to reduce confusion and increase the chances for success during the transition process:

#1 – Start Preparing Early

The data is clear and the majority of veterans surveyed (84%) indicate that starting early is critical to a successful transition. Unfortunately, this is seldom as easy as it sounds. Today’s ops-tempo requires military members to focus on the mission for the majority of their day. While finding time for things outside of the mission and family can be challenging, the advice from veterans is simple—you must find a way. There’s nothing unpatriotic about thinking and planning for what follows your military service. I tell serve members to start considering what’s next at least 24 months ahead of their transition. Starting this far ahead will pay dividends and will enable you to begin focusing on those transition elements which require time and effort to accomplish.

#2 – Have a Transition Plan

Your initial plan doesn’t have to be complex, but should include goals, enabling activities, and timelines. These can change as you progress, but you need to have a starting point. Your first goal might be to research and learn more about industries, organizations or positions that align with your existing skills. Maybe you’d like to do something completely different in the civilian workforce and need to begin exploring new and different opportunities which are outside your comfort zone. Activities may include reading books, journals, blogs and newsletters about these fields. Those considering an educational program might explore what programs are available and what career opportunities result from attaining that degree, certification, or license. In all cases, start connecting with those who transitioned before you, and others who can assist and might become mentors along the way.

#3 – Build Your Network

Of all the advice I’ve gathered over the past decade, this is the most recommended element of a successful transition. You can utilize social media (LinkedIn) and identify individuals to connect with, organizations of interest, and potential opportunities to learn about. You should also become active in community groups and build contacts through face-to-face networking. Engage with other military members, veterans, and civilians to understand their career experiences, education, and training programs. Successful networking not only helps you learn about post-military life, but it will also help you learn a new language which I call “the language of civilians.” Trust me, you need to speak their language—this is critical for the next element of a successful transition.

#4 – Learn to Translate your Skills

Of all the elements within the transition process, this activity will require the most effort. Translating your skills results in a strong resume, good interviewing skills, and the ability to demonstrate your value to a potential employer. Practice is essential to success and you must consistently demonstrate how your skills add value when networking. Ask for feedback and make continual improvements. This will require time to accomplish, but it’s worth the investment.

#5 – Be Patient

Almost half of the veterans surveyed (48%) claim their transition was ‘more difficult than expected’ and more than half (59%) say it ‘required more time than expected’. Take the time, do the research, build your network, learn how to translate your skills, and be patient along the way. You didn’t become a soldier, sailor, airperson, marine or coast guard person overnight, so don’t expect the transition to be quick. Remember that patience and persistence are key throughout the transition process.

Brian Niswander is the Founder of Military-Transition.org, an organization that uses data analytics and visualizations to assist military members with their transition into the civilian workforce. He started Military-Transition.org after identifying a need for data-driven-solutions which inform and guide veteran decision making during the reintegration process. Brian was an Air Force intelligence officer and now provides ‘transition intelligence’ to educate military families. His work has been featured in numerous publications along with radio and podcast interviews. His background includes analytic and leadership positions within the consumer goods industry along with management, strategic planning and marketing in public and private organizations. Brian has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame and a BS in Behavioral Science/Human Factors Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

One-Man Show Transcends the Life of a Solider

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Douglas Taurel is sitting onstage in a green shirt, pants and headband lighting a cigarette

Douglas Taurel is not an American soldier. He’s never been to war. Yet veterans across the country are saluting him– thanking him for being “their voice,” for telling their stories and for showing the nation what military members go through in times of war and at home.

“I wanted to write something and I was very moved by the stories I was reading in the papers regarding combat veterans with PTSD and not having work. Some particular stories really moved me and started the spark (for the play,)” he said.

For the past five years, Taurel has fine-tuned his one-man show entitled, The American Soldier, which spans all of America’s significant war conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Taurel performs 14 different characters during his 80-minute show, which was performed following Veteran’s Day at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on November 13th.

The characters, which are based upon letters written by real servicemen in each war, include a father in the wake of his soldier son’s suicide; a soldier dealing with the loss of his limb; a wife and son dealing with a deployed father’s absence; and a grieving mother remembering her son at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Taurel said over the course of eight years, he spent hours a day at the New York City public library, reading veteran letters and researching each war for the play – reading 20-30 books and thousands of letters.

“I have a storyline that goes through the play,” Taurel says. “I try to talk about the different aspects of war, the challenges and what they [soliders] have to go through.

“The overall theme is thanking family members and veterans. The idea is to give the audience a sincere understanding of what it is that we ask our men and women in arms to do for us. That is the goal,” he added.

Audience members, veterans and critics alike are completely enthralled by Taurel’s performance and his heartfelt portrayal of soldiers and their families. He’s received hundreds of letter and comments regarding the show.

Here are just a few of them below:

“Words cannot express my profound gratitude in being able to Douglas Taurel headshotexperience your amazing performance. As you carried out each story, you truly transcended the audience into the life of a soldier.”

—Mother-in-law of a veteran

“Your performance was first class, moving, thoughtful, compassionate and heartfelt from the very beginning to the end. Tried holding back my tears, but that didn’t last long.”

—Desert Storm combat veteran

“Your passion for the stories you enact help us realize what the American soldier does and why they do it. Your inspiring portrayal of our veterans reminds us of the debt we owe our nations defenders.”

—Vietnam veteran

“I saw and felt the pain and journey of each character you created and remembered all of the tragedy I saw as a nurse in Vietnam.”

—Civilian nurse

Taurel has performed The American Solider more than 8,000 times in 11 different states. His play was one of 100—out of 3,500 entries—nominated for an Amnesty International Award.

But more than awards or reviews, Taurel says the years he spent researching and now portraying military members has given him a whole new appreciation for men and women in uniform.

“What I hope is to share how this allows our veterans to talk about their experiences,” he said. “It honors them and their families in their own words and gives them a voice.

“Now, as a society, we don’t have to make the same kind of commitment or sacrifices that previous generations made. Society functions efficiently even with war. We forget what they go through. My play reminds them.”

Join Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren, Chris Martin and Team New Directions For Veterans in The World’s Big Sleep Out

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large group of people sleeping outside in sleeping bags

The World’s Big Sleep Out is a one-off global campaign where more than 50,000 change-makers, business-leaders and members of the public around the world will be sleeping out in unison on December 7th, 2019 to create the world’s largest display of solidarity with – and support of – those experiencing homelessness and displacement.

Join Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren, Chris Martin and Team New Directions For Veterans in The World’s Big Sleep Out global campaign. Up to 2,000 participants will sleep outside the iconic Rose Bowl.

 

A Global Sleep Out to Call for an End to Global Homelessness

The World’s Big Sleep Out is a one-time global event that will see 50,000 people sleeping out in iconic locations like Times Square, the Rose Bowl and Trafalgar Square but also backyards, football fields and parking lots in more than 50 cities around the world to shine the global spotlight on homelessness and internationally displaced people.

The World’s Big Sleep Out will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 4:30pm to 6:00am.

A list celebrities such as Ziggy Marley, Seth Green, Ellie Goulding, Randy Jackson and Sean Kingston will be performing and reading bedtime stories and those impacted by homelessness will be telling their stories.

Claim your place to Sleep Out with TeamNewDirectionsForVeterans

Normally, you would have to pay a $20 fee to participate, but thanks to New Directions For Veterans’ support, we’ve covered that for you. While your ticket is free and you don’t have to pay to join the team, each of us on #TeamNewDirectionsForVeterans needs to commit to raising as much money as we can to help the charities in our area and throughout the world that are doing the work. Your own donation counts!

 

To claim your place on Team New Directions For Veterans all you have to do is:
Click here to claim your Pre-Paid Team Place and when prompted type in this password 7XNZB2 and then complete the required fields and you’ll be automatically assigned to Team New Directions For Veterans

·  Once you claimed your place on the team, you’ll begin the ‘on-boarding’ process and will receive a welcome email with useful information that generates your JustGiving online fundraising page so you can start fundraising with #ValenceMedia. (Note: If you’re not already on the JustGiving platform, you’ll need to create a JustGiving account).

·  Start spreading the word through your network to collect donations

·  And…if you reach a $1,000 or more individual fundraising goal, we will mark your achievement by including your name in a specially created mural that will be exhibited at the United Nations in February 2020 at an important homelessness summit.

To learn more about this one-off global event that New Directions For Veterans is proud to be a part of visit www.bigsleepout.com.

Kean University Student-Veteran Receives K-9 Service Dog

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K-9 Keen and Jason Pryor stand outside in a group photos with student body members

Jason Pryor of Elizabeth received the K-9, named Keen, as a gift from the Kean Office of Student Government.

A special Veterans Day ceremony was held on Kean University’s Union campus as senior Jason Pryor, a U.S. Army veteran, introduced the K-9 service dog that he received through an on-campus fundraiser.

Pryor, a senior from Elizabeth majoring in exercise science, did tours in Iraq and Honduras and suffers from PTSD. He received the K-9, named Keen, at the start of the Fall semester as a gift from the Kean Office of Student Government.

“Being with Keen has taught me to be more patient,” said Pryor, whose dog accompanies him to class. “Keen is used as a measure to help prevent me from going through the symptoms and effects of spiraling down, by me tending to his needs and having him tend to me.”

Kean is ranked first in the nation among large public schools for its programs supporting student-veterans, according to the Military Friendly Schools survey.

Student Government raised nearly $20,000 to support service dogs through Rebuilding Warriors, a volunteer non-profit organization whose mission is to provide trained service dogs to veterans. The bulk of the funds raised went toward training Pryor’s dog, and the rest was donated to Rebuilding Warriors to help train other K-9 dogs.

At the ceremony held outside Miron Student Center, Vito Zajda, director of Veteran Student Services at Kean and a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, called Pryor a remarkable student.

“He has been a big support and influential person in our program,” Zajda said. “He has helped open our eyes about how the University can best support its vets.”

Vice President of Rebuilding Warriors Jeff Mullins, also a veteran, said post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that can’t be seen by others. ”It’s invisible, stays with you your entire life, and it’s not easy sometimes,” he said. “Our goal is to provide veterans and first responders with a service dog to help them achieve their new normal.”

The University’s Veterans Day event included a color guard, a performance of the national anthem by the Kean Gospel Choir, and the presentation of other honors.

Juan Leon Torres, a senior from Spotswood also studying exercise science and a U.S. Navy veteran, received the 2019 Kean Veteran’s Award for OutstandingK-9 Keen service dog to U.S. Army Veteran pictured sitting next to his new owner Mentor. He develops transition opportunities and initiatives, and mentors a student-veteran each semester.

“Being a veteran and going back to school is super hard because you go from one community to a different lifestyle,” Torres said.

Zajda noted that it is important to support veterans at all times. “The importance of Veterans Day is to recognize that it’s 365 days a year, as veterans go through different highs and lows in their lives,” he said.

K-9 Keen, the service dog accompanying student-veteran Jason Pryor (pictured at top, left of center, in red shirt), is part of the Kean University community. The Kean Office of Student Government raised funds to donate the dog.

About Kean University

Founded in 1855, Kean University is one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving more than 16,000 students. The University’s six undergraduate colleges offer more than 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers six doctoral degree programs and more than 80 options for graduate study leading to master’s degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union, Toms River, Jefferson and Manahawkin, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable and accessible world-class education. Visit kean.edu.

Veterans Are Finding Lasting Peace After Taking These Free Journeys into Nature for Months at a Time

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veteran on a hike looking out at the wilderness in the distance standing near a cliff

With countless US ex-service members struggling to readjust to civilian life following their deployment, more and more veterans are finding unparalleled success in alternative forms of rehabilitation and therapy.

Warrior Expeditions is a nonprofit that has proven nature to be an effective treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD. The organization helps veterans overcome their trauma by sending them on longterm nature excursions lasting two to six months.

The charity, which also provides all the gear and supplies necessary for the journeys, typically helps 30 to 40 veterans every year with about 10 different expeditions—all of which are facilitated at no cost to the vets.

The organization’s recently concluded 53-day trip through North Carolina is the first time that Warrior Expeditions has incorporated paddling, biking, and hiking into one of their excursions.

Marine Corps veteran Sean Gobin was inspired to launch the charity after he returned to the US in 2012 following several combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. He then found peace and healing by hiking all 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail—and he knew that he wanted to share the experience with other veterans just like him.

There is no shortage of evidence on how spending time in nature can positively impact one’s physical and mental health. For the veterans participating in the Warrior Expedition outings, these therapeutic perks are also supplemented by the benefits of exercise, meditation, and sleeping outdoors.

Continue on to the Good News Network to read the complete article.

Gillette SkinGuard For Military: Protecting the Skin of Those Who Protect Us

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Gillette SkinGuard_RazorPack

Following the Navy’s recent policy changes in regards to its shaving guidelines, Gillette has a solution for those of your readers who have experienced chronic skin conditions like PFB as a result of mandatory shaving while in the service.

As a part of Gillette’s commitment to helping every man be the best they can be, we are making more than 40,000 complimentary SkinGuard razor samples available to active and retired service members who want to try this razor that was specifically designed to protect their skin from irritation– and feel the difference for themselves.

Servicemen can visit Gillette.com/military if they’re interested in a product sample.

The Gillette SkinGuard Razor is clinically proven for sensitive skin and specifically designed to reduce the symptoms generally associated with PFB such as razor bumps and irritation.

Results from a recent clinical study revealed that the incidence of men’s razor bumps were reduced on average by 60 percent after 12-weeks daily shaving with Gillette SkinGuard.

What You Need To Know About VA Dental Benefits

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veteran in uniform smiling

By Dr. Greg Grillo (dentably.com)

Dental care for veterans can be confusing and difficult to navigate. As a dentist for over 20 years, and a veteran myself, I’ve talked with dozens of veterans who didn’t understand or know what types of benefits they deserve. To aid with that, I’ve put together this article which will hopefully help veterans understand and utilize the benefits they have earned.

What Type Of Care Can I Expect

The care you receive largely depends on which class you qualify for, but generally looks to treat and deal with serious issues. Certain classes might only receive care related to other qualifying health issues, while some classes can receive any dental care needed. That’s why it’s important to understand which class you fall into as each one varies in which types of procedures are covered.

Dental Care Classes

Probably the thing that trips up the most veterans the is the wide range of classes that make one eligible for dental benefits. Each of these has their own specific requirements, so read over them carefully to see which class you might fit into.

I: If you have a service related dental condition or disability then you are eligible for any dental care that is needed.

II: You can receive one time care if you:

-Did not receive a dental examination upon discharge

-Were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable

-Apply to receive care with 180 days of discharge

IIA: If you have a non-compensable, service related condition that is the result of combat wounds you are eligible for all care to keep your mouth healthy.

IIB: If you are a homeless veteran receiving care under VHA directive 2007-039 then you are eligible for select care procedures to treat major infections, relieve pain, secure employment, or treat severe gum disease.

IIC: If you were a former prisoner of war you are eligible for any dental care needed.

III: If a VA dental care provider determines you have a dental issue linked to a service related health condition, and that health condition makes the dental issue worse, you can receive treatment for the issue.

IV: If you have a service related injury that is rated as 100% disabling you are eligible for any care needed. Note this doesn’t include situations where the 100% rating is only temporary.

V: If you are part of a VA vocational rehabilitation program under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 then you can receive dental care that makes participating in and successfully meeting the goals of the program possible.

VI: If you are receiving VA care for an issue that is being made worse by an oral issue you can receive treatment for that oral issue.

This is a pretty big list, and it’s okay to be a bit confused on where you fit in. When in doubt, you can always contact your local VA, and they’ll be happy to guide you through the process and see what care you might be eligible for.

Other Dental Care Options

Unfortunately, not all veterans will be eligible for care under these rules. While that can be disheartening to hear, there are many other options that can help make dental care easier to receive and more affordable to non-VA care eligible veterans.

One of the more popular options is the National VA Dental Insurance Program. This is insurance specially offered to veterans, and it’s offered at a reduced price as compared to traditional insurances. This can help cut down both your monthly premiums as well as co-pays, which can make dental care much more affordable.

sign that says veteran benefitsThere are also a number of dentists that offer reduced or sometimes even free services to veterans. This depends on where you live, but it’s not a bad idea to do a little research for veteran friendly dentists in your area. You can also reach out to your local VA as they may be able to point you in the right direction.

While dental benefits can be difficult to navigate as a veteran, it’s very important to keep up with your oral health. I’ve mentioned your local VA a few times, and that’s because they are a great resource for determining your eligibility and utilizing your benefits. Keep them in mind as you look over your benefits, and never be afraid to reach out with any questions.

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.

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.