Don’t Go It Alone: Help for VOBs

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Starting a business following military service is a great way to put your experience, self-starter attitude and confidence into action in your civilian life.

The leadership skills, the willingness to get the job done, and the ability to change course are all attributes that will make you a strong, successful entrepreneur. The Small Business Administration is an excellent place to start if you’re looking for resources to guide you along the way. But there are many other organizations that can offer critical advice and guidance.

Here are just a few:

SBA Veteran Business Outreach Centers

The SBA provides assistance to veterans in their local communities through Veteran Business Outreach Centers. The centers can help veterans access resources such as business training, counseling and mentoring, right in their local communities.

Veteran Fast Launch Initiative

From SCORE, the Veteran Fast Launch Initiative provides mentoring and training, along with free software and other services, to military veteran entrepreneurs.

Veteran Entrepreneur Portal

A part of the VA’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, the Veteran Entrepreneur Portal provides access to a number of business tools and services, from business education to financing opportunities. The site also provides links and information related to government programs and services created specifically for veterans.

Boots to Business

Boots to Business is another program of the SBA. It’s a two-step entrepreneurial training program that includes a two-day classroom course and an eight-week online course that offer instruction on forming a business plan and other essential elements of early business ownership.

National Veteran Small Business Coalition

This organization supports veteran owned small businesses by promoting policies that encourage participation of veteran owned businesses in federal contracting opportunities. Members receive access to resources related to federal contracting.

SBA Contracting Support for Small Businesses

The SBA also offers resources for service-disabled veteran owned businesses looking to procure federal contracts. The SDVOSBC program allows procuring agencies to set aside contracts specifically for veteran owned businesses.

American Corporate Partners

This non-profit organization connects U.S. veterans to business leaders for mentorship and career advice. The organization partners with businesses and institutions like Allstate, AT&T, Whirlpool, HP and many more to find mentors and assistance for veteran participants.

BusinessUSA

The BusinessUSA Veterans Resource tool is an interactive guide to help veteran business owners find the most relevant federal, state and local tools to help start and grow their businesses.

VetBiz

The VA’s VetBiz site provides information about the Center for Verification and Evaluation’s verification process for veteran owned businesses looking to gain eligibility for the VA’s Veterans First Contracting Program. Any veteran owned business looking for VA contracts set aside for veterans must first go through the verification process.

FedBizOpps

The Federal Business Opportunities website provides a portal for businesses looking for active federal contracting opportunities. It’s not specific to veteran owned businesses. But since some contracts are set aside for such businesses, it can be a useful resource for finding those opportunities.

Victory Spark

As part of the Global Entrepreneurship Collective, Inc., Victory Spark is an accelerator program focused on startups led by U.S. military veterans. The program includes a 12-week mentor-driven Lean LaunchPad Program, along with grant funding for entrepreneurs who complete the program.

Institute for Veteran and Military Families

A program of Syracuse University, IVMF provides a wide variety of resources for military veterans. There are plenty of resources specifically geared toward veterans re-entering the workforce or looking to start their own businesses.

21 Gun Salute Initiative

The GSA’s program to support service-disabled veteran owned businesses is known as the 21 Gun Salute Initiative. The initiative includes an action plan aimed at meeting or exceeding the goal of reserving 3% of contracts to service-disabled veteran owned small businesses.

V-Wise

Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship is an organization that provides resources, courses and mentorship to female veterans who have started businesses or are looking to do so.

EBV Foundation

EBV Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities offers experiential training in entrepreneurship and business management to post-9/11 veterans with service related disabilities. The foundation provides grants to graduates of the program, help with business plan development, raising donations for participating schools and more.

Patriot Boot Camp

Presented by Techstars, Patriot Boot Camp is an accelerator program focused on helping military veterans and their spouses build technology companies. Open to all active duty military members, veterans and their spouses, PBC’s main program is a 3-day event that provides participants with free education, training and mentorship.

Honor Courage Commitment, Inc.

HCC provides resources and empowerment to veteran entrepreneurs including grants, scholarships and a fellowship program designed to build leadership qualities.

VetBizCentral

VetBizCentral is a veteran run site that assists veteran and active duty military entrepreneurs through training and counseling, networking opportunities, mentoring and advocacy.

U.S. Veterans Inc. Chamber of Commerce

USVIncCC is a membership based organization focused on creating new business for its members VOB’s. Members have access to multiple resources including but not limited to collaboration and communication with the organizations established VOB community and alliances.

Veterans In Business Network

VIB Network advocates for VOB’s, SDVOSB’s, and DVBE’s by creating content based resources such as workshops and outreach opportunities which are available through the organization.

Coalition for Veteran Owned Business

CVOB supports VOB’s and military spouse owned businesses. The coalition aims to enhance the success of the businesses and drives awareness of available resources to these business owners such as events, information on certification, including information on access to capital.

 

Pro Soccer Player Becomes Army Officer

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1st Lt. Anthony Uriarte playing ball

By Sgt. Ian Ives

What would you give to serve your country? Would you turn down an opportunity to play a professional sport? Though soccer has always been a large part 1st Lt. Anthony Uriarte’s life, he declined multiple professional soccer contracts to follow his calling of being an officer in the United States Army.

Now a medical service officer with the 25th Sustainment Brigade, the 26-year-old Uriarte has led an interesting life due to his talent on the soccer field.

At the age of 15, Uriarte was selected to play on a team that would represent the United States on a tour of England and played many prestigious teams during the trip. Several years later, he found himself in college. “I was taking a physical education course and I remember this girl walking in, in an Army Combat Uniform one day, and I was like ‘What,'” said Uriarte. “At the time I didn’t know anything about the military, but I found it so interesting that you could be a student and be in the Army. She always came in on time, and acted very professional. I admired her for that.”

Recalling the female in ACU’s during his physical education class, Uriarte decided to research what the Reserve Officer Training Corps was. After looking at his options, Uriarte applied and was accepted into The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina.

After graduating in 2015 with a bachelor’s in political science with an emphasis on pre-law, Uriarte had to choose which branch of the Army he was going to commission into.

“One of my big things is figuring out what I can do to help other people,” said Uriarte. “So when I found out that I could commission as a medical service officer, I thought ‘That’s perfect.'”

After being commissioned and doing a year of gold-bar recruiting, Uriarte was stationed at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in 2016. While with the ‘Bronco’ brigade, he played on an Armed Forces Soccer team where a fellow player, who had played in All-Army Soccer before, suggested he try out for the team.

After being selected for the All-Army soccer team, Uriarte and his fellow players traveled to Fort 1st Lt. Anthony Uriarte playing ballBenning, Ga. to compete in the Armed Forces soccer tournament against the other branches of the military.

With 2017 came a new assignment in the form of an inter-post transfer to the 25th Sustainment Brigade and another year of All-Army Soccer. Tryouts were also different for Uriarte due to his selection the year prior, giving him an almost guaranteed position on the team.

“No matter what you tell yourself, no matter how much you prepare, when the referee blows that whistle… you’ll think to yourself, ‘Oh crap this is really happening!'” laughed Uriarte.

Since returning from the All-Army Team this year, Uriarte has begun coaching soccer for Hawaii Rush Youth Soccer for boys around the age of 15 years old. Coaching is something that Uriarte says he is becoming increasingly passionate about. He has even spoke with officials from Moanalua High School, Honolulu about becoming a coach for their soccer team.

“As unfortunate as it sounds we all have to get older,” said Uriarte. “Hopefully when my playing days over I will be able to step into a coaching position for All-Army. Even if I am not on the field playing, I can continue contributing in some way.”

Source: army.mil

10 Toughest Job Interview Questions — And How to Answer Successfully

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Interview questions

We’ve all been there—pleased that an interview was going really well until the interviewer threw out a real doozy of a question that you just don’t know how to answer. But you don’t have to panic.

We asked career coach Hallie Crawford to give us advice on how to answer the most difficult questions you’ve ever been asked. (Yes, we pulled them from real interviews.) Here’s how to answer each really well.

1. If your current employer had an anniversary party for you, what five words would be written on the cake to describe you?

While it may seem silly, “this question is designed to reveal how you think your manager perceives you,” Crawford says. “Before answering, ask yourself: how do your coworkers describe you? What did your manager commend you on recently?” With the answers to these questions in mind, “don’t be afraid to get a little creative with your reply,” Crawford says. But don’t be too verbose either. “You don’t want to give the impression that your anniversary cake would be too big,” she says, “so try and keep the words short and sweet.”

2. Who in history would you want to go to dinner with and why?

Before you answer this one, ask yourself whom you admire, past and present. “Perhaps a writer, an actor, a scientist, or even someone from your industry,” suggests Crawford. Then, consider, “what do you appreciate about their accomplishments? Why do they inspire you? Why do you feel that you would be friends? What would you want to discuss with them at dinner?” Crawford prompts you to ask yourself. “Use these elements when answering.”

3. Name a brand that represents you as a person.

Yep, not a brand you love—but one that embodies who you are. Now that’s a doozy. But it doesn’t have to be tough, Crawford says. “Think about your top personal values,” Crawford advises. “Now think about brands that also have those values. For example, if you value family and ethical practice, think about companies who are family-based, or create products for families who you know don’t do testing on animals, for example. Explain the values that you feel you share with the brand and why those values are important to you.”

4. Please describe an instance where you had to make a decision without all of the necessary information.

You came to the interview prepared, which means you have a list of accomplishments you can work from. Using an accomplishment for this question, “describe the situation and what information was missing and any measurable results achieved,” Crawford instructs. By using an accomplishment, you will show a hiring manager how you can persevere.

5. Sell me on one idea, and then sell me on the opposite of that idea.

“First of all, you want to think of an idea before you can start answering the question,” says Crawford. You may not have to come up with your own idea. “Ask the hiring manager if they have a specific idea in mind,” says Crawford. “If not, consider a recent idea that you discussed with your team or with coworkers. What was your position and why? What was the opposite position and why? Use those arguments. In this question, it is important that you sound convincing when presenting both ideas. This will provide insight into whether you are able to present ideas to your team—even if you don’t agree with the idea.”

6. If a coworker had an annoying habit, and it hindered your quality of work, how would you resolve it?

This may seem like a perplexing question, but it’s “designed to get to you how you deal with others,” explains Crawford. “Draw from a real-life experience if possible. What annoyed you? How did you resolve it? Is there a more effective way to handle the situation if it would happen again? Identify the annoying habit and then outline the steps you would take to try and resolve the situation while maintaining a good relationship with your coworker.”

7. What part of the newspaper do you read first? What does this say about you?

“This kind of question is asked to get to know you better as a person,” says Crawford. And while “at first glance, this seems a fairly easy question,” she says, it’s not. So, “before you answer, think about what genre of articles appeals to you: technology, fashion, current events,” Crawford advises. “Now determine if there is a way to link the genre that appeals to you as a professional. For example, if you are drawn to articles about technology, you could explain that your love of technology means that you enjoy learning new ways of doing things, you are open to change, and look to stay on top of current trends.”

8. Throw your resume aside and tell me what makes you you.

This is another question designed not to trip you up, Crawford says, but to get to know you better. “Keep in mind that they may have looked you up online and have your cover letter, so do your best not to just repeat something they have already read about you,” she says. “Instead, is there a background story about how you got into your industry? Can you explain your unique selling proposition—why you are unique in your industry? Or, you could explain your top three values and why they are important to you.”

9. What’s wrong with your past or current employer?

At all costs, “remember that you want to avoid bashing your current or past employer and the company,” warns Crawford. “This question is designed to find out why you are looking for a new job. Instead of focusing on them, focus on you. Are you looking for more career growth that what is offered where you currently work? Or a more challenging position?”

10. Tell me about the worst manager you ever had.

Before you bash your last boss, “remember that your hiring manager has your resume and knows where you have worked, so your managers won’t be completely anonymous,” warns Crawford. “However, you might explain a type of management style that wasn’t ideal for you. And if you haven’t had a bad manager, don’t make one up. Let the hiring manager know that you honestly have gotten along with your previous managers, and focus on how you are able to work with different personality and management styles.”

The article was originally posted on Glassdoor.com

Defense News Lists DynCorp International to 2018 Top 100

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DynCorp

McLean, VA – (August, 2018) – Defense News has included DynCorp International (DI) in its Top 100 for 2018 list, ranking DI at number 54 according to 2017 defense revenue figures.

In 2017, DI’s total defense revenue was $1.5 billion and made up 75 percent of the company’s total revenue for the year.

Data for the Top 100 list comes from information Defense News solicited from companies, companies’ annual reports and Defense News staff research.

About Defense News

Defense News provides the global defense community with the latest news and analysis on defense programs, policy, business and technology through its bureaus and reporters around the world. Their coverage circulates to top leaders and decision makers around the world.

About DynCorp International
DynCorp International is a leading global services provider offering unique, tailored solutions for an ever-changing world. Built on over seven decades of experience as a trusted partner to commercial, government and military customers, DI provides sophisticated aviation, logistics, training, intelligence and operational solutions wherever we are needed. DynCorp International is headquartered in McLean, Va. For more information, visit our blogs Inside DI or DI at Work or follow DynCorp International on Twitter.

From Service to Startup: Cars, Charity, and Community Service

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Gary-Peterson

Your first business plan. Your first employee. The training course that gives you an edge in the marketplace. Finding a mentor. Receiving the capital you need to expand your business. The turning point when long, hard hours begin to pay off in steady streams of income.

It’s the moment you realize you had an idea that worked—an idea you turned into a business. A dream that became reality.

Each of these pivotal moments—no matter how big or small—is a moment that matters in the veteran entrepreneurship journey. They represent growth, employment, service, delivery, and freedom.

In the United States, nearly one in 10 businesses—or approximately 2.5 million—are veteran-owned. These veteran-owned businesses contribute approximately $1.4 trillion to the nation’s total sales/receipts per year, making them a critical pillar of the American economy. The SBA works to empower these veteran entrepreneurs by providing the resources and access to opportunity required for business ownership. Since its inception in 2013, SBA’s Boots to Business (B2B) and Boots to Business Reboot program have served over 60,000 service members, veterans, and military spouses. From breweries and used car dealerships to software consulting and IT sales, these Boots to Business graduates have transitioned from service members to business owners.

Gary Peterson is a retired U.S. Air Force (USAF) Major and owner of One Community Auto in New Mexico. Peterson’s One Community Auto is the product of a lifelong passion for automobiles combined with his post-service mission of giving back to the community. Since its inception, the business has grown exponentially and was named one of SCORE’s 2017 Small Business Champions.

Bringing Business to Life

Peterson joined the Air Force out of high school and served approximately 23 years before retiring in Albuquerque. A few months after retiring, Peterson actually worked as a Business Advisor at his local Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) in Albuquerque.

“Gary Peterson is one of our most successful business owners,” said Richard Coffel, Director of the New Mexico VBOC. “Actually—he got the bug to start a business while working here at our VBOC as the Business Advisor. By helping other veterans, Gary saw how to conquer most of the challenges when starting a business and applied these newly learned traits to start his own small business.”

During his tenure as an advisor, Peterson decided to take the Boots to Business course, dusting off a business idea he had temporarily put on the shelf.

“I’d always been a huge car nut and had an affinity for fixing them up. Plus, I was a transportation and mechanical guy during my time with USAF,” said Peterson. “I loved community service and had this crazy business idea that combined the two. Taking Boots to Business—both the in-person and eight-week follow-on—helped me put my ideas together in a comprehensive business plan.”

“I came on board as Gary’s replacement, and found him to be one of the most knowledgeable, hungry entrepreneurs I have had the pleasure of working with,” said Coffel. “He is constantly seeking higher and higher challenges.”

For Peterson, Boots to Business opened the door to several SBA resources that were integral to his business success.

“Before B2B, I didn’t fully understand how to operate and grow a business. B2B helped me start my business and most importantly, connect me with resources I needed in the startup phase—such as bookkeeping, financing, and marketing,” said Peterson. “It opened my eyes to what it takes to be a business owner. Once I decided to pursue business ownership, B2B gave me the direction I needed and the steps to take to get started.”

Peterson tapped into the SBA ecosystem, harnessing the power of SBA resource partners to make the most of his business concept. After connecting with the Albuquerque Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) (link is external), Peterson also developed relationships with the local Small Business Development Center (link is external) (SBDC), SCORE (link is external), SBA District Office, and the Procurement Technical Assistance Program (link is external) (PTAP). Peterson’s sister, who helps with front office operations, even leveraged the Women’s Business Center (link is external) on behalf of One Community Auto.

“B2B started this chain reaction of business networking for me,” said Peterson. “I’ve worked closely with my VBOC—in fact, they’re the ones who recommended SCORE’s Emerging Leaders course. All of the SBA resources have continued to mentor and provide me with the tools I need to grow.”

The One Community Auto Motto: Everybody Wins

A unique idea to say the least, One Community Auto is a used car dealership that raises money for local charities through refurbished car sales. Once One Community Auto receives a car donation—usually a rundown model—they refurbish and then sell the donated car at their Albuquerque retail lot. They characterize the business model as a win-win for every party involved.

“Generally, when charities go through auctions, they only receive 1-20% of the sale,” said Peterson. “When the charities go through us, they’re able to receive 55-60% of the car sale. The car donor receives a much higher tax deduction as well.”

In the end, the donor receives a higher tax deduction than they would via a traditional charity auction; the charity receives a higher percentage of the sale; and the new car owner purchases a vehicle for a lower price than they would from a traditional used car dealership.

2017 Small Business Champion and Beyond

When Peterson first started One Community Auto in 2013, he was the sole employee, had one charity partner, and a total year one revenue of $26,000. Within four years, his business has grown to partner with 16 local charities and employ five people (including one part-time veteran). Now a fully profitable business, Peterson intends to expand One Community Auto and its services across the state of New Mexico—ultimately aiming for a nationwide presence with franchise units in every state.

“Gary has utilized every resource available to him, including the VBOC, SBDC, and SCORE,” said Coffel. “He has learned so much in such a short time that we actually put him on a contract to teach the Boots to Business course at our military installations. His ability to relate to the young entrepreneurs at these classes has proven to be current real-time experiences that students can tremendously benefit from.”

For veterans seeking business ownership or self-employment, Peterson provides a few key takeaways from his own entrepreneurial journey.

  • Create a business plan as soon as possible. Even if the plan is preliminary, a one-page business model canvas helps you at least sketch out your ideas. “If you’re still taking courses, focus them on business-related topics like marketing, accounting, sales, public speaking and so on,” said Peterson.
  • Take advantage of all available resources. Get help early with resources, especially those offered by the SBA. “The easiest thing to do is get some help and mentorship through VBOC, SBDC (link is external), SCORE (link is external), and other similar organizations. They can guide you through everything you need to do to be successful,” said Peterson. “They want to see you succeed.”
  • Use your military experience to guide the way—and don’t forget to take care of yourself. “The military teaches you how to be mission-focused, disciplined, a problem solver, and also a team player,” said Peterson. “Most importantly, the military teaches you how to take care of yourself in order to withstand stress. Use what you learned to carry you through your business ownership journey.”

If you’re a veteran, service member—including National Guard and Reserve, or a military spouse interested in starting, purchasing, or growing a business, tap into OVBD’s resource network today. To learn more about Boots to Business, or to sign up to attend the next two-day course in your area, visit sba.gov/B2B.

Source: sba.gov

Wes Studi: ‘A True Warrior’

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Wes Studi-Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

By Brady Rhoades

Actor Wes Studi, who delivered a historic and stirring tribute to veterans at the 2018 Oscars, saw a generation of veterans return from Vietnam only to be cast aside by many of their countrymen and women.

He never wants to see that again.

That’s why the Vietnam veteran, who starred in Dances with Wolves, The Last of the Mohicans, and Hostiles visits military bases and attends Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) conventions.

“It’s almost intimidating because I don’t know exactly how it is for them,” he said. “I know what it was like for us… It was drummed into us to take care of yourself and take care of your buddies.”

And it’s why he urges citizens to support veterans.

“I think the thing you can do is be active politically and fix up the VA,” he said.

Back in March, Studi became the first Native American presenter at the Oscars.

“As a veteran, I am always appreciative when filmmakers bring to the screen stories of those who have served,” Studi said on stage. “Over 90 years of the Academy Awards, a number of movies with military themes have been honored at the Oscars. Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to these powerful films that shine a great spotlight on those who have fought for freedom around the world.”

Photo: BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Chief Phillip Whiteman Jr., Lynette Two Bulls, Byron Allen, Christian Bale, Carolyn Folks, Scott Cooper, Q’Orianka Kilchar, Rory Cochran and Wes Studi attends the premiere of “Hostiles” (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Audience members and viewers saw clips from famous films.

The 90th annual Academy Awards were memorable for many reasons, but the most talked-about moment might have been when Studi, who is Cherokee, concluded his address in Cherokee.

Veterans appreciated it. Native Americans appreciated it. Veterans who are Native Americans really appreciated it.

“Both groups hadn’t gotten much mention at the Oscars,” said Studi, 70. “Some people feel like they’ve been forgotten, left out of the process.”

Studi was inundated with emails and letters. Social media erupted. One woman on Twitter said, “A proud moment and true role model for our youth … a true warrior.”

Wes Studi was born in a Cherokee family in Nofire Hollow, Oklahoma, a rural area in eastern Oklahoma, where Cherokees have lived since the Trail of Tears. He is the son a housekeeper and a ranch hand. Until he attended elementary school, he spoke only Cherokee. He attended Chilocco Indian Agricultural School for high school and graduated in 1964; his vocational major was in dry cleaning.

At 17, Studi enlisted in the Oklahoma National Guard and worked through Basic Combat Training and Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.

Studi volunteered for active service and went to Vietnam with A Company of the 3rd Battalion 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. He served 12 months in Vietnam.

Those 12 months changed his life.

“I discovered what being in combat is,” he said. “What sticks out most is you’re with your buddies and you’re going to take care of each other.”

He remembers the terror and violence of war, but also the natural beauty of Vietnam and the joys of friendship.

“There’s a resilient spirit in human nature,” he said. “You’re going to enjoy yourself no matter the situation.”

He also recalls that the U.S. military could not have cared less about his—or anyone else’s—ethnicity. He was a soldier.

“I was treated well,” he said. “The fact that I was Cherokee didn’t have anything to do with anything.”

Photo: ORLANDO, FL Wes Studi, Joel David Moore, Sam Worthington, Stephen Lang, James Cameron, Zoe Saldana, C. C. H. Pounder, Sigourney Weaver and Laz Alonso attends the Pandora The World Of Avatar Dedication (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)

After his discharge, he became an activist for Native American causes and tried making a living in many ways, including bull riding. In hindsight, he realizes that the war had awakened in him the need to confront fear and to feel the rush of adrenaline that comes with conquering your fears.

A friend convinced him to get involved in community theater. It didn’t take much coaxing. Theater was a good place to meet women, his friend told him. It turned out to offer even more than that.

“What I saw in community theater was you could learn your lines and do rehearsals and all of that, but finally opening night shows up and you’re in the wings and I rediscovered that huge wall of fear,” he said. “And to me, that provided excitement.”

It took him years of toil and sweat, but he broke into Hollywood with a role in The Trial of Standing Bear in 1988. His acting career had lifted from the launch-pad. His star burst brightly in the 1990s; movie-goers came to know him as a proud and fierce warrior in Dances and Mohicans.

Thirty years after making his screen debut, Studi was standing in front of 50 million-plus viewers, worldwide, at the Oscars.

He was coming off the 2017 release of Hostiles, in which he plays Chief Yellow Hawk, an aging, ailing Cheyenne warrior who—sometime in the 1890s—is escorted back to his tribal home in Montana by Capt. Joseph Blocker, played by actor Christian Bale.

Michael Ordona of Common Sense Media reviewed the movie and was impressed by one unexpected aspect of it.

“The most original thing about Hostiles is its rare depiction of PTSD in the Old West,” Ordona wrote. “Here, Bale and his lieutenant (Rory Cochrane) play soldiers who’ve been at it too long, seen too much, and done too many things they can’t really justify. When one confesses he’s got ‘the melancholia,’ it’s dismissed out of hand—just as the idea that war and a life of violence can cause injuries that can’t be seen wasn’t widely accepted until fairly recently. As Blocker, Yellow Hawk (Wes Studi) and Rosalie share dangers and develop trust, the film’s theme of how a traumatic existence can change people—and yet the good in them might still prevail—becomes clear.”

According to the Wounded Warrior Project, about 400,000 veterans of battles in Afghanistan and Iraq live with the invisible wounds of war, including combat stress, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), depression and PTSD. The United States Department of Veterans Affairs has conducted studies that show there are 22 veteran suicides a day, or about 8,000 a year.

We’ve come a long way since the Old West. But we’ve got a long way to go, Studi said. “We’ve got to find assistance for people with PTSD and other conditions,” he said.

He added that we’ve got to do more than thank veterans for their service (although that’s always appreciated). Veterans, especially those who’ve been wounded and traumatized, need above all hope, and hope is realized when they see marked improvements in their lives.

“It’s pretty simple,” he said. “Support anything that has to do with the betterment of veterans.”

 

LEGOLAND California Offers free military admission in August

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Legoland entrance

ACTIVE U.S. MILITARY PLAYS FREE IN AUGUST! As a “THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!” LEGOLAND® California Resort is inviting all active U.S. Military personnel to receive FREE unlimited admission to LEGOLAND®, SEA LIFE Aquarium and LEGOLAND Water Park!

LEGO® City: Deep Sea Adventure ride has a new fleet of submarines and the resort invites you to ride the 22,000 pound sea vessels. To redeem, visit any LEGOLAND California Resort ticket booth or guest service window to show your active duty U.S. Military ID and receive one same day, 1-Day Resort Hopper ticket.

Feel free to visit as many times as you’d like in the month of August!

3  Easy Ways to Buy U.S. Military Friends & Family Tickets:

All non-acitve U.S. Military, plus friends & family can purchase 3-Day LEGOLAND Resort Hoppers for less than $29 per day!

  • Visit your Military Ticket Office located on Military bases – Best Rate!
  • Purchase online at LEGOLAND.com/Military – Save up to 50%
  • Go to a LEGOLAND California ticket booth – Save up to 10%

Visit Legoland.com/california for all the details.

La Fleet Week 2018 Navy Film Festival To Celebrate 100 Years Of Navy In Hollywood

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Fleet Week 2018

SAN PEDRO, Calif. – Featuring black-and-white to modern-era films, LA Fleet Week® 2018 presented by Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime Video will include a Labor Day Weekend Navy Film Festival at the iconic Warner Grand Theatre in downtown San Pedro. 

The Festival will celebrate the century-long relationship between the US Navy and the world-renowned film industry that has brought military life, storylines and battle realities to the big screen since 1918.

“This Festival marks a milestone for the US Navy and Hollywood, highlighting the ways that movies have—and will continue to—shape what we think about the military, as well as the men and women who serve,” said US Navy retired Rear Admiral Mike Shatynski, co-founder and board member of the LA Fleet Week Foundation. “As a kid growing up in LA, military-themed movies definitely were something that influenced my decision to serve my country and see the world.”

The festival will also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Fleet Combat Camera units, groups of service personnel assigned to filming and documenting the history and activities of the US Navy and other branches.  Since World War II, Combat Camera footage has been featured in Hollywood movies and Navy documentaries, and used for military training and educational purposes. The Festival will honor the Navy’s Combat Camera unit, which is slated to be decommissioned this year.

The film festival will screen six different classic films from Sept. 1-3 at the historic Warner Grand Theatre in San Pedro, with each night featuring a different theme. The first film each night will be shown at 5:00 p.m. and the second at 8:15 p.m. The first episode of the new series “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” will be shown between each feature film, compliments of Amazon Prime Video.

FILM FESTIVAL SCHEDULE
·        Saturday, Sept. 1 – Marine Corps Night
o   “Sands of Iwo Jima” – John Wayne WWII classic, 1949
o   Battle: Los Angeles” – Marine Corps versus aliens in Los Angeles, 2011

·        Sunday, Sept. 2 – Navy Air Night
o   “Hell Divers” – Classic fighter pilot film starring Clark Gable and Wallace Beery, filmed aboard first aircraft carriers, 1931
o   “Top Gun” – Modern-day fighter pilot classic starring Tom Cruise, filmed aboard carriers with full Navy cooperation, 1986

·        Monday, Sept. 3 – Navy Ships & Subs
o   “Mister Roberts” – Classic comedy starring Henry Fonda, Jack Lemmon and James Cagney about a Navy cargo ship serving in the South Pacific in the waning days of WWII, 1955
o   “Hunt for Red October” – American espionage thriller adapted from the Tom Clancy best-selling novel, 1990

Ticket sales start each day at 4:00 p.m., with doors opening at 4:30 p.m.  Admission is free for all active military, veterans and children under three years, and $5.00 (cash only) for all others. For theater location, details and most up-to-date information, visit lafleetweek.com.

Since its first venture into Hollywood more than a century ago, the US Navy has been recognized with three Academy awards for films it has produced, including Best Documentary Feature (“The Battle of Midway”) and Best Documentary Short Subject (“December 7th”) in 1943, and Best Documentary Feature (“The Fighting Lady”) in 1945.

About LA Fleet Week® 2018 presented by “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” on Amazon Prime Video
LA Fleet Week is an annual, multi-day celebration of our nation’s Sea Services held on the LA Waterfront at the Port of Los Angeles.  Free to the public, the Labor Day Weekend event features public ship tours, military displays, equipment demonstrations, live entertainment, a kids’ STEM Expo, aerial demonstrations, the LA Fleet Week® 2018 Navy Film Festival, the 10th Annual Conquer the Bridge Labor Day morning 5.3-mile walk/run over the Vincent Thomas Bridge, the LA Fleet Week 5 on 5 Basketball Tournament, and a Galley Wars presented by Princess Cruises culinary cook-off competition between Sailor, Marine, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy teams.

LA Fleet Week is organized by the LA Fleet Week Foundation, in partnership with the Port of Los Angeles and City of Los Angeles.  Other LA Fleet Week 2018 sponsors include Amazon Prime Video, the Annenberg Foundation, Outfront Media, Delta Air Lines, Bob Hope USO, American Legion Post, Battleship IOWA, Princess Cruises, Andeavor, Clyde & Co., Providence Little Company of Mary, Sam’s Club and South Coast Plaza.

For more information, visit lafleetweek.org

U.S. Army Soldier on Mission to Bring Dog Back with Him from Middle East

LinkedIn

New York, NY –While U.S. Army missions may be the stuff of top secret details, there is no hiding what is going on with the mission that one solder is on. Protecting his identity so that his security is not compromised, David is a U.S. Army soldier stationed in the Middle East who is on a mission to save a dog he befriended while being deployed.

Not wanting to leave the dog behind after he leaves the Middle East, he reached out to Paws of War to see if they can help bring Rukban back to Florida with him. It’s a mission that Paws of War has helped numerous other soldiers with and that they have agreed to take on once again.

“Bringing a dog back from another part of the world like this is a true mission,” says Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “There is a lot that is involved in doing it, including the paperwork, travel and medical expenses, and more. It’s a mission that we cannot succeed at without the assistance of people in the community who want to help support those who help defend the country.”

While it may seem like a true mission impossible to bring a dog back from the Middle East, Paws of War is well experienced at helping soldiers successfully pull it off. Being left in the Middle East when David’s unit is sent home would most likely be a death sentence. It’s an area of the world that sees dogs as pests and doesn’t treat them kindly as a result. When David found the dog he named Rukban, he was hungry, thirsty, and injured. He had a fresh neck wound and someone had previously cut his ears off, a common abuse toward dogs in that area.

Immediately going into action, David gave the dog food, water, and got it medical attention. He created a strong bond with Rukban as he nursed him back to health. Military protocol does not allow for soldiers to bring dogs back home with them, so David reached out to Paws of War for assistance.

“Rukban has been such a blessing to me while being in the Middle East,” says David. “I can’t imagine leaving him behind and what would become of him. Being able to bring him home to Florida with me would be amazing. I’m grateful that an organization like Paws of War exists to help with this mission, and I’m humbled that so many citizens give them the support they need to make it happen.”

Those who would like to a donation to help keep David and Rukban together, and help keep Rukban from being further abused, can log online to make a donation: pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/projects/56176-rukban.

Paws of War is an organization that focuses on serving veterans, law enforcement, and first responders. They are 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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Starting a Business? Steps every entrepreneur needs to know

LinkedIn
Two young men reviewing business documents

Confused about the planning, legal and regulatory steps you should follow?

Did you know that home-based businesses are required to hold permits to operate legally in most states? What about incorporation?

Many new businesses assume they need to incorporate or become an LLC from the get-go—but the truth is, more than 70 percent of small businesses are owned by unincorporated sole proprietors (although even this group is required to register their businesses).

So, variables aside, there are still some fundamental steps that any business needs to follow to get started. Below are steps that can help you plan, prepare, and manage your business—while taking care of the startup legalities. Not all these steps will apply to all businesses, but working through them will give you a sense of what needs your attention and what you can check off.

Write a Business Plan

Yeah, yeah, you know you should write a business plan whether you need to secure a business loan or not. The thing is, a business plan doesn’t have to be encyclopedic and it doesn’t have to have all the answers. A well-prepared plan—revisited often—will help you steer your business all along its growth curve. Try to think of your business plan as a living, breathing project, not a one-time document. Break it down into mini-plans—one for marketing, one for pricing, one for operations, and so on.

Get Help and Training

Starting a business can be a lonely endeavor, but there are lots of free in-person and online resources  that can help advise you as you get started. Check out what‘s offered at your Small Business Development Centers; SCORE, at score.com (which offers free mentoring services); Women’s Business Centers, your local U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) office, or DisabilityIn.

Choose Your Business Location

Where you locate your business may be the single most important decision you make. Many factors come into play such as proximity to suppliers, the competition, transportation access, demographics, and zoning regulations.

Understand Your Financing Options

You may choose to bootstrap, fall back on savings, or even keep a full-time job until your business is profitable, but if you are looking for an external source of financing, these resources explain your options.

Decide on a Business Structure

Going it alone or forming a partnership? Thinking of incorporating? What about an LLC? How you structure your business can reduce your personal liability for business losses and debts. Some choices can give you tax benefits. To help you determine the right structure for your business, the SBA can provide an overview of your options, information on how to file the necessary paperwork in your state, and the tax implications of your decision.

Register Your Business Name (“Doing Business As”)

Registering a “Doing Business As” name or “trade name” is only needed if you name your business something other than your personal name, the names of your partners, or the officially registered name of your LLC or corporation.

Get a Tax ID

Not every business needs a tax ID from the IRS (also known as an “Employer Identification Number” or EIN), but if you have employees, run a business partnership, a corporation or meet certain IRS criteria, you must obtain an EIN from the IRS. You’ll also need to start paying estimated taxes to the IRS; visit irs.gov for more about this process.

Register with Tax Authorities

Employment taxes, sales taxes, and state income taxes are handled at the state-level. Visit sba.gov to learn more about your state’s tax requirements and how to comply.

Apply for Permits and Licenses

All businesses, even home-based businesses, need a license or permit to operate. The SBA provides a guide explaining permits and licensing and includes a handy “Permit Me” tool that lets you determine what your permit and licensing needs are, based on your zip code and business type.

The SBA is one of your best resources for establishing, operating and growing your business.

Source: SBA

U.S. Department of Labor Announces Award of $47,600,000 In Training Grants to Help Homeless Veterans Re-enter the Workforce

LinkedIn
transitioning veteran shaking hands with employer

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced the award of 163 Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program (HVRP) grants totaling $47,600,000. This funding will provide workforce reintegration services to more than 18,000 homeless veterans.

“While serving in the military, veterans learn many skills desired in today’s workforce,” said Secretary Acosta. “These grants will help thousands of homeless veterans reintegrate themselves into society and secure good jobs.”

Funds are being awarded on a competitive basis to state and local workforce investment boards; local public agencies and nonprofit organizations; tribal governments; and faith-based and community organizations. Homeless veterans may receive occupational skills training, apprenticeship opportunities, and on-the-job training, as well as job search and placement assistance.

This year’s HVRP awards provide 40 first-year grants totaling nearly $13,000,000. Previous awardees will receive first and second option year grants totaling $34,600,000.

Grantees under the HVRP program will coordinate their efforts with other federal programs, such as the Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families program and the Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care program.

More information on the Department’s unemployment and re-employment programs for veterans is available at www.dol.gov/vets/. For more information about the Department’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), please visit veterans.gov or follow on @VETS_DOL twitter.

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