Variety Presents Inaugural Salute To Service Event

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Variety Salute to Service

Variety, the authoritative entertainment industry news source, presented their inaugural SALUTE TO SERVICE event, a celebration of the notable efforts and contributions by various individuals shining light on military services and related organizations.

The event was held at Cipriani 25 Broadway on Thursday, January 11th.  In partnership with National Geographic, Variety was thrilled to gather an intimate group of distinguished individuals who have been selected as honorees, as well additional service members, supporters and contributors as guests.

Through their courageous, humanitarian and philanthropic efforts, these individuals have supported our troops and veterans, some serving themselves, and have created significant differences in the lives of service members and their families. Variety’s Salute to Service honorees were featured in the issue on stands January 10th.

“As the leading entertainment voice in the industry we feel it is timely and important to honor the bravery and heroism of our military service members and those who have dedicated their time and efforts in supporting our troops and their families,” said Michelle Sobrino, Group Publisher and Chief Revenue Officer, Variety.  “Along with our PMC Vice Chairman and former Variety Publisher, Gerry Byrne, a United States Marine Corps Vietnam veteran who introduced the luncheon, we are proud to recognize this incredible group of people and are grateful for the dedication of those who continue to highlight the unwavering work of our armed forces protecting our great nation.”

The honorees included:

Founder and owner of Carolines on Broadway and founder of the New York Comedy Festival, Caroline Hirsch, who is also a co-founder of Stand Up for Heroes and a board member of The Bob Woodruff Foundation, both of which support injured service members, veterans and their families.

Author of New York Times Bestsellers “The Other Wes Moore” and “The Work”, CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, creator of monthly “Future City” Radio Series powered by Prudential on Baltimore’s NPR news station WYPR and Army Combat Veteran Wes Moore.

ABC News chief global affairs correspondent and co-anchor of “This Week with George Stephanopoulos”, Martha Raddatz, who also wrote the book “The Long Road Home: A Story of War and Family”, which was turned into a mini-series for National Geographic starring Kate Bosworth and Michael Kelly

Actor/Comedian and star in the upcoming Warner Brother’s war drama 12 Strong, Rob Riggle. Riggle is a retired United States Marine Corps Reserve officer and has worked with multiple veteran organizations.

Mikal Vega, is a retired Naval Special Warfare Operator who spent 22 years as a SEAL and is currently working as a technical director on NBC’s “The Brave”. He is Founder and CEO of the organization Vital Warrior.

“CBS Evening News” anchor Jeff Glor hosted the exclusive luncheon, made up of approximately 150 invite-only guests, comprised of retired and active service members and their families, service contributors, entertainment and media insiders. The United States Marines Corps provided a Color Guard.  At the event, National Geographic showed exclusive footage from their upcoming eight-part documentary series “Chain of Command”, narrated by Chris Evans. The series premiered on Nat Geo on Monday, January 15th.

National Geographic has a rich and trusted legacy of covering stories of war and the impact on people dating back to World War I.  Looking at world events and the impact on people and culture is part of their DNA.  They like to say “Geography” is the study of people over places, and both “The Long Road Home” and “Chain of Command” continue that legacy by showcasing the people, the impact and the culture surrounding important world events.

About Variety
Variety remains the seminal voice of the entertainment industry for 111 years and counting.  Featuring award-winning breaking news reporting, insightful award-season coverage, must-read feature spotlights and intelligent analysis of the industry’s most prominent players, Variety is the trusted source for the business of global entertainment.

Read by a highly engaged audience of industry insiders, Variety’s multi-platform content coverage expands across digital, mobile, social, print and branded events and summits.

In 2015 Variety’s “Actors on Actors” on PBS was awarded the Emmy for best entertainment programming at the Television Academy’s 67th Los Angeles area Emmy Awards. “Actors on Actors,” which is an interview special that features pairings of prominent actors discussing their craft, was produced by PBS SoCal in partnership with Variety Media, LLC. Follow Variety on Facebook facebook.com/variety; Twitter, @variety; Instagram, @Variety; Pintrest and Snapchat. The Variety Group – Variety, Variety.com, Variety Insight, Indiewire, LA 411, NY 411 – is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.

About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 128 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching over 730 million people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the non-profit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About PMC
Penske Media Corporation (PMC) is a leading digital media and information services company whose award-winning content attracts a monthly audience of more than 180 million and empowers more than 1 million global CEOs and business thought-leaders in markets that impact the world. Our dynamic events, data services, and rich content entertain and educate today’s fashion, retail, beauty, entertainment and lifestyle sectors. Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles with additional offices in 11 countries worldwide, Penske Media is the way global influencers are informed, connected, and inspired. To learn more about PMC and its iconic brands, visit www.pmc.com.

 

INDIAN MOTORCYCLE & Indian Motorcycle & Carey Hart Bring V-Twin-Powered Armed Forces Day Celebration To Troops At U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart

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Carey Hart-Good Rides

Indian Motorcycle, America’s first motorcycle company founded in 1901, and freestyle motocross icon Carey Hart have partnered to take Hart’s Good Ride fund-raising platform overseas to active soldiers based at U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) Stuttgart in Germany. On May 20, Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart will honor U.S. military soldiers and the freedom they protect with an Armed Forces Day ride and barbeque celebration. In support of the honorary ride, Indian Motorcycle will donate up to $30,000 to the Infinite Hero Foundation from test rides completed at Indian Motorcycle dealerships during the month of May. In addition, donations to Hart’s Good Ride (a 501C3 charity) can be made at goodriderally.com in support of active American troops and veterans.

In partnership with Family and Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR), Indian Motorcycle and Hart will bring the Good Ride experience to a community of over 20,000 active military and their families. With an anticipated count of more than 200 participating motorcyclists, Hart will lead the ride from USAG Stuttgart through the picturesque Black Forrest and German countryside. Following the ride, the Armed Forces Day celebration will continue with a family-friendly barbeque, live music, prize drawings and a kids’ zone.

“I’ve always held an immense sense of respect and gratitude for our troops, and that’s why I’ve made the military, both active and veteran, the focus of Good Ride’s efforts since day one,” said Hart. “I couldn’t be more proud and excited to bring Good Ride directly to our active troops overseas.”

In support of Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart, Indian Motorcycle will run a test ride promotion that will raise up to $30,000 for the Infinite Hero Foundation. As the primary beneficiary of Hart’s Good Ride Rally, the Infinite Hero Foundation funds programs that drive innovation and accessibility of effective treatments for military heroes and their families dealing with service-related mental and physical injuries. For every motorcycle test ride completed at an Indian Motorcycle dealership in the month of May, Indian will donate $20 in that rider’s name. Riders can schedule a test ride at a nearby Indian Motorcycle dealership at IndianMotorcycle.com.

“Indian Motorcycle’s commitment to the American military dates back to the first World War, and it’s something that will forever be a part of our brand DNA,” said Steve Menneto, President, Indian Motorcycle Company. “It’s both an honor and a privilege to bring a little piece of home overseas to these brave men and women with this special Good Ride event and Armed Forces Day celebration.”

To further the Armed Forces Day celebration, Indian Motorcycle dealerships around the U.S. and Canada will host honorary military events on May 19. Many dealerships will offer food, drinks, and giveaways, including an Indian-branded multi-tool.

For more information about Good Ride Salutes USAG Stuttgart, or to find a dealer near you, visit IndianMotorcycle.com and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

Indian Motorcycle Company is America’s First Motorcycle Company®. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under new brand stewardship. To learn more, please visit www.indianmotorcycle.com.

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Iraq War Veteran Awarded Brand New Vehicle Through TrueCar DrivenToDrive Program

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U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Goodrich

TrueCar and AutoNation today donated a 2018 Honda Ridgeline to Ret. U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Goodrich at a special event held at the AutoNation Honda Dulles in Sterling, VA.

The vehicle donation marked the second year of the DrivenToDrive program, a partner program between TrueCar and DAV (Disabled American Veterans). DrivenToDrive was created to help injured veterans regain the freedom they’ve fought and sacrificed so much for, by helping them get back behind the wheel of vehicles retrofitted for their needs.

Father of two kids, Goodrich suffered traumatic brain and leg injuries in combat while serving the country during deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. The injured leg is confined to a brace which prevents Goodrich from driving or sitting in a compact vehicle for more than 20 minutes at a time due to discomfort and pain.

“After my time in the service, my wife and I decided to dedicate our lives to helping other veterans rehabilitate and recover through art therapy,” said Sgt. Goodrich. “I would not be able to reach and help as many people without the help of this new vehicle.”

Goodrich’s military-themed art has garnered national acclaim, with his work having been exhibited at the National Museum of Health and Medicine and appearing in a number of national publications.

“AutoNation is honored to join with TrueCar in recognizing Sgt. Michael Goodrich and his family for their service and presenting them a brand new Honda Ridgeline,” said Marc Cannon, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for AutoNation.

In addition to Goodrich and his family, the event was attended by AutoNation CMO Marc Cannon, Assistant Executive Director of DAV National Service and Legislative Headquarters Randy Reese, and TrueCar CEO Chip Perry.

For more information about DrivenToDrive and its mission, please visit truecar.com/driventodrive.

About TrueCar
TrueCar, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRUE) is a digital automotive marketplace that provides comprehensive pricing transparency about what other people paid for their cars and enables consumers to engage with TrueCar Certified Dealers who are committed to providing a superior purchase experience. TrueCar operates its own branded site and its nationwide network of more than 15,000 Certified Dealers also powers car-buying programs for some of the largest U.S. membership and service organizations, including USAA, AARP, American Express, AAA and Sam’s Club. Over one half of all new car buyers engage with the TrueCar network during their purchasing process. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, with offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas. For more information, go to truecar.com. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

About DAV
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; providing employment resources to veterans and their families and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with more than one million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at dav.org.

About AutoNation, Inc.
AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, through its bold leadership, innovation and its comprehensive brand extensions, is transforming the automotive industry. As of March 31, 2018, AutoNation owned and operated over 325 locations from coast to coast. AutoNation has sold over 11 million vehicles, the first automotive retailer to reach this milestone. AutoNation’s success is driven by a commitment to delivering a peerless experience through customer-focused sales and service processes. Through its Drive Pink initiative, AutoNation is committed to drive out cancer, create awareness and support critical research. AutoNation continues to be a proud supporter of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and other cancer-related charities.

Please visit investors. autonation.com, autonation.com, autonationdrive.com, twitter.com/autonation, twitter.com/CEOMikeJackson, facebook.com/autonation, and facebook.com/CEOMikeJackson, where AutoNation discloses additional information about the Company, its business, and its results of operations.

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Anaheim, CA native serves aboard one of the U.S. Navy’s first “Stealth Ships”

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BATH, Maine – A 2010 Colton High School graduate and Anaheim, California, native is serving as part of the Pre-Commissioning Unit for the future Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116).

Fireman David Bernal is assigned to DDG 116 in Bath, Maine. As a fireman Bernal is responsible for maintenance of the ship’s electrical distribution systems. “I enjoy the camaraderie with the sailors in the division that I work in,” said Bernal.

DDG 116 is currently undergoing tests and trials in preparation for delivery to the U.S. Navy from shipbuilder Bath Iron Works. Arleigh Burke class destroyers measure approximately 500 feet long and are powered by four gas turbines that allow the ship to achieve over 30 mph in open seas. Destroyers are tactical multi-mission surface combatants capable of conducting anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and ballistic missile defense, as well as humanitarian assistance. Fast, maneuverable, and technically advanced, destroyers provide the required warfighting expertise and operational flexibility to execute a variety of missions.

“Thomas J. Hudner Jr., a naval aviator who retired as a captain, received the Medal of Honor from President Harry S. Truman for displaying uncommon valor during an attack on his element leader, the first African American naval aviator to fly in combat, Ensign Jesse L. Brown,” said Cmdr. Nathan W. Scherry, commanding officer, PCU Thomas Hudner. “On 07 May 2012, Secretary Mabus announced that DDG 116 will be named in Captain Hudner’s honor. Today, as the Navy’s finest 300 Sailors crew the 66th Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer, they do so with a tremendous amount of honor, pride, and sense of duty. We are extremely honored to be able to carry Captain Hudner’s values and legacy forward so that they are never forgotten. We are proud to be able to carry out our missions in defense of our country’s freedom and values, and humbled to be part of the Hudner family.”

Bernal has carried lessons learned from his hometown into his military service.

“Growing up, I learned the values of hard work and taking with you as much as you can from your job so you can move on to the next chapter in your life,” said Bernal.

With a crew of over 300 sailors, each crew member’s job is important to the smooth operation of the ship. The jobs range from weapon handling to navigation.

Bernal has military ties with family members who have previously served and is honored to carry on the family tradition.

“My older brother served in the Marines for five years and did a tour in Afghanistan,” said Bernal. “I’m proud to carry on his name doing my part serving in the military.”

Bernal’s proudest accomplishment was graduating boot camp.

“We had several dropouts in my division throughout the eight-week course. Completing boot camp gave me the confidence needed to know I can complete anything in life I set my mind to,” added Bernal.

Close living conditions build strong fellowship among the crew, Navy officials explained. The crew is highly motivated, and quickly adapt to changing conditions. It is a busy life of specialized work, watches, and drills.

As a member of one of the U.S. Navy’s newest ships, Bernal and other sailors know they are part of a legacy that will last beyond their lifetimes providing the Navy the nation needs.

“Serving in the Navy means being a part of something bigger than myself,” said Bernal. “I have a great sense of pride and honor serving my country, and it makes my family proud.”

The construction of the ship is over 98% complete. The ship is scheduled for commissioning in late 2018 in Boston, Mass. For more information about the commissioning, visit usshudnerddg116.org.

By Ricky Burke, Navy Office of Community Outreach

Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Tim Miller

Best Places to Travel for Memorial Day

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Memorial Day

Memorial Day is celebrated in remembrance of military service members who have died in the line of duty. It was originally called Decoration Day, as the holiday was centered on decorating the graves of those who had fallen in the Civil War. Even if you don’t attend a Memorial Day ceremony this year, join others around the nation and pause for one minute in an act of national unity to thank fallen service members for our freedom. Set an alarm for 3 pm (your local time) on Monday, May 28th. Everyone in the nation is asked to hold one minute of silence in their respective time zones to remember those who gave their lives for our country.

From Fleet Week to Air and Sea Shows, there is a lot to do and see nationwide on Memorial Day this year.

WASHINGTON, D.C.
✪✪Attend the National Memorial
Day Parade, the largest in the
country.
✪✪Honor our veterans at the
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle
Rally.
✪✪Attend and salute our veterans
at PBS’s National Memorial Day
Concert on May 27, 2018, free of
charge on the West Lawn of the
U.S. Capitol.
✪✪Pay respect at the National Mall
or visit the National World War
II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans
Memorial, Vietnam Women’s
Memorial or the Korean War
Veterans Memorial.
✪✪On Sunday, May 27, a free
National Memorial Day Choral
Festival at the Kennedy Center
features a 300-voice choir
accompanied by the U.S. Air
Force Orchestra. Request tickets
in advance.

MIAMI, FL
✪✪Attend the Air & Sea Show, the
National Salute to America’s
Heroes, May 26–27. The event
showcases men, women,
technology and equipment from
all five branches of the United
States military as well as police,
firefighters and first responder
agencies. See civilian aerobatic
acts, offshore powerboat racing
demonstrations, extreme water
sports and more.

PHOENIX, AZ
✪✪Join the 4th Annual Star
Spangled Celebration! Enjoy
the fireworks display, memorial
candles ceremony, live music,
water play area, bounce houses
and the Arizona Cardinals
football toss.
✪✪Watch the 9th Annual Cave
Creek Balloon Festival on May
26. Find more information at
visitarizona.com.

NEW YORK, NY
✪✪See the Little Neck-Douglaston
Parade in Queens, followed
by Brooklyn’s Memorial Day
Parade (over 150 years old),
or the Manhattan’s Soldiers’
and Sailors’ Memorial Day
Observance, or the Inwood’s,
Staten Island’s and the Bronx’s
Memorial Day Parades.
✪✪Enjoy Fleet Week, now in its
30th year, May 23–29. More
than 2,100 members of the U.S.
Navy, Marines and Coast Guard
to participate this year, with
numerous exhibits, military
band concerts, and aviation
events throughout the week.

CHARLESTON, SC
✪✪The annual Atlantic Cup starts
May 26, kicking off Memorial
Day weekend in Charleston. The
Atlantic cup is a Class 40 sailing
race that starts in Charleston
and ends in Brooklyn, New
York.
✪✪The 2018 Spoleto Festival USA
runs May 25 to June 10. The
yearly festival brings art, music,
theatre, dance, opera, and more.

Rob Riggle: Combat to Comedy

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The Rob Riggle InVETational Golf Classic

By Mackenna Cummings

You may recognize comedian and actor Rob Riggle from his success as a correspondent on The Daily Show, films like Step Brothers, Dumb and Dumber, The Hangover, and 21 Jump Street. This year you’ll see him in Midnight Sun, which came out March 23rd, and Night School, set to release September 28th. But it’s his recent role in the war drama 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, released in January, that has us talking.

His two-decade-long entertainment career began while he was serving 14 years in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, following his 9 years of active duty service in the U.S. Marines. Retired in 2013 as a lieutenant colonel, Riggle has served in Liberia, Kosovo, Albania, and Afghanistan. He told the USMC official magazine Marine Mag what he liked best about serving: “One—I earned the title ‘Marine,’ no one gave it to me. I’ll be proud of that as long as I’m alive. Two—Marines are loyal to each other. I like loyalty. Three—Marine Corps history and tradition is something to be proud of, and I’ve been part of that history for the last 19 years. And four—honor, courage and commitment. Those words really do mean something.”

USVM: So how did a theater major from the University of Kansas rise through the ranks as a Marine while still pursuing comedy and acting?

RR: “I had my pilot’s license when I was an undergrad. I was also a theater and film major. So I either was going to be ‘Top Gun’ when I graduated, or I was going to be a waiter. […] I went through Officer Candidate School and went through flight school and the further I got along, the more I realized that, if I continue flying, I’m not going to be able to pursue my dream of comedy and acting. So I stopped flying, became a ground officer, had a short contract, fulfilled my contract and pursued comedy and acting. I stayed in the reserves though, serving there for 14 years,” Riggle told CBS News.

In 2001, the day after the September 11th attacks, Riggle was called by the Marine Corps Reserves to report to Ground Zero to help move rubble by hand and search for survivors. Six days of emotionally and physically grueling 12-hour shifts followed, and a few weeks later, Riggle volunteered to return to active duty. He was deployed to Afghanistan, where during his two tours he served under Lt. Col. Max Bowers, an Army colonel who was part of 12 special forces who were sent there immediately following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Bowers was the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group. In 2017’s 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers, Riggle was honored to portray Bowers. He told ABC News, “After I volunteered to go back on active duty … I worked directly for him. He was my direct boss. I was doing public affairs and some civil affairs work for him. Now I’m playing [him] in the movie.”

Of the 12 Special Forces featured in the movie, Riggle says “TheyStephen Colbert and guest Rob Riggle Stephen Colbert and guest Rob Riggle were the first guys in. They teamed up with the Afghan Northern Alliance and did some truly amazing things, fighting in the mountains on horseback under intense conditions. They took three warlords and brought them together, fighting a pretty well-armed and entrenched Taliban force.”

As the ruins of the twin towers still smoldered at Ground Zero, Bowers and the U.S. Special Forces began the grisly war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In Liberty Park, a one-acre elevated public park at the World Trade Center in New York City, a statue stands overlooking the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. America’s Response Monument, or “De Oppresso Liber” (the motto of U.S. Army Special Forces that means “To free the oppressed”), is dedicated to the U.S. troops who responded in those weeks following 9/11. The 18-foot bronze statue depicts a Green Beret soldier on horseback, symbolizing the horses that the Afghan tribes provided our troops to navigate the mountainous Northern Afghanistan terrain. Most of those U.S. troops had never been on horseback before. In the age of modern warfare, it is remarkable that the initial response to the worst attack on American soil was fought in the same cavalry style as the forefathers of this country.

Although Riggle usually plays comedic roles, 12 Strong gave him the opportunity to play a dramatic character, who helps tell a story Riggle himself is passionate about. Transitioning from comedy to a drama left him a little out of his comfort zone on set, but the story and the truth behind it made it something he’s proud of. Speaking of the real people who inspired the book The Horse Soldiers and this 12 Strong movie, Riggle says, “In the annals of military history, this is something pretty special, when you think about what [the soldiers] did with what they had, where they were, in the amount of time that they did it.”

Rob Riggle Hosts Shoebox'As for the transition into acting, he notes that much of what he experienced in the military has helped in his comedy career. “You have to have thick skin, and you have to be able to bounce back from rejection and adversity. And you also have to have a mindset of ‘I’m not gonna quit until I accomplish my mission.’ So you learn those intangibles in the military, and those intangibles carried over and have sustained me in my comedy career,” he said. His career in acting and comedy was rather a trial-and-error process for him, as identifying what sort of sketches and scripts would suit him became easier the more he wrote and acted.

Riggle considers himself fortunate to have been able to pursue both paths that he was passionate about as a college student, and he’s still an active member of the veteran community. He participates in multiple charities, including Conservation International, ENOUGH Project, Entertainment Industry Foundation, Friars Foundation, James R. Jordan Foundation, Los Angeles Police Memorial Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Opportunity Village, Stand Up To Cancer, United Service Organization, We Advance, and Cats Care.

He also founded and hosts the Rob Riggle InVETational Golf Classic to raise funds for the Semper Fi Fund, which provides immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Riggle speaks proudly and candidly of his military career, and lives out the official motto of the Marine Corps League, “Once a Marine, always a Marine.” Although his career is now focused on being a comedian and actor, Rob Riggle remains honored to call himself a veteran. His heart and mind are never far from his military comrades, and he continues to support them no matter where he goes.

Tips for Veterans Who Want to Be Franchise Owners

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Veteran Enterpreneurs

Veterans and service members are looking into ownership of franchises like never before.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, roughly a quarter of all veterans are interested in starting their own businesses. Franchises are a very popular route to go for many of them. With the business framework already in place, opening a franchise is an easy way to enter the market.

Franchises are so popular that the International Franchise Association reported that 1 of every 7 franchises in America is owned by a veteran.

The number of veterans owning franchises may be so large because of all the help available to make business ownership possible. There are many tools veterans and their spouses can use to help make the decision to buy one of the numerous franchises.

Also hundreds of companies offer incentives for veterans to become a franchise owner. Here are a few things you need to consider if you are interested in franchises.

Veterans are buying into franchises at a record pace. Here are a few things to consider if you are interested in owning one.

Is buying into a franchise a good decision for my military family?

Many veterans and military spouses dream of owning their own business. “My husband wants to own a small bar when he retires. He has talked about it casually for years. I have always wanted to own a coffee shop. While we both dream of these things, I have to wonder if either of them will ever become a reality.”

Do you dream of owning a business? Would it be one of the thousands of franchises in America?

The first things you need to do when considering opening a business is to decide if owning a franchise is the right thing for you and your family.

Ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. Are you passionate about the industry you are considering?
  2. Is this merely a hobby you enjoy or will you actually like to take this on as a business?
  3. Is there room in the market for this business?
  4. Is this the right time in your life to open a business?

Think about your family’s circumstances, financial stability and viability of franchise ownership. If your family decides that owning one of the franchises available is the right move, then you need to look into how to choose one of the franchises.

How Do I Become a Franchisee?

Start your research with the U.S. Small Business Administration. They have a veterans business outreach center (VBOC) program. They offer services to help veterans with business training, counseling and referrals. This includes workshops on business development for issues such as being self-employed. There are business counselors available to help on a one-on-one instance as well.

The VBOC program also offers a feasibility analysis to help veterans determine if a business will be successful. They will review your business plan in doing so.

There are 8 things to do to own one of the franchises available in the United States. First, decide which type of franchise you would like to own. Next you should look to see what franchises are available in that industry. You will want to take into consideration the requirements to own a particular franchise in that segment. You should also research the market in the place you wish to open your business.

If all looks well, then you can send an inquiry to the franchise. You’ll need to fill out an application for the franchisor. They will want to see if you are a good candidate to own one of their franchises. When you get a reply, if it is positive you will need to think of the next steps. This will start with finances. You need to decide how you will fund purchasing a franchise.

What Incentives are Available to Veterans for Starting a Franchise?

Most businesses require a buy in and you might not have the startup money for it. Luckily, many businesses offer incentives and discounts for veterans to open one of their franchises.

There are 650 franchises listed with the International Franchise Association that offer these incentives and discounts for veterans and their spouses.

The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, VetFran has helped 2,089 veterans become small-business owners with their financial incentives.

Politicians are getting into the spirit of veteran-owned businesses as well. The Veteran Entrepreneurs Act of 2017 was introduced at the beginning of the year. Its purpose is to provide entrepreneurship training to veterans and their spouses. The bill would amend the Small Business Act to include a female veteran’s business training program as well as one for disabled veterans. An outreach center will provide financial assistance including financial management, marketing advice, training and technical help.

Author
Kimber Green
Source: MilitaryShoppers.com

Univision Communications Inc and We Are The Mighty Hit the Dance Floor with First-Ever “Salsa InVETational” for U.S. Military and Hispanic Community

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salsa dancing veterans

SAN ANTONIO – In recognition of National Military Appreciation Month in May, Univision Communications Inc. (UCI), the leading media company serving Hispanic America, and We Are The Mighty (WATM), the leading media brand for the military-veteran community, today announced their collaboration to stage the first-ever Salsa InVETational, a dance competition for active duty service members and military veterans. The day-long event celebrating the spirit of service and Hispanic culture in the military will take place on Saturday, May 12 in San Antonio, Texas at Hangar 9, Brooks Air Force Base from 2 pm-10 pm with Lackland Fisher House benefitting from donations and awareness.

Salsa dance therapy is considered an effective and fun way for veterans to build confidence, engage socially and transition to civilian life in addition to aiding the ongoing treatment of various physical conditions associated with Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).

Service members and veterans will be the main event as they compete alongside their dance partners showcasing their best Latin dance moves for Salsa, Merengue and Bachata, vying for 1st place prize of $1,000 in each category and $500 for 2nd place. Festival activities, food and musical acts Oscar D’Leon, Messiah, Play-N-Skillz, and Fort Sam’s Own are scheduled during this celebration of America’s heroes as part of National Military Appreciation Month, a declaration that encourages U.S. citizens to observe the month in a symbol of unity.

Hispanics have a longstanding tradition of military service to our country. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs 2014 Minority Veterans Report, Hispanics comprise 12.4% of Post-911 veterans with more than one million Latinos currently in uniform.

“UCI is proud to join forces with We Are The Mighty to give back to our military veterans, their families and community,” said Chris Morris, Vice President and General Manager at UCI for San Antonio. “This event celebrates our military’s diverse and inclusive community and embraces the powerful contributions our veterans have made to our nation and beyond.”

“Salsa dancing nights have long been enjoyed by active duty military and veterans alike not only for therapeutic purposes, but as a cultural connection within the military community,” noted David Gale, CEO & Co-Founder, We Are The Mighty. “Salsa is also an opportunity for military and civilians to connect through the joy of dancing. We are grateful to Univision for partnering on this visionary, lifestyle event and are inspired by Lackland Fisher House and the work they do for San Antonio’s veterans and their families.”

Military and ex-military interested in participating with a partner must be at least 21 years of age. The next qualifying round is May 6 at Arjon’s International Club. Registration starts at 8 p.m. and the contest kicks off at 9:30 p.m. Five couples from each category will advance to the finals on May 12. For more information about Salsa InVETational participation requirements and festival information, please visit WeAreTheyMighty.com.

Salsa InVETational will be free to active duty military and veterans with proof of veteran status. Tickets are available for those interested in attending the event and can be purchased at myticketgenius.com.

Sponsors for Salsa InVETational include Cavender Toyota and Cavender Audi.

FedEx announced that Rumi Spice, a veteran-Owned business, is the grand prize winner of its sixth annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

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Rumi Spice

Rumi Spice Wins Grand Prize of $25,000, Plus $7,500 in FedEx Office Services

MEMPHIS, Tenn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–FedEx recently announced  that Rumi Spice – a Chicago-based business that sources and brings to market premier saffron from the fields of Afghanistan – is the grand prize winner of its sixth annual FedEx Small Business Grant Contest. Rumi Spice will receive a $25,000 grant, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office® print and business services to help them continue to grow their business both in the U.S. and internationally.

“We had many qualified entries into the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest this year, but Rumi Spice really embodied what we look for in a grand prize winner,” said Scott Harkins, senior vice president, Customer Channel Marketing at FedEx. “Not only did they see and pursue a viable business opportunity, but they have a demonstrated passion for connecting Afghanistan to the international marketplace. As a global company that connects people and possibilities around the world, FedEx appreciates this and we look forward to helping them take their business to the next level.”

The idea for Rumi Spice was born after co-founders Kimberly Jung, Keith Alaniz and Emily Miller, all former Army officers who served in the military in Afghanistan, connected with international tax attorney Carol Wang of the Afghan Rural Enterprise Development Program. They all saw the need to provide alternatives to opium farming and felt the only way to a sustainable future was through economic empowerment of the Afghan people. Since 2014, when it was founded as part of a startup program at Harvard Business School where Kimberly and Emily were students, the company has been working with rural Afghan farmers to grow and harvest top-quality, sustainably-farmed saffron. More than 1,900 Afghan women then work to hand-process the saffron during the five-week harvest season each year. Finally, the saffron is shipped to Rumi Spice in Chicago where it is packaged and sent to Michelin star restaurants and consumers all over the U.S.

The Rumi team, which aims to bring people together through food, is committed to empowering Afghan women and bolstering the Afghan economy by reinvesting in the local community, ultimately promoting peace and stability in this war-torn country.

“We are very excited to have been named the grand prize winner of the 2018 FedEx Small Business Grant contest,” said Kimberly Jung, CEO of Rumi Spice. “This grant will not only help us improve our supply chain logistics as we transport saffron out of Afghanistan, but it will help build a sustainable future for peace through the economic empowerment of rural farmers across the country.”

In addition to the grand prize, FedEx also awarded Drop Water of Menlo Park, Calif., $15,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office services.

The following eight businesses received $7,500 grants and $1,000 in FedEx Office services, as well:

“It’s an honor to award our print and business services to this year’s FedEx Small Business Grant Contest winners,” said Tracy Brightman, senior vice president of Human Resources and Communications for FedEx Office. “While these entrepreneurs are a driving force in the success of our economy, they’re also giving back to their local communities and we’re proud to fuel their contributions.”

The 2018 contest garnered more than 7,800 entries from candidates across the United States and more than 660,000 votes. Since its launch in 2013, more than 21,000 small businesses have entered the contest in the United States alone. The contest has now grown from one country to eleven countries and the grant pool for the U.S. contest has grown from $50,000 to more than $120,000 in total prizes.

FedEx. Solutions that Matter.® Helping Small Businesses.

The FedEx portfolio of services allows small businesses to gain access to the global marketplace and to shipping, logistics and printing solutions. For more information on how FedEx helps small businesses, please visit the FedEx Small Business Center at fedex.com/smallbusiness.

About FedEx Corp.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) provides customers and businesses worldwide with a broad portfolio of transportation, e-commerce and business services. With annual revenues of $64 billion, the company offers integrated business applications through operating companies competing collectively and managed collaboratively, under the respected FedEx brand. Consistently ranked among the world’s most admired and trusted employers, FedEx inspires its more than 425,000 team members to remain “absolutely, positively” focused on safety, the highest ethical and professional standards and the needs of their customers and communities. To learn more about how FedEx connects people and possibilities around the world, please visit about.fedex.com.

Ready for Take-Off: G-FORCE Launches National Veteran Franchise Initiative

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G-Force

BEDFORD, N.H. G-FORCE™, one of only two Veteran-focused franchise brands and the only one of its kind awarding franchises exclusively to Veterans, is ready for take-off. The New Hampshire-based concept, which provides expert parking lot striping and other pavement marking needs, seeks to provide business ownership opportunities to hundreds of military Veterans across the country with its one-of-a-kind franchise opportunity.

With one location already servicing various parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, G-FORCE™ hopes to open as many as 50 new units over the next 3-5 years. According to founder and CEO Jack Child, the expansion will be accomplished exclusively through franchising and will initially target various cities throughout California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Texas.

“We know the challenges many of our Veterans face when they return to civilian life and, while there are more resources and assistance programs than ever before to help, there’s always more that can and should be done,” said Child. “We want to do our part. We’ve created a one-of-a-kind, low cost franchise business opportunity just for Veterans.”

Child himself is a more than 10-year veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, having spent three years in the enlisted ranks of the U.S. Army and seven years in the U.S. Air Force as an officer and pilot. He also has seven years of experience in the pavement services and franchise industries.

With attention-grabbing, distinctive camouflage trucks and serviceG-Force trailers, state-of-the-art equipment and military-influenced logo and uniforms, G-FORCE™ has built its brand around today’s Veteran.

Founded in 2017, G-FORCE™ prides itself as the go-to resource for all things line striping and pavement marking – New Layout, Re-Stripe, ADA Compliance, Stencil Markings, Warehouse Flooring, Parking Structure Markings, Outdoor Basketball Courts, Athletic Field Markings and more. Other routine maintenance services G-FORCE™ franchisees may offer include: parking lot sign installation, sealcoating, crack sealing, hot and cold asphalt repairs, new paving, power washing and other property services.

“This is a stealth business that few know about, but one where the demand for our services is unquestionable,” said Child. “Look around. Parking lots are everywhere; strip malls, hospitals, office buildings, schools, municipal airports, town streets. They all require proper pavement markings by law. Somebody has to install them and somebody has to re-stripe them numerous times over.”

To augment the company’s growth, G-FORCE™ is seeking military Veterans, including active Guard or Reserve, interested in starting a business built on the values of integrity, reliability, respect, and precision, and one that ensures first class, military-style service. The franchise fee starts at just $5,000 and generally ranges between $7,500 and $15,000 depending upon territory size. The initial investment can start as low as $25,000.

G-Force“Veterans have the best leadership training in the world. In addition to coming from an integrity-focused background, they are mission-oriented and have a call to fulfill a higher purpose – all traits needed to run a successful business,” added Child. ‘With our low investment, G-FORCE™ is a more comfortable approach for Veterans to become entrepreneurs and answer the call.”

To date, G-FORCE™ has secured national corporate sponsorships for its Veteran initiative from GemSeal®, Sherwin-Williams®, Graco Industries® and The Pavement Stencil Company offering incentives such as a free traffic paint starter package and nationwide discount pricing for equipment and paints, over $7,000 in value, to each new G-FORCE™ franchisee.

To learn more on the G-FORCE™ franchise opportunity, please visit gogforce.com/parking-lot-striping-pavement-marking-franchise-opportunity/.

About G-FORCE

Founded in 2017 and franchising since 2018, G-FORCE™ is a franchise built by veterans for veterans that provides expert Parking Lot Striping, Pavement Marking, Sign Installation Services and more. Today, there is one location servicing various parts of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. For more information, visit gogforce.com.

Managing Your Emotions When Your Spouse is Deployed

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Having your spouse deployed can bring up a wide range of emotions, starting from when you first learn about the deployment and continuing until after your spouse has returned home. You may experience fear, anger, loneliness, joy, relief, and anticipation. Follow these tips to help you cope with your spouse’s deployment.

Before the deployment

As departure day nears, some spouses begin to feel:

  • Confused, stressed, resentful, or depressed
  • Detached or withdrawn as their service member invests more time and commitment in the mission
  • Hopeless and impatient
  • Emotionally and physically distant

To help keep things positive and loving with your spouse during the pre-deployment period, it’s important to:

  • Keep the lines of communication open. Talk about your feelings and discuss what you expect from each other during the deployment, including how you’ll communicate.
  • Create opportunities for lasting memories during the separation. Spend time together in a relaxed atmosphere to create memories that will sustain you during the deployment.
  • Get to know other military spouses who are going through the same experience. Get involved with family readiness activities and other unit or installation events.

During the deployment

During the first weeks after your service member leaves, you may feel sad, disoriented, anxious, and angry. However, soon you will experience a growing sense of self-confidence and independence. These suggestions can help you cope:

  • Find things to look forward to. Take a class, volunteer, or start a project you’ve always wanted to do.
  • Reach out to others who are in the same situation. Plan an event with other families who are coping with a deployment, or find a support group through your military community.
  • Don’t try to hide your feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, lonely, or angry when you’ve been separated from your spouse.
  • Concentrate on what you can control, and try to focus on things you can control, like spending time with family and friends or signing up for a class or volunteer opportunity.
  • Learn some stress management techniques that work for you. Try out some different ways to relieve stress, such as an exercise class, a journal of your thoughts and feelings, meditation, or deep breathing.
  • Take care of yourself. Get enough sleep, exercise, eat healthy meals, and drink plenty of water.

Homecoming and the post deployment period

The post deployment period can last from a few weeks to several months. Along with your relief and joy, there may be an adjustment period for you and your spouse. This may be especially difficult if your service member is having difficulty disengaging from combat or is suffering from combat stress.

Focus on the following to reduce stress for you and your family:

  • Maintain a positive, nonjudgmental attitude. The right attitude will help lower stress and frustration when getting back together doesn’t seem to be going the way you expected.
  • Talk openly and honestly about your experiences during the deployment and how you’ve changed. It can help you re-establish a foundation of healthy communication and encourage your service member to trust you with his or her deployment experiences.
  • Try to be patient. It may be some time before you and your spouse feel relaxed and comfortable together.
  • Make plans. Making plans together, whether it’s for a weekend outing or something more elaborate, can help you focus on your life together and help you feel closer.

Asking for help

Speaking with a counselor can help you manage emotions and challenges that come up throughout the deployment cycle. The following services offer free face-to-face confidential non-medical counseling:

  • Military OneSource. In addition to confidential face-to-face counseling, you can meet with a counselor online, by phone, or through secure video connection.
  • The Military and Family Life Counseling program. This service is available through your installation’s Military and Family Support Center.

Source: militaryonesource.mil