Army Sergeant First Class Wade Mitcheltree Receives ELAN-Controlled Custom Smart Home from the Gary Sinise Foundation

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Gary Sinise Foundation

PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, February 6, 2018 — During his second tour in Afghanistan in 2012, U.S. Army SFC Wade Mitcheltree was severely injured by an IED, resulting in the loss of both his legs and his right arm below the elbow. When Gary Sinise Foundation’s R.I.S.E. program (Restoring Independence, Supporting Empowerment) learned of Mitcheltree’s bravery, they awarded him a brand new specially adapted smart-home in Tigard, Oregon, that allows him to independently manage day-to-day tasks with ease.

Randy Reagan of Quadrant Systems, the integration firm that managed the project’ technology integration, knew that an ELAN Entertainment and Control System was the best smart home platform for Mitcheltree and his family. “ELAN is by far the most intuitive control system out there,” Reagan said. “It’s very simple for the homeowner to understand how to use it without having an expert show them. The icons are large, and the lighting controls are laid out on the touch panel the same way they are on the keypads on the wall. It’s perfect for Wade, his wife, and his two sons.”

Reagan built the home’s system around an ELAN gSC10 controller, with an ELAN g1 for secondary control and an ELAN S86A for audio distribution. Multiple ELAN touch panels and remotes were integrated throughout the two-story residence so that the Mitcheltree family can access the platform from any room of the house at any time. With just the tap on a screen, the family can manage the home’s audio, video, lighting, climate and security systems.

“Even if Wade is on the second floor, he can have full control over the whole house using any of the touch panels or his own iPad,” said Reagan. “If someone rings the doorbell, he can easily see and talk to them through the ELAN Intercom, and even unlock the door. We set up ‘away’ and ‘welcome’ scenes on the ELAN system, so that he can easily configure the entire home with just the touch of a button.”

For entertainment, Quadrant Systems also installed a robust multi-Gary Sinise Foundationroom audio system, which includes of SpeakerCraft in-ceiling speakers and Sunfire subwoofers. The entire system is easily controlled through the ELAN platform, so each member of the family can stream any music they choose throughout the whole house or just in one room. This versatility, along with the crystal-clear audio from SpeakerCraft and Sunfire, makes their new home the perfect place to entertain friends and family.

Reagan and his team also installed an impressive security system that Mitcheltree can arm and manage through both a physical keypad and the ELAN platform. It includes a complete and comprehensive DSC system, and is also connected to the motorized locks on the exterior doors. “Through ELAN, Wade and his wife can easily secure their house from their bed or anywhere in the world using their iPads,” said Reagan. “This gives them an incredibly important peace-of-mind and an enhanced sense of security, which is especially important as they have children.”

Judith Otter, Executive Director of the Gary Sinise Foundation, emphasized how important the customized features of the home were to Mitcheltree and his family. “They’ve been through a long and emotional journey working toward Wade’s full recovery, and this home allows them to relax and worry less about daily tasks,” Otter said. “The ELAN system is especially important for Wade, as it allows him nearly complete independence, which otherwise may not have been possible. We’re grateful for the involvement of everyone behind the ELAN brand as we work to continue providing American heroes with a completely customized specially adapted smart home.”

For high-res images of the home, click here. To watch a video of the home dedication, click here.

About ELAN
ELAN, now part of Nortek Security & Control, develops an award-winning line of whole-house entertainment and control solutions distributed through a comprehensive channel of select dealers throughout the United States, Canada, and countries worldwide. The ELAN 8 update was honored with the “2017 Human Interface Product of the Year” award and continues to expand its intuitive functionality. To learn more, visit www.elanhomesystems.com.

About Nortek Security & Control
Nortek Security & Control LLC (NSC) is a global leader in smart connected devices and systems for residential, security, access control, and digital health markets. NSC and its partners have deployed more than 4 million connected systems and over 20 million security and home control sensors and peripherals. Through its family of brands including 2GIG®, ELAN®, GoControl®, Linear®, Mighty Mule® and Numera®, NSC designs solutions for national telecoms, big box retailers, OEM partners, service providers, security dealers and consumers.

Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, NSC is a subsidiary of Melrose Industries PLC, a global investment company specializing in acquisition and performance improvement. With over 50 years of innovation, NSC is dedicated to addressing the lifestyle and business needs of millions of customers every day. For further information, visit nortekcontrol.com.

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‘Therapy on ice’ helps vets heal, give back to community

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By Gary Sheftick

The buzz of the crowd had Sgt. 1st Class Michael Vaccaro on edge. Then a loud bang made him look around nervously.

He knew the noise came from a Zamboni machine, yet its exhaust made him think of the aftermath of a roadside bomb.

All his stress melted away immediately, however, as soon as he stepped out onto the ice.

“When I’m on the ice, no matter what happened before, everything dissipates,” he said. “It’s like a fresh start.”

Vaccaro is one of the co-founders of the Capital Beltway Warriors, a hockey team of veterans with disabilities founded two years ago.

Veterans on the team open up to each other and talk about how they cope with injuries, stress and other issues, said retired Maj. David Dixon, another co-founder of the team.

“It’s like a giant support group,” he said, “or therapy on ice, as we like to call it.”

Many of the players have some level of post-traumatic stress disorder from service in Iraq, Afghanistan or other hot spots, Dixon said. He personally survived four deployments to Iraq, where he was shot in the back and shaken up by three different improvised explosive devices.

GIVING BACK

Dixon and a number of the other veterans also coach youth hockey teams and a few of them help with a local blind hockey team, the Washington Wheelers.

“Giving back to the community often gives them a sense of purpose,” Dixon said of the veterans, adding that it helps minimize depression and PTSD.

Dixon puts in more than 20 volunteer hours a week managing the Capital Beltway Warriors as president and executive director of the team. He helps solicit sponsors, run meetings, apply for grants, recruit players and schedule games.

His time on the ice as a player-coach is extra.

“In a sick kind of way, I enjoy all the hard work,” he said. “You go from commanding troops to working in a cubicle,” he said about retiring from the Army and beginning a civilian job.

He explained that managing the hockey team gives him a renewed sense of purpose.

“You find that niche in life that gives you purpose and whether it has a monetary award or not, that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said.

He helps make the games special for the warriors with lights, music, an announcer and filling the stands with veterans. Local chapters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion in northern Virginia help bring veterans from retirement homes to the games, Dixon said.

Vaccaro also spends several hours per week helping the Capital Beltway Warriors and other veteran hockey teams. He spends a week every year helping run the USA Hockey camp in Buffalo, New York, where they select the national sled hockey team.

He serves as a referee for blind hockey and sled hockey. He helps stand up other Warrior division hockey teams. In November, he spent a few days in Philadelphia helping the Flyers start a warrior team.

“This is my therapy,” he said of the volunteer work. “This is what keeps me going.”

SPREADING THE WORD

Just over two years ago, Vaccaro met up with Dixon who was interested in starting a Warrior hockey team in Virginia.

They met in the Pentagon food court in December 2016. “We sat down and started sketching stuff out on napkins,” Dixon said.

They laid out plans for a team that would play in rinks across Northern Virginia and Southern Maryland.

They found players by word of mouth. They showed up at “stick and shoot” sessions and asked if anyone was a military veteran with a disability rating.

Now they have 76 veterans with disabilities on the team and they play other warrior clubs. A game in Ashburn Dec. 22 pitted the USA Warriors from Maryland against the Capital Beltway Warriors. The teams also play in annual tournaments.

There are now 16 warrior teams across the United States. The minimum requirement to play on one of the teams is a 10 percent VA disability. Some of the players are 100 percent disabled and play with prosthetics.

Some of the veterans, like Vaccaro, have been playing hockey since they were 3 years old. Dixon, however, did not pick up the sport until he was 40.

RAMADI RPG

In 2006 and 2007, Vaccaro was an advisor to an Iraqi Army unit in Ramadi. He and two Marines were on patrol when they were pinned down by machine-gun fire. Then an insurgent fired a rocket-propelled grenade.

“It hit the wall in front of me and knocked me back. Next thing I remember, I heard this really loud ringing in my ears and there was a Marine dragging me back into the courtyard. They were calling for air support.

“We finished the patrol,” Vaccaro said, explaining aerial medical evacuation was not available. A doctor patched him up, and a couple of days later, he was back out on patrol.

After his tour in Iraq, he came back to Virginia, where he had been a reservist with the 80th Training Division. But he had PTSD issues. He decided to go to Liberia in western Africa as a contractor to help put about 2,000 Liberian soldiers through basic training.

“I thought that would help, but I just ended up coming back with the same issues,” he said. “That’s another thing: You can’t hide from this.

“Everybody handles PTSD in a different way. I tried the group therapy stuff and it just didn’t work.”

He received treatment and medication from Veterans Affairs, but the issues persisted. When he smelled fresh bread, for instance, it reminded him of the flatbread Iraqi soldiers baked every morning.

“That’s a good smell,” he said. But then his mind would continue to remember until he imagined the smell of an IED.

“You’ve got to face your fears. You’ve got to face your issues,” he said. “I was trying to hide from it and hockey has helped me open up and talk about it.”

About 10 years ago, he became involved in the first-of-its-kind USA Warrior hockey team stood up by a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland.

“When I’m on the ice, things slow down; things are different,” Vaccaro said.

Both he and his family noticed the difference in him after playing hockey.

“It really helped me,” he said. “The first thing I said to myself when I started realizing that is, ‘I’ve got to get other veterans involved in this.'”

So he became the national representative for USA Hockey in its Warrior division to help stand up teams. He does that in his spare time when he is not working as a civilian employee for the Army Corps of Engineers or on duty as an Army Reserve NCO.

Continue onto Army News to read the complete article.

World War II veteran gets 50,000 birthday cards after daughter’s plea

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Duane Sherman-Purple Heart Recipient

A 96-year-old World War II veteran from California will be spending plenty of time with family going through a mountain of birthday cards, after a request from his daughter on Facebook went viral.

Sue Morse had put out a request for friends to send birthday wishes to her father and Purple Heart medal recipient Duane Sherman, expecting she would get maybe 160 cards.

Instead, he received over 50,000.

“I was amazed, shocked and appreciative,” Sherman told the Orange County Register. “All the good comments people made, it just brightened my day.

Sherman’s wife of 57 years, Lois, died in 2011. His daughter told the Register the only mail her dad receives most days are just bills, and he’s outlived most of his friends.

“I wanted to him to feel special on his birthday,” Morse said.

Sherman enlisted in the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. He was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Lamson, a destroyer that saw several battles in the Pacific.

Continue on to Fox News to read the complete article.

Recruiting Veterans Can Improve Your Company’s Bottom Line—Here’s how to do it

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Veteran employee talikn with hiring manager

What are your company’s biggest goals right now—building out a core product, improving customer service, growing your client base? When looking at employers’ top priorities, it’s rare to find hiring more veterans among them.

But when you hear what National Director of Military Affairs at Power Home Remodeling Mike Hansen has to say, you just might change your mind.

After a decorated military career, Hansen at first struggled to find a civilian position in the midst of the Great Recession. But after coming across a sales opportunity at Power Home Remodeling, he quickly found his footing. Within 12 months, he had closed a million dollars in deals. And Hansen wasn’t alone—he found that other employees who had served in the military were, on average, significantly outperforming the general population.

This discovery prompted Hansen to reach out to leadership all the way up to the co-CEO, Asher Raphael, to lobby for a veteran hiring program. Fast-forward five years later, and running the program became his full-time job when it launched in the spring of 2016. But make no mistake—Hansen doesn’t see his job as an act of corporate charity.

“When you go back to aligning the program with business objectives, you create a department that not only pays for itself, but pays for itself times ten,” Hansen said.

Glassdoor’s Emily Moore caught up with Hansen to learn more about his unique military affairs program, advice for companies hoping to hire veterans and vision for the future of the company—here’s what he had to say.

Glassdoor: How did the opportunity with Power Home Remodeling come about?

Mike Hansen: It actually kind of fell in my lap. One of the Marines I served with a few years before I joined Power started working in our Philadelphia branch, so he referred me to the local one outside of DC. I figured I’d go in for the interview and see where it went. I had no intention of working in this industry—I never thought I would be with a company like this given what I wanted to do. I was completely clueless, but ended up finding success rather quickly within the organization.

Glassdoor: What made you start thinking about recruiting more veterans to Power Home Remodeling?

Hansen: I met a couple other vets across the business that were doing pretty well, and we found that most of us were doing not just well, but disproportionately well. I wrote a couple of white papers to the chain of command saying, “Hey, we should have a more defined military initiative.” Then in 2015, our organization won Fortune Magazine’s number one place to work for Millennials and camaraderie—that was a real jump-off point. At that point, I got to meet with our co-CEO Asher Raphael and found that he wanted to do a military program and just didn’t know how. We felt that on the heels of that award, it was a really good time to launch this initiative. We set up a military affairs council, and we put together some ideas and thoughts of what we could do and what our objectives would be, and we just started iterating from there. Very quickly after that, we realized that someone would have to manage this full-time, and that’s when our co-CEO Asher asked me to move up to the headquarters and build the program.

Glassdoor: You mentioned that you noticed veterans were not only successful at Power Home Remodeling, but disproportionately successful. Can you talk a little bit more about why that might be?

Hansen: A lot of companies are afraid to hire vets because of PTSD or other perceived issues that come from being in the military. But everybody who is hired, whether they’re right out of college or a 40-year executive, comes with baggage. The difference is the military population has a natural leadership background, a strong work ethic and an understanding of how to operate in chaos that most non-veterans can’t really relate to. The culture is very mission-driven in the military, and that can be applied to any work environment. The second that an organization is able to vocalize their mission, that military drive kicks in and veterans just naturally work towards the objective.

Glassdoor: How did Power’s veteran hiring program start, and how has it changed and grown along the way?

Hansen: We started out thinking we were just going to offer a bonus and do some military-focused hiring. The more we dove in, we saw how our program aligned with the business objectives, and we started iterating and kept evolving our processes. One of the things that’s so unique is we’re able to tie the metrics of our initiative to the actual business growth, which then creates a positive feedback loop. Now, we want to double-down on some of our investments. A big goal for me is leadership development, because it’s one thing to build this program and to successfully identify, attract and onboard new talent, but when we have more veterans in Director, VP or Senior Vice President roles, military talent and leadership becomes part of the genetic makeup of the organization. That creates that positive feedback loop that just runs itself.

We actually have this joke in the business, even our co-CEO got me a T-shirt at our company party in Mexico last year that said, “Get Hansen Fired.” The idea is that my job is complete when I’m no longer needed. We’re trying to continue to build this cycle of leadership development so that more of that group will continue to take the business into the future without needing a dedicated department.

Glassdoor: A lot of companies want to hire veterans, but have no idea where to start. What advice would you offer to them?

Hansen: Number one, I think every company that’s bigger than a hundred people has probably got a veteran or two working there, and a lot of times they just don’t know. I think the first step is looking internally at your own veteran population, and getting together to understand their stories. What you’ll find is usually that some of those military veterans and spouses will already be performing above average. Then you can tie that back to where the business is going and which objectives you’re trying to solve for.

I think that’s what is intrinsically unique about our philosophy—it was never just about hiring. It was about solving business objectives. One of those objectives was investing in human capital and making sure we had the right people and the leadership development we needed to grow and scale the organization. We were able to very quickly identify that some of the gaps in our organization could be filled by a military affairs program. We come at it from a different angle, whereas most organizations view it just in terms of hiring or as a philanthropic endeavor.

Glassdoor: Are there any benefits or perks that companies should offer to help entice candidates to work there?

Hansen: We offer a $3,000 sign-up bonus for vets and spouses, but I’m not necessarily advocating that everybody do that—it just aligns with our business model because that’s the way we’ve built the program. I think the best things you can offer veterans are a sense of purpose, tying what they do back to how it’s making an impact in the lives of the people or the customers that they serve, and a sense of community. In the military, your sense of identity, purpose and community are all so defined by your environment. When you leave the military, you lose those things almost immediately. Companies that can create that sense of purpose and community naturally for their employees help them shape and evolve their new identity.

Glassdoor: Beyond creating a veteran hiring program, what can employers do to sustain it long-term?

Hansen: There are so many different versions of military hiring programs at different companies. What I like to know is, what was the foundation or the philosophy that spurred them to start that program? When you look five years down the road, the programs that were founded on philanthropy alone tend to fizzle out, or their impact wasn’t very measurable on the company. When you go back to aligning the program with business objectives, you create a department that not only pays for itself, but pays for itself times ten and helps create new opportunities across the business.

Source: Glassdoor.com

DynCorp International Awarded Rotary Wing Services Contract at Joint Base Andrews

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DynCorp awarded contract

On December 27, 2018, the 11th Contracting Squadron at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland awarded DynCorp International (DI) a contract for rotary wing aircraft maintenance. The competitively-awarded, firm-fixed-price contract has a base year plus four option years, valued at $75 million if all options are exercised. The period of performance is May 1, 2019 through June 30, 2024.

DI will provide services at Joint Base Andrews to support all management, personnel, equipment and services necessary to perform 811th Operations Group rotary wing flight line maintenance.

“We are honored to have once again earned the trust and confidence of the United States Air Force for this exceptionally important mission,” said Joe Ford, DynAviation president. “We have a rich history at Andrews and look forward to continuing our legacy of superior service on this contract.”

“We are extremely pleased to be able to continue our over 18 years of support on this very important mission,” said Jeff Dickman, senior director, DI Capture Management. “We look forward to meeting our customer’s requirements each day on this no fail mission.”

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.

DynCorp International Awarded United States Coast Guard Contract

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DynCorp awarded contract

On December 20, 2018, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Aviation Logistics Center (ALC), Long Range Surveillance Product Line Division, awarded DynCorp International (DI) the Progressive Structural Inspection (PSI) and Depot Level Maintenance (DLM) contract for C-130H and C-130J aircraft.

Located at the Aviation Logistics Center at USCG Base Elizabeth City in North Carolina, the total value of this contract is $51.4 million and consists of one base year and four option years.

“We are pleased to be named a critical new partner with the Coast Guard’s ALC Depot Team at Elizabeth City. They are entrusting us with the C-130H/J depot operation of aircraft tasked with unbelievably tough missions in very challenging environments and we are eager to demonstrate our commitment to getting that mission done, every day,” said Joe Ford, president of DynAviation.

The C-130H and C-130J aircraft are the USCG’s LRS aircraft providing critical Search and Rescue, Law Enforcement, Logistics, and Marine Environmental Protection response to the United States of America. Inspection of the C-130 series aircraft will be made to ensure airworthiness through detailed non-destructive inspection procedures. These inspections ensure compliance with Aircraft Structural Integrity Program (ASIP) requirements. Due to the corrosive environment in which USCG aircraft operate, inspections are required to be performed on each USCG C-130 every 48 months.

“This award illustrates that the excellence, innovation, and dedication of DI employees is not lost on other customers around the globe. As a new partner, we look forward to being a part of U.S. Coast Guard’s mantra of ‘Semper Paratus’ or ‘Always Ready.’ This opportunity grows DI’s C-130 portfolio, adds to our depot-level maintenance capability, and continues our role in improving the readiness of our Nation’s key, no-fail mission aviation assets,” said Bill Tart, senior director, DI Business Development.

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.

Don’t miss SGT. Will Gardner, the movie, coming to select theaters and On Demand, January 11!

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SGT. Will Gardner tells the story of Iraq War veteran Will Gardner (Max Martini) who is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) he sustained with his platoon while in combat.

His injuries make it difficult for him to reintegrate into society. After a series of setbacks, he embarks on a spirited motorcycle journey across America with the goal of reuniting with his son.

Along his journey, he tries to pick up the pieces of the life he’s lost since returning from combat. His PTSD causes frequent flashbacks to the Iraq War which he survives by having frequent conversations with Sam (Omari Hardwick), his best friend and war buddy.

SGT. WILL GARDNER will be released in select theaters, VOD, and Digital on January 11, 2019 from Cinedigm.

 
 

Director: Max Martini
Writer: Max Martini
Stars: Max Martini, Omari Hardwick, Gary Sinise. See complete cast list

WATCH THE TRAILER!

Facebook: @sgtwillgardnerthemovie
Twitter: @SgtWillGardner

Easterseals serves 20,000 vets and their families in 2018

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Angela Williams-Easterseals

In 2018, nearly 20,000 veterans and military family members received support through Easterseals through an extensive list of programs, including; advocacy and education and employment programs and job training.

Other programs include; military and veterans’ caregiver services, veteran community services and support and health and wellness programs. The organization is led by President and CEO Angela Williams, a retired United States Air Force officer, serving in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. The iconic nonprofit kicks off its 100th anniversary celebration, furthering its mission of supporting the disabled and their families. Over the past century, Easterseals has provided a multitude of disability services to more than 1.5 million people, helping to meet individual and family needs.

Easterseals Military & Veterans Services
Our mission is to ensure that it’s possible for veterans and military families to live their lives to the fullest in every community. We work to break down barriers, engage organizations and communities, and connect veterans and military families with what they need for meaningful employment, education and overall wellness. Our grassroots outreach – through 71 local affiliates in communities nationwide– provide unmatched, accessible, and indispensable resources and support for veterans and military families.

Grassroots Solutions through Easterseals
The needs of veterans and military families are evolving, not disappearing. That’s why Easterseals specializes in identifying the needs of veterans and military families, particularly with employment, job training and support like family respite opportunities. We work to make solutions easily accessible in communities.

Learn More about Easterseals Military and Veterans Services

Discover how we’ve been successful so far in our mission.

Our work in action

  • Advocacy & Education
    Veterans and military families deserve services delivered in an appropriate, timely, and accessible manner. Our Washington, DC-based government relations team works to influence federal and state legislation affecting veterans and military families and actively engages with Congressional staff in pursuit of these goals.
  • Employment Programs and Job Training
    Our employment programs provide the necessary tools to achieve and maintain meaningful employment and a steady income. We offer skills training, job search assistance, employment preparation and guidance. For example, we partner with the Direct Employers Association, which has a membership of about 800 employers who want to hire veterans and people with disabilities. Through this partnership, Easterseals is offering a job search portal at easterseals.jobs, which features job postings from these employers.
  • Military and Veterans Caregiver Services 
    We strive to ensure military caregivers can access what they need to take on the enormous responsibility of caregiving—often, while still needing to work, navigate family life and take care of themselves. We embrace and support military caregivers, particularly as they transition into this new experience, life-long trajectory and unfamiliar — yet vital role — within their families and communities.
  • Veteran Community Services & Support 
    Veterans come home to their families and communities, so serving them must be a community undertaking. That’s why, across the country, we are delivering services that veterans and military families need to live productive, successful lives.
  • Health and Wellness Programs
    We aim to reach as many veterans and military families as possible to provide health resources and programs, including adult dayand medical rehabilitation services.

Additional resources

What are many veterans asking themselves these days? “What to wear?!”  As military members return to civilian life and face the job search, figuring out the right suit to wear to an interview can be the biggest challenge, while the job responsibilities are a breeze. Watch the video below to see why, and help spread the message that veterans are highly skilled and valuable employees. See all three of our military themed public service videos. 

In November 2015, Easterseals hosted Heroes Work Here, an event to educate corporate leaders on hiring and retaining veterans. With friends and partners, we gathered important advice about how to hire America’s best and brightest. Find tips on why and how to hire veterans here!
Watch Travis Mills explain how you can hire veterans with Easterseals’ help right now.

Veteran and Dancing with the Stars winner JR Martinez and veteran and author Travis Mills play word association with Easterseals, our veteran edition!

Hampton Rose: The unbroken lens of a filmmaker

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Hampton Rose with his camer

Hampton Rose is a father of 7 who battles PTSD and was in two missions. He dreams of being a filmmaker to help other vets.

It’s 4 a.m. and instead of getting those precious hours of sleep – he’s doing homework. This moment of quiet gives him an opportunity to steal a few moments and get through his class assignments while the children sleep.

“Oh, yeah! I have seven kids and insomnia,” says the 46-year-old Hampton Rose who is about to graduate as he reflects on the constant juggle of a full course load in psychology, raising kids and completing homework before sunrise.

He’s straight to the point on his sleep disorder and the likely cause – a personal struggle with PTSD.

“I think more people should talk about it,” says Rose.

Rose is a military vet who served for 17 years and held several assignments including communications specialist. But, he switched jobs during his tenure and served as an Army medic, providing care in the toughest zones within Afghanistan and Iraq.

“I was called Doc, it was a sign of respect,” says Hampton about the nickname he earned within his unit. “I was a Charlie company senior medic. And as a medic you’re supposed to take care of the troops’ medical support, but what they don’t tell you is that you’re like their everything. Their doctor, their therapist, priest, big brother, and sometimes best friend, which is why I believe as medics, we suffer more because when a troop goes down, it’s not only a patient. Now, you’re looking at it with all eyes. And that’s the worst part, who wants to see all that in one person?”

In 2007, his career is nearly ended after a tumor was found inside his hip. For three months he spent time confined to a hospital and unable to walk.  “I couldn’t deploy and it was tough not being there for my fellow troops,” he said about his recovery period.

After Rose was cleared of the tumor, he rejoined his teammates and later deployed as part of a rapidHampton Rose response unit. However, in 2012, after serving for nearly two decades, his teenaged daughter Alexa asked him to stay and not leave home anymore – something that hit him harder than the tumor.

He decided to end his military career and one year later enrolled at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He selected to study psychology, because he desired to discover more about himself as he endures PTSD.

“The classroom and learning has been therapy,” he says. “And I wanted to know the ‘why’ of why I have twitches. I wanted to know my triggers.”

Rose suffers from severe social anxiety disorder too. Sometimes he gets gripped by fear to the point he cannot take a step.  A five-minute walking trajectory to the campus library can sometimes end up taking him 20 minutes.

“I even suffered panic attacks in class, it was horrible,” Rose said. “You think everyone is watching you. It’s beyond paranoia. But you have to remind yourself that you have to be patient, breathe and take your time, take your time.”

But there is a significant change for Rose, last year during a video class project, he was asked to produce a short film on any topic. Naturally, his work centered on the alienation he feels as a veteran and the difficulties he faces to reintegrate back to civilian life including attending school. The one assignment has resulted in three short films.

After graduation he plans to make it a go and launch a production company called “Nushottas,” borrowing from the street slang “shotta” for gangster, but also a nod to the transformation of the camera as his new weapon.

“Maybe I can help vets express themselves artistically and help others see the world the way I see it. I’m not broken, I just see it a little differently.”

After five years, Rose will now walk the commencement stage in December with dreams of meeting Spike Lee.

Author
Milady Nazir
The University of Texas San Antonio

Donation from Shoen Family of U-Haul to Restore a Pearl Harbor Icon

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HONOLULU and PHOENIX (Dec. 10, 2018) — The Ford Island Control Tower, the historic structure that witnessed and withstood the attack on Pearl Harbor 77 years ago, will soon be fully restored with a new working elevator thanks to a generous gift from the Shoen family of U-Haul International.

The announcement came Saturday evening at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum during the annual gala commemorating the events of Dec. 7, 1941 and the heroism of our WWII veterans.

Watch U-Haul Chairman Joe Shoen’s video to Pearl Harbor and WWII veterans: uhaul.com/about/veterans.

Repairs on the tower began in 2010, necessitated by decades of weather-related deterioration. This gift will allow the public to visit the tower’s upper deck, providing a 360-degree view of America’s first aviation WWII battlefield.

Pearl Harbor attracts about 2 million visitors each year.

U-Haul, founded by a U.S. Navy veteran and his wife as WWII was nearing an end in 1945, has been recognized repeatedly as a leading veteran-friendly employer. U-Haul proudly served as the Presenting Veterans Sponsor at the Pearl Harbor Day 75th anniversary opening gala in 2016.

“The Ford Island Control Tower remains an iconic symbol of Pearl Harbor’s resolve and the brave veterans who served there, many whom gave their lives defending our freedom,” stated U-Haul Chairman Joe Shoen, son of company founders L.S. Shoen and Anna Mary Carty Shoen.

“U-Haul honors our veterans and active military members for their service and sacrifice. One way we can do this is by helping to preserve a piece of American WWII history for present and future generations to appreciate.”

Elissa Lines, executive director of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum noted the restoration efforts on the tower will now be completed before September 2020, when the global commemoration of the 75th anniversary of WWII’s conclusion will take place.

“This will be a day that we have all been dreaming about for many years,” Lines said.

The Ford Island Control Tower was a new building when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, and was not painted until 1942. Today, the brightly striped structure is centrally located on the base, offering scenic views of the ships and memorials in the neighboring harbor.

Among those memorials is the U.S.S. Arizona, which holds special significance to         U-Haul and more than 3,800 of its 30,000-plus Team Members. The industry leader in do-it-yourself moving and self-storage has been headquartered in Phoenix since 1967.

“The restoration of the Ford Island Control Tower will greatly contribute to honoring the memory of those lost at Pearl Harbor and serve as a symbol of America’s resiliency and resolve,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “I thank the Shoen family for their commitment to preserving this important icon of history and their dedication to honoring America’s veterans.”

About the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum

Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to steward America’s first aviation battlefield of World War II sharing the artifacts, personal stories, the impact and response to the December 7, 1941 attack and the pacific region battles that followed, honoring those who have defended our freedom so they might educate and inspire future generations. Contact: 808-441-1000; Marketing@PearlHarborAviationMuseum.org

About U-Haul of Hawaii, Inc.

U-Haul of Hawaii, Inc. has been in operation since 1984, when its first Honolulu store opened. Today, U-Haul serves the Aloha State with company-owned facilities on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island, as well as 22 U-Haul neighborhood dealers across 16 cities. U-Haul soon plans to open a second store on the Big Island in Hilo, complementing its 2014 store acquisition in Kailua-Kona. U-Haul offers moving solutions, including U-Box portable storage containers, for families relocating between the islands or the mainland. Reach U-Haul of Hawaii president Kaleo Alau at 808-836-0970.

About U-Haul

Since 1945, U-Haul has been the No. 1 choice of do-it-yourself movers, with a network of more than 21,000 locations across all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces. U-Haul Truck Share 24/7 now offers customers access to U-Haul trucks every hour of every day through the self-service options on their internet-connected mobile devices. U-Haul customers’ patronage has enabled the U-Haul fleet to grow to 161,000 trucks, 118,000 trailers and 42,000 towing devices. U-Haul offers nearly 632,000 rooms and 55.2 million square feet of self-storage space at owned and managed facilities throughout North America. U-Haul is the largest installer of permanent trailer hitches in the automotive aftermarket industry and is the largest retailer of propane in the U.S. uhaul.com

Bringing Virtual Reality and 3D Technology To Real Estate

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Dustin Gardner, the founder of Reality Capture Experts, was the fourth generation in his family to join the military but joining up had not really been on his radar until a school friend asked him if he wanted to go to the Army recruiter’s office. 90 days later he was at a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS). He became an MP (Military Police), transitioning into a SWAT officer role (referred to as Special Reaction Team) and spent time near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in South Korea, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and was stationed near the Pentagon in Virginia. Eventually being away from his newborn son took its toll and he decided it was time to transition out.

Following his time in the military, Dustin was a corporate executive at Chase Bank where he managed a team of mortgage officers. Then came the crash of 2008 and Dustin felt it was time to reinvent himself. He created Columbus Car Connection with a colleague, exporting Lexus products to clients in Dubai, but this was not financially stable enough for two partners so he went back into banking out of necessity. He eventually found himself at a crossroad where life was less about money, and more about fulfillment – owning a business and doing something fun.

USING 3D TECHNOLOGY IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY

Reality Capture Experts started in late 2016 as a result of a conversation Dustin had with a high school friend living in Silicon Valley who introduced him to Matterport 3D  technology. Before that, he hadn’t seen or heard of this specific 3D technology before but once Dustin was introduced to the technology he could instantly see the practical application of this tech to help business owners (of any size) showcase their physical space.

Having spent 12 years in the mortgage industry, residential real estate was an industry Dustin knew well. Knowing how realtors think, gave him an understanding of their need to be thrifty and corresponding unwillingness to spend money on marketing. According to Dustin, “the top 20% of realtors make 80% of the money since these folks are willing to spend dollars on marketing.”

“What Reality Capture Experts does well is help create an emotional connection with a customer or prospect viewing a business owner’s space in 3D virtual reality. Our digital marketing is immersive, interactive and emerging.” The term in the industry for this is “virtual storytelling” – telling the story of what’s inside that building you drive by every day, but have never ventured into. The goal of using this virtual storytelling is to help their clients “crush it on SEO.”As Dustin says, “our product catapults them on [search engines] to help them get found faster on Google.”

Read the complete article On Bunker Labs.