Seal Beach, CA native honors Former President, Sailor George H.W. Bush with day-long Gun Salute

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Gun Salute honors George H.W. Bush

WASHINGTON (NNS) — A detail from the Navy Ceremonial Guard performed a Gun Salute in honor of former President George H.W. Bush along the waterfront at the Washington Navy Yard.

The first round was fired immediately following Morning Colors at 0800 on Wednesday, echoing along the shores of the Anacostia River. Following that, a round was fired every 30 minutes until Evening Colors at 1646. The last round was fired at 1630 for a total of 18 rounds.

The gun salute was one of the first military honors visible to the public in Washington D.C. for former President Bush, a decorated Navy pilot during WW II who passed away Nov. 30 at his Houston, Texas home at the age of 94.

Established in 1931, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official ceremonial unit of the Navy. Located at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC, the Navy Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the service in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and public ceremonies in and around the nation’s capital.

Members of the detail who honored former President Bush were led by Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Senior Chief Shaven Savoy of Crowley, La., who is in the far right of the group photo. Other detail members (from left to right) are Master-at-Arms Seaman Jasmine Abbott of Blountstown, Fla., Master-at-Arms Seaman Charles Weissneburger, of Nerk, Ohio, Aviation Technician Airman Cameron Childs of Inver Grove Heights Minn., Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Fuels) Third Class Michael Vaughan of Williamsburg, Virginia., Aviation Electrician’s Mate Bishop Tucker of San Antonio, Texas, Seaman Alyssa Keller of Renton, Wash., and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Aircraft Handler) Ryan Eades of Seal Beach, Calif.

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach

Online Recruitment Platform to Connect Workers with Disabilities to Rewarding Careers

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The ISABLED Virtual Career Fair platform makes it easier to connect recruiters from leading companies and high-impact professionals with disabilities. There are currently more jobs in the U.S than available workers to fill them, and companies are forced to explore more options to find talent to hire to help them grow their business.

Workers with different abilities (often referred to as workers with disabilities) are just one example of highly-skilled, but untapped segments of the population that more and more leading companies are seeking to recruit.

ISABLED, an online recruiting platform connects workers that identify as having a disability, with recruiters from leading companies who value inclusion and diversity in their workforce. The ISABLED platform allows job seekers and recruiters to connect and chat in real-time, from anywhere, and from the comfort and convenience of their home or office.

” The ISABLED Virtual Career Fairs are a fun and easy way to connect recruiters and job seekers with disabilities. Instead of asking both sides to attend a job fair at a physical location, we bring the career fair to them. The ISABLED platform allows our employer partners to recruit nationwide in just a few hours, and job seekers have instant access to the very recruiters who are seeking to fill the open positions” Stated Kevin O’Brien, Managing Partner, ISABLED.

The ISABLED website will include content to connect workers with disabilities to job opportunities from a wide range of companies and industries. The website will include a job board and a virtual career fair platform. ISABLED will host 4 virtual career fairs each year, and companies can host standalone virtual career fairs for their company as often as they like.

The first ISABLED virtual career fair is set for July 25, 2019, and open now for registration.

About ISABLED:

ISABLED, a division of Astound Virtual has a laser-focus on connecting industry-leading companies with workers people with disabilities who seek employment. Through the ISABLED Recruitment Center (IRC), job seekers and recruiters meet and interact, in real-time, but from the comfort and convenience of their home or office.

Top Organizations to Receive Diversity and Inclusion Honors Award At Annual Conference

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The Association of ERGs & Councils (a practice group of PRISM International, Inc.) released their annual list of the Top 25 US Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Business Resource Groups (BRGs) and Diversity Councils set to receive the tenth annual 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ at an award ceremony during the 2019 ERG & Council Conference in Orlando May 3rd.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ is the only annual national award that recognizes and honors the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. It was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm PRISM International, Inc.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients are a diverse combination of US organizations representing most sectors, geographies and sizes. “This year we had a diverse pool of highly qualified applications representing 1,079 ERGs, BRGs, Diversity Councils and their chapters,” states Fernando Serpa, Executive Director of the Association of ERGs & Councils. “We also had several non-Top 25 groups demonstrate best practices and results that deserve to be recognized and they will be receiving the Spotlight Impact Award™ that highlights the achievements of these select groups in the categories of Organizational Impact, Talent Management and Culture of Inclusion.”

This year, for the first time, the Association of ERGs and Councils will bestow the honor of Top Executive Sponsor of the Year. “We wanted to recognize and call out the important role executive sponsors play in developing, supporting and enabling their ERGs and Councils to succeed,” Serpa said.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ Top 25 recipient rankings will be revealed at the May 3 award ceremony at the Disney Yacht & Beach Club Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Award Ceremony and Conference is open to all diversity and inclusion professionals involved with ERGs, BRGs and Councils.  This is a great opportunity for individuals to learn and share best practices, network, grow and celebrate, to become inspired and be renewed…all for the purpose of increasing their impact on key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting ErgCouncilConference.com.

The 2019 ERG & Council Honors Award™ recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • American Airlines – American Airlines Diversity Advisory Council
  • Atrium Health – Atrium Health Divisional Diversity Councils
  • Bank of America – Military Support & Assistance Group ( MSAG)
  • Cleveland Clinic – ClinicPride Employee Resource Group (ClinicPride ERG)
  • Cleveland Clinic – Military/Veterans Employee Resource Group
  • Cleveland Clinic – SALUD
  • Davenport University – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council
  • Entergy Corporation – Entergy Employee Resource Group
  • Erie Insurance – Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council
  • Froedtert Health – Froedtert Health Diversity Council
  • General Motors – General Motors Employee Resource Group Council
  • KeyBank – Key Business Impact and Networking Groups
  • Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals – Mallinckrodt Inclusion & Diversity Council
  • Mount Sinai Queens, part of the Mount Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai Queens Diversity Council
  • Mount Sinai St. Luke’s, part of the Mount Sinai Health System – Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Diversity Council
  • National Guard – Joint Diversity Executive Council
  • Northern Trust Corporation – Advancing Professionals Resource Council (APRC)
  • Northern Trust Corporation – Women In Leadership Business Resource Council (WIL BRC)
  • Northwestern Mutual – Asian ERG
  • Northwestern Mutual – Northwestern Mutual Women’s Employee Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Asian Business Resource Group
  • PNC Financial Services Group – Corporate Diversity Council
  • State Street Corporation – Professional Women’s Network – Massachusetts Chapter (PWN-MA)
  • Texas Instruments – Texas Instruments Diversity Network (TIDN)
  • Turner, Inc. – Turner Business Resource Groups
  • U.S. Bank – Spectrum LGBTQ Business Resource Group
  • U.S. Bank – U.S. Bank Proud to Serve

The 2019 Spotlight Impact Award™ recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • Dominion Energy – Dominion Energy Executive Diversity Council (EDC)
  • FedEx Services – Diversity and Inclusion BRT Council
  • Food Lion – Diversity and Inclusion
  • MUFG Union Bank, N.A. – Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)
  • Summa Health – Diversity and Advisory Council

The 2019 Executive Sponsor of the Year recipients in alphabetical order:

  • FedEx Services Diversity and Inclusion BRT Council – Rebecca Huling
  • Perdue Farms Inclusion Council – Randy Day
  • Southern California Edison Company (SCE) Women’s Roundtable (WR) – Maria Rigatti
  • U.S. Bank Proud to Serve – Mike Ott

About the ERG & Council Honors Award™
The ERG & Council Honors Award™ is the only annual national award that recognizes, honors and celebrates the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils that lead the diversity and inclusion process in their organizations and demonstrate results in their workforce, workplace and marketplace. Learn more by visiting ERG & Council Honors Award™.

About the ERG & Council Conference™
ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results. However, to remain impactful and effective, they need opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge and to learn and share best practices. They need opportunities to network, celebrate and grow. This is the purpose of the only annual conference designed specifically for ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting ERGCouncilConference.com.

About the Association of ERGs & Councils
The Association of ERGs & Councils is a practice group of PRISM International Inc. and the premier resource for transforming Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and Employee Network Groups to impact key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting the ErgCouncil.com.

About PRISM International, Inc.
PRISM International Inc., a Talent Dimensions company, is a WBENC-certified, full-service provider of innovative and proven consulting, training and products for leveraging diversity and inclusion, addressing unconscious bias, increasing cross-cultural competencies and creating more effective ERGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting PrismDiversity.com.

GRATEFUL AMERICAN: A Journey From Self to Service — By GARY SINISE

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Grateful American-Gary Sinese

NEW YORK (December 2018) – In his new memoir, Grateful American: A Journey from Self to Service, (Thomas Nelson, February 12, 2019), Gary Sinise chronicles his never-before-told journey, from aimless teen to an actor/director with a purpose: a mission to support and raise awareness for the men and women who selflessly put themselves in harm’s way in service to our country.

Grateful American sets the stage for his passion for veterans, as the reader learns Sinise comes from a long line of servicemen: his grandfather fought in the historic Battle of the Argonne Forest in World War I, his uncles served in Europe and Japan during World War II, and his dad was a Navy photographer during the Korean War. The military ties don’t end with Sinise’s family. After he got married in 1975, he got to know the many U.S. Army veterans in his wife’s family as well.

However, serving one’s country wasn’t in Sinise’s mind as a wild kid growing up in the suburbs of Chicago in the 60s and 70s. He was more interested in having fun and getting into trouble than studying and doing schoolwork. When he was in high school, at the height of the Vietnam War, Sinise admits he was oblivious to much of what was happening to our young men and women in South East Asia.

He stumbled into acting by way of a school production of “West Side Story,” and found he was drawn into this creative and exciting vocation. Within a few years, in a church basement in Chicago, Sinise and some friends put together a ground-breaking new theater company, the Steppenwolf Theatre, which launched his acting career along with those of John Malkovich, Joan Allen, Laurie Metcalf and several other well-known acting personalities. Soon after, TV and film parts regularly came Sinise’s way before his life would forever be changed during and after portraying Lieutenant Dan in Forrest Gump. Since Forrest Gump, his life has evolved and encompasses so much more than what he’s done on the stage and screen.

Sinise has witnessed firsthand the extraordinary skill and dedication of our service members and his mission and passion are to shine a light on those who serve and defend, volunteering to lay down their lives so we can have the freedom to make something real and good of our own lives.

In 2011, he established the Gary Sinise Foundation, whose mission is to serve, honor and raise funds for America’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. Sinise works tirelessly on behalf of those who serve our country and protect our cities, entertaining more than half a million troops and first responders at home and abroad, playing bass guitar with his Lt. Dan Band.

The message Sinise wants to deliver in Grateful American is clear: He loves his country and he’s forever grateful to be an American, thankful for the blessings he’s received as a citizen. He understands where his freedom comes from and he does not take for granted the sacrifices of those who provide it. He hopes that Grateful American will help ensure America’s defenders and their families are never forgotten.

As he looks back on his life’s journey and sees anew the ups and downs, he feels fortunate that he went from caring about not too much more than his own career to becoming a passionate advocate of our nation’s defenders.

“It’s my hope that as I share these stories from my life, you will be entertained and maybe even inspired too – empowered to overcome obstacles, embrace gratitude, and engage in service above self,” states Sinise.

About the Author
Gary Sinise is an Oscar-nominated actor and winner of an Emmy, a Golden Globe, and two Screen Actors Guild awards, and has been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, all while advocating for America’s defenders for nearly 40 years. For his service work, Gary has been presented with numerous humanitarian awards including the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, the George Catlett Marshall Medal from the Association of the US Army, and the Spirit of Hope Award by the Department of Defense. He was named an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the United States Navy, was pinned as an honorary Marine, and received the Sylvanus Thayer Award from the United States Military Academy at West Point, given to a civilian “whose character, service, and achievements reflect the ideals prized by the U.S. Military Academy.” He’s also the recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded by the President of the United States to citizens for “exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation.”

Thomas Nelson – Grateful American

America’s first female Soldiers on screen for WWI centennial

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When Jim Theres first read about the “Hello Girls” of World War I, he knew the story of America’s first female Soldiers needed to be told on the silver screen.

So the Veterans Affairs employee set out on his own time to produce and direct an award-winning documentary, “The Hello Girls: The Army’s Special Weapon in World War I.”

The film was shown Saturday as part of activities surrounding the grand re-opening of the Army Women’s Museum at Fort Lee, Virginia.

Prior to that, the film won best documentary feature last month at the Chagrin Documentary Film Festival in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Broadcast journalist Cokie Roberts also introduced the film Oct. 8 at the Washington Convention Center during the Association of the United States Army’s Annual Meeting and Exposition.

“I had never heard of the ‘Hello Girls’ and I write women’s history,” Roberts said. “That shouldn’t be.”

UNTOLD STORY

In 1918, the U.S. Army Signal Corps sent 223 women to France as telephone operators for the American Expeditionary Forces. They donned Army uniforms and swore an oath of allegiance. They often operated near the front lines, connecting calls between trenches, and they endured artillery barrages. Two of them died and were buried in France.

Yet, when the rest of the women returned to the states, they were told they were not eligible for veteran’s benefits, until an act of Congress changed that in 1977.

Now their story has finally been fully documented.

Theres had already produced one documentary film when he decided in May 2017 the time was right to look for a World War I story because the 100th anniversary of America’s participation in the war was coming up.

“I Googled by accident … I meant to do World War I men, but I accidentally typed World War I women and I looked at the screen.” A webpage popped up about Elizabeth Cobbs’ book published last year: “The Hello Girls — America’s First Women Soldiers.”

Continue onto The Army to read the complete article.

National Veteran Organization to Kickoff Army/Navy Weekend with Black Tie Gala Honoring Veterans

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army-navy-game 2018

To kickoff Army/Navy Weekend in Philadelphia, Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) will host the 7th annual “If Not Me, Then Who…” Gala at the historic Union League, on Thursday, December 6th, 2018.

This black tie event, which is a national recognition of character and leadership, will have attendees from across the country who are being honored for their dedication to selfless service within their local communities and around the globe.

Some of the high profile and notable figures in attendance or being honored include:

  • Secretary Richard V. Spencer – Richard V. Spencer of Wyoming was sworn in as the 76th secretary of the Navy Aug. 3, 2017. Secretary Spencer will serve as a Guest Speaker for the evening.
  • General Stanley McChrystal – General Stanley McChrystal is a retired U.S. Army four-star general, and the former commander of U.S. and International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) Afghanistan and the former commander of the premier military counter-terrorism force, Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). General McChrystal will serve as a Guest Speaker for the evening.
  • Chris Hixon – a Navy veteran and the athletic director of Margerie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, who rushed toward an active shooter – and gave his life in pursuit of saving his students’ on February 14th, 2018. Chris’ son Thomas Hixon will posthumously accept the “If Not Me, Then Who…” Leadership Award on behalf of his late father.
  • Jimmy White – Upon learning of Chris’ sacrifice, Jimmy White, a Navy veteran and Character Does Matter mentor with TMF in Philadelphia, opted to reach out to the hero’s family. Jimmy has shared Chris Hixon’s story of bravery and character with thousands of students to inspire them to carry on his legacy of service to others in their own community. Jimmy will also be presented with the prestigious “If Not Me, Then Who…” Leadership Award.
  • Rob Riggle – Actor/comedian/writer/producer/director Rob Riggle has been a staple in comedic films and television for more than 15 years, and is known for his memorable characters in comedy hits like “The Hangover” and “Step Brothers,” as well as his recent appeared in Warner Bros.’ war drama “12 Strong”. Rob is also a Marine veteran, and will serve as the Emcee of the 2018 “If Not Me, Then Who…” Gala.
  • General Michael Linnington – CEO of Wounded Warrior Project who previously served as the Military Deputy to the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness) from 2013 to 2015, and retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant General. He will be accepting the Community Leadership Award on behalf of Wounded Warrior Project.

The evening will begin with a VIP reception at 5:30pm, which will be open to the media, followed by the full program starting at 7:30pm. Top level sponsors for this inspirational evening include Boeing, Humana, Polen Capital, Johnson & Johnson, Goldman Sachs, and Penn Medicine.

Travis Manion Foundation will continue the recognition of our nation’s bravest heroes, in conjunction with the 119th Army vs. Navy Football Game, which will take place at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Saturday December 8th. TMF is the largest Veteran Service Organization in the Philadelphia region, and will host a fully catered veterans tailgate, in partnership with Amazon Military, Drexel Hamilton, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

The tailgate will take place prior to the Army vs. Navy football game, in the “K” Parking lot of Lincoln Financial Field. TMF has also arranged for game tickets that will be provided to over 20 Gold Star family members and more than 70 veterans, and active duty wounded military members who will travel from Walter Reed Hospital in a luxury bus with police escort to the event. More than 300 total guests are expected to attend the tailgate, and the estimated arrival of the wounded veterans to the tailgate is 1:00pm in the “K” Parking lot. President Donald Trump will attend the Army-Navy Game. Navy athletic director Chet Gladchuk said at the annual pregame luncheon in Philadelphia last week that that school is always prepared for the president to attend.

About Travis Manion Foundation
Travis Manion Foundation (TMF) unites communities to strengthen America’s national character by empowering veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop and lead future generations. In 2007, 1st Lt. Travis Manion (USMC) was killed in Iraq while saving his wounded teammates. Today, Travis’ legacy lives on in the words he spoke before leaving for his final deployment, “If Not Me, Then Who…” Guided by this mantra, veterans continue their service, develop strong relationships with their communities, and thrive in their post-military lives by serving as character role models to youth. As a result, communities prosper and the character of our nation’s heroes lives on in the next generation.

The story of 1st Lt. Travis Manion and his Naval Academy brother Lt. (SEAL) Brendan Looney have been publicized in the book Brothers Forever, and additional information about the Foundation can be found at travismanion.org.

Veterans and First Responders Invited to Bring Pets in for Free Pet Veterinary Services

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Paws of War

On December 6, 2018 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m., Paws of War will be holding their new “Vets for “Vets” mobile veterinary clinic in Nesconset, New York. Veterans and first responders in need are invited to bring their pets to the mobile clinic for care.

The event will be held at the new Paws of War office, located at 127-7 Smithtown Blvd in Nesconset. Veterinary professionals will be on hand to provide a variety of free services. There will also be refreshments served.

“We are really excited about the December 6th clinic as we have gotten so many requests from the disabled veteran community,” says Dori Scofield, co-founder of Paws of War. “This is going to be a rewarding day for us and we hope to see many people stop by to check it out and support what we are doing.”

The mobile vet clinic event will include Dr. Julianne Gerbino of the Animal Hospital of Nesconset. She will be providing pets with free exams, vaccines, micro-chipping, nail clipping, and more. Dr. William Phelps will also be at the event to provide life-saving chemotherapy to “Lexi,” a U.S. Marine veteran’s dog who was diagnosed with lymphoma. Additionally, there will be a professional dog trainer and groomer on hand to offer assistance.

The Paws of War mobile veterinary clinic’s mission is to help both disabled veterans and first Paws of War-Service Dogresponders be able to care for their pets. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 4 million veterans who have a service-connected disability, which is one that was a result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active duty military service.

“The mobile veterinary clinic helps us further expand our mission to provide assistance to veterans in need,” explained Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “We are just getting started with it and can already tell it’s going to be a great service that is provided to an amazing group of people.”

Paws of War was able to obtain a used 2006 26-foot RV that was in need of serious repair. The original manufacturer, La Boit Specialty Vehicles, offered to completely refurbish it, free of charge, to help turn it into the fully customized mobile veterinary clinic it is today. Some of the veterinary services that will be provided by the Vets for Vets mobile clinic include annual vaccinations, dental care, allergy care, grooming/nail trimming, microchipping, wellness checks, minor surgeries, bloodwork/testing, and more.

Paws of War is currently seeking a sponsor for the “Vets for Vets” mobile clinic. Those interested in sponsoring the clinic should contact the organization for more details and information. Paws of War is an all-volunteer organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets and provides service and service dogs to veterans suffering from PTSD. To learn more about Paws of War or make a donation to support their efforts, visit their site at: pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a 501c3 organization devoted to helping both animals and veterans. The Paws of War goal is to train and place shelter dogs to serve and provide independence to our United States military veterans who suffer from the emotional effects of war such as PTSD. In turn, each veteran can experience the therapeutic and unconditional love only a companion animal can bring. To learn more about Paws of War, visit the site at pawsofwar.org.

Sources:

U.S. Census Bureau. Veterans Daycensus.gov/newsroom

Veterans Win Big During Wheel Of Fortune’s “Veterans Week”

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Wheel of Fortune’s “Veterans Week” featured veterans from all branches of the military as contestants during the week of October 22 – 26, 2018. As part of this week-long salute to those who served, contestants competed to win once-in-a-lifetime vacations, new cars, and cash prizes by spinning the Wheel and solving hangman-style puzzles.

In total, contestants won nearly $300,000 in cash and prizes throughout “Veterans Week.” Some of the contestants included:

  • Rob Roca of Mont Belvieu, Texas was a contestant on Monday, October 22, 2018. Rob is a Marine Corps veteran who served as a landing support specialist in Desert Storm. He says his proudest moment of his service was graduating boot camp. Rob now works as a realtor and is married with five children. He and his wife tune in to America’s Game® together every night. Rob began his journey to become a contestant by attending a Wheelmobile event in Houston. In the end, Rob won $48,460 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Hawaii and a Chevrolet Traverse!
  • Mark Carpowich of San Diego, Calif. appeared on the show on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. Mark is a veteran of the Navy who served as an intelligence officer. He decided to enlist in the Navy to serve the country and see the world. Mark’s proudest moment was when he earned the military’s Humanitarian Service Medal for helping support recovery efforts following the Indonesian tsunami. Mark is now a public affairs writer for the Navy. He is a newlywed who enjoys running marathons and collecting vinyl records. Mark and his wife tune in to Wheel of Fortune every night. He says she “always lets [him] solve, even if she knows the puzzle first.” After all the practice playing along at home, Mark submitted a video and application through WheelofFortune.com in hopes of winning enough money to go on a honeymoon with his wife. That wish came true. Mark will get to take his wife on the honeymoon of their dreams after winning $59,909 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Fiji and a Chevrolet Traverse!
  • John Ray of Little Rock, Ark. was a contestant on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. John is a “double veteran,” having served in both the U.S. Army for three years and the British Royal Air Force for four years. His proudest moment serving in the Army came when he received the Expert Infantryman Badge. John is now a pipeline safety coordinator who enjoys playing soccer and rugby in his free time. John applied to become a contestant on WheelofFortune.com, hoping to use the winnings for traveling around the country. John will get to do the traveling he hoped for after winning $14,200 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Jamaica!
  • Nikki Wade of Mechanicsville, Va. solved her way to winning $66,403 in cash and prizes, including a trip to Aruba on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Nikki is a Marine Corps veteran who worked in administration and as a general’s driver. She is now a stay-at-home mom who homeschools her two children. She is married to a retired Marine officer. Her husband currently works as a Department of Defense civilian employee and they will soon be moving to South Korea for three years. In her spare time, Nikki enjoys planning and decorating elaborate birthday parties and get-togethers. Nikki has been watching America’s Game® with her papa since she was a little girl. After being encouraged to audition by her papa, she finally decided to make her dream of becoming a contestant a reality by attending a Wheelmobile event in Glen Allen.
  • Steve Earley of Palmer Lake, Colo. took his spin at the Wheel on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Steve is an Air Force veteran who served for four years, working in intelligence. He joined the Air Force to continue his family’s tradition of military service. Steve is now married and runs six roller rinks for a living. He enjoys going to the movies and traveling. Steve has been watching America’s Game® since contestants shopped for prizes and continues to watch with his wife “religiously” every night. After decades of loyal viewing, Steve became a contestant by applying and submitting a video through WheelofFortune.com. Steve walked away with an all-cash total of $19,100!
  • Emily Ruch of Warrenton, Va. competed on Thursday, October 25, 2018. Emily is an Air Force veteran who served for six years as an emergency management specialist. She was deployed to Qatar for six months during her service. Emily is now married with one child and works as a personal chef. Emily has been tuning in to America’s Game® her whole life, growing up watching with her mom and grandma. One night after pouring a glass of wine, Emily submitted a video and application to WheelofFortune.com in hopes of winning enough money to use for traveling and growing her personal chef business. Emily will get to do both after winning $18,280 in cash and prizes, including a trip to the Dominican Republic!

Wheel of Fortune is hosted by Pat Sajak and Vanna White. The duo also share a special connection to the military. Pat Sajak is a veteran himself, who served as a disc jockey during the Vietnam War. Vanna White’s now 93-year-old father served during the Korean War.

Find out where to watch Wheel of Fortune in your local area by visiting www.WheelofFortune.com.

About Wheel of Fortune:

Reaching more than 25 million weekly viewers, Wheel of Fortune reaches more viewers than any other program on television. Trademarked as America’s Game®, it has earned seven Emmy Awards including a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game/Audience Participation Show. Wheel of Fortune is produced by Sony Pictures Television, a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It is distributed domestically by CBS Television Distribution and internationally by CBS Studios International, both units of CBS Corp.

Photo Credit: Carol Kaelson

Celebrate Veterans Day in Buena Park, CA with Free Admission to Knott’s Berry Farm and more

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This November and December, The City of Buena Park, CA celebrates past and present U.S. Armed Forces personnel with amazing discounts during Military Appreciation Months.

Both active and retired military members and their families can save on hotels, meals and attractions with these deals created to honor our nation’s heroes. Located just 15 miles from the Pacific coastline, Buena Park is conveniently positioned in proximity to attractions like Disneyland and The Queen Mary to name a few, making it the perfect home base for any Southern California vacation. So arrive to sunny SoCal this November and December and start your vacation right in the comfort and relaxation at one of Buena Park’s numerous hotels offering exclusive military discounts and upgrades, free parking, no resort fees and even complimentary shuttle service from some hotels to local attractions including Disneyland®.

Here are just a few of the many amazing deals that await you in Buena Park:

  • Free admission to Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park for military personnel and one guest from November 1 – November 16 and November 27 – December 15, 2018. Up to six additional tickets may be purchased for a discounted rate of $39.
  • Enjoy a special military ticket price of $35.11 per adult and $30.11 per child at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure when purchasing weekday tickets online or over the phone using code “Military.” This thrilling live performance pirate show is sure to wow dinner guests with swashbuckling action.
  • Get the royal treatment at Medieval Times, a family dinner theater featuring staged medieval-style games and sword-fighting, with a free Royalty Package upgrade when purchasing discounted tickets on-base at the ITT/ITR/MWR office, or $19 off when booking online.
  • Craving some kid-free time? Buena Park has that too! Go out on the town to experience the one-of-a-kind 18+ only cabaret show Teatro Martini, offering savings of $25 by using the code “Military” when booking online or over the phone. This immersive, theatrical dinner comedy theatre features musical performances, aerial ballet, enchanting magic, and a four-course dinner. Complimentary upgrades to the Captain’s seating are also available for weekday shows.

The true essence of this all-American destination shines through in places like Farrell’s Ice Creamery and Rock & Brews, both offering 10% off for military members. Farrell’s has been in business since 1963, a longtime favorite adored by locals and visitors alike. Rock & Brews, created by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of KISS, offers American comfort food and great beer paired with a unique rock ‘n roll dining experience.

Need more American cultural history? From your home base of Buena Park, head north: take a tour of the Queen Mary ship, which carried 2.2 million passengers throughout its active lifetime, including 810,000 military personnel in WWII (current and retired military can take $4 off admission price). Art enthusiasts will love Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, voted the Best Museum in Orange County, and offering active U.S. Military personnel $8 off adult admission. As you head back to your hotel, top off your day with a free admission visit to Knotts Independence Hall, an exact replica of Philadelphia’s famous landmark, complete with a Liberty Bell.

Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival Celebration on Battleship IOWA Museum

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Battleship Iowa

Battleship IOWA Museum has become the Southern California destination to celebrate our people in uniform. On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018, the “Battleship of Presidents,” coinciding with the one-hundred-year anniversary of the end of World War I, will honor vets with the Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival.

The Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival Celebration on Battleship IOWA Museum in Partnership with Black Knight Patrol and Bob Hope USO, offers free admission to Active, Retired and Reserve Military. The  family-friendly day will include a variety of fun experiences for everyone to enjoy, including but not limited to:

  • Live bands and DJ
  • Free food sponsored by Black Knight Patrol
  • Sailor’s Bar sponsored by West Coast Beverage
  • Vintage vehicles
  • 5″ gun salute at 11-11 to mark the 100thanniversary of the end of World War I (Active battle ended at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918). Sponsored by American Legion.

“We are a museum and a destination because of the heroic acts of those who volunteer to protect our freedoms and liberties,” says Battleship IOWA Museum’s President and CEO, Jonathan Williams. “Everything we do to preserve the history and missions of this vessel honors the veterans who continue to serve our country. It is our honor to support and celebrate them.”

Battleship IOWA Museum’s 2018 capital campaign is currently in progress to raise funds for the museum’s current operations and future growth as a National Museum. Everyone who donates

$500 or more to the campaign will be invited to attend an exclusive Admiral’s Reception on Veterans Day (November 11th) in the historic Wardroom aboard the Battleship IOWA. The reception to be hosted by Pacific Battleship Center’s Chairman of the Board, Rear Admiral Mike Shatynski, USN (ret.). To donate, please visit the website at www.pacificbattleship.com/donate or email development@labattleship.com.

Admission to the museum and exhibits are free for all active, retired and reserve military with valid ID.  The Battleship IOWA Museum ticket office opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and the last tour ticket sold at 4:00 p.m. Tickets purchased at the box office are $19.95 for ages 12 – 61. Youth tickets (age 2 – 11) are $11.95. Senior admission (62 and over) are $9.95. Children under 2 are free.

Please visit Battleship IOWA’s new mobile-friendly website. We encourage social media followers to use our Facebook and Instagram outlets to learn more about museum curatorial updates and events. The phone number is 877-4-IOWA-61 (877-446-9261) or 310-971-4462.

About Battleship IOWA Museum:

Named as one of TripAdvisor’s “Top 5 Museums” out of 133 in Los Angeles, Battleship IOWA now serves as a historic naval ship institution. Forged in war, guardian of peace, the proud ship keeps watch as the proud sentinel of the LA Waterfront. IOWA’s teak decks and steel bulkheads echo the words and deeds of history: three U.S. Presidents, six of the nine American five-star military leaders, countless foreign dignitaries, and most importantly, thousands of her own heroic sailors.  Visitors are awed by IOWA’s proud legacy as one of the fastest and most powerful ships ever to sail the world’s oceans.  Battleship IOWA is open to the public daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Hours are 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. with the last ticket sale at 4:00 p.m. Battleship IOWA anchors at 250 South Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA, 90731, at The Los Angeles Waterfront. Please visit our website for additional information about special events, group tours, educational programs, and Naval retirement flag service.

Walk in Their Shoes Fundraising 5k Run/Walk provides an Opportunity to Give Veterans a ‘Hand Up’

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On Saturday, November 3, Working Wardrobes and their VetNet program will host the Second Annual Walk in Their Shoes 5K Walk, Fun Run & Finish Line Festival, presented by Behr Paint Company. This exciting event will help to raise funds for VetNet and the programs that are essential to the success of veterans, so they can say, “I GOT THE JOB!”

The VetNet program was founded in 2012 by CEO of Working Wardrobes, Jerri Rosen, and retired Navy SEAL, Harry Humphries to provide important wrap-around services for veterans. To date, VetNet has assisted over 2,500 veterans in making the often difficult transition from military life to the civilian workforce. With more than 30,000 veterans returning from duty to Orange County each year, VetNet provides essential resources for these men and women who have served their country.

As part of this comprehensive program, veterans receive career assessment, job training opportunities, including comprehensive IT training that launched in 2018, resume writing and practice interviews, as well as professional wardrobing services. Most vets who enter the program begin with a week-long class called Power UP, which focuses on identifying barriers to employment, along with activities like art therapy and yoga class.

Brent is a recent graduate of Power UP. As a Marine veteran, with 15 years of government service in both the Navy and the State Department, Brent faced the difficult challenge of trying to translate his military experience into civilian workforce skills. “When I was in the military, I knew what my skills were – I can launch a Tomahawk missile…but how does that help me get a job?”

But aside from job skills, Brent had lost his sense of value – in himself and in his role in the community. “I had lost my footing in my life. I felt a sense of shame and I knew I didn’t have the skills to present myself.”

Brent looked for help, visiting Veterans Affairs (VA) and more than half a dozen other agencies, but he found that while he was getting a handout, he wasn’t acquiring any skills. He had also received a housing voucher, but it ran out in six months – not a lot of time to get his life together. He began volunteering at the VA in the hopes of getting a job there, but a hiring freeze went into effect before he could get a paycheck – at the same time that his housing voucher ran out.

“It wasn’t til I came to VetNet that I got back my sense of value.” For Brent, he knew that Working Wardrobes was different from the other agencies he’d tried “from the moment I walked in the door. I was spoken to with dignity and without judgement by the VetNet staff, who were fellow veterans. Everything, from the dialogue to the culture, attitude and the staff here was world-class.”

Even something as seemingly simple as a resume was a barrier that Brent had to overcome. He had worked on creating a resume at other agencies he had visited, but felt they did “more harm than good.” When he came to VetNet, Brent learned what his resume should really look like. “They taught me how to format it properly, what words to use to describe my skills, that it should be tailored for each job I was applying for….I never knew any of that. They taught me that there’s an algorithm when you apply for jobs online and how to get through that process without having your resume rejected.”

It also came back to values for Brent. “At VetNet, I learned that I could ask questions in a job interview – no one ever told me that before. And they taught me how to look for values and integrity in a company and whether they aligned with my own values.”

On his way to the first day of Power UP, Brent’s car broke down. Luckily, he had thrown his bike on his bike rack before he left home – part of his ‘contingency plan’ thinking from his military experience. “I just left my car on the side of the road and biked the rest of the way. I had made a commitment and I just knew that I needed to be there.”

“This program works because it’s a hand up, not a hand out. VetNet provides the service behind the tools. Every instructor, every class in Power UP – they were all huge lightbulb moments for me!”

Walking back into the Job Training Lab at the Working Wardrobes Career Center in Irvine where the Power UP week took place, Brent’s excitement is palpable, as he exclaims, “I love this room!” He remembers his fellow Power UP graduates fondly. “There was not one single person among the grads who wasn’t deeply touched by what we went through in the program.”

Brent was finally able to say “I got the job” when he was hired on at Working Wardrobes!  He is passionate about being a part of the organization that transformed his life and wants to spread the word to other veterans. “I AM the before and after,” he says proudly.  

Brent’s story is the reason behind Working Wardrobes VetNet’s Walk in Their Shoes event. Every dollar raised at the Walk goes directly to fund Power UP and job training programs for veterans like Brent.

The Walk in Their Shoes 5k Walk/Fun Run will be held at Lakeview Park in Orange, a private park with a view of Irvine Lake. The post-event Finish Line Festival will include activities like an obstacle course with the Marines, vendor tables, live entertainment, kids’ games & fun, food, drinks, and more. It’s also a great family activity, since kids under 10 are free and youth ages 11-15 are just $15.

Participants can gather their families, friends and colleagues to form a team, fundraise together and celebrate & honor the services of the men and women who served in the military. A reduced registration fee of $25 is available for active duty military and veterans.