Inside the Specially Adapted Home Wayfair Furnished for a Veteran with a Disability and His Family

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Disabled veteran and family stand outside their new home

When John and Brittany Curtin got married in 2015, they never dreamed they’d be living where they are today.

The couple met at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland back in 2011— Brittany was a volunteer with the Red Cross and John was in outpatient treatment for injuries he sustained while deployed in Afghanistan.

A Marine Lance Corporal, John joined the Marines at 19. He lost both of his legs and severely damaging his right arm when his foot triggered an IED one month into his deployment. He now gets around with the help of prosthetic legs or a wheelchair.

As difficult as John’s injuries were to adapt to, he and Brittany, both 29, live their lives today with incredible ease. For that, they thank two organizations: Homes For Our Troops and Wayfair, who have provided them with a specially-adapted — and fully furnished — home of their dreams, just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

Homes For Our Troops is a non-profit organization that donates custom houses to veterans with disabilities, allowing them freedom in their homes as thanks for their service abroad. The organization teamed up with online furniture marketplace Wayfair to completely overhaul the Curtins’ home this past June, customizing it to both John’s accessibility needs and the pair’s personal style.

“We feel so unbelievably blessed,” Brittany tells PEOPLE of the experience. “Just for our day to day, our routine has entirely changed. Because John isn’t so taxed just doing small things, he’s able to do so much more both inside and outside the house.”

“It’s been an absolutely life changing experience,” John agrees. “It’s just transformed my life completely. When Brittany and I were first living in Virginia together we lived in a little 700-square-foot apartment, and we couldn’t even pass each other in the hallway because my wheelchair took up the whole space. So the ease of living is just unreal compared to those experiences.”

Not only is the 2,800-square-foot home and surrounding property entirely complaint with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and wheelchair-accessible, but a variety of gadgets inside the home are designed to help John complete daily tasks with ease.

For example, extendable shelves in the kitchen and closets can be pulled down to be at John’s eye level, and a track chair in the backyard allows him to move around the property — which has paved and graded paths — and do yard work.

Continue on to People to read the complete article.

11 Free Programs To Help Veterans Succeed As Entrepreneurs

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two men shaking hands, one of them is in a suit, the other is in military uniform

Veteran-owned businesses are an important engine of economic growth. New research from Experian has found that veterans tend to own and operate business with a larger employee base, and veteran-owned businesses have better longevity and sustainability than non veteran-owned business. (Experian analyzed and compared the credit data of veteran-owned businesses and non-veteran-owned businesses from 2015 through July 2019.)

Nearly 25% of veterans express interest in starting a business. That’s the good news. The bad news is entrepreneurship among younger veterans is on the decline. A report by Bunker Labs suggests one way to foster veteran entrepreneurship is through an “ecosystem” approach: “Taking an ecosystem approach to facilitating entrepreneurship requires ensuring that there is relationship density, strong network effects, and connected resources for entrepreneurs.”

Fortunately, there are a growing number of free programs designed to help veteran entrepreneurs tap into ecosystems that can help them thrive. Here are 11 of these programs:

1. Boots to Business

Boots to Business (B2B) is an entrepreneurial education and training program offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program (TAP). The course provides an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals. It begins with a two-day “Introduction to Entrepreneurship” course, and after completing that course, participants may further their study through the B2B Revenue Readiness online course, delivered through a partnership with Mississippi State University.

Who qualifies: Active duty service members (including National Guard and Reserve), veterans of all eras, and their spouses.

Learn more: Visit SBAvets.force.com. To register, contact the Transition Service Manager (TSM) on your military installation.

2. Reboot

This one or two day in-person course is offered off installation and provides participants with an overview of business fundamentals, while introducing techniques for evaluating the feasibility of business concepts. The course covers a range of entrepreneurial business concepts and provides resources for accessing startup capital, contracting opportunities, and more.

Who qualifies: Veterans of all eras, including National Guard and Reserve members, and spouses.

Learn more: Review the class schedule and register at SBAvets.force.com.

3. VETRN

VETRN trains veteran small business owners and family members, free of charge, on how to successfully grow their own small businesses. This executive MBA program is based on the award-winning “StreetWise MBA,” which is taught in over 70 cities across the United States. VETRN has an exclusive contract to teach this management training program to veteran cohorts. Veterans accepted into the program receive a mentor on Day One and have access to a substantial professional resource network.

Who qualifies: In order to be accepted into the VETRN program, veteran small business owners must have been in business for one or more years, have at least one employee, and have annual revenues of $75,000 or greater.

Learn more: Visit Vetrn.org 

4. VetFran

One out of seven franchise businesses is owned and operated by veterans of the U.S. military. VetFran is a strategic initiative of the International Franchise Association (IFA) and includes over 600 IFA member companies that offer financial incentives, education, and support to veterans interested in franchise ownership and/or a career path in franchising. Navy Federal Credit Union is one such partner, providing startup capital for veterans who are buying franchises, as well as additional capital for franchise expansion.

Who qualifies: Veterans and their family members can use the extensive toolkit on the VetFran website to explore franchising, learn about discounts, and find franchise opportunities.

Learn more: Visit VetFran.org.

5. Veteran Business Outreach Centers (VBOCs)

In partnership with the SBA, the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) Program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services, such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals. Services include pre-business plan workshops, concept assessments, business plan preparation, entrepreneurial training, mentorships, and more. There are 22 organizations participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as VBOCs.

Who qualifies: Transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard and Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business.

Learn more: Visit the VBOC webpage on the SBA website.

Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:

6. Veteran Institute for Procurement

This program provides veteran-owned business executives with comprehensive instruction on how to accelerate their federal government contracting business skills. It offers three programs for veteran-owned small businesses:

  • VIP START—For businesses that want to do business with the federal government.
  • VIP GROW—For businesses that want to increase their federal government contracting opportunities.
  • VIP INTERNATIONAL—For businesses that want to enter and/or expand their contracting opportunities overseas.

The three-day, in-residence training is offered at no cost to participants (other than travel to the event).

Who qualifies: Service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses and veteran-owned small businesses.

Learn more: Veteran Institute for Procurement

7. Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV)

The Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) offers small business management training programs for post-9/11 veterans and their family members. It includes three programs:

  • EBV—Designed for businesses in the early-growth stage; includes an online course, a 9-day residency program, and a year of mentorship and support.
  • EBV-F—Offers entrepreneurship training with a focus on family issues, caregiver issues, and work-life balance issues related to being a business owner.
  • EBV Accelerate—For veterans who run successful businesses; provides tools and coaching to help take a business to the next level.

There is no cost to participate in these programs; however, EBV Accelerate participants must cover travel costs to the residency program.

Who qualifies: EBV applicants must have separated from service after 2001 and have a service-connected disability. EBV-F is available to family members of qualified veterans, including members of the National Guard and Reserve. EBV Accelerate is available to qualified veteran-owned businesses at least three years old with five or more full-time employees. (See full conditions for each program on website.)

Learn more: Learn about all three programs at the EBV website.

8. Bunker Labs

Bunker Labs is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, a national network of veteran and military spouse entrepreneurs dedicated to helping the veteran community start and grow businesses. Programs include:

  • Launch Lab Online—An online gamified, interactive way to get an entrepreneurship education; can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
  • Veterans in Residence—Provides space, services, business mentorship, and community for veteran entrepreneurs and military family members who are entrepreneurs; currently available in 17 cities.
  • CEOcircle—A mastermind group of select CEOs who are military veterans or spouses, and whose companies are growing; group meets monthly.
  • Bunker Connect—A “part networking, part mentorship working session.” It brings together transitioning military, veterans and their spouses, and more than 65 resource partners. The program is slated to be available in 12 cities by mid-2020.
  • Muster Across America—An annual national tour to cities across the United States showcasing veteran entrepreneurs, empowering local entrepreneurial ecosystems, and building connections between veterans and the business community. Events include education, networking, and a pitch competition.

Who qualifies: Active duty military, veterans, and their families are welcome. CEOcircle is by invitation only, but applicants may submit an “interest submission” online.

Learn more: Visit BunkerLabs.org.

9. National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP)

National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program (VEP) is a comprehensive entrepreneurship training and support program for veterans with a service-connected disability. It includes a self-study portion, eight-day residency program in Oklahoma, Tennessee, or Florida, followed by five months of support and mentorship. All travel, accommodation, meals, materials, and instructional costs are covered by the VEP.

Who qualifies: Any veteran with a service-connected disability.

Learn more: VEP at Oklahoma State University, VEP at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and VEP at University of Florida.

10. Patriot Boot Camp (PBC)

Since 2012, Patriot Boot Camp (PBC), a national 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, has been on a mission to create a community that advances and supports military members, veterans, and military spouses in their mission to become creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs leading the new economy. PBC’s core program is an intensive three-day technology entrepreneurship boot camp that culminates in a pitch practice and competition. Fun fact: Four alumni have appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Who qualifies: Military members, veterans, and military spouses.

Learn more: PatriotBootCamp.org

11. Vets First Verification Program

The Vets First Verification Program provides verified firms owned and controlled by veterans and service-disabled veterans the opportunity to compete for VA set-asides. VA also trains and certifies Verification Assistance Counselors to provide application assistance to SDVOSBs/VOSBs that want to become verified. Free counseling services are available to veterans free of charge at Procurement Technical Assistance Centers throughout the country. Free webinars and extensive educational resources are also available online.

Who qualifies: Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses.

Learn more: Visit the Vets First Verification Program website.

RELATED: New Job Website Helps Veterans Transition to Civilian Life

This article was originally published on AllBusiness. See all articles by Gerri Detweiler.

Continue on to Forbes to read the complete article.

Sailor of the Day!

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U.S. Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Lesley Carrasco, from Anaheim, California, poses for a photograph as the Sailor of the Day with Capt. Randy Peck, right, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and Command Master Chief Marc Puco in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 8, 2019. The John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine operations in support of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic

U.S. Navy Aviation Structural Mechanic Airman Lesley Carrasco, from Anaheim, California, poses for a photograph as the Sailor of the Day with Capt. Randy Peck, right, commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), and Command Master Chief Marc Puco in the Atlantic Ocean, Nov. 8, 2019.

The John C. Stennis is underway conducting routine operations in support of Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.

U.S. Navy photo illustration by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Thomas R. Pittman.

Source: outreach.navy.mil/

About The Navy Office of Community Outreach
The Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO) connects Americans with their Navy. With most of the Navy’s personnel and equipment logically concentrated on America’s coasts, NAVCO oversees a number of community outreach programs designed to bring America’s Navy to cities throughout the country which do not enjoy a significant Navy presence.

Jimmy Fallon surprises military veteran with $50K in heartwarming video

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Jimmy Fallon hugs military souse on the Tonight Show

To mark Veteran’s Day, Jimmy Fallon had a couple of announcements in store. The first was that The Tonight Show would be donating $150,000 to Fisher House Foundation, a charity that “provides housing for families of military and veterans while their loved one is receiving treatment.”

The second surprise, meanwhile, was even closer to home.

“Our friends at The Home Depot Foundation started a brand new contest this year called Operation Surprise, where people all across the country get to nominate a U.S. military veteran in need, and the winner gets $25,000 to go towards critical home repairs,” explains Fallon in the clip above.

“It’s a great thing, and I’m happy to say that the winner of this year’s Operation Surprise contest is here with us tonight.”

Just watch the face of the winner — a veteran of the Air Force — as her name is called out.

 

Continue on to Mashable to read the complete article

Stedman Graham: Lead Yourself First, Others Second

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Stedman Graham poses with several servicemembers outside in front of a large military plane

By Brady Rhoades

Once upon a time, Stedman Graham—yes, that Stedman—was a soldier in the United States Army, trying to figure out who he was and where he was going. More than 40 years later, he’s a world-renowned businessman, author and speaker with a laser focus on identity leadership.

“Understanding who you are is the key to your growth,” he told U.S. Veterans Magazine.

Five years in the Army in the 1970s gave him a solid foundation. “I would not be here today without the military,” he said. “I needed structure.”

Graham learned to be on time. To listen when others were speaking. To do his best. To not quit. To be a follower. To be a leader. To get down to the nitty-gritty details of whatever task he was working on.

“It helps you lay out a process for continual improvement,” the 68-year-old founder and CEO of S. Graham & Associates and bestselling author of 11 books said of his experience in the military.

Graham has never forgotten those lessons, and he is forever grateful. Which is why he continues to visit military bases and stay in touch with servicemen and women.

It’s also why he lobbies employers to hire veterans.

“The message of learning while you’re experiencing is a great message for our troops,” he said. “It’s a great design for self-actualization…You couldn’t have a better opportunity than serving.”

And, he added, you won’t get a more grounded, humble, flexible and

Graham’s latest book helps people identify themselves before taking the lead
Graham’s latest book helps people identify themselves before taking the lead

can-do employee than a veteran.

Graham was born on March 6, 1951, in the Whitesboro section of Middle Township, New Jersey, the son of Mary Jacobs Graham and Stedman Graham Sr. He is one of six children.

He received a bachelor’s degree in social work from Hardin-Simmons University in 1974, and a master’s degree in education from Ball State University in 1979. Graham, who stands at 6-foot-7, played basketball at Hardin-Simmons.

He later moved to High Point, North Carolina to establish himself in public relations. At B & C Associates, he worked on behalf of African-American causes and had many distinguished clients, including author Maya Angelou and South African activist Winnie Mandela.

He is also founder of Chicago, Illinois’s Athletes Against Drugs (AAD), a non-profit organization that provides services to youth and has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarships since its founding in 1985. Moreover, the organization arranges for sports figures to educate children about substance abuse.

In 1988 Graham created S. Graham & Associates, a Chicago-based corporate and educational marketing and consulting firm.

Graham has delivered speeches at many public and private schools on the topics of identity and self-awareness. He is perhaps most famous as an author of business and self-help-related books, including, Who Are You? and his newly-released, Identity Leadership: To Lead Others You Must First Lead Yourself.

Graham has been partners with Oprah Winfrey since 1988.

Identity leadership employs a simple but profound premise: You can’t lead anybody until you lead yourself. And to lead yourself, you must know yourself. The “self” is the biggest enigma in the world, the more provocative challenge, and the most rewarding mountain to climb, according to Graham.

Stedman speaking to servicemembers
“It takes years to do simple. People think there is such a thing as an overnight success. There isn’t. Success is hard work. The success I am having today took me 25 years. You have to put the time in to get the rewards out.” —Stedman Graham

Graham talks about being a learner, a hard worker, and knowing who you are, but if you go deeper, he invokes what he calls the most important word in the English language.

“Love is the key word,” he said. “Passion, talent and skills are related. Do what you love.”

In Identity Leadership: To Lead Others You Must First Lead Yourself, readers learn how to define themselves. The alternative, Graham said, is that society “puts you in a box.”

“When you can’t define yourself, the world defines you by your race, by your house, by your car, your money or your title,” he said. “It’s kind of socially constructed and designed to control your development.”

Graham said once he figured out who he was, he began to lead himself and, “to create a vision beyond my circumstance.”

If love is the most paramount word, purpose might be second, or in the top five. “Everything starts with a purpose,” said Graham, adding that purpose is essential to self-actualization.

In his world travels, he is intensely interested in motivating people to get rid of labels—whether they are linked to race, gender, class, you name it—and to take control of their own destiny.

He wants others to realize the process for success is the same for everybody in the 24 hours we have in our days.

Graham says being able to teach that, and to help people realize their potential, is a passion and a joy. He advises his readers and listeners to not be afraid.

“Failure, in fact, is a phenomenal teacher,” Graham says. “The concept goes back to ‘learning while you’re experiencing.’”

He said veterans know what it’s like to be part of something bigger than themselves, and they’ve learned how to adapt, particularly when faced with adversity. But they aren’t superheroes. They could use a helping hand—be it by a prospective employer, a nurse, a clerk, or a citizen on the street.

“There’s so much work to be done as far as helping our troops,” Graham said. “I’m just honored to be of service.”

Sailor uses laser range finder aboard USS John P. Murtha

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Alejandra Murillo users laser USS John P. Murtha

Lt.j.g. Alejandra Murillo, from Huntington Beach, Calif., uses a laser range finder on the forecastle of the amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) as the ship arrives in Okinawa, Japan.

The John P. Murtha is currently on its first deployment and part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) and 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) team and is deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to support regional stability, reassure partners and allies, and maintain a presence postured to respond to any crisis ranging from humanitarian assistance to contingency operations.

(U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kyle Carlstrom)

Source: Navy Office of Community Outreach

Naval Veteran And Successful Franchisee Swaps Brands: Adds Top-Rated Mobile Flooring Business To His Portfolio

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Keith Yound stands outsinde in front of his work vehicle

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Keith Young was already a successful franchise owner with FirstService Brands, the leading North American brand in the property services industry. So when he sold his CertaPro Painters of Central Houston franchise after 10 years, he didn’t have to look far for his next opportunity. The 48-year-old Young stayed within the FirstService Brands family and became a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers’ homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers.

Young is also a U.S. Navy veteran, who has put an emphasis on hiring veterans in the past and plans to continue that practice with Floor Coverings International. “I will be hiring a sales associate before the end of 2019,” Young said. “Military veterans make very successful franchise owners and employees since they know how to follow a proven system and take responsibility for achieving their objectives,” Young shared.

“Having 10 years’ experience as a painting contractor delivering at a consistently high level of service was the perfect background to set me up for success in the flooring business,” said Young. “I was ready for a new challenge and was already aware of Floor Coverings International since it is owned by the same parent company as CertaPro Painters. I wanted to stay in that family and that gave me a high level of confidence in the brand.”

In Floor Coverings International, Young found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers’ expectations.

ABOUT FLOOR COVERINGS INTERNATIONAL

Floor Coverings International is the #1 Mobile Flooring Franchise in North America. Utilizing a unique in-home experience, the mobile showroom comes directly to the customer’s door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019. For franchise information, please visit flooring-franchise.com and to find your closest location, floorcoveringsinternational.com.

Sisters Transform Military Materials Into ‘Beautiful’ Bags — and Use the Profits to Help Vets

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Emilly Nunez and Bestsy Nunez pose with Emily carrrying an army green signature military bag

When Emily Nunez Cavness was in college seven years ago in Vermont, she and her sister, Betsy Nunez, launched a plan to start a business that turns excess military gear into handbags.

Their company, Sword & Plough, employs veterans and gives a percentage of profits to military charities.

The idea germinated when Emily — then a senior at Middlebury College — attended a lecture that prompted her to think about how to use recycling as part of a business model. The daughter of an Army veteran and herself an ROTC student at the time, Emily gravitated toward a theme connected to the armed forces.

“What in my life is often discarded and could be turned into something beautiful with a purposeful mission?” she asked herself at the time, according to the company’s website.

“I immediately thought about military surplus materials,” Emily tells PEOPLE. “Then I looked around the room and saw that everyone had bags by their side.”

That, she says, was her a-ha moment.

“I thought to myself, ‘We could take these extremely durable materials that have such unique stories and turn them into fashionable bags that anyone would want to use,’ ” she recalls.

Betsy soon signed on as chief operating officer, and the two formed Sword and Plough in 2012, when Emily was 22 and Betsy, 24. Now, they run a thriving mail order business selling bags, jewelry, and accessories.

The bags start out as tents, sleeping bag covers, leather, hardware, canvas, nylon, and old uniforms. The materialsSignature tote blue and army green tote bag pictured are shipped out to veteran-owned or operated manufacturers around the country, where they are turned into the final products. Because they are made out of military grade materials, the bags hold up well to wear, tear, and the elements, the sisters say.

Staying connected to the military community is important to the sisters.

“One of the best parts about Sword & Plough is meeting and working with such inspiring and talented veterans,” Emily says.

Continue on to People to read the complete article.

Meet the U.S. Army Medical Command Equal Opportunity Advisor of the Year

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Sgt. 1st Class Brian Wharton in uniform with U.S. Flag behind him

By Mr. John Ciccarelli (Regional Health Command Pacific)

It was April Fools’ Day when Sgt. 1st Class Brian Wharton received news he couldn’t believe. Through fragmented texts exchanged during a flight across the Pacific Ocean, Wharton discovered that he had been named the Equal Opportunity Advisor (EOA) of the Year for U.S. Army Medical Command.

“I was thinking to myself, ‘No way!'” he said. “It wasn’t until I landed that I received the confirmation letter in my e-mail.”

Wharton assumed duties as an EOA after graduating from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute in 2017. Assigned to Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC), he immersed himself in building relationships with the staff of more than 4,500 Soldiers and civilians, which earned him widespread admiration and gratitude.

“His drive and determination as EOA have established a positive climate for the command and adherence to higher standards of equality through awareness initiatives, open and focused discussions, and providing sound advice to the commander and staff members,” said Col. Mary V. Krueger, Commander of TAMC.

The EO program is the Army’s way of validating the values we stand for in a visible way, Wharton said.

“Embracing our differences, acknowledging our histories, and showing respect for the plethora of people that make up our military forces shows our Soldiers that we are not separate entities but rather one and the same,” added Wharton.

Wharton has been busy planning, coordinating and executing observances across the Army. The Army Hawaii EO office selected Tripler to lead eight observances in fiscal year 2018, setting the standard for other units.

“As the world is evolving, so are we as individuals,” Wharton said. “We must continue to create a safe place for individuals to talk about differences and create solutions to work well as a multidisciplinary team from various backgrounds. Our ability to do this is what makes us great.”

Wharton was born and raised in Detroit. He enlisted in the Army in 2003 and attended basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, and advanced individual training at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, where he became an Army healthcare specialist.

Wharton said it is important to embrace each opportunity to further the platform of EO to Soldiers, civilian counterparts and the communities in which we serve.

“Creating partnerships that haven’t been created before and soliciting assistance from outside organizations will make for a larger impact and lasting changes throughout the world,” said Wharton.

Source: army.mil

Together We Served: A website to help you find old friends

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Group of U.S. Military pictured in rows wearing military uniforms

The United States military is a brotherhood and sisterhood like no other. Those who serve together form a common sense of purpose and devotion to duty. It’s a level of trust not commonly found in civilian life.

Those military friendships last forever. But as life moves, and when people leave the military, they often lose touch with those friends, some of whom they would have given their life for.

Tracking down old friends, particularly if you have been out of the service many years, is not always easy. But there is one company that can help. Together We Served (TWS) is a Veteran-only website, launched in 2003. It provides Veterans a highly-effective means to reconnect with old service-friends. One simply enters their service history onto their TWS Military Service Page. TWS built an individual website for each branch of service and, with over 1.9 million Veteran members, the chances of finding people you served with is high.

The secret behind TWS’s ability to connect more Veterans is the depth of its databases. Over the past 16 years, TWS has built one of the most comprehensive databases of U.S. Military training and operating units in existence. Its databases span from WW2 to present day.

Military Service Page

By creating your Military Service Page on Together We Served, you can not only find Veterans who went to the same basic training as you, or served in the same units or duty stations, but also those who participated in the same combat or non-combat operations. TWS’s search engine automatically matches the service information you enter on your Military Service Page with the service information on the Military Service Pages of all other TWS members. Those members, whose entries could match yours, get listed on your Service Page. That is what enables you to make contact with those you may know. This powerful feature helps Veterans remember forgotten names.

Finding key people on TWS can be very helpful, especially if you need or can provide witness account to support a potential VA claim.

“We are especially proud of the fact that Together We Served has been able to help hundreds of thousands of Veterans to reconnect with old service friends they would otherwise never see or hear of again. For a combat Veteran, in particular, to be able to re-unite with someone you went through hell and back with, can be a very cathartic experience”. –Brian Foster, President and Founder of Together We Served

Take this opportunity to reconnect with the servicemen and women you shared some of the most important times of your life with. In recognition of your service, Together We Served provides all VA Veterans with a FREE One Year Premium Membership, providing unlimited people searches, when you join TWS via the following link: join.togetherweserved.com/va

Continue on to the VA website to read the complete article.

Anyone Can Register for this MilSpouse Hackathon

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military spouse working on a computer

Have you ever wanted to learn how to code or just improve your skills? Now is your chance! Milspouse Coders, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering military spouses around the globe to find challenging and fulfilling careers in technology, is hosting a live hackathon at the Microsoft Visitors Center in Redmond, Washington, on Nov. 8-9, 2019.

In the annual hackathon, coders, entrepreneurs, UI/UX designers, graphic designers and project managers come together to “hack” a solution or to create the next big app. This year, the Microsoft Military Spouse Technology Academy is sponsoring the event, which will focus on hacking the military life — finding ways to knock down obstacles military families face.

“We have registrations from civilians local to Seattle/Redmond, but we’d really like to fill the seats with more military-affiliated tech lovers,” said MilSpouse Coders Chair Kerri-Leigh Grady in an email. “We want to expose our community to the opportunities available to us in this industry, whether it’s a milspouse hungry for a career of their own, or a transitioning service member curious about the wide range of opportunities in this field.”

Beginners are welcome and will learn to code. If you’re unable to attend the event but are interested in learning more, MilSpouse Coders has 15 chapters around the globe, as well as a virtual chapter. Military spouses of all coding levels are encouraged to participate in their local chapter or online.

“Military spouses are perfectly suited for IT careers,” said Grady in an interview. “IT tends to have a distributed workforce, which offers military spouses the flexibility they need with moves.”

She also said that military spouses should consider a career in IT because of the diversity of positions available, as well as the sheer number of jobs that are open in the industry.

Continue on to Military.com to read the complete article.