Join Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren, Chris Martin and Team New Directions For Veterans in The World’s Big Sleep Out

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large group of people sleeping outside in sleeping bags

The World’s Big Sleep Out is a one-off global campaign where more than 50,000 change-makers, business-leaders and members of the public around the world will be sleeping out in unison on December 7th, 2019 to create the world’s largest display of solidarity with – and support of – those experiencing homelessness and displacement.

Join Will Smith, Dame Helen Mirren, Chris Martin and Team New Directions For Veterans in The World’s Big Sleep Out global campaign. Up to 2,000 participants will sleep outside the iconic Rose Bowl.

 

A Global Sleep Out to Call for an End to Global Homelessness

The World’s Big Sleep Out is a one-time global event that will see 50,000 people sleeping out in iconic locations like Times Square, the Rose Bowl and Trafalgar Square but also backyards, football fields and parking lots in more than 50 cities around the world to shine the global spotlight on homelessness and internationally displaced people.

The World’s Big Sleep Out will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 4:30pm to 6:00am.

A list celebrities such as Ziggy Marley, Seth Green, Ellie Goulding, Randy Jackson and Sean Kingston will be performing and reading bedtime stories and those impacted by homelessness will be telling their stories.

Claim your place to Sleep Out with TeamNewDirectionsForVeterans

Normally, you would have to pay a $20 fee to participate, but thanks to New Directions For Veterans’ support, we’ve covered that for you. While your ticket is free and you don’t have to pay to join the team, each of us on #TeamNewDirectionsForVeterans needs to commit to raising as much money as we can to help the charities in our area and throughout the world that are doing the work. Your own donation counts!

 

To claim your place on Team New Directions For Veterans all you have to do is:
Click here to claim your Pre-Paid Team Place and when prompted type in this password 7XNZB2 and then complete the required fields and you’ll be automatically assigned to Team New Directions For Veterans

·  Once you claimed your place on the team, you’ll begin the ‘on-boarding’ process and will receive a welcome email with useful information that generates your JustGiving online fundraising page so you can start fundraising with #ValenceMedia. (Note: If you’re not already on the JustGiving platform, you’ll need to create a JustGiving account).

·  Start spreading the word through your network to collect donations

·  And…if you reach a $1,000 or more individual fundraising goal, we will mark your achievement by including your name in a specially created mural that will be exhibited at the United Nations in February 2020 at an important homelessness summit.

To learn more about this one-off global event that New Directions For Veterans is proud to be a part of visit www.bigsleepout.com.

Florida man loses more than 180 pounds to join the Army

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Christopher Montijo speaks live on air about his weight loss

One Florida man is living proof that you can do anything if you want it badly enough. Christopher Montijo, a 28-year-old father of two, said his dream of joining the Army was put on the hold because he was almost 150 pounds over the weight limit, according to WOFL, an Orlando Fox affiliate.

It was “draining to walk, to sleep, to do anything,” he told WOFL; he knew if he wanted to see his children grow up, he’d have to make a major life change.

So he did.

Through cutting out soda and eating out along with walking more, Montijo has dropped over 180 pounds — almost half his body weight — and passed the Army’s physical fitness test. (It doesn’t appear he took a page out of this veteran’s book, who dropped weight by consuming beer and beer only for Lent.)

He told WOFL he “feels amazing,” and he’ll arrive at Fort Jackson at the beginning of 2020 with the rest of the recruits heading to basic training.

Continue on to Task and Purpose to read the complete article.

One-Man Show Transcends the Life of a Solider

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Douglas Taurel is sitting onstage in a green shirt, pants and headband lighting a cigarette

Douglas Taurel is not an American soldier. He’s never been to war. Yet veterans across the country are saluting him– thanking him for being “their voice,” for telling their stories and for showing the nation what military members go through in times of war and at home.

“I wanted to write something and I was very moved by the stories I was reading in the papers regarding combat veterans with PTSD and not having work. Some particular stories really moved me and started the spark (for the play,)” he said.

For the past five years, Taurel has fine-tuned his one-man show entitled, The American Soldier, which spans all of America’s significant war conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Taurel performs 14 different characters during his 80-minute show, which was performed following Veteran’s Day at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., on November 13th.

The characters, which are based upon letters written by real servicemen in each war, include a father in the wake of his soldier son’s suicide; a soldier dealing with the loss of his limb; a wife and son dealing with a deployed father’s absence; and a grieving mother remembering her son at the Vietnam Memorial Wall.

Taurel said over the course of eight years, he spent hours a day at the New York City public library, reading veteran letters and researching each war for the play – reading 20-30 books and thousands of letters.

“I have a storyline that goes through the play,” Taurel says. “I try to talk about the different aspects of war, the challenges and what they [soliders] have to go through.

“The overall theme is thanking family members and veterans. The idea is to give the audience a sincere understanding of what it is that we ask our men and women in arms to do for us. That is the goal,” he added.

Audience members, veterans and critics alike are completely enthralled by Taurel’s performance and his heartfelt portrayal of soldiers and their families. He’s received hundreds of letter and comments regarding the show.

Here are just a few of them below:

“Words cannot express my profound gratitude in being able to Douglas Taurel headshotexperience your amazing performance. As you carried out each story, you truly transcended the audience into the life of a soldier.”

—Mother-in-law of a veteran

“Your performance was first class, moving, thoughtful, compassionate and heartfelt from the very beginning to the end. Tried holding back my tears, but that didn’t last long.”

—Desert Storm combat veteran

“Your passion for the stories you enact help us realize what the American soldier does and why they do it. Your inspiring portrayal of our veterans reminds us of the debt we owe our nations defenders.”

—Vietnam veteran

“I saw and felt the pain and journey of each character you created and remembered all of the tragedy I saw as a nurse in Vietnam.”

—Civilian nurse

Taurel has performed The American Solider more than 8,000 times in 11 different states. His play was one of 100—out of 3,500 entries—nominated for an Amnesty International Award.

But more than awards or reviews, Taurel says the years he spent researching and now portraying military members has given him a whole new appreciation for men and women in uniform.

“What I hope is to share how this allows our veterans to talk about their experiences,” he said. “It honors them and their families in their own words and gives them a voice.

“Now, as a society, we don’t have to make the same kind of commitment or sacrifices that previous generations made. Society functions efficiently even with war. We forget what they go through. My play reminds them.”

Best Veterans Day Deals and Freebies for 2019

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Veterans Day Freebies text with image of a patriotic star

Here is your guide to some of the great Veterans Day free meals brought to you by Spruce!

Below are some of the popular restaurants and other retailers that are giving away free meals, discounts, and other freebies to veterans on Veterans Day (Monday, November 11, 2019).

If you’re not seeing your favorite restaurant from last year, they may still be participating but haven’t listed their 2019 information. This list is updated many times a day, so keep checking back on the Spruce website for more information.

Important: Please read through the Veterans Day Free Meals FAQ for important information you need to know before getting your freebie or a free meal, like military qualifications, restaurant participation details, and lots more.

You can find even more freebies for vets on the list of Veterans Day Freebies and Discounts for 2019. Here you’ll find freebies like free haircuts, car washes, and even hotel stays.

Golden Corral Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

On Monday, November 11, 2019, from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Golden Corral will be giving out Veterans Day free meals and a beverage to any person who has ever served in the U.S. military or is on current active duty. This includes retirees, veterans, National Guard, and Reserves.

Details of the Free Golden Corral Military Buffet

All Golden Corral locations will be participating, and no identification is required to get your free dinner buffet and beverage.

Over the last 17 years, Golden Corral served over 5.4 million veterans a Veterans Day free meal!

Red Lobster Veterans Day Free Appetizer or Dessert (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Active duty military, reserve, and military veterans can stop by Red Lobster and get a free appetizer or dessert on Monday, November 11, 2019.

More Details on the Red Lobster Veterans Day Freebie Including Appetizer and Dessert Choices

Valid proof of military service is required to get this free food.

Chili’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Visit a participating Chili’s on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get your Veterans Day free meal if you’re a veteran or on active military duty.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal Including Menu Options at Chili’s

You’ll need to show proof of military service to get your Veterans Day free meal.

Olive Garden Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Olive Garden is having a Veterans Day free meal for all active-duty military and military veterans on Monday, November 11, 2019.

Details of the Free Meal Including Entree Choices at Olive Garden on Veterans Day

You’ll need to verify with Olive Garden that you currently are or used to be in the military. Proof of military service usually includes bringing your military ID, U.S. Uniform Services Retired ID Card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement, or Veterans Organization Card.

Applebee’s Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Stop into a participating Applebee’s on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get your Veterans day free meal.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal at Applebee’s

Check out the link above for everything you need to know about this Veterans Day free meal, including what sorts of ID they consider valid, the full list of menu items you get to choose from, who is eligible, etc.

Outback Steakhouse Free Bloomin’ Onion & Beverage (November 11, 2019)

Stop into any Outback Steakhouse on Monday, November 11, 2019, to get a free Bloomin’ Onion and coke product. This offer is for all military personnel that has a military ID.

Details of the Free Veterans Day Meal at Outback Steakhouse

Outback Steakhouse is also giving out a discount of 20% off the total check from November 8 to November 11, 2019, valid for military, police, firefighters, and first responders with a valid ID. A 10% discount continues thereafter.

Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Lunch (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Texas Roadhouse will be giving away Veterans Day free meals for lunch on Monday, November 11, 2019, to active, former, or retired military.

Details on the Texas Roadhouse Veterans Day Free Meal Including Entree Options

This is for dine-in only. Hours may vary by location, so be sure to check a Texas Roadhouse near you for specific details.

Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Veterans and active duty military can stop into any participating Red Robin location on Monday, November 11, to get a free Red’s Tavern Double burger and Bottomless Steak Fries.

More Details on the Red Robin Veterans Day Free Meal

Be sure to bring your military ID to take advantage of this Veterans Day freebie.

Free Veterans Day Pancakes at IHOP (Monday, November 11, 2019)

This year on Monday, November 11, IHOP will be honoring veterans and active military men and women with the choice of a free breakfast combo or a free stack of Red, White, and Blueberry pancakes.

More Details on the Veterans Day Free Meal at IHOP

Individuals must show proof of their service before receiving this offer, such as coming in their uniform, showing a photo of them in their uniform, or showing a military ID card.

Dunkin’ Donuts Veterans Day Free Donut (Monday, November 11, 2019)

To show their support, Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free donuts to active duty military and veterans on Monday, November 11, 2019.

This free Veterans Day donut is limited to one per customer while supplies last, but no purchase or military ID is required.

It’s possible that not every Dunkin’ Donuts location is participating, so be sure to call ahead to double-check.

Cracker Barrel Veterans Day Free Dessert (Monday, November 11, 2019)

On Veterans Day, Cracker Barrel is giving veterans a Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert or Pumpkin Pie Latte…for free!

All 660 locations are participating in this Veterans Day free food offer this year.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers (November 11, 2019)

Visit a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers near you this Veterans Day, November 11, to get a free combo meal card.

You must be a veteran or active duty military to pick up the card, but it can be redeemed by anyone through November 30, 2019.

White Castle Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

White Castle is giving out a free Breakfast Combo or Castle Combo Meal (numbers 1-6) to any veteran or other military members who come in on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11th.

Proof of military service is requested but might not be required. Be sure to contact your local White Castle restaurant ahead of time to confirm that they’re participating.

Buffalo Wild Wings Veterans Day Free Wings and Fries (November 11, 2019)

Buffalo Wild Wings is having their annual Veterans Day free food deal on Veterans Day, which is Monday, November 11. All day, veterans and active duty military get a free order of small boneless or traditional wings and a side of fries.

This offer is valid at participating Buffalo Wild Wings locations and is for dine-in only. Beverages, taxes, and gratuity are not included in this offer.

Proof of military service is required, which can include a permanent or temporary military ID card, DD214, or veteran’s card. You may also come wearing your military uniform or bring a photo of you wearing it.

TCBY Veterans Day Free Frozen Yogurt (Monday, November 11, 2019)

This year for Veterans Day, all vets get their first 6 oz of frozen yogurt absolutely free.

This Veterans Day freebie is valid at participating TCBY locations only, so be sure to call and confirm before you head out on Monday the 11th. Proof of service might be required, so make sure to ask about that, too.

Twin Peaks Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Active and retired military members can visit Twin Peaks on Monday, November 11, for a complimentary Veterans Day meal.

This Veterans Day free meal includes items from a special menu, so be sure to ask about it when you visit a participating Twin Peaks locations.

Veterans Day Free Lunch or Dinner at Green Mill (November 11, 2019)

This Veterans Day free offer from Green Mill is for veterans who show proof of service.

Eligible customers can pick any one item from their menu (pizza is limited to a small 1-topping deep dish, and Wing Samplers are excluded). This offer is for dine-in only.

Contact your local Green Mill Restaurant & Bar to see if they’re participating.

Green Mill also gives out a 10% discount to veterans and active-duty military all year long.

Nekter’s Free Veterans Day Smoothies and Juices (November 11, 2019)

If you’re a veteran or active military member, you can stop in to Nekter’s on Veterans Day, November 11, for a free 16oz smoothie or juice.

You can take advantage of this free Veterans Day offer at your local Nekter location, but it’s possible that not all of them are participating, so you might call ahead of time to double-check.

You need to bring proof of military service with you.

Friendly’s Free Veterans Day Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

Friendly’s is giving veterans and active military a free Veterans Day breakfast, lunch, or dinner (dine-in only) on Monday, November 11.

If you come in the morning for breakfast, the Veterans Day free meal is the Big-Two-Do, which comes with your choice of Brioche French toast, two buttermilk pancakes or two slices of toast, two strips of crispy Applewood-smoked bacon or two sausage links, and a side of two made-to-order farm fresh eggs. Also included is a cup of coffee.

For lunch and dinner, veterans and active service members get the All-American Burger (with or without cheese) served with fries and your choice of soda, iced tea, or a hot beverage.

You’ll need to present your military ID or honorable discharge card to get this Veterans Day freebie at a Friendly’s near you.

54th Street Grill Veterans Day Free Meal (Monday, November 11, 2019)

54th Street Grill will be having a free meal up to a $12 value for veterans and active military on Veterans Day.

Proof of military service is appreciated and can be shown via military ID or by visiting in uniform or showing a photo in uniform.

Find out where a 54th Street Grill is near you.

Hurricane Grill & Wings Veterans Day Free Meal (November 11, 2019)

Another free Veterans Day meal can be had on November 11 at Hurricane Grill & Wings. Veterans and active duty military can stop in on Monday to pick from a menu of seven items.

These are the options: 10 Boneless Wings, Yuengling Beer-Battered Fish & Chips, Teriyaki Beef Bowl, Half Pound Steakburger, Chicken Caesar Salad, Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich, and Chicken BLT Tacos.

This free meal deal is for dine-in only, coupons and other offers can’t be used simultaneously, taxes and gratuity are not included, and military ID or uniform is required. Check with your local Hurricane Grill & Wings to see if they’re participating.

On the Border Veterans Day Free Meal (November 11, 2019)

Veterans can visit an On the Border restaurant to receive a free meal that includes two items served with rice and beans. They can choose two of their favorites from these options:

• House Salad
• Chicken Tortilla Soup
• Seasoned Ground Beef Enchilada with chile con carne
• Spinach and Mushroom Enchilada with sour cream sauce
• Cheese and Onion Enchilada with chile con carne sauce
• Chicken Tinga Enchilada with green chile or sour cream sauce
• Seasoned Ground Beef Taco
• Shredded Chicken Tinga Taco

Check with your local On the Border to make sure they are participating.

Other deals include:

Mobil Delvac and TA Truck Service and Folds of Honor organization will donate $5 for every Mobil Delvac oil change now through the end of November

The two have partnered once again with the Folds of Honor organization to donate $5 for every Mobil Delvac oil change conducted at participating TA Truck Service locations from now through the month of November. Folds of Honor is a great organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen and disabled service-members. Plus, truckers who participate get a special FoH hat as a thank you.

Several of the scholarship recipients are working to enter the trucking industry, including Denver Richardson, who is currently a student at Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology studying to become a mechanic specializing in diesel trucks and transmissions. You can see Denver’s story and the impact Folds of Honor has had on supporting his educational journey here.

Great Clips Welcomes Military Service Members With Free Haircuts On Veterans Day

On November 11, veterans and active service members can go into any Great Clips salon in the U.S. and get a free haircut or a free haircut card to use later.

Additionally, any non-veteran customer getting a haircut at a Great Clips salon on Veterans Day will receive a free haircut card that they can use to “pay it forward” to an active service member or veteran as a token of thanks.

The cards can be redeemed for a free haircut from Nov. 12 to Dec. 31, 2019 at any Great Clips salon.

Learn more at Great Clips.

K1 Speed, buy one, get one free on Veterans Day

FREE RACE with the purchase of a single race to any veteran and active military individual this Monday, November 11. Just show your qualifying military ID, and your second race is on the house.

Learn more at k1speed.com.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts: Save up to 20% off, plus receive 500 Wyndham Rewards bonus points on stays now through Dec. 6, 2019.

Discount available at participating hotels in the U.S. and CA across 17 brands, including household names like Super 8® by Wyndham and La Quinta® by Wyndham – both of which also offer preferred parking for active and retired military members.

Learn more at wyndhamrewards.com/honorsmilitary.

Main Event Salutes Nation’s Heroes with Free Food and Fun All Day on Veterans Day

On Monday, Nov. 11, the ultimate entertainment destination invites all active-duty and retired U.S. military personnel to visit their nearest center for FREE food and fun all day! All military personnel will receive 30 minutes of game play that can be used on more than 100 interactive video games.

Honored guests can also enjoy a free entrée from a special menu featuring:
• Bacon & Cheddar Burger
• Jumbo Wings & Fries Combo
• 10¢¢ Ultimate Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza
• Classic Cobb Salad
• Crispy Chicken Tender Sandwich
• Chicken Tenders & Fries

All stores are said to be participating, but you might still check with a Main Event near you to confirm.

Veterans Day Free Access to World’s Largest US Military Records Collection via Ancestry

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Ancestry special Veterans Day promo picture

In honor of Veterans Day, Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, is allowing everyone to search their archive of US military records for FREE from November 8 at 7:00PM EST through November 17 at 11:59PM EST.

For the past 30 years, our focus has been digitizing and making historical content accessible for everyone – today, we offer more than 10 billion historical documents, including an unmatched collection of more than 250 million military records. As America celebrates Veterans Day this year, and its service members who have fought (and still fight) to uphold American values, we are encouraging Americans to discover more about the role their families may have played in our nation’s military history.

With more than 260 million US military records, people will be able to find inspiring stories about family members who served our country from draft cards, enlistment records, soldier pension indexes and more, covering almost 400 years of American history at: ancestry.com/honor

This top military working dog is a Purple Heart recipient with nearly 100 Marine combat patrols under his collar

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military working dog with two soldiers investigating a suspicious bag on the ground

This year’s American Humane top military working dog sniffed out bombs and explosives over three combat tours with the Marine Corps across Iraq and Afghanistan and is now competing for the grand prize title of American Hero Dog.

Sgt. Yeager, a Marine Corps improvised explosive detection dog, carried out nearly 100 combat patrols and was awarded the Purple Heart after an IED explosion in Helmand province, Afghanistan, in April 2012, took out part of his ear, according to a press release

His handler, Marine Lance Cpl. Abraham Tarwoe, was killed in that explosion during a dismounted patrol in Helmand province’s Marjah district.

The pair, whose bond was described as “unbreakable,” according to American Humane, were both assigned to 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment.

Yeager was transported back to U.S. and treated for his injuries and eventually retired from the Marine Corps, according to a press release.

A press release said that while 12-year-old Yeager is showing signs of aging, his spirit is “undiminished.” Yeager was adopted by a family in North Carolina, according to the release.

Yeager is now headed to Hollywood, California, on Oct. 5 where he will be one of seven dogs to receive a 2019 American Humane Hero Dog award, the News Observer reported.

The American Humane Hero Dog Awards are a nationwide competition held every year to recognize dogs that do amazing things.

Yeager will also compete for the top award the 2019 American Hero Dog. According to American Humane, the gala will be broadcast on the Hallmark Channel on Oct. 23.

Continue on to the Marine Corps Times to read the complete article.

In Dorian’s path? Here are some last-minute disaster tips for those in the military community

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hurricane evacuees on the road leaving town in droves

If you’re in the path of possible wrath from Hurricane Dorian, here are some quick reminders. (And even if you’re not, consider these tips to help you get ready well before any future natural disaster strikes.)

    • Know your emergency procedures. Sign up for community-wide or installation-wide alerts, and follow leaders’ instructions.
    • Know your orders. When military family members are traveling with evacuation orders in hand, you’re eligible for certain reimbursements for lodging and meals. There are procedures for submitting requests for travel advances, and for submitting claims.
    • Fill your vehicle’s gas tank. (And make it a habit in the future to keep at least a half a tank full of gas at all times.) Check the availability of fuel at your exchange gas station on base. But note some bases in the expected area of impact are under evacuation orders, which generally means closures of facilities.
    • Get your prescriptions refilled now, if at all possible. If not, there are options.
  • Know Tricare’s policies related to health benefits during disasters. Currently, there are temporary emergency refill policies in effect for all counties in Florida, and 12 counties in Georgia, as well as all areas of Puerto Rico and all counties in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check back at tricare.mil/Resources for updates that will likely happen. These emergency policies are in place through Sept. 6 in Puerto Rico, and through Sept. 9 in the other areas.

This means you can get an emergency refill at any Tricare network pharmacy. It’s best to get the refill at the pharmacy where the prescription was filled, but you can get the refill at any pharmacy in the network. Take your prescription bottle with you.

Tricare beneficiaries not on active duty don’t need a referral to get care from Tricare-authorized urgent care providers. This allows you to get nonemergency care for illnesses or injuries if the primary care provider is unavailable because of weather disruptions, or, for example, you’ve evacuated the area.

Tricare has also temporarily suspended the requirement for a physician referral for Prime and Prime Remote beneficiaries in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, due to Hurricane Dorian. Thus, those who have evacuated from these areas don’t need to get a referral from their primary care provider in order to receive care in the community where they’ve evacuated. This waiver applies until Sept. 30.

  • If you still need emergency supplies, check with installation stores. Commissaries have been running specials on a variety of emergency supplies, and will continue to do so through Oct. 31; and they always adjust to add extra storm-related supplies. Commissary officials always work with their suppliers to adjust inventory before and after a storm, said Defense Commissary Agency spokesman Kevin Robinson. Stores in Florida and Georgia have sufficient hurricane supplies to meet customer’s needs.Additional pallets of water came in Thursday, with more scheduled for today, he said. Store officials also work with installation leaders to adjust commissary hours — the commissary at Patrick Air Force Base is staying open until 8 p.m. for the second day to give troops and families extra time to prepare. The exchanges also lay in extra supplies needed for natural disasters. For example, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores had been building inventory on critical emergency supplies including water, batteries, flashlights and generators since earlier this year.

Continue on to Military Times to read the complete article.

Military Veterans Try and Overcome PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injuries Through Music

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Two musicians pictured on the album cover

DFD Music (dfdmusic.com/) recently announced the release of “Hits the Collection,” Shane Foster & Christopher Davis bring together an extraordinary group of musicians to join them, something that has never been done by military veterans and industry producers.

Notable collaborators and featured musicians delivering instrumental & vocal performances include Yo Gotti, Young Dolph, Boosie Bad Azz, and Project Pat. These are artists with diverse musical backgrounds coming together to create a timeless musical quality. “Hits the Collection” is available for purchase on all major digital platforms and on iTunes.

Check out “Hits the Collection” on Spotify HERE.

Buy tracks from “Hits the Collection” on iTunes HERE.

About DFD Producers Shane Foster and Davis Chris
DFD Music is a production company dually located in both Atlanta and Los Angeles. Helmed by producers Shane Foster and Davis Chris, DFD Music offers music production, engineering, songwriting and a wide variety of marketing directions for musical artists.

Shane Foster is an American producer and marketing executive, in addition to being a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army, where he served with distinction as an elite Paratrooper. Having first studied law, Shane is an alumnus of V.C.U., and an alumnus of The Los Angeles Film School where he obtained degrees in both Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business. Shane’s most recent work has graced the iTunes Top 200 Songs chart with Yo Gotti’s single “Play” (Remix), where it peaked at number 17. Shane’s other credits involve mentions in Hype Magazine as well as television, including collaborations with Showtime, MTV, BET, VH1 and Amazon Prime Video. Shane formed DFD Music with collaborating producer Davis Chris in 2016.

“Our purpose is to create music that heals the souls of everyday people and the veterans who have served. It is a battle every day for so many to stay mentally healthy after serving our country. There are too many men and women who have fought for the country like me that end up taking their lives because of depression and PTSD. This cycle needs to stop. Working in partnership with fellow veteran Christopher Davis and other unique artists to release this album has been a step in the right direction in helping those who need healing to be healed like us.” Shane Foster said.

An American songwriter, producer and engineer from Houston, Davis Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. An alumnus of Sam Houston State University, Davis studied Kinesiology before also attending The Los Angeles Film School to obtain degrees in Music Production, Audio Engineering and Entertainment Business. Davis’s most recent work appeared on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart, with Iggy Azalea’s album “In My Defense,” which peaked at number six for independent albums, and number 22 for Top Rap Albums in 2019. The album itself has been streamed over 220 million times to date.

Both producers are BMI and Grammy U members who provide fast and reliable service to all their clients, while living by the three Ds: Determination, Dedication and Discipline. They welcome media inquiries, in addition to reviewing and receiving new talent. Follow them on social media at:

Davis Chris: @godavischris for all platforms.

Shane Foster: @therealshanefoster on Instagram and Facebook.

DFD Music: @therealdfdmusic on Twitter

Daymond John — Turning Heroes into CEOs

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Daymond John speaking into microphone on stage

The Shark Tank’s Daymond John encourages veteran entrepreneurs to make waves in business.

By Lori Denman

Entrepreneur extraordinaire Daymond John has cast a pretty large net in the realm of business.

John, otherwise known as, “The People’s Shark,” is a busy man—leading his multi-million dollar FUBU clothing line and hosting the popular reality ABC hit, “Shark Tank,” that’s celebrating its 11th season.

But he never hesitates to take time to help a promising entrepreneur—particularly those who have served our country. “I’m working with veterans as much as I can,” he said.

John is in his third year of partnering with Bob Evans Farms to host an entrepreneurial contest called “Heroes to CEOs.” Finalists receive a free trip to New York City for a personalized, 45-minute session with John to help them perfect a pitch that could win them a $30,000 grant for their business.

John says the same traits that make veterans successful in combat—courage, teamwork, overcoming challenging obstacles, taking inventory of a situation—also apply in the boardroom. A veteran’s large network of supportive comrades is a further advantage, he added.

“I call it OPM, or other people’s manufacturing, mind power or marketing,” he said. “Meaning if you want to start up a business, make a list of friends and acquaintances who can assist in the mission. Soak up their knowledge and insight.”

Still, there’s a few personality traits characteristic of the military that may actually hinder a veteran entrepreneur, according to John in a recent interview for The Motley Fool.

Shark Tank panel seated together
Panel: (L-R) Lori Greiner, Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Kevin OLeary, and Daymond John of Tribeca Talks: Ten Years of Shark Tank poses for a portrait. MATT DOYLE/GETTY IMAGES

“Vets were brought up to think about everybody else and stand in the line of fire. They don’t always put their needs first.”

There’s been more than a few veterans who have heeded John’s advice. Last month, Jonathan Norton, founder and CEO of Peak Safety Systems, was voted the winner of the third annual “Heroes to CEOs” program. A former Army Ranger, Norton invented the RopeSafe Edge protection system—life-saving equipment for military, first responders, and rope access professionals.

Norton says his company was born out of personal experience. ““I witnessed a student nearly fall to his death while he was repelling because the edge protector that we were using failed,” he said in a recent interview on cheddar.com.

“It was a scary moment and created a lot of fear, doubt and uncertainty. But it inspired me to find a solution. That was the impetus for developing the product.”

Although RopeSafe just launched, Norton has successfully sold to several areas throughout the U.S., including FDNY, NYPD, Dallas SWAT and more. Even a window washing company in Rochester, New York.

Daymond John books on display at book signing
Books on display during Daymond John book signing ” Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life”. JOHNNY LOUIS/GETTY IMAGES

When asked about entrepreneurial qualities he acquired during his time in the military, Norton says, “In spite of the hardships or the bumps in the road, it’s really about commitment to the mission and knowing I am serving a bigger purpose.”

John says he was blown away with Norton’s creativity, innovation and solid business plan. “He really rose to the top as an exceptional leader who is ready to take his business to the next level.

With several successful ventures under his belt over the last 30 years, John says he’s often asked what advice he gives veterans and others who wish to start their own business.

“I would say don’t mortgage your house for 100K,” he joked recently on Ladders.com, citing his own personal experience as John did indeed get his start by mortgaging his mother’s house.

After that, John started his successful clothing line but considers the risky move very lucky, adding, “It turned out for all the better, but knowing what I know now, I was very close to losing the house and everything we had.”

Daymond John standing wearing a gray suit
Photo: ADRIAN EDWARDS/GETTY IMAGES

His top 5 tips to veterans wanting to start a business as well as other entrepreneurs on Shark Tank:

  1. Set goals to know where you’re headed

By age 16, John had told himself he’d be a millionaire by age 30. But when he turned 22, he was broke and struggling to make a buck by buying and selling cars.

“I didn’t know how to properly execute goal-setting. It’s not just visualizing of a number or a certain age,” said John.

When the idea for FUBU came along, he decided to reshape the goal he set for himself. Instead of committing to making a million dollars by age 30, John instead made it his goal to outfit the hip-hop culture. Designing a clothing line became less about earning money and more about dedicating himself to a community — one that he thought would turn into future consumers.

“My goal became doing the best I can for the company I love,” John said.

  1. Homework — you still have to do it

After sneaking his way into a menswear conference in Las Vegas, John proudly showed off early prototypes of T-shirts emblazoned with the logo of his budding company, FUBU, an acronym that means “For Us, By Us.” He secured $300,000 worth of orders, and after his mother took out an equity line on their house in Queens, he took $100,000 to outfit a factory to get production going.

Just one problem: He hadn’t done any research on what it would cost to start a clothing line and get production going. In the process, he nearly lost his mom’s house and ended FUBU before it got off the ground.

Knowing what you need to launch a venture is something John stresses to the hopefuls who appear before him on Shark Tank. He has to see that an entrepreneur looking for funding has done their work to know what their market is and who their competitors are — and that they’ve used that knowledge to not only start driving sales but also improve on their track record.

  1. Adore what you do, and success will follow

A true entrepreneur must love what they’re doing—a seemingly trite lesson that John said is crucial for any successful entrepreneur. It’s passion for a project that will allow a person to push past failures and feeling burned out.

“Do what you love, and success will follow. Money may follow; but I can’t promise that it will,” he said. “But money’s more likely to follow when you’re doing something you love, because you’ll do it for 10 years or 20 years.”

  1. Remember, you — not just your business — are a brand

These days it’s easy to manufacture a personality using social media. But building a business is as much about how you carry yourself as it is about meeting quarterly sales figures or developing new products.

“Be very honest with yourself, especially today with social media. At any given time, your employees can see you,” John said. “So you have to know what the DNA of the brand is. It only takes your employees two weeks to treat your customers the same way they’re being treated.”

  1. Keep swimming, no matter what

John’s final point makes use of what he calls the power of positive thinking. Even as FUBU grew into a bigger company, he maintained a “healthy paranoia” about running a clothing company.

“I always said fashion brands are hot for five years and then they’re gone,” he said.

But keeping a persevering attitude spurred him to come up with solutions to problems instead of giving up. As John wrote in his book, The Power of Broke: “You have to be relentless, nimble, moving ever forward. No matter what.”

Joe Walsh Announces Lineup For Vetsaid 2019 In Houston

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(HOUSTON, TEXAS) – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and multi-GRAMMY Award winning musician Joe Walsh and VetsAid, his national 501(c)3 non-profit veterans organization, announced the lineup and on-sale date for their 3rd annual music festival. VetsAid 2019 will feature sets from ZZ Top, Brad Paisley, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit and Joe Walsh and will take place at 5:30pm on Sunday, November 10, 2019, on the eve of Veterans Day, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

Tickets will be available through the Toyota Center Box Office, at www.toyotacenter.com or by calling 1-866-4-HOUTIX and will be priced at $199.50, $149.50, $119.50, $99.50, $79.50, $49.50 and $25.

The inaugural VetsAid took place on September 20, 2017 with a concert at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia featuring performances by Walsh, Zac Brown Band, Keith Urban and Gary Clark Jr. VetsAid 2018 was a blockbuster event featuring Don Henley, James Taylor, Chris Stapleton, Haim and Joe, who was joined by special guest Ringo Starr. They performed to a sell out crowd of nearly 18,000. It was also in Tacoma where Walsh and VetsAid hosted its first Veterans Jobs Fair where dozens of local vets found meaningful full-time employment with established regional employers in the Pacific Northwest.

As every year, all net proceeds from the concert will go directly to the veterans’ services charities selected through a vetting process-coordinated in tandem with the National Association of Veterans Serving Organizations (NAVSO). In its first two years, VetsAid has disbursed nearly $1.2M in grants to veterans’ services organizations on the national level and the regional level with a focus on the festival’s host city. This year, VetsAid plans to disburse grants to Houston-area organizations; small grant applications have been open since May 2019 via the VetsAid website (www.vetsaid.org).

Veterans and their wellbeing have always been important to Walsh, a Gold Star son himself. His father was a flight instructor for the first US operational jet powered aircraft, the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, and died while stationed and on active duty on Okinawa when Walsh was 20 months old.

Walsh has been involved with veterans’ related causes for years, supporting various charities, visiting the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and offering free guitar lessons to the wounded veterans there. He has campaigned for his good friend, (now) United States Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee.

Walsh aims to use this platform to raise funds and awareness for the still urgent and significant needs of our returning soldiers and their families. Through the establishment of VetsAid and this annual benefit concert, he aims to give back to those who have given so much in sacrifice for this country.

“It’s about time we brought VetsAid down to Texas and who better to share the stage with than my old buddies and Houston’s own ZZ Top! With Brad, Sheryl, Jason and more special guests to be announced joining us too this will be yet another historic night of incredible music for our vets.” Joe Walsh continues, “This is a night where all are welcome to celebrate the things that unite us as Americans: good friends, open hearts and great music!”

For more information, including grant applications for small veterans services groups, please visit www.vetsaid.org.

6 Terms You Won’t Believe Have Military Origins

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veterans looking at computer and smiling

There’s a long history of military slang, probably dating all the way back to when the first people hit each other with sticks and rocks. While military slang can be fun, it’s even more fun when it seeps into the common vernacular of everyday people. The only problem is when a word or phrase is too good, its origin gets lost in time, and people forget where it came from – but no longer.

Here are just a few words and phrases that came from military tradition.

1. “Best man”

n the days of yore, it was quite possible that a betrothed man might lose his wife even before their wedding to any number of possible hazards – rival bands, enemy leaders, or even random highwaymen. So while he was in the middle of the ceremony, he would enlist his best swordsman to cover his back while his attention was focused elsewhere or hold off an attacking party while the new couple made their getaway.

2. “Boondocks”

These days, to be way out in the boonies means you’re out in the middle of nowhere, somewhere in the sticks. When the term was coined, it meant that too, only the actual boondocks are in the Philippines. In Tagalog, “bundok” literally translates to “mountains” so when Filipino fighters told American troops they were headed to the bundoks during the 1898 Spanish-American War and the subsequent Philippine-American War, it meant they were headed to the islands’ inner wilderness.

3. “Cowboys”

Sorry, but the term “cowboy” used to define the ranchers and vaqueros of the Old West was never actually used for those guys at the time. They were usually just called cow herders or cowhands. The term “cowboy” goes well past the 19th Century. The original cowboys were American colonists loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution. They would band together in guerrilla units and lure other units of rebel farmers into ambushes using cowbells to coax them in. After the war, it was used to describe criminals from Texas who made raids into Mexico.

4. “Face the music”

In the European military tradition (from which the U.S. tradition is derived), any disgraced officer who was summarily kicked out of his unit was done so in the most demeaning manner possible. As the regiment’s drummer played on, the officer would have his sword broken, his buttons removed, and his charges read to the entire room. The officer was them marched across the parade ground to the tune of the “Rogue’s March” toward the regimental band.

5. “Last ditch effort”

In the kind of fighting that took place in the 16th and 17 Century, troops didn’t just maneuver around the battlefields in the open, in tight formations, wearing bright colors. I mean, they did that, but they also constructed a series of earthwork redoubts and other protective places to hold. Among these was a series of trenches they could fall back to if the stuff started hitting the fan – and they would dig many in case things went really wrong. But everyone knew by the time you got to your last one, you had to do something amazing, or everyone was likely to die in that last ditch.

6. “The whole nine yards”

This term appeared in the 1950s, after the end of World War II – and it has nothing to do with football or anything else where yardage is a factor. It refers to the length of the ammunition belts designed for American and British fighter planes during the war, 27 feet (or nine yards). When flying a particularly tough mission or otherwise using a lot of ammo, a pilot might have been said to use “the whole nine yards.”

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