First woman enlists to become a Navy SEAL

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A woman will train with other potential officers this summer in hopes of becoming the first female Navy SEAL.

The candidate, a midshipman, and another woman have enlisted as the first female candidates seeking to join the Navy’s special operations teams.

The latter is training for the Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman program, or SWCC.

These women have already made history, but they still face a long road ahead of training and tests before they officially make the cut.

Women weren’t allowed to serve in combat roles, including special operation forces such as the SEALs and SWCC, until January 2016. But there were no female applicants in the 18 months since that historic change until now.

The candidates’ identities and training progress are confidential to protect their personal security and “career viability as future special operator,” Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command, told CNN.

Eight SEAL and seven SWCC classes — all entirely male — have graduated since March 2016, according to a Naval Special Warfare Center briefing last month for the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.

The SWCC candidate will undergo months of Navy training and screening evaluations, Walton said. The SEAL hopeful will be evaluated for three weeks at a SEAL Officer Assessment and Selection process in California as a prerequisite to SEAL training before moving on to a SEAL Officer Selection Panel in September.

Read the complete article on CNN.

Veterans will soon get to shop tax-free online with AAFES

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Hey veterans, you can soon shop tax free.

Starting later this year, all honorably discharged veterans, no matter their branch of service,  will be eligible to shop tax-free online at the Army & Air Force Exchange Service with the same discounts they enjoyed on base while in the military. It’s the latest way in which the organization is trying to keep its customers as the armed forces shrink and airmen and soldiers buy more for delivery.

Adding 13 million potential new customers will give extra ammunition to the group that runs the stores on U.S. Army and Air Force bases worldwide as it fights Amazon and other retailers for veterans’ online shopping dollars.

Since hiring its first civilian CEO five years ago, the Exchange has upgraded the brands at base stores to include items like Disney toys, Michael Kors fashions and other top names. Like private stores, it’s also imposed tighter cost controls, reduced the number of employees and improved people’s experience on the website.

“The intent is to really beat Amazon at their game because we have locations literally on the installations,” said CEO Tom Shull. “We’re leaning toward not just ship-from-store but pick-up-from-store and eventually deliver-from-store.”

The Exchange is adding shipping centers within its stores to allow it to send products directly from those locations more cheaply and quickly. Twenty-six stores now ship orders, and that will expand to 55 by the end of the year.

Continue onto Stars & Stripes to read more about this service.

American Water Announces Support for National Guard and Reserve Employees

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American Water

American Water (NYSE: AWK), the nation’s largest publicly traded water and wastewater utility company, announced recently its support for National Guard and Reserve employees.

American Water Chief Operating Officer Walter Lynch signed the statement of support during a ceremony honoring American Water employee veterans held at American Water headquarters in Voorhees, N.J. He was joined by Mr. Don Tretola, Chair of the New Jersey ESGR Committee.

“We are so pleased to pledge our support for our National Guard and Reserve employees,” said Lynch. “With about ten percent of our employees being military veterans, we have firsthand knowledge of the tremendous value they bring to our organization. Much of the skills and training people receive in the military can be easily applied to jobs in the water and wastewater industry, such as engineering, IT and operations.”

The Statement of Support signed by American Water pledges:
• We fully recognize, honor and comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-Employment Rights Act (USERRA).
• Our managers and supervisors will have the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve.
• We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to hire Guardsmen, Reservists and Veterans.
• We will continually recognize and support our country’s service members and their families in peace, in crises and in war.

“Today supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units. The ESGR Statement of Support program is the cornerstone of ESGR’s efforts to gain and maintain employer support. The intent of this program is to increase employer support by encouraging participating employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military,” said Tretola. “American Water is setting a high standard for all New Jersey companies to follow by providing above and beyond support of the nation’s veterans, many of whom currently serve in the National Guard and Reserve.”

“By meeting the Statement of Support criteria, American Water will stand proudly with their Guard and Reserve employees who continue to answer our nation’s call to defend our way of life. Their personal sacrifices are essential to the strength of our nation”, added Tretola.

More information about ESGR Employer Outreach is available at ESGR.mil or by contacting Tom Bullock, Chief, Employer Outreach, at (571) 372-0709.

About ESGR
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve is a Department of Defense Office established in 1972 to develop and maintain employer support for Guard and Reserve service. ESGR advocates relevant initiatives, recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of applicable laws, and resolves conflict between service members and employers. Paramount to ESGR’s mission is encouraging the employment of Guardsmen and Reservists who bring integrity, global perspective and proven leadership to the civilian workforce.

About American Water
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly-traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 47 states and Ontario, Canada. More information can be found by visiting amwater.com.

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VetsAid Selects First Round of Veteran Charities to Benefit from Concert featuring Joe Walsh, Keith Urban and more—Applications now open!

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Joe Walsh

VetsAid, the first annual concert to support veterans and their families sponsored by Joe Walsh, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee and multi GRAMMY Award recipient announces the following organizations as charitable partners that will benefit from this year’s September 20 concert: Operation Mend, Hire Heroes USA, Warrior Canine Connection, TAPS, Semper Fi Fund, Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation, Stop Soldier Suicide and Swords to Plowshares.

Providing support to organizations that care for the nation’s military wounded, ill and injured is deeply personal to Walsh, a Gold Star survivor whose father died while on active duty on Okinawa, Japan when Walsh was 20 months old. “It’s the least I could do for those who have served and continue to serve our country,” said Walsh. “We’re all in this together as Americans and seems to me lately that people are forgetting that.”

Walsh has assisted various veteran’s charities over the years and personally reached out to Veterans, including visiting Walter Reed Medical Center where he offered free guitar lessons to wounded veterans. With assistance from industry experts, Walsh and leaders of VetsAid reviewed numerous organizations before selecting the initial eight veteran- and caregiver-focused charities.

“The first round of charities selected adheres to the highest standards in fiscal transparency and governance, delivering high-quality programs that positively impact the lives of the families they serve,” said Chris Ford, CEO of the National Association of Veteran-Serving Organizations, the organization assisting the selection process.

The September 20th show, to benefit VetsAid, an IRS-recognized national non-profit 501(c)(3), will be held at the EagleBank Arena in Fairfax, Virginia. The concert will feature full set performances by Walsh, the Zac Brown Band, Gary Clark Jr., and Keith Urban. Tickets are on sale now.

If you are an IRS-recognized non-profit that supports wounded, ill and injured veterans and families of the fallen and are interested in applying for a VetsAid grant, please go to VetsAid.org for information and to access the application form. Applications for this year’s concert must be received by September 10, 2017.

Shocking Military Suicide Rates and Identifying the Signs

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Suicide Prevention

September is National Suicide Prevention Month, which makes it an important time to move the conversation about suicide forward. While suicide is a national problem, it is one that also affects smaller communities, including the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) community.

These brave men and women have suffered losses not only on the battlefield, but from suicide in recent years. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, each day there are around 20 veterans who commit suicide. What’s more, they report that veterans’ suicides account for 18% of the suicide deaths in the country, while they only make up 8.5% of the adult population.

“There’s clearly a serious issue with suicides among active duty military service members, veterans and their families, and it’s one that we are passionate about addressing,” explains Nicole Motsek, executive director of the EOD Warrior Foundation. “Only when people are aware of what is going on can they begin to affect change.”

Suicide is a major concern with veterans and active duty military members. It’s especially shocking when viewing the suicide rates of active duty Army members. According to a research report in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal, the Army suicide rate increased 80% from 2004 to 2008. While the Army may have the most shocking suicide statistics, but no branch of the military is immune to the crisis. Among EOD technicians, suicide is considered to be at a crisis level. It’s an issue that the EOD Warrior Foundation is tackling and hoping to help change.

Suicide among EOD technicians is an issue that organizations such as the EOD Warrior Foundation are trying to not only raise awareness about, but are trying to help prevent. They are currently working with Dr. Kelly Posner Gerstenhaber, of Columbia University. Dr. Gerstenhaber is the director of The Columbia Lighthouse Project, and has dedicated her life to saving others from suicide, as well as removing the stigma around the issue. She created the Columbia Suicide Severity Rating Scale (C-SSRS) and has shown that this is a critical tool in preventing suicide. We must identify to find those suffering in silence.

Those who suspect someone they know may be considering suicide should seek immediate professional assistance. The C-SSRS supports suicide risk assessment through a series of simple, plain-language questions that anyone can ask. The answers help users identify whether someone is at risk for suicide, assess the severity and immediacy of that risk, and gauge the level of support that the person needs.

Users of the C-SSRS tool ask people:
• Whether and when they have thought about suicide (ideation)
• What actions they have taken — and when — to prepare for suicide
• Whether and when they attempted suicide or began a suicide attempt that was either interrupted by another person or stopped of their own volition

“The suicide rate for our veterans and active duty is around 50% higher than for their civilian counterparts, showing what a serious issue we have on our hands,” says Dr. Gerstenhaber. “This group of people have a tremendous amount of stress and they need to know it’s not a sign of weakness to seek help. We have programs in place that have been successful at helping to reduce the suicide rates, and we want to expand those to help others around the nation.”

These are questions everyone must ask. In order to continue working to eradicate suicide, we all must go beyond the medical model, and this is what the Dr. Gerstenhaber and the EOD Warrior Foundation are working together to do in the EOD community.

The EOD Warrior Foundation is an organization that helps the families of the 7,000 people in our military who are Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, and perform bomb disposal duties. Engaging in the most dangerous job in the military, EOD technicians often sustain serious injuries, lose limbs, or are killed in action. The EOD Warrior Foundation helps this elite group by providing financial relief, therapeutic healing retreats, a scholarship program, care of the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. and more. Their work is supported by private donations and the generosity of those who support the organization. To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their fundraising events calendar, visit their site at: eodwarriorfoundation.org.

About EOD Warrior Foundation
The EOD Warrior Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help EOD warriors and their family members with a priority on wounded EOD warriors and the families of fallen EOD warriors. Specific programs include financial relief, college scholarships, hope and wellness programs that include therapeutic healing retreats, and care for the EOD Memorial Wall located at Eglin AFB, Fla. To learn more about the EOD Warrior Foundation, or see their events calendar, visit their site at: eodwarriorfoundation.org.

US Air Force Officer Retires to Pursue Breakout Product

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After 20 years in the US Air Force and 10 deployments, Lieutenant Colonel Butler is preparing to leave the service and pursue the expansion of his popular lawn game Rollors.

On track to surpass record growth in 2016, the game combines the best parts of bowling, bocce, and horseshoes into one addictive, competitive—and portable—package.

“Leaving the military is very bittersweet,” said Butler. “But I think it’s time to focus on taking my business to the next level. I’m looking forward to using the brand to stay connected to my brothers and sisters in arms in a new way.”

As the business has increased in sales over the years, Butler has been able to support numerous church, school, and nonprofit organizations—something he looks forward to furthering his involvement with on a greater scale in the future.

“Since I launched Rollors, I’ve been employing veterans,” explains Butler. “Now I’ll be able to dedicate more time to helping fellow veterans on their transition out of the military and/or into entrepreneurship if that is a route they’d like to take.”

In addition to his humanitarian plans, Butler will be focusing on attending trade shows, increasing distribution, and breaking into the European market in 2018.

About the Game
Rollors can be played across any flat surface from backyard lawns to sandy beaches. Players take turns rolling the durable wooden disks toward goal posts and earn points depending on how and where the disks land.

Currently, they offer the base game as well as an Expansion Pack that allows even more players to join the fun. They also have a customization option that lets players personalize their goal pieces with names, dates, logos, and more. Disks come in additional color combinations including yellow/green, orange/purple, gray/black, and limited edition neon shades.

Rollors is available in 600 retailers nationwide including Dicks Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Cabelas, Amazon, Wayfair, and other specialty boutiques. It has received numerous commendations including the 2013 Product of the Year Award from Family Review Center, 2013 Toy Tips and Trust Award, a Best Gear for 2014 product according to Men’s Journal, and the 2014 Oppenheim Best Toy Award Gold Seal.

About the Founder​
US Air Force Officer Lieutenant Colonel Butler, and inventor of Rollors, had the lightbulb moment when looking for a relaxing game to play during downtime between deployments. Once he returned home, he knew it was time to turn it into a reality. He quickly looked to his other out of work brothers in arms for help, and has been providing veterans with much needed jobs ever since.

Visit the website at rollors.com.

PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. Awards $450,000 Grant to Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation

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ALEXANDRIA,VA (August 31, 2017) – The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc. awarded a three-year, $450,000 grant to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. The grant – the first in the series of the PwC Charitable Foundation’s extended four-year, $5 million veterans commitment – will provide necessary financial assistance to the children of Marines and Navy Corpsmen who are seeking certification in today’s most hands-on careers through the Scholarship Foundation’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) program.

“Service members have sacrificed so much, but their education – or that of their children – shouldn’t be on the table,” said Frank Gaudio, PwC Charitable Foundation trustee and veterans liaison. “It’s our responsibility to help provide stronger, diverse educational pathways for these incredible individuals, and we’re passionate about providing support through incredible organizations like the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation to help achieve that goal.”

Nationally, 8.4 million individuals are seeking postsecondary certificates and associate degrees in CTE fields through career centers, community and technical colleges, and more.  CTE programs provide clear pathways to certifications and degrees in 21st century high-growth industries, such as healthcare, renewable energy, and STEM fields in demand as technological advances increase.  Yet, the United States is currently on track to produce at least 11 million fewer certificates and degrees than our economy will require by 2025.

“We’re thrilled to continue our collaborative relationship with the PwC Charitable Foundation,” said Margaret B. Davis, President and CEO of the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation. “We’re committed to supporting all Marine children in pursuit of their educational goals, and these days there’s no more versatile educational path than Career and Technical Education.”

The Scholarship Foundation’s CTE program continues to respond to the growing need for skills in technical fields. The program saw a 36 percent increase in applications between the 2015-2016 academic year alone.

“CTE programs offer a variety of options and the flexibility to fit today’s world, better than traditional postsecondary education,” Gaudio continued. “These programs provide pathways to certifications and degrees in high-growth industries of the future, and CTE professionals graduate with a combination of academic knowledge and technical skills that put them on the cutting edge of today’s most hands-on careers.”

Since its inception in 1962, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded more than 40,000 scholarships valued at nearly $120 million. As the cost of pursuing a post-high school education increases, the need for investment in America’s next generation of leaders is greater than ever.

About the PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc.: The PwC Charitable Foundation, Inc., a section 501(c)(3) organization, makes contributions to the people of PwC in times of financial hardship and to nonprofit organizations that support and promote education and humanitarianism. The PwC Charitable Foundation’s investment in the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation was the first in a series of the Foundation’s extended four-year, $5 million commitment to support U.S. veterans and their families with a focus to provide scholarships for education as well as support with the transition to the workforce.

About the Scholarship Foundation: Established in 1962, the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation is the Nation’s oldest and largest provider of need-based scholarships for military children. Since its inception, the Scholarship Foundation has awarded $120 million in scholarships to 40,000 recipients. For more information on the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, please visit www.mcsf.org

Federal Bar Association Offers Pro Bono Wills For Veterans

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Wills for Vets

Arlington, VA – Wills for Veterans is a new initiative of the Federal Bar Association that began at the national level in February 2017. This is a pro bono project where participating FBA chapters are providing will drafting and signing services to any veterans in the local area.

The FBA is encouraging all chapters to take part in this program on Thursday, November 9 to coincide with Veterans Day (November 11). All chapters will be free to execute the program as they see fit. So far, 18 chapters have already signed up. Volunteer attorneys, paralegals, and notaries will perform the services, and volunteer witnesses will donate their time.

To avoid any type of malpractice liability, the chapters will ensure that all attorneys have an active malpractice policy and that the wills are limited to basic estate planning (no trusts, etc.) If a client needs more specialized services, the chapters will provide a list of local practicing estate attorneys who were available at a reduced rate.

Participating chapters so far:
Baton Rouge Chapter, Broward County Chapter, Dayton Chapter, District of Columbia Chapter, Eastern District of Michigan Chapter, Idaho Chapter, Inland Empire Chapter, John W. Peck Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter, Massachusetts Chapter, Memphis/Mid-South Chapter, Minnesota Chapter, New Orleans Chapter, Northern District of Ohio Chapter, Northern District of West Virginia Chapter, Sacramento Chapter, San Antonio Chapter, Tampa Bay Chapter, and William D. Browning Tucson Chapter.

About the Federal Bar Association:
The Federal Bar Association consists of more than 19,000 federal lawyers, including 1,500 federal judges, who work together to promote the sound administration of justice, quality, and independence of the judiciary. Through its multifaceted programs, the FBA advocates on federal issues that impact the practice of federal lawyers and the courts; provides opportunities for scholarship and education to the profession; delivers opportunities for judges and attorneys to professionally and socially interact; and promotes high standards of professional competence and ethical conduct. The mission of the Federal Bar Association includes serving not just the interests of federal judiciary and the federal practitioner, but also the interests of the community that they serve.

Visit the Federal Bar Association’s Wills for Vets at fedbar.org/outreach/Wills-for-Vets.aspx

Clean the World & Booyah Veteran Bus Project Partner to Support Homeless Veterans Through Three-Month Hike Across America

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Booyah Veterans Bus Project

Clean the World, a leader in Global Health, and Booyah Veteran Bus Project, announce the launch of Hike Across America, powered by Booyah Veteran Bus Project and Clean the World.  Hike Across America is a three-month initiative to raise awareness for homeless veterans and the difficulties they face going from active duty to civilian life.

During the Hike Across America, founder of the Booyah Veteran Bus Project, Shane Johnson, will walk 22 miles every day for 65 days — trekking coast-to-coast, from Florida to California and distributing Clean the World Veterans’ Hygiene Kits to homeless veterans in need.

“This is a lead from the front initiative to not only bring awareness for but also, to take massive action across the nation to eliminate veteran homelessness and transitional issues caused by going from military life to civilian life. This unified partnership between Clean the World and Booyah Veteran Bus Project is the first major step in this initiative,” says Shane Johnson, founder of the Booyah Veteran Bus Project.

“We will no longer sit by the wayside and allow our veterans to fall into the trap of isolation due to the lack of transitional resources. We will band together outside of the military to create a cohesive team — a unit — and will make a concentrated effort to help transitioning veterans learn to dominate civilian life as they did in the military.”

This is the second time Shane Johnson and the Booyah Veteran Bus Project has hiked for veterans. In October 2016, Johnson and his team completed a 360+ mile trek from the Veteran’s hospital in Lake Nona, Florida to Panama City, Florida. This year, with Johnson teaming up with Clean the World, the initiative is even bigger and more intense as the walk will consist of 65 consecutive days and over 3,000 miles. The Hike Across America, a first-of-its-kind walk, will start on Sept. 11 in Orlando, Florida and end in Camp Pendleton, California on Nov. 14. The hike will be segmented into 22-mile intervals representing the number of veterans that commit suicide every day and consists of 20 different city stops including a Veterans Day stop in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“When we heard about the Booyah Veteran Bus Project, we knew Clean the World needed to be a part of this initiative,” says Shawn Seipler, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Clean the World. “With over 47,000 homeless veterans in the United States, we want to directly connect these heroes, who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our country, to organizations and services that will help them get back on their feet. By creating an army of volunteers and supporters, we will fight for our homeless Veteran community, provide the necessary resources to get them back into the workforce, and give them a step up towards changing their situation for the better.”

During the walk, Johnson will visit homeless shelters specializing in serving veterans, raise awareness for veteran homelessness, and hand out Clean the World Veterans’ Hygiene Kits to those in need. Veterans’ Hygiene Kits are specialized with items specifically with veterans in mind: 2 bars of soap, repurposed shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, shaving cream, razor, comb, socks, and an inspirational notecard. In addition, veterans will be connected to counselors, pastors, and organizations in their local communities to provide them with the support needed to transition to civilian life and into the work force.

“Our hope is to give these veterans a little something to make them feel better. These hygiene kits will provide a way for veterans to get cleaned and refreshed, giving them a renewed start as they face the challenges of their everyday lives,” says Seipler. “We are visiting 20 cities across America during the three-month hike. We want to distribute as many hygiene kits as possible to vets across America so we are looking for individuals and businesses to donate towards the costs of the kits. Please help by donating kits via our website and spread the word to your friends. This is a fantastic way for individuals to give back to a veteran in need.”

To learn more about Hike Across America powered by Booyah Veteran Bus Project and Clean the World including routes and updates, please visit: cleantheworld.org/hike-across-america.

In addition to Hygiene Kit donations, Clean the World is looking for equipment and supplies to support Shane Johnson and his team during the walk. This includes a recreation vehicle, camping gear, clothing, shoes, food, drinks, and electronic equipment. For businesses or individuals that would like to donate hygiene kits or sponsor Hike Across America, please email info@cleantheworld.org.

About Clean the World
Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to the mission of saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills. Clean the World operates soap recycling centers in Orlando, Las Vegas and Hong Kong, and leads a “Global Hygiene Revolution” to distribute recycled soap and hygiene products from more than 5,000 hotel and resort partners to children and families in countries with a high pre-adolescent death rate due to acute respiratory infection (pneumonia) and diarrheal diseases (cholera) – which are two of the top killers of children under the age of five. Since 2009, more than 40 million bars of Clean the World soap have been distributed in over 115 countries.

Clean the World has served over 10 million individuals through its soap distribution and hygiene education programs. In addition, Clean the World provides hygiene kits to relief organizations throughout North America. More information: CleanTheWorld.org.

About Booyah Veteran Bus Project
The Veteran Bus Project is a three-phase endeavor to provide a sense of dignity to the countless homeless and transitioning Veterans in America today. Phase 1 involves raising massive awareness to the circumstances surrounding veteran suicides and homelessness due to transitioning issues from Military service back into the Civilian sector. After distinguished and honorable military service, many aging or ill veterans end up homeless or even are forced to walk to and from their VA medical appointments across the nation. The Project will shed light on these issues by a hiking and speaking tours across the country in 2016 and 2017.

The 360+ mile hike in 2016 was a massive success in Florida communities and this impact will be expanding to the rest of the United States with the hiking efforts in 2017. Phase 2 will involve the buildout of mobile hygiene units that will travel and provide showers, haircuts and laundry facilities to those in need; thus providing a critical healthy step up and restoring dignity to those it serves. The Project is aiming to begin construction of the first mobile shower unit in Orlando, Florida beginning in the second quarter of 2018. The third Phase of the Project will be aimed at creating actual transitional facilities, complete with a 13-week housing program.

The central focus of these facilities will be recreating a military-type structured learning environment where veterans can learn from qualified instructors and community leaders the skills necessary to transition and even become highly successful and impactful in their new civilian lives! Upon completion of the program, each veteran will be provided with a mentor and a job opportunity.

More information: BooyahVeteranBusProject.com.

The Rock serenades 82nd Airborne for its 100 years of service

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America’s iconic 82nd Airborne Division received a special rendition of “Happy Birthday” this week by one of the world’s biggest action stars: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

The official Facebook and Twitter pages of the 82nd Airborne Division shared a heartfelt message Friday by Mr. Johnson, who thanked its members for contributing to 100 years of service.

Its actual birthday is Aug. 5, although celebrations have occurred throughout the year.

“Can you smell what The Rock is cooking? Check out who wished the All American 82nd Airborne Division a happy birthday on our Centennial,” the moderator for 82nd Airborne’s Facebook page wrote Friday.

“Right now I believe this is playing in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, one of my favorite spots on the planet,” Mr. Johnson said. “Fifteen-, 16-, 17,000 people I’m told right now. Military men and women of course, and your wonderful [and] beautiful families, I just want to say from up here in Canada: I’m training. This is my iron paradise. I’m up here shooting a movie, ‘Skyscraper,’ where I play a very proud U.S. veteran. Guys and girls, I just want to say happy birthday. One hundred years, honestly, from deep down in my soul, in my bones, in my guts, in my bloodstream, I just want to say thank you so much for your service. I thank you. I am so proud of you, so grateful, and I love you. Have an amazing weekend.”

Continue onto the Washington Times to watch a video of The Rock thanking our 82nd Airborne!

LAST FLAG FLYING-Starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Yul Vazquez, and Cicely Tyson Coming This Fall!

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Last Flag Flying

In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Larry “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell) re-unites with ex-Marine Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) and Reverend Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.

Doc decides to forgo burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire. Along the way, Doc, Sal and Mueller reminisce and come to terms with shared memories of the war that continues to shape their lives.

Watch the trailer!

Amazon Studios & Lionsgate will release LAST FLAG FLYING in select theaters on November 3rd

Opening Night selection of the 55th New York Film Festival on September 28th

Directed by Richard Linklater

Written by Richard Linklater & Darryl Ponicsan

Based on the Novel by Darryl Ponicsan

Starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne, Yul Vazquez, and Cicely Tyson

Produced by Ginger Sledge, p.g.a., Richard Linklater, p.g.a., John Sloss, p.g.a.