Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger’s Life of Service Started with Dad, Military

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By Brady Rhoades

When you think of Chesley Sullenberger, III—Capt. Sully or just plain Sully to the public—his improbable landing of an engines-dead US Airways airplane on the Hudson River comes to mind.

Perhaps you picture 155 survivors getting hoisted to safety off the wings of Flight 1549.

The word “hero” is bandied about—an ice-in-his-veins, former fighter pilot in the U.S. military saving the day.

And then Capt. Sully states: “It took me 40 years to become an overnight success. All my life, I was preparing myself for some kind of challenge.”

Legend, meet reality.

And, you know what? Reality surpasses legend.

Because it took decades of education, toil, training, more learning, more work, and more practice for Capt. Sully to help save all those lives and pull off what’s known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

It also took humility. Few remember that Capt. Sully was the last one off the plane.

“As soon as we landed, I knew my responsibilities were not over,” he said. “Four hours later, I learned that everyone had been saved. Only then were my professional obligations fulfilled.”

Capt. Sully, who speaks in the measured, modest tone of a seasoned veteran, said the Miracle on the Hudson was a team effort.

“I think the fact that this group of people—first responders, crew, passengers—all felt the same common humanity and rose to the occasion, that is the essential lesson here, a hopeful one.”

During speeches, Capt. Sully emphasizes teamwork, and often singles out co-pilot Jeff Skiles.

On January 15, 2009, Capt. Sully, a former fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force, took off from LaGuardia Airport. Minutes into the flight, the plane struck a gaggle of geese northeast of the George Washington Bridge. All engine power was lost, leaving Flight 1549 powerless.

Technically.

All this occurred at about 2,800 feet and 4.5 miles from LaGuardia. Passengers and crew heard loud bangs and saw flames from the engines, followed by silence and the stench of fuel.

Realizing that both engines had shut down, Capt. Sully took control while Skiles worked a checklist for engine restart.

What was Capt. Sully’s first task? Calming his mind and body, which, naturally, had been thrust into full alarm. This had to be tended to so that he could make sound decisions and physically finesse the plane to safety.

How does one get a racing mind and pounding heart under control?

The pilot’s military training kicked in, for one. It took him about five seconds to gather himself and lock into the nerve-wracking responsibility at hand, he said.

All that preparation had paid off.

Capt. Sully had precious little time to make a life-or-death decision. Namely, to go back to LaGuardia or …

He decided to land on the icy Hudson.

His famous words to the crew and passengers: “Brace for impact.”

And then the so-called miracle happened. But it wasn’t a miracle. It was the result of Sully’s training and leadership, and of the dedication and teamwork of the crew and passengers. It was a testament to the old saying, “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

The country—suffering through war and economic hardship—cheered. Viewers stayed glued to their TV sets as reams of passengers, standing on the wings of the bobbing plane, were helped to safety.

Precisely when we needed it, we had a hero.

Sully receives award
Air Force Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. John F. Regni presents the 2009 Col. James Jabara award to 1973 graduate and classmate Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger during a parade held in his honor April 15. Assisting is William “T” Thompson, chief executive officer for the Association of Graduates

Chesley Sullenberger, III was born in Denison, Texas, on January 23, 1951.

As a boy, he watched planes fly across the seemingly-endless southern sky; he was fascinated.

A passion for flying, and a commitment to leadership and safety, took root early on.

He learned from his father—a World War II veteran—“to do what veterans do. To serve.”

Sully Air Force
Former airline pilot, Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III, puts on his G-suit before his flight with the United States Air Force Thunderbirds at Travis Air Force Base in May.

Sullenberger continues to support the military and veterans’ causes.

“A tiny fraction of our population is doing the heavy lifting,” he said. “They’re choosing to serve, to delay their own gratification, to put themselves at risk, to do for others what they cannot and will not do for themselves. That selfless act needs to be cherished… And not just with thank you’s in airports.”

Cherishing our military men and women means equipping them properly, he said, and helping those who return from duty with ailments.

”It’s a national disgrace that the rate of suicide among veterans is so high. We need to do a better job.”

Sullenberger enrolled in the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1969, and graduated as an officer in 1973 with a bachelor of science degree. He also holds master’s degrees from Purdue University and the University of Northern Colorado.

Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the U.S. Air Force from 1973 to 1980, flying Vietnam-era F-4 Phantom II jets. He was a flight leader and a training officer and attained the rank of captain while building up experience overseas and at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

An elite pilot, Sullenberger was the mission commander for Red Flag exercises, in which pilots receive advanced aerial combat training. He was also a member of an aircraft accident investigation board.

In 1980, Sullenberger joined Pacific Southwest Airlines as a commercial pilot (Pacific Southwest was acquired in 1988 by what would become US Airways). Over his years as a professional pilot, he was an instructor, as well as an Air Line Pilots Association safety chairman and accident investigator.

About a year after the Hudson landing, Capt. Sully retired.

He now concentrates on running his safety consulting business, Safety Reliability Methods, Inc., which was founded in 2007 and focuses on management, safety, and performance.

He has helped develop new protocols for airline safety, and served as the co-chairman, along with Skiles, of the EAA’s Young Eagles youth introduction-to-aviation program from 2009 to 2013.

In 2009, HarperCollins published Capt. Sully’s memoir, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters. In 2012, he published “Making a Difference: Stories of Vision and Courage From America’s Leaders.”

In 2011, he became a CBS News contributor as the network’s Aviation and Safety Expert, a role which he holds today.

He also serves on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee for Automation in Transportation.

Much of his time is spent speaking in the United States and abroad about flight safety issues.

He’s delivered more than 200 keynote addresses to date, and often speaks for large corporations such as Dupont, Chevron, and AT&T, specializing in topics such as leadership, crisis management, and overcoming obstacles.

Sully, a movie about Capt. Sully, directed by Clint Eastwood and starring Tom Hanks in the title role, was released in September 2016.

That’s another thing. When you say “Sully,” millions of people think of Tom Hanks, who said he was honored to portray Capt. Sully.

It’s worth noting that at the time of the Hudson landing, Capt. Sully was a 57-year-old pilot who’d sustained a pay cut because airlines’ revenues were slowing and, some argue, pilots were under-valued.

These days, Capt. Sully’s life is

Tom Hanks, Chesley Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart
(left to right) Tom Hanks, Chesley Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart attending a special screening of
Sully at the BFI IMAX in London.

about what he learned long ago, from his father and from his military commanders: service. Hard work. Discipline. Values. Believing in a better world, a better future.

That means lobbying for pilots. It means pushing for greater safety measures in an industry that’s already pretty darn safe. That’s a through-line throughout Capt. Sully’s life of service: safety. Trust in our institutions. Touchstones in this grand experiment called America.

“My military training and service, especially the flight training, helped me to really realize the importance of adhering to core values and having the discipline to approach every job I’ve had with a professional attitude,” Capt. Sully said. “The discipline of the military helped me to have a discipline. Not just think of a job but a calling… Our society at large really needs people with these core values.”

That’s why veterans are worthy of hiring, in a variety of fields.

“They are a valuable resource and it’s a national treasure to have people with those skills and attitudes,” Capt Sully said.

He knows, because he’s one of them.

And it doesn’t matter if you call them miracle-makers or simply state that they’re prepared.

The results are in: Veterans make our world safer, better.

She’s a U.S. Army Veteran and Minority Business Owner Who is Helping Clean up the Environment for You and Your Dog!

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Mary Lester Military Veteran in Uniform smiling with US flag in the background

Admit it; no one likes cleaning the bathroom. Most of us would gladly pay someone else to do the dirty work – if you don’t already – because we all know bathrooms can get downright filthy if left untouched.

And, of course, we always want to keep things tidy for ourselves and our guests. Now, take that same premise and apply it to your yard if you have a dog. You adore your furry friend, but you don’t necessarily want to clean up his business, even though you want to enjoy your beautiful yard. In fact, you would be willing to pay someone else to do your dirty work. If that’s the case, look no further than Pet Butler Tallahassee, which provides pet waste removal and other pet-related services to residential and commercial clients throughout Tallahassee, Crawfordsville, Woodville, Monticello and Lloyd. “We’re all spending more time at home and I absolutely love helping my customers improve their outdoor living space,” said 53-year-old Mary Lester, a U.S. Army veteran and first-time franchise owner who launched her minority-owned small business in January. “Helping keep green spaces free of pet waste benefits us all.”

After a 32-year-year military career that included a stint in Afghanistan, Lester retired from the Missouri Army National Guard three years ago. The Tallahassee native, who also worked as a Public Affairs Specialist, returned to her hometown to turn her passion for pets into a business. However, Lester has learned that many pet owners in the Tallahassee area are unfamiliar with pet waste removal services. In using social media to advertise Pet Butler Tallahassee, Lester found that while many embraced the service, others needed to be educated on its benefits. “I quickly realized there’s a big misnomer about pet waste’s impact on our environment,” said Lester, who also had to cope with launching her business on the cusp of a shelter-in-place order. “A lawn mower and even Florida’s torrential downpours do not take pet waste away and there’s a greater community benefit to picking it up.”

Indeed, just like the dark corners of your bathroom, if you have a dog you never know what you might encounter with each unwary step through your backyard. So far, Pet Butler Tallahassee has removed more than 1,330 pounds (or more than two-thirds of a ton) of pet waste from residential and commercial properties. However, that’s a small fraction of the roughly 16 tons of dog poop (32,000 pounds) generated PER DAY by the estimated 43,500 dogs in Tallahassee according to TAPP (Think About Personal Pollution), a campaign by the City of Tallahassee’s Stormwater Management to help educate individuals on ways that small, personal changes in home and yard practices can keep local lakes and streams cleaner.

Dog waste has four to 10 times more bacteria than human waste because dogs can eat almost anything, and as a result, have a generous supply of intestinal bacteria. Pet Butler Tallahassee is on a mission to help raise awareness of the importance of proper collection and disposal of pet waste. “If we’re not scooping the poop and discarding of it properly, we are potentially contributing harmful contaminants to our local water,” said Lester. “Pet Butler has a civic mission that resonated with my desire to support my community through pet services and my interest in working with non-profit pet organizations and environmental organizations such as TAPP, with its clean-water initiatives.”

In Pet Butler, Lester found a franchise brand with a modernized business model that offers large, protected territories that foster scalable growth and strong recurring revenue, which has helped make Pet Butler No 1 in the “No. 2” business for thousands of clients across North America. Roughly 85 million U.S. families, or 67 percent of households, own a pet, according to the 2019-2020 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). In the U.S., pets include 90 million dogs and 94 million cats. In 2018, pet services accounted for $72.56 billion spent and was estimated to grow to $75.38 billion in 2019.

Lester and her team of pooper scoopers service homes weekly, twice weekly and every other week and also offer a one-time accumulated waste pick-up service. Customers can also have their lawns treated with a yard odor eliminator and disinfectant. Pet Butler Tallahassee is offering a special introductory price for new customers – $5.99 per week (or about the cost for two of your barista-made morning coffees) for the first two months. There is an additional $10 discount offer for first responders on the front lines of the Coronavirus pandemic. The service is particularly well-suited for common areas within apartment and condominium complexes.

For those who are longing for someone else to do their dog’s dirty work for them, Lester said Pet Butler Tallahassee has been met with enthusiasm when they learn of it.

“Literally, people stopped at traffic lights have put down their windows and asked me if this is “really a thing,’” said Lester, whose truck serves as a mobile billboard highlighting Pet Butler’s slogan, “We Scoop Poop!” “I’m here to pick up after their dogs and dispose of the waste in a safe and environmentally sound way. And we also clean out litter boxes, as well.”

For information visit https://www.petbutler.com/locations/tallahassee-area-pooper-scooper or call 850-396-0783

About Pet Butler

Pet Butler Franchise was acquired in 2017 by Spring-Green Enterprises, the parent company of +43 years old Spring-Green Lawn Care and SGE Marketing Services. They currently have 30 franchisees located in 26 states with long term plans to open 60 more within the next 5 years. Pet Butler provides an opportunity for pet lovers to turn their passion for pets into a business. To learn more about how Pet Butler serves pets and their people, visit www.petbutler.com and connect on Facebook and LinkedIn.

To inquire about a franchise call 844-777-8608 or go to petbutlerfranchise.com.

VA Recruits Military Spouses for Careers Serving Veterans

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female nurse with mask on and other nurses in the background

As a military spouse, you’re qualified, educated and ready to serve. You have a unique perspective and understanding of what it means to care for our nation’s heroes.

The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs values this experience and knows you bring so much more to the table.

That’s why the VA has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP) program. The career program connects military spouses with more than 390 affiliated employers who have committed to recruit, hire, promote and retain military in jobs everywhere.

“VA is thrilled to help DOD and military installations engage military spouses in conversations about career opportunities caring for our nation’s veterans,” said Tracey Therit, Chief Human Capital Officer at the Office of Human Resources and Administration/Operations, Security and Preparedness.

“We are using every method—communications, job feeds, social networking and more—to provide information on the federal hiring process and links to real opportunities at VA.”

Finding Opportunities to Grow

How are MSEP and VA making sure you get the chance to apply for a meaningful and rewarding career?

On USAJobs, we tag VA jobs ideal for military spouses. We highlight key information—remote work opportunities, flexible work schedules, child care and health benefits—on our job announcements.

For positions covered under Title 5 hiring authority, we use noncompetitive procedures approved by the Office of Personnel Management. That means when you apply to become a VA accountant, police officer or human resource specialist and meet the minimum qualifications, you’re hired.

We also work with DoD to identify spouses with health care experience or training as a physician, nurse, social worker or occupational therapist. These VHA-administered positions do not require application through USAJobs.

Choose VA  

A career with VA is meaningful and mission-driven—and our total rewards benefits package consistently edges out those offered by the private sector. To learn more on how military spouses can benefit from choosing a VA career:

Source:  va.gov

Ways to Boost Your Confidence While Transitioning

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Man using smart phone to search online for companies hiring

Transitioning from military service to a civilian career comes with a host of emotions—excitement, hope and perhaps some uncertainty, especially in the wait for job offers.

As you establish your “new normal” and move into a new civilian career at VA or with another employer, maintaining a self-care routine can make that shift easier.

Here are seven ways to boost your confidence as you transition from military to civilian employment.

1. Check in with your friends
During your military career, you built a support system of contacts, and some of them may have already transitioned to a civilian career. Get talking! Opening up about your experiences solicits stories from other service members who made the move. Gain confidence knowing that you are not alone and learn strategies and tactics from others.

2. Keep an exercise routine
In general, physical activity is great for our health. But in times of transition, it’s even more important to care for your physical and mental health. Exercise boosts your mood and gets you out of the house. Consider trying out a new sport or fitness class. Need to join a gym? Check out your local YMCA, which may partner with the area VA facility to offer special services and rates for veterans.

3. Attend military transition classes
The U.S. Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP) offers military transition classes at every military installation, online and at other locations such as VA offices. TAP classes begin during your last year of service—after you have an identified separation plan. The program includes group classes particular to each service branch, briefings from VA and other agencies with veteran programs, and job and transition counselors.

4. Find a mentor
We all benefit from hearing stories from folks who have paved the way ahead of us. A mentor is a great resource in any job search, and especially for service members transitioning to civilian careers. Find someone who shares your values and have a clear idea of what you want to get out of the relationship. If you don’t have an ideal candidate in your network, search online for veteran mentor matching programs like Veterati (https://www.veterati.com/).

5. Seek out VA services
VA has you covered! We know the value of hiring veterans and have many programs available to transitioning military service members. VA works with DoD to create TAP classes and briefings. VA for Vets aids transitioning members seeking post-service jobs. And through VA Careers, veterans can identify themselves in the application process and get support from VA throughout the hiring process.

6. Leverage online resources.
There’s a multitude of online resources available to transitioning service members. You can find trainings, job boards, employers who specialize in hiring veterans, mentoring resources and online chat help. VA Careers’ Transitioning Military Personnel page and TAP are good places to start.

7. Volunteer your time.
If job offers don’t come right away, giving back is a great way to make new connections and establish yourself in the community. Volunteer in a field that’s similar to your chosen career path to get experience and build your resume.

Source: Department of Veteran Affairs

RedWhiteandCool Program Draws Vets into Refrigeration Industry

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Five RedWhiteandColl founders stand in line together smiling

The Refrigerating Engineers and Technicians Association (RETA) and Smithfield Foods, Inc. are pleased to announce RedWhiteandCool, an initiative focused on recruiting, training and hiring transitioning military veterans into the natural refrigeration industry as refrigeration technicians.

“There is a shortage of skilled labor in our country, and the commercial and natural refrigeration industry is not exempt,” said Lois Stirewalt of RETA. “There are currently more than 40,000 jobs open nationally for refrigeration technicians. At the same time, many veterans remain unemployed once they transition to civilian live. RedWhiteandCool is taking action to address this very issue.”

The RedWhiteandCool program will work hand in hand with the Department of Defense and transitioning military personnel, family members and veterans to recruit them into the commercial refrigeration industry. The partnership, administered by RETA’s non-profit arm— RETA-Training Institute (RETA-TI)—in conjunction with the Department of Defense SkillBridge program, is the organization’s newest Career Skills Program (CSP).

Transitioning military veterans met with program staff during an information session in February to learn more about the training program and refrigeration industry. Participants will receive certification testing at the end of the program and have the opportunity to interview for a career with Smithfield Foods as part of the company’s veteran hiring initiative.

“Supporting the men and women who have served our country is core to who we are as an American company,” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of corporate affairs and compliance for Smithfield Foods and president of the Smithfield Foundation. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans; this training and transition program is just one way we demonstrate our appreciation.”

For more information, please visit: www.RETA.com and/or www.smithfieldfoods.com

Photo:
Bruce Owens, Director, Infrastructure Engineering (Smithfield Foods); Clarence Scott, Talent Acquisition Specialist (Smithfield Foods); Lois Stirewalt (RETA); Jim Barron (RETA executive director); Troy Vandenberg, Military Talent Acquisition Manager (Smithfield Foods)

Marine Corps Marathon canceled for first time in 45-year history because of pandemic

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large group of Marine Corps marathon runners

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed yet another event for long-distance running enthusiasts.

The Marine Corps Marathon, with its picturesque course that takes runners through some of the most historic parts of Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., will not be held in person in 2020 for the first time in its 45-year history. The main event had been scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 25.

“We explored various approaches to safely execute a live event and held numerous meetings with Marine Corps leadership, local government and public health officials,” said Rick Nealis, director of the Marine Corps Marathon Organization (MCMO) in a statement. “We understand this is disappointing news for many, but we could no longer envision a way to gather together in compliance with safety guidelines.”

Race organizers will instead offer participants opportunities to register and complete distances for certification via the Marine Marathon website.

“Health and safety are our top priorities during this challenging time,” said Libby Garvey, Arlington County Board Chair. “The Marine Corps Marathon is a treasured event and tradition in our community that Arlingtonians look forward to each year. As we celebrate the race’s 45th anniversary this year, we will be enthusiastically and virtually cheering on each runner. We can’t wait to welcome these dedicated athletes and fans back to Arlington in person in 2021.”

Continue on to USA Today to read the complete article.

Former IT Specialist, Navy Reservist Says Background Will Aid Success in New Career as Small-Business Owner

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Brian Notestein headshot

(Colorado Springs, CO)—Having already enjoyed successful stints as an IT specialist and Navy reservist, Brian Notestein is more than prepared for his next venture as one of the newest franchise owners with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®, the No. 1 home inspection company in North America.

Launching operations in July, the Colorado Springs resident will serve homebuyers and sellers throughout El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties.

Notestein, who previously spent 20 years in IT and 24 years as a Navy reservist, expects that experience to play an important role in his new position as a small business owner with the most respected brand in the home inspection industry. “My previous experience in customer service and support, resolving tough problems and learning and working with new technology, will be beneficial to me in my role with Pillar To Post Home Inspectors as I help new homebuyers in understanding what to look for in purchasing a new home,” Notestein said.

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for more than 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked for 23 years on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its eighth consecutive year as No. 1 in its category on that coveted ranking. In addition, the company has 5-Star status with VetFran, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans. “I chose to partner with an established and successful company like Pillar To Post Home Inspectors in order to follow a proven system that essentially removes the trial and error processes that could be expected by going it alone,” Notestein said.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past eight years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com.

This Former Manufacturing Executive and Veteran Credits Military Skills for Foundation for His Pillar To Post Home Inspectors Business

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Larry Presby stands in fron of his Pillar To Post Home Inspectors work vehicle

(DALLAS, TX)—Larry Presby, Dallas resident and veteran, recently launched operations as a franchisee with the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors. He services Collin County in North Texas which includes sections of Dallas, Plano, McKinney, Frisco, and many other small rural towns and cities.  The former manufacturing executive and veteran turned his attention to detail into a new career that can benefit others.

“I served in the 18th Combat Engineer Brigade in Europe,” says Presby. “Looking back on my time in the service, I realize that many building blocks were established to provide me the foundation I used to succeed. Teamwork and systems are two of the key parameters that I took with me through my corporate career and now guide me in developing my home inspection business.”

“After making a home purchase, I became aware of the importance of a quality home inspection. The bare bones home inspection report I received did not highlight numerous issues and cost me many agonizing hours and dollars which launched a new path of interest. As a result of my new knowledge and countless hours in remodeling and construction, I became my family and friends’ advisor when reading their inspection reports,” said Presby.  “After being in the corporate world for many years, it was time to devote myself to another passion of helping others. As a home inspector I know I can fulfill this. I want to make sure people can make informed decisions about their home purchase which will becomea place in which they will create their safe haven.”

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the brand to which more than three million families have turned to for over 25 years to be their trusted advisor when buying or selling a home. Consistently ranked for 23 years on Entrepreneur Magazine’s annual Franchise500®, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is enjoying its eighth consecutive year as No. 1 in its category on that coveted ranking. In addition, the company has 5-Star status with VetFran, a program offered by the International Franchise Association that provides discounted franchise fees to veterans.

A professional evaluation both inside and outside the home is at the core of Pillar To Post Home Inspectors’ service. Pillar To Post Home Inspectors input data and digital photos into a computerized report. All information is provided to clients in a customized binder for easy reference, allowing homebuyers or sellers to make confident, informed decisions.

About Pillar To Post Home Inspectors®
Founded in 1994, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is the largest home inspection company in North America with home offices in Toronto and Tampa. There are more than 600 franchises located in 49 states and nine Canadian provinces. The company has ranked in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise500® for 23 years in a row, the past eight years as No.1 in Category. Long-term plans include adding 500 to 600 new franchisees over the next five years. For further information, please visit www.pillartopost.com. To inquire about a franchise, go to www.pillartopostfranchise.com

Indian Motorcycle Continues Support Of Veterans Charity Ride & Motorcycle Therapy Adventure To Sturgis For 2020

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two military veterans riding on a side car motorcycl with others following behind during the event

Indian Motorcycle®, America’s First Motorcycle Company, today announced its continued support and sponsorship of the sixth annual Veterans Charity Ride (VCR) to Sturgis.

This year, in addition to using the organization’s unique brand of motorcycle therapy to aid combat veterans dealing with PTSD, the veteran-operated, non-profit organization will implement a “service before self” initiative to show appreciation to first responders who have been working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Veteran’s Charity Ride uses “motorcycle therapy,” a proven remedy that provides therapeutic solutions to help fellow veterans move forward and adjust to civilian life. The 2020 ride will include 15 total veterans – nine new veterans, along with six returning veterans who will serve as mentors.

“During these extraordinary times, getting our veterans out of the house and supporting them with the liberating power of motorcycle therapy is more important than ever,” said Dave Frey, U.S. Army Veteran and Veterans Charity Ride Founder. “To be able to combine those efforts and honor our selfless and invaluable first responders during this unprecedented pandemic makes this journey even more gratifying. In light of COVID-19, we will be implementing necessary precautions to stay safe and healthy, as we come together to heal and support one another on our ride to the legendary Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.”

This year’s ride to Sturgis will start on July 29, 2020 in Moab, Utah where the group will cruise through the mountainous roads of Utah, stop in the cities of Craig and Fort Collins, Colorado and ride through some of the nation’s most scenic backroads and highways before arriving at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota on August 7, 2020. The travelers will be riding a variety of Indian Motorcycle models, outfitted with ReKluse auto clutch systems and custom-built Champion Sidecars for amputee and paraplegic veterans. The journey provides an experience for veterans to bond by implementing team-building exercises that allow riders to share stories and memories of their service during a two-week, mind-cleansing motorcycle ride.

For years, VCR has supported veterans by creating a healing atmosphere through motorcycle riding and camaraderie when stopping at several small towns to commemorate and honor our nation’s veteran heroes. This year, the event will have an added focus on lives outside of veterans, extended to first responders who have courageously held the frontlines in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.  By following strict safety and sanitary guidelines, VCR will extend an additional hand out to these frontline workers by providing personal protection equipment and hosting barbecues at select tour stops.

“Our nation’s veterans and healthcare workers are an inspiration, and we’re grateful to be a part of an experience that honors their selflessness and sacrifices for our country,” said Reid Wilson, Vice President for Indian Motorcycle. “We’re honored to continue supporting the Veterans Charity Ride and are humbled by their work and positive impact on our veterans.”

The Veterans Charity Ride to Sturgis was conceived and developed by veteran Army Paratrooper Dave Frey and Emmy Award-winning producer and director Robert Manciero, leveraging the therapeutic effects of motorcycle riding to create an adventure of a lifetime for wounded veterans.

To support the Veterans Charity Ride, donate, or to learn more visit IndianMotorcycle.com and VeteransCharityRide.org. Riders can also follow along on Indian Motorcycle’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and Veterans Charity Ride’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

ABOUT INDIAN MOTORCYCLE®

Indian Motorcycle is America’s first motorcycle company. Founded in 1901, Indian Motorcycle has won the hearts of motorcyclists around the world and earned distinction as one of America’s most legendary and iconic brands through unrivaled racing dominance, engineering prowess and countless innovations and industry firsts. Today that heritage and passion is reignited under brand new stewardship. To learn more, please visitindianmotorcycle.com.

ABOUT VETERANS CHARITY RIDE

Veterans Charity Ride (VCR), started by veterans for veterans, is a non-profit organization that delivers Motorcycle Therapy and additional life changing, life-saving holistic programs specifically designed to assist wounded and amputee combat veterans with their needs and the issues they deal with on a daily basis. Helping our fellow veterans through outreach, action, activities, education and follow-up is what drives our organization. The end result of our program is a healthier and happier, more capable individual, who is now living life in a much better physical and mental condition, and able to help and support other veterans to do the same. Visit veteranscharityride.org to learn more and support this worthy cause.

5 Ways Veterans Can Leverage Facebook to Grow their Career or Business

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good pic-Payton_Iheme head shot_color

By Payton Iheme, U.S. Public Policy Manager, Facebook

Each year, an estimated 200,000 service members return to civilian life and for some, this brings uncertainty to what’s next in their career, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

However, these service men and women continue to contribute to their country, even when they return, albeit in a different way.

I have spent more than 15 years on active duty and continue to serve—from being an officer in the Army’s Special Operations Command and a White House Senior Policy Advisor to currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard. In addition, as the co-owner of a home remodeling business, I know firsthand how important it is to have the right tools and support, whether it’s in the military or as a veteran small business owner.

Everyday Facebook serves as a platform for veterans to find and be a part of groups that help them build community. In fact, more than 900,000 people in the US participate in more than 2,000 groups for military members, veterans and their spouses on Facebook.

As a proud supporter of the military-veteran community, Facebook has also made it easier for veterans transitioning into civilian life to find career opportunities and draw on their unique skills to start their entrepreneurial journey.

That’s why we recently announced the launch of the Military and Veterans Hub to provide an all-encompassing resource for veterans to continue to build their community, find job opportunities and enhance their digital skills through Facebook to grow a business or a career.

Facebook also partnered with SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer expert business mentors, to provide business education and mentoring to military members, veterans and their families who want to become entrepreneurs.

I utilized SCORE’s resources during my transition into civilian life and it helped me not only build on my experience and skills to find a new career, but it also gave me the confidence to start something new. I’m particularly thrilled about our partnership with SCORE and the opportunities it will unlock for fellow veterans.

Whether you want to build a business or a career, here are five ways military members, spouses and veterans can use Facebook’s Military and Veteran Hub to their advantage:

  1. Connect with a mentor from a cohort of SCORE’s experienced business mentors, who are also U.S. veterans themselves, through the Mentor Match program.
  1. Access our veteran-focused educational toolkit for launching a business that includes steps

for developing a business plan.

  1. Attend a veteran-focused interactive workshop to receive guidance on starting a business.

We’ll be working with ten local SCORE chapters to bring these in-person workshops to cities that we’ve determined to have a high concentration of military members and veterans.

  1. Find employment opportunities through the Facebook Jobs Tool. Frank Diaz, an Army veteran and owner of Tin Hut BBQ, uses the Facebook Jobs Tool, for example, to source employees at his mobile restaurant with an objective to hire discharged veterans in need of work and mentorship.
  1. Test out the Facebook Military Skills Translator, designed to help people find careers on Facebook relevant to their military experience. As the Public Policy Manager at Facebook, I’m proud to be a part of a company that values my experience and allows me to use my military skills to make an impact on the business.

Facebook’s Military and Veteran Hub make it easier for military spouses and the military community to find and access Facebook’s resources, tools, events and groups. For more information, visit: https://www.facebook.com/boost/milvethub?path=milvethub

Payton Iheme (Facebook US Public Policy) focuses on policy issues on a range of topics, but works closely on issues related to the Internet, digital economy/small business, counter terrorism, cybersecurity, data privacy, and partnerships. Previously, she served as the Senior Policy Advisor for Communication Technology at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She holds honor degrees from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in Government Policy from the George Washington University. Iheme currently serves as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard.

Foundation Trains Shelter Canines as Service Dogs for Disabled Veterans

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service dog trainer pictured with service dog in his arms

Miracles happen every day at CAMO Foundation, and the angels who perform them are the 4-legged variety. Dedicated to providing service dogs specifically trained for the unique needs of disabled veterans, the nonprofit organization in Palm Beach Gardens, FL is the only organization in the country that uses mature dogs rescued from local pounds.

The brainchild of Mike Lorraine, a professional dog trainer with 20 years experience, the foundation is located on a picturesque farm in south Florida, co-owned by Lorraine and a local area businessman, Joe Mullings. Their mission is simple: Provide military veterans who are physically or emotionally challenged with shelter dogs who have the right qualities—intelligence, focus, drive—to be service animals.

Yes, shelter dogs! Most service dogs are raised as puppies. However, Lorraine believes that there’s a certain fearless, stoic quality that makes select shelter dogs the perfect match for injured combatants. You might say that they’ve both seen conflict and survived.

One of CAMO’s biggest success stories so far is 26-year-old Matt Kleemann, a former Navy diver who specialized in underwater repairs on submarines. While driving home along a snowy road, he swerved to avoid a deer and plunged over a cliff. When he awoke, he was paralyzed from the chest down. Wheelchair-bound, he says, “The original plan was for me to just get my dog, Charlie Brown, but Mike saw potential in me. So, I started to come down every day.” Today, Matt serves as a mentor to visiting veterans.

Continue on to CAMO Foundation to learn more.

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

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