How the Girl Scouts are Spreading Joy to a Navy Ship

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A man in a military uniform holding a stack of packages

People Magazine‘s Senior Graphics Operator, Nikki Smalls, and Live Graphics Operator, Lucas Walsh, began a conversation one day about Walsh’s sister, Caitlin Walsh. Caitlin is currently serving in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. Truman.

The entire crew of the Truman tested negative for COVID-19, but have collectively agreed to isolate themselves rather than take deployment as an extra precaution.

When Nikki Smalls heard about Caitlin and the rest of her crew, she wanted to find a way to show her gratitude for their service while also spreading some extra joy. Teaming up with her daughters’ Brownie Scouts Troop, Troop 83340, she decided to lead the girls in creating care packages to send to those serving on the U.S.S. Truman.

Continue on to People Magazine’s website to read the complete article

Marriage Enrichment Programs

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man in military fatigues hugging his wife smiling

With deployments and frequent relocations, military relationships can be put to the test. You’ve aced military life. Now can you bring that same strength and sense of adventure to your marriage?

You can access free, confidential, relationship consultation services like Building Healthy Relationships, as well as non-medical counseling through Military OneSource. Call 800-342-9647 or chat online with our trained professional consultants.

Also, each military service branch offers programs designed to enrich marriage and maintain a healthy relationship by helping couples develop better communication skills and rekindle the romance.

These programs are generally:

  • Run by chaplains and supported by commanders, Military and Family Support Centers, and installation family readiness programs
  • Non-faith-specific
  • Either low-cost or free to service members and spouses

To find out about programs available through your service branch and installation, check with your chaplain or local Military and Family Support Center. Through the center, Military and Family Life Counselors are available on installations and embedded in units.

Here are some service-specific programs:

Army

Installation chaplains offer the Strong Bonds Program. The program features:

  • Weekend retreats that help couples build relationship resiliency
  • Specific retreats for couples, families, single soldiers and for those facing deployment
  • Activities for unit members who are on the same duty cycle

Marine Corps

The Marine Corps offers the Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program. This program:

  • Benefits newlyweds and seasoned couples alike
  • Helps couples improve their communication skills and build strong relationships
  • Offers workshops through chaplains and Marine Corps Family Team Building

Navy

Chaplains Religious Enrichment Development Operations offer marriage enrichment retreats. More information is available on the Navy’s ChaplainCare website. These getaways include:

  • Weekend retreats that help couples focus on their relationships while enjoying food, fun and romance
  • The opportunity for couples to learn about handling conflict, growing their marriage, building intimacy, communication and understanding each other

Air Force

The Air Force Chaplain Corps offers the MarriageCare program. Check with your installation’s chaplain to see what’s available in your area. The MarriageCare program offers:

  • Weekend retreats to help couples to revitalize their marriage while taking a break from military duty
  • A chance to work on communication, forgiveness and other skills
  • Other programs offered by chaplains on Air Force installations

MilSpouse Toolkit

From education on military culture to navigating resources, this track is beneficial for new spouses who may be experiencing a disconnect from their family and need to identify a support system in their new community. This track focuses resources to assist new and current military spouses with adjustment to the military lifestyle, developing coping skills and resources for resiliency.

Source: militaryonesource.mil

Redemption Day – Watch the Trailer!

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Redemption Day Promo Posted for Marine who rejoins to save wife who was kidnapped

Having just returned home, decorated U.S. Marine Captain Brad Paxton’s (Gary Dourdan) wife, Kate, is kidnapped by a terrorist group while working in Morocco.

He is forced back into action for a daring and deadly operation to save the woman he loves.

Starring:
Gary Dourdan, Serinda Swan, Martin Donovan, Ernie Hudson, Samy Naceri, Andy Garcia

In Theaters – January 8, 2021
On Demand and Digital – January 12, 2021

Click here to watch the trailer!

Military Makeover with Montel Launches on FREE Streaming TV Service, STIRR, on Sunday

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Montel Williams with cast of Military Makeover

In addition to its longstanding home on Lifetime and The American Forces Network (AFN), Military Makeover with Montel, a BrandStar Original, is expanding its viewership through a new partnership with STIRR, a free, ad-supported streaming TV service owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group. With over 6 million downloads, STIRR offers local TV viewers across the country more than 130 free TV channels and over 8,000 hours of free video-on-demand (VOD) movies and TV series. The addition of the award-winning show, Military Makeover, expands STIRRs original, veteran-focused, content to audiences across the country.

Military Makeover offers hope and a helping hand on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. Talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams, a veteran of the Marine Corps and the Navy, is both host and co-executive producer of Military Makeover. Montel along with the cast and crew, special guest veteran WWE Superstar Lacey Evans, non-profits and likeminded companies with a similar mission to help veterans, come together to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country.

“Military Makeover has already proven to be a huge hit with audiences, and we’re excited to welcome BrandStar content to our platform,” said Ben Lister, Director of Content Acquisition and Business Development for STIRR. “Thanks to the incredible success of the STIRR City Channel, we anticipate that this program will become a major attraction for STIRR users when it premieres.”

Military Makeover kicks off with a marathon airing on STIRR City (Channel 1) on November 8 from 10am – 6pm. Thereafter, it will run weekdays 1-2pm and available anytime, on-demand through STIRRs robust VOD library. STIRR can be accessed online (http://www.STIRR.com) or via app which is available on Roku TV, Fire TV, Apple TV as well as iOS and Android devices.

“BrandStar is thrilled to embrace STIRRs new OTT streaming platform, bringing our award-winning, original content to a broader demographic, says Mark Alfieri, CEO BrandStar. Being a free platform, our life-changing, veteran stories will now be available for all to see.”

Military Makeover with Montel®, a BrandStar Original, is America’s Leading Branded Reality TV Show that offers hope and a helping hand here on the home front to members of our military and their loved ones. A veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Navy, talk show legend and military advocate Montel Williams, who creatively co-produces the show along with a colorful cast that seeks to transform the homes and lives of military families across the country. The cast includes co-host Art Edmonds, designer Jennifer Bertrand and contractor Ryan Stanley. This special series enlists caring companies of all sizes as well as non-profits and the local community. Military Makeover airs on Lifetime® , STIRR and on the American Forces Network which serves American servicemen and women, Department of Defense and other U.S. government civilians and their families stationed at bases overseas, as well as U.S. Navy ships at sea. Help starts at home for veterans on Military Makeover. Join us as our makeover team engages to change the living situation – and the lives – of these deserving families.

About STIRR: STIRR is a free ad-supported streaming service featuring a mix of live local news, TV shows, movies, sports and lifestyle programming. STIRR delivers over 100,000 hours of live local news a year, over 130 linear channels and over 8,000 hours of video on demand movies and TV shows. The STIRR app is available on Roku TV, Fire TV, Apple TV as well as iOS and Android devices or at http://www.STIRR.com. Based in Santa Monica, CA, STIRR is a first of its kind OTT service created, owned and operated by Sinclair Broadcast Group.

A Lifetime of Service

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Montel Williams with cast of Military Makeover

By Brady Rhoades

Montel Williams served his country for 22 years, and ever since, he’s been serving those who serve in the Armed Forces. 

Through Military Makeover, which he produces and hosts, the Emmy-award winning TV icon has transformed the homes and lives of hundreds of veterans and their families. The show, which airs on Lifetime TV and AFN, has produced some of the most memorable moments in TV history.

In a February, 2020 episode, Montel and the Military Makeover crew helped Debbi, the Gold Star widow of Operation Desert Storm veteran Chris Hixon, who was killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman  Douglas High School in Florida while rushing in and trying to disarm the killer.

They stepped in two years after the school shooting that killed Chris and 16 others and made Debbi and her two children’s lives a little brighter by, among other things, renovating her kitchen and installing long, floating shelves in several rooms. Debbi placed photographs of Chris on those shelves.

Montel — no last name necessary for most people — lives by a simple creed that he learned in boot camp: “We leave no Marine behind,” he says. “I bought into the fact that once a Marine, always a Marine.”

TV personalities Rachael Ray and Montel Williams (C) pose with the 1st Marine Corps District at the 2nd Annual Variety Salute to Service in New York City.
TV personalities Rachael Ray and Montel Williams (C) pose with the 1st Marine Corps District at the 2nd Annual Variety Salute to Service in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images)

Montel was the first Black Marine selected to the Naval Academy Prep School to then go on to graduate from the United States Naval Academy.

“In the nearly three decades since I retired from the Navy, I’ve never really taken the uniform off because standing up for those who are serving now—and those who have served—has been the greatest honor of my professional career,” he says,

Most recently, the husband and father of four joined The Balancing Act, also on Lifetime TV, as a co-host. Before that, he shot to stardom on The Montel Williams Show from 1991 to 2008, for which he won an Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.

Military Roots
There’s a lot of tinsel that goes with Hollywood fame, but beneath it are roots, and Montel’s are deep and resilient. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1974. He then graduated from the Naval Academy in 1980 with a degree in engineering and a minor in international security affairs.

Montel Williams (R) and wife Tara Williams.
Montel Williams (R) and wife Tara Williams.
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)

He completed Naval Cryptologic Officer training, and spent 18 months in Guam as a cryptologic officer for naval intelligence. He was later a supervising cryptologic officer with the Naval Security Fleet Support Division at Fort Meade, Maryland. He left the Navy at the rank of lieutenant commander. His awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.

As part of his work in cryptology, Montel teamed with the National Security Agency and was involved in the victory in Grenada in 1983. On several occasions, Montel has worked to get United States citizens — usually military personnel who have been captured in foreign lands — returned to America.

In the 1990s and early part of the 2000s, The Montel Williams Show was synonymous with excellence, empathy and intelligence. Some argue Montel is on the “Mt. Rushmore” of day-time talk show legends, alongside Oprah and others.

In 1999, after years of excruciating pain that, at times, had him crying during commercial breaks, Montel was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. It was bad and good news all at once — bad because MS is painful and debilitating; good because he finally knew what was ailing him and could move forward with treatment.

More than two decades after his diagnosis, Montel lives an active, purposeful life. A fun one, too. One of his favorite activities is snowboarding, which he says helps his balance in day-to-day living.

A Healthy Balance

Montel Williams, Debra Hixon, wife of late Navy Veteran Chris Hixon, his son Corey, and Hixon’s sister-in-law.
From left: Montel Williams, Hixon’s sister-in-law, his son Corey, and Debra Hixon, wife of late Navy Veteran Chris Hixon.

Balance is what makes him a perfect fit for The Balancing Act, a morning show that empowers viewers to live balanced, healthy lives. Montel, who suffered a stroke in 2018, and just keeps going like the Eveready Battery, knows a thing or two about balance. If success is measured by how many people you’ve helped, Montel is rich beyond his monetary millions and accomplished far beyond his worldwide fame.

He goes back again and again to those values he learned in boot camp. Take the following episode of Military Makeover:

After Aaron and Holly Middleton met at a Columbus bar after graduating Ohio State University, it was love at first sight. Though unfamiliar with the rigors of military family life, Holly went all in, giving up her own career to find fulfillment as a mother. Aaron is now a major and senior communications officer serving at USMC Forces Central Command in Tampa, Florida.

The family has faced overwhelming adversity. First, their newborn son, Kelvin, was diagnosed with holes in his lungs, requiring immediate surgeries. Then, unspeakable tragedy struck the family when the Middleton’s’ 5-year-old daughter Scarlett died from an undiagnosed illness.

Montel Williams with Holly and Aaron Middleton, who lost their 5-year-old daughter Scarlett, and began a foundation in her honor, “Scarlett’s Sunshine.”
From left: Montel Williams with Holly and Aaron Middleton, who lost their 5-year-old daughter Scarlett, and began a foundation in her honor, “Scarlett’s Sunshine.”

The shock and trauma of Scarlett’s passing has shaken the family to its core. Scarlett loved picking and giving away flowers, and her favorite song was, “You Are My Sunshine.” Through pain and inspiration, Holly promised to keep alive the joy Scarlett brought to everybody who knew her. The grieving mother created a charity called Scarlett’s Sunshine, using random acts of kindness with flowers to induce spontaneous smiles.

“Little did I know that when I gave people the flowers, and I saw the gratitude on their faces light up, that I would see Scarlett’s light again,” Holly says. “I found her light.” The Middletons’ home in St. Petersburg— the first they’ve owned since Aaron joined the Corps— needed a lot of help. Military Makeover worked to make it a place of healing and solace for this deserving military family.

As the cherry on top, the show donated a year’s worth of flowers to Scarlett’s Sunshine. “It feels like a miracle,” Holly said, when presented with the flowers. Which brought a smile to Montel’s face.

That’s the miracle of Montel’s life, which mirrors the lives of all U.S. veterans.

Rolling Stone And Philip Morris International Celebrate Veterans With Rolling Stone Salute To Service

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Rolling Stone promo for Salute to Service event

Kicking off this Veterans Day, November 11, Rolling Stone is proud to pay tribute to our veterans and troops with Rolling Stone Salute To Service, presented by Philip Morris International.

This three-part panel and performance series celebrating Veterans will include deep discussions on the progress that has been made to more inclusively support them, and performances by top artists in support of Veterans and their service.

Each of the three conversations, brought to viewers through a virtual screening experience, will be moderated by Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith, Jerry Portwood and Joseph Hudak and include exclusive appearances from today’s top talent and representatives from top Veterans associations.

Participating talent includes Trace Adkins, Lea DeLaria, Justin Moore, S.G. Goodman, and Michael Ray. Participating Veterans organization representatives includes Julz Carey (AVER) Joe Chenelly (AMVETS), Donna Brock (U.S. Army Women’s Foundation), Ken Falke (Boulder Crest), Justin Brown (The Nimitz Group), Margaret Harrell, PhD (Bob Woodruff Foundation) and more…

To register for the events and for more information, visit rollingstonesalutetoservice.com.

Conversations will include:
• Salute to Minority Veterans (November 11, 12pm PT/3pm ET)
o Moderated by Rolling Stone editor Jamil Smith, this conversation will focus on the increasing number of women, minorities and LGBTQ Veterans and their experience and the mirrored experiences of minority talent and their personal journeys.
o Talent includes: Jamil Smith, Lea DeLaria, Julz Carey (AVER), Donna Brock (U.S. Army Women’s Foundation)
• Veteran Mental Health Awareness (November 19, 12pm PT/3pm ET)
o Led by Rolling Stone editor Jerry Portwood, this roundtable will discuss the need for increased awareness and response to veteran mental health as well as the role this conversation takes in the national dialogue on mental health.
o Talent includes: Jerry Portwood, Justin Moore, Michael Ray, Ken Falke (Boulder Crest), Justin Brown (The Nimitz Group)
• Veteran Advocacy and Support (December 1, 12pm PT/3pm ET)
o Facilitated by Rolling Stone editor Joseph Hudak, tune in to hear a lively discussion regarding modern day Veteran support, the current Veteran experience in America as well as personal stories from guests on their involvement in the cause. Sign up here (link) to attend these meaningful discussions around today’s service-member experience.
o Talent includes: Joseph Hudak, Trace Adkins, Joe Chenelly (AMVETS), and Margaret C. Harrell, PhD (Bob Woodruff Foundation)

20 US Veterans, Aged 28-92, to Skydive at the National WWI Museum and Memorial this Veterans Day

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older veteran shaking hands with a group of younf soldiers in uniform

In commemoration of Veterans Day, the National WWI Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor those who have served — and continue to serve — our country. To recognize these men and women, admission to the Museum and Memorial is free for veterans and active duty military personnel from Saturday, Nov. 7 through Sunday, Nov. 15. General admission for the public is half-price on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11.

A “Legacy Jump” will kick off the Nov. 11 Veterans Day activities at 6:30 a.m. CT Led by Purple Heart Recipient, former Navy SEAL and extreme sports enthusiast, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, the “Legacy Jump” will feature an All Veteran Group parachute team who will tandem skydive a veteran from each war – World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan War & Iraq War, as well as Sept. 11 – and land on the Museum and Memorial’s North Lawn. The veterans range in age from 28 to 92.

Parrott will cap off the jump with a symbolic WWI Soldier & “Missing Man” BASE Jump from the 217-foot Liberty Memorial Tower in honor of POW-MIAs and a war that is talked about infrequently. The “Legacy Jump” will bring together generations of veterans, including news host Pete Hegseth, to raise funds and awareness for veteran and first responder causes through the Bird’s Eye View Project.

“We’re excited to host this special ‘Legacy Jump’ on Veterans Day,” says Dr. Matthew Naylor, president & CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial.  “We are proud to honor the men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country.”

Additionally, the Museum and Memorial will offer a wide variety of events throughout Veterans Day. A free, public Veterans Day Ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. CT in the Memorial Courtyard with a keynote address from Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas will deliver a special reading. This year’s abbreviated ceremony, along with all other Veterans Day special events, will be held outdoors with social distancing and masks to ensure the public can celebrate our veterans safely.

Following the ceremony, at 11 a.m. CT, locally-based Cars 4 Heroes will be giving away 11 vehicles to veterans on the North Lawn. The bi-annual Walk of Honor dedication ceremony takes place at 2 p.m. CT, followed by a special outdoor performance from the Kansas City Symphony. Their Mobile Music Box will be on the Southeast Lawn from 3 – 5 p.m. CT.

Support for Veterans Day is provided by Jackson County Executive and County Legislators and Weather or Not.

VETERANS DAY ACTIVITIES: Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020

LEGACY JUMP

When: 6:30 a.m. CT

Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, North Lawn

What: Organized by the Bird’s Eye View Project and led by Purple Heart Recipient, former Navy SEAL from Team 7 and extreme sports enthusiast, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott. An All Veteran Group parachute team will tandem skydive a veteran from each war – World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf, Afghanistan War & Iraq War, as well as Sept. 11 – and land on the Museum and Memorial’s North Lawn. Parrott will cap off the event with a symbolic WWI Soldier & “Missing Man” BASE Jump from the 217-foot Liberty Memorial tower.

VETERANS DAY CEREMONY

When: 10 a.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard
What: Join us for a moving ceremony honoring our nation’s veterans with a keynote address from Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Mayor Quinton Lucas will deliver a special reading. This year’s abbreviated ceremony will be outdoors to ensure we can celebrate our veterans safely. Please dress warmly, practice social distancing and wear a mask. FREE to the public.

LIVING HISTORY VOLUNTEERS

When: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard and Paul Sunderland Bridge
What: History is brought to life with our Living History Volunteers who will be available for social distanced pictures. FREE to the public.

CARS 4 HEROES CEREMONY

When: 11 a.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, North Lawn
What: For 24 years, Cars 4 Heroes has provided free, basic, reliable transportation to Veterans, First Responders and their families, that otherwise are not able to obtain transportation for themselves. Join us for a moving ceremony as the organization hands over the keys of 11 cars to deserving individuals.

WALK OF HONOR DEDICATION CEREMONY

When: 2 p.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Memorial Courtyard
What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. The Walk of Honor is divided into three sections: bricks dedicated solely to those who served in World War I; bricks dedicated to veterans of any military service; and bricks that honor civilian friends, family or organizations. Walk of Honor bricks are dedicated twice each year during Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. FREE to the public.

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY PERFORMANCE

When: 3 – 5 p.m. CT
Where: National WWI Museum and Memorial, Southeast Lawn
What: At a time when audiences cannot visit indoor venues, the Symphony is taking the music on the road to reach music lovers and families in every corner of the metropolitan area. Kansas City Symphony’s new outdoor stage on wheels, the Mobile Music Box, will be on the Museum and Memorial’s Southeast Lawn for a 3 p.m. CT performance. FREE to the public.

About the National WWI Museum and Memorial

The National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum and Memorial holds the most comprehensive collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum and Memorial takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National WWI Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.

About the Birds Eye View Project

The Birds Eye View Project (BEVP) uses extreme sports to raise funds and awareness for veteran and first responder charities. Veteran and former Navy SEAL, Ryan “Birdman” Parrott knew that it takes big events to make a significant impact. That’s what this is. That’s why we are here. One man’s idea of running from Dallas to Waco in 24 hours to raise $100K for charity, turned into a charity that performs over-the-top stunts to impact those who need it most – veteran and First-responders injured in the line of duty – raising funds and awareness for small charities that need help doing their awesome work.

Photo Credit: The National WWI Museum and Memorial

Variety Announces Salute to Service Special Premiering Veterans Day on the History Channel

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Variety's Salute to Service promo poster

The fourth annual VARIETY’S SALUTE TO SERVICE PRESENTED BY HISTORY® AND VOICES MAGNIFIED, a celebration honoring our veterans and servicemembers and contributions by various individuals who continue to shine a light on the military and related organizations, was recently announced.

The special will air on The HISTORY® Channel on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11th at 10pm ET / PT. The special will include appearances by Trace Adkins, Kevin Bacon, Bryan Cranston, Jake Gyllenhaal, Morgan Freeman, Wilmer Valderrama, Kellie Pickler, Kelly Ripa, Shaggy and Gary Sinise as they pay tribute to the courageous servicemembers.

The program will highlight organizations such as Headstrong, Team Rubicon, The Bush Institute, Gary Sinise Foundation and the USO – which will showcase its work with the troops since its inception and its current initiatives during Covid-19.

Bryan Cranston will present the USO segment which is a non-profit partner of the program. Also featured will be Verizon, which employs more than 10,000 veterans as part of its workforce. In 2020, for the third year in a row, Verizon was voted the #1 Military Friendly Company for its commitment to serving the military community.

“Words cannot express our gratitude to the veterans for all their sacrifices for our freedom, but this Veterans Day, we strive to honor those fearless men and women.  It was crucial to us to keep our annual Salute to Service event going and to pay tribute and recognize those who have given so much to keep our country safe and strong,” said PMC Vice Chairman, Gerry Byrne. Byrne is a United Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and works across all of PMC’s platforms to support veteran’s initiatives.  “We are thankful for the continued support by The HISTORY Channel.”

“Variety’s Salute to Service is an important opportunity to honor our nations veterans and service members and give a platform to many of the excellent organizations out there who are helping veterans and military families,” said Paul Buccieri, President, A+E Networks Group. “Honoring and celebrating our veterans and military families has been a long-term priority for The HISTORY Channel and A+E Networks and we are proud to have the opportunity to get these organizations in front of viewers and encourage our audiences to learn more about their vital work.”

The HISTORY Channel has an on-going commitment to mobilizing support for veterans and military families through the award-winning Mission to Honor initiative which acknowledges the many vital contributions of veterans and shares their stories across all platforms. Through this initiative, The HISTORY Channel collaborates with many of the nation’s leading veterans’ organizations to help showcase the many ways veterans and military families give back to their communities through service.

ABOUT VARIETY

Now celebrating its 115th year anniversary, Variety is the seminal voice of the entertainment industry. Featuring award-winning breaking news reporting, insightful award-season coverage, must-read feature spotlights and intelligent analysis of the industry’s most prominent players, Variety is the trusted source for the business of global entertainment. Read by a highly engaged audience of industry insiders, Variety’s multi-platform content coverage expands across digital, mobile, social, print and branded content, events and summits.

In May 2019, Variety’s “Actors on Actors” on PBS took home a Daytime Creative Arts Emmy award  and has been awarded the Emmy for best entertainment programming at the 67th and 68th Emmy Awards. “Actors on Actors,” an interview special that features pairings of prominent actors discussing their craft, was produced by PBS SoCal in partnership with Variety Media, LLC. Follow Variety on Facebook facebook.com/variety; Twitter, @variety; Instagram, @Variety The Variety Group – Variety, Variety.com, Variety Insight, Indiewire,– is owned by Variety Media, LLC, a division of Penske Media Corporation.

ABOUT The HISTORY® Channel

The HISTORY Channel, a division of A+E Networks, is the premier destination for historical storytelling. From best-in-class documentary events, to a signature slate of industry leading nonfiction series and premium fact-based scripted programming, HISTORY serves as the most trustworthy source of informational entertainment in media. For a deeper dive, visit history.com or follow @history on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

About the USO:
The USO strengthens America’s military service members by keeping them connected to family, home and country, throughout their service to the nation. At hundreds of locations worldwide, we are united in our commitment to connect our service members and their families through countless acts of caring, comfort and support. The USO is a private nonprofit organization, not a government agency. Our programs, services and entertainment tours are made possible by the American people, support of our corporate partners and the dedication of our volunteers and staff. To join us in this important mission and learn more about the USO, please visit USO.org or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Soldier’s badass Van Halen tribute goes viral

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Eddie Van Halen and soldier playing guitars side by side

By Sarah Sicard

There’s no better way to honor a fallen guitarist than to shred.

After the death of legendary rocker Eddie Van Halen, who at 65 lost a battle with cancer on Oct. 6, Army Staff Sgt. Austin West took to the web to share a live tribute in honor of the late musician on Facebook.

“I wanted to show my respect but mainly my emotions for what had happened,” West told Military Times in a text conversation.

Now, his video has over a million views and thousands of comments.

“It felt great but not for myself but for Eddie!” West said.

If you pull the trigger on a gun that fast, you could win a war on your own,” wrote user Michael Mottram. “Awesome playing and cheers for your service fella.”

During the three-minute tribute, West covered some of Van Halen’s best-known works, including “Eruption.”

West hopes that people enjoyed the music and feel inspired. The 26-year-old has been playing for 13 years, and did a tour with the U.S. Army Soldier Show in 2015, which stopped at 74 bases. He once played a single song for an AC/DC tribute band.

“We never rehearsed the song or played together, and it was done flawlessly in front of 10k people!” he noted.

The fact that so many watched “showed how much love people had for him and what he’s done for music,” he added.

Continue on to Military Times to read the complete article.

Veteran Launches Advanced Lifestyle Management App Called BE LUX

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BE LUX CEO headshot

The COVID pandemic has prompted people to change how they conduct their business and personal activities. 

 

More than ever, people have come to rely on mobile applications to order groceries, make appointments, and otherwise meet a wide variety of their needs.

With this in mind, Waldron McCritty, a black U.S. Navy and hospitality industry veteran, set out to revolutionize concierge services for those who want to enjoy their best-available lifestyle. He designed BE LUX, the new mobile app by Bold, Inc., to provide personal concierge service in today’s high tech world. The BE LUX lifestyle management platform will help people with everything from travel arrangements to lawn care. All they have to do is sign up for a membership, and everything will be handled by quality trained service professionals.

 

“I come from three generations of hospitality and management services, and have made it my mission to introduce to this segment the power of today’s advanced technology, such as artificial intelligence,” explains Waldron McCritty, chief executive officer of BE LUX. “I have a passion for providing great services, and BE LUX is going to help streamline that process.”

 

The company and its service platform, is a concept that occurred to Waldron while he was helping his family develop their property and hospitality businesses. He envisioned a mobile app that would help solve some of the customer services and logistics problems that they had encountered regularly. After researching and testing various alternatives, BE LUX was born.

 

Today the BE LUX app is available for download on Apple and Android devices.  Users may choose a membership level that includes a range of services that suit their personal concierge preferences. Membership levels include Basic, Premium, and Executive, with service options that span personal assistant, home services, lodging, party and events, travel, and delivery service needs.

 

Members seeking Home Services, for example, will have all of their essential needs met without having to source the specific individual service providers to perform the work. Services such as yard work, repairs, cleaning, and laundry will integrate seamlessly.  Likewise, those who choose the Executive membership level will have all of their office assistant needs addressed. BE LUX will help people save time and money by running errands, having groceries and take-out delivered, or making travel plans.

 

Five things to know about BE LUX include:

 

1.    The company that created Be Lux, Bold Inc. is a certified Black- and veteran-owned business. Waldron served eight years in the U.S. Navy.

2.    Waldron’s experience in the military prepared him for entrepreneurship. He served with the Elite Navy Explosive Ordinance Disposal and Counter Narcotics Units as an Operations Specialist, and Coordinator.  After obtaining a degree in Industrial & Systems Engineering, he gained 15 years of professional experience in management and mobile technology.

3.    The app is currently launching in Atlanta, but will soon be available in cities around the country.

4.    Currently the services offered include restaurant and grocery delivery, package and alcohol delivery, and transportation services. Transportation services include on-demand, as well as chauffeur services. More services will follow shortly.

5.    The BE LUX platform and underlying services will focus on helping people with everything from simple chores to corporate office assistance.

 

“Everyone wants more free time and less stress, despite all the daily tasks and chores to be done,” added McCritty. “BE LUX does all this and so much more. Constant attention to a list of to-dos around the home or office can consume a lot of time and energy. Users of BE LUX can while our trained service providers ensure that everything on their list gets properly handled in a timely and professional manner. BE LUX is the app for those who want to spend more time living their life to the fullest, rather than taking care of all the little tasks that need to be done.”

man's hand holding a serving tray with white gloves on

Those interested in learning more about Be Lux can log online and watch a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmcwxEoI9tk, download the app: https://play.google.com. Please visit the website: https://beluxllc.com.

About Bold, Inc.

Bold, Inc was founded by Waldron McCritty, a black veteran whose service experience prepared him to be an entrepreneur. He spent eight years in various positions within the U.S. Navy. As a third generation concierge professional, he is tapping into new technology to help streamline this service domain. BE LUX is the revolutionary new App that offers advanced lifestyle management services. To learn more about the company and app, visit the site at: https://beluxllc.com.

Providing Business, DVBE. Employment & Educational Opportunities For Veterans

Crohns

Crohns Colitis

Dept. of Veteran Affairs

Department of Veterans Affairs

Central Michigan