A Military Wife’s Guide to Suicide Prevention

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Depressed soldier leaning against the window covering his face with his arm

Aleha Landry is one of the many people who has a military spouse suffering from a form of mental illness from military experience.

Through her personal experiences tending to her husband’s mental health conditions and her knowledge of the rising suicide rate among military personnel, Landry does everything in her power to help those suffering from these conditions.

Through her husband’s struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts, Landry has had a look at the various military-implemented mental health programs that help military personnel in these specific instances. Though in place for good reason, Landry has expressed her husband’s distaste for the programs, as they claim to be a solution for an issue that is as complicated and complex as mental health. To bring awareness to what veterans are actually feeling in times of mental health issues, Landry writes letters to Air Force leaders and members of Congress.

Though she is yet to receive a response to her letters, Landry does offer three helpful tips that she believes should be implemented into the mental health programs for military personnel.

  • Therapists working through these programs should either be stationed to stay in one place or at least have a five-year commitment to where they are currently located. Many of the therapists that Landry’s husband has seen have relocated in a short span of time, forcing him to retell his story and rebuild trust over and over again. Lancey believes that having one therapist who is guaranteed to stick around would allow for trust, understanding and healing to be better implemented.
  • Guarantee off-base counseling. This would allow for those seeking therapy to have a wider range of choice in finding the right counselor, rather than feeling the pressure to have to talk with a specific person.
  • Reduce the redundancy in progress questionnaires. Many questionnaires given to track the mental progress of military personnel are redundant and frustrating, according to Landry, who believes asking the questions once and having them answered to a therapist rather than on a sheet of paper would decrease frustration and give patients the sense of being cared for.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation Releases Best Practices for Organizations Providing Emergency Assistance to Veteran and Military Families

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The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant economic downturn have had a profound financial impact on millions of Americans, including our nation’s veterans and military families.

The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) quickly pivoted their 2020 grantmaking plans to get critical funding into the hands of their partners, enabling emergency financial assistance (EFA) for veterans when and where it was needed most. Based on insights gathered from their grantees, BWF has now released “Emergency Financial Assistance: Best Practices,” the latest issue in their Stand SMART for Heroes research series, to share key findings that can help organizations minimize risk and maximize impact for veterans and their families.

In April 2020, BWF released a pivotal research paper, “Veterans and COVID-19: Projecting the Economic, Social, and Mental Health Needs of America’s Veterans,” indicating that half of veterans between the ages of 25 and 44 had less than $3,000 to $4,000 in savings before the COVID-19 pandemic began. Additionally, 15% of veterans were employed in industries that were most likely to be impacted by the pandemic.

In anticipation of increased need, BWF leveraged their findings and expedited their 2020 grants to provide direct support to the military and veteran population during the pandemic, broadening their usual granting criteria to include applications from programs providing EFA. At the same time, BWF developed a survey to evaluate applicants for risk and professionalism. The results of that survey formed the basis for this latest research paper publication.

“Providing support to cover rent, groceries, home or vehicle repairs, or other unexpected expenses can help veterans maintain stability in the short term, so that they can thrive in the long term,” said Anne Marie Dougherty, Chief Executive Officer of the Bob Woodruff Foundation. “By sharing what we’ve learned from our network through our latest issue of Stand SMART for Heroes, we’re shining a light on this urgent need while also providing an important resource to organizations that want to help.”
For more information, and for funders interested in supporting emergency financial assistance programs, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org/stand-smart-for-heroes/.

About the Bob Woodruff Foundation:
The Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) was founded in 2006 after reporter Bob Woodruff was wounded by a roadside bomb while covering the war in Iraq. Since then, the Bob Woodruff Foundation has led an enduring call to action for people to stand up for heroes and meet the emerging and long-term needs of today’s veterans, including suicide prevention, mental health, caregiver support, and food insecurity. To date, BWF has invested over $76 million to Find, Fund and Shape™ programs that have empowered impacted veterans, service members, and their family members, across the nation. For more information, please visit bobwoodrufffoundation.org or follow us on Twitter at @Stand4Heroes.

Tens of thousands of veteran caregivers now eligible for the coronavirus vaccine through VA

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Hands of a doctor in latex gloves fill a syringe from vial of covid vaccine going to give an injection isolated on white

By Leo Shane lll
Military Times

Tens of thousands of caregivers providing critical medical support to disabled veterans will be eligible to receive coronavirus vaccine doses soon under a new policy announced by the Department of Veterans Affairs this week.

The move comes after a coalition of veterans groups lobbied for the caregivers to be pushed to the top of the vaccine list, arguing that they deserved to be included in the first wave of medical professionals being protected against the deadly illness.

In response, Dr. Richard Stone, executive in charge of the Veterans Health Administration, released a memo this week asserting that individuals registered with the department’s Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers can be given the vaccine “in a coordinated manner with the veterans for whom they provide care.”

More than 6,700 Veterans Affairs patients have died from virus complications in the last 10 months.
Leo Shane III

Specifics on an exact timeline for vaccinations was not released. The memo states that decisions will be made “in balance with site-specific resources, needs, vaccine availability, hesitancy to accept the vaccine, and status of the pandemic locally.

In an interview with Military Times, Stone said that he is shifting many of those vaccination decisions to local officials, in an effort to provide coverage to more individuals.

“We need to leave it up to people at the besides, to make sure they are making the best decisions for veterans,” he said. “When someone brings a veteran in to give them the vaccine, they can easily identify what the other needs are.”

For caregivers like Jennie Beller, the news is welcome relief.

Read the full article on militarytimes.com

The 9 Best Job Programs for Veterans Separating in 2021

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cropped view of soldier pointing with finger at laptop in office

Originally posted on Military.com

While 2020 was a lost year for many Americans, it doesn’t have to affect separating military members in 2021. Some veterans programs reorganized their work to fit coronavirus restrictions; others shut down entirely.

But the most effective programs continued their training cycles.

In 2020, we highlighted dozens of organizations that want to train, hire or give veterans a leg up in the job market. These are just the best of the best and are in no particular order, because every veteran has different needs and goals.

Anyone leaving the military in 2021 (and beyond) who doesn’t know where to begin should definitely start here.

1. Federal Agencies

It should be no surprise that the world’s largest employer, the U.S. government, has job openings for veterans. What might be a surprise is just how many agencies want to train them first and even have a pipeline from the military to civilian service.

Whether you’re looking to fight wildfires, become a diplomat at the State Department, bust punks in America’s national parks or be on the front lines of the U.S. homeland security apparatus, there’s a program for you. And although there is no pipeline, veterans preference will still give you an edge when applying to the FBI or even the CIA.

There are also opportunities for wannabe truck drivers through the Department of Transportation, paid internships for would-be park rangers and more.

2. BAE Systems’ Warrior Integration Program (WIP)

For anyone who’s ever wanted to work for an American defense contractor but didn’t know how to get their foot in the door, this is the jobs program for you. BAE wants veterans to apply before they even leave the military (separated veterans are still welcome) so they can start job training right away.

The program offers on-the-job training at a real BAE location, along with mentorship, guidance through the transitioning process and (of course) a paycheck for three years while learning the job. When your time in the WIP is up, you will be a full BAE Systems employee, just like your coworkers.

Read: This Company Is Now Giving a Total Transition and Jobs Program to Separating Military Members

BAE Systems currently has Warrior Integration Program openings in New Hampshire, Alabama and Texas, but even if you don’t live there, you can still apply.

3. Workforce Opportunity Services (WOS)

Dr. Arthur Langer is a Columbia University professor who runs the nonprofit Workforce Opportunity Services. The company brings together major employers such as Prudential, General Electric and HBO, companies that need to fill critical roles. WOS then trains military veterans to fill those positions. From mechanics to Java developers, WOS has a 90% retention rate in U.S. companies.

Read: This Nonprofit Created a Pipeline System for Training and Placing Veterans in Jobs

Any business in America is welcome to come to WOS to fill its vacancies, and any veteran in America is welcome to come find job training and a place to work.

4. Microsoft

Any veteran who’s eager to join the best technical industry in the world but doesn’t know how to guarantee themselves a job should look no further than Microsoft. The tech giant looks to skilled, mature veterans to fill out its critical vacancies through the Microsoft Software and Systems Academy (MSSA).

Read: Why Corporate Skills Training May Be More Valuable Than a Degree for Veterans

It’s an 18-week “reskilling” program that teaches advanced technical functions in high demand right now. At the end of the program, students will have the chance to interview with Microsoft or other tech giants in need of those valuable skills. Graduates of the program have an 80% retention rate, even without a traditional four-year degree — that’s the benefit of reskilling.

5. Army Career Skills Program (CSP)

Soldiers interested in finding a new career after the Army can look into the Career Skills Program as a means of getting that guaranteed job after leaving the military — and learn their new career while still getting that military paycheck.

Read: This Army Job Training Program Has a 93% Success Rate

Why would the Army pay soldiers to learn to leave? Because the 210 different programs offered by the Army CSP are all critical job functions the service can’t live without, but also can’t seem to find the people to do the job. Who better to work for Big Army than its former soldiers? It’s like living the Army life without the looming threat from the Green Weenie. Soldiers can choose from a slew of jobs, from auto repair to solar energy.

6. Workshops for Warriors

Hernán Luis y Prado of San Diego is a Navy veteran and the founder of Workshop for Warriors. He noticed a distinct lack of skilled trades in the American workforce, a lack he believes could cripple the American economy when the older generation of skilled tradesmen retires. So he started a nonprofit training organization designed to put veterans in those trades.

Read: ‘Workshops for Warriors’ Is Intense, Effective Training for Skilled Manufacturing Jobs

Unlike some of other programs, Workshops for Warriors requires a fee (learning or teaching a skilled trade isn’t cheap), but is covered by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The program has a 95% success rate in training and job placement, perfect for any veteran who wants to work with their hands.

7. Carrus

For both military members and spouses interested in health care jobs, Carrus is the place to start. CEO Misty Frost loves the mature soft skills that veterans bring to the industry when starting civilian careers, and that all the hard skills of the health care industry can be taught. So that’s what Carrus is doing.

Read: The Health Care Industry Is Looking for Vets. Here’s How to Get Free Training.

A grant from the Army Credentialing Assistance Program (ACA) allowed Carrus to expand its no-cost, short-term training program for military members and spouses. Anyone interested in free training for a new career in the health care industry should visit CareerStep.com’s Military Page to sign up for more information in the “request info” area of the page.

Read the full article on Military.com.

American Soldier Pleads For Help To Bring Rescued Dog Home

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Sergeant Tiann leans over Millie th dog she wants to rescue upon deplyment

Millie is a mixed breed dog overseas that was rescued by Sergeant Tiann. The soldier has created a long lasting relationship with the dog and is desperate to bring her back to the U.S. with her, now that her deployment is over.

She has reached out to Guardians of Rescue for their assistance in helping to make the relocation happen, and they need donations from the public in order to make it happen.

We could make this a reality, but we need financial support from the community,” explains Robert Misseri, president of Guardians of Rescue, an animal rescue organization. “There are a lot of logistics and people that have to come together to make this happen and it’s expensive. Let’s all work together to give Sgt Tiann this wonderful gift of ending a tough year on a high note and going into a new year with a smile.”

Sergeant Tiann found Millie after she had given birth and was nursing. During that time, someone came along and took all the puppies from the mother, leaving her in a vulnerable position. Sergeant Tiann knew that this would leave the dog in danger, so she wanted to do what she could to help her.

Doing all she could for Millie, the two of the formed a relationship based on love and trust. She knows that if she cannot get Millie back to the states to live with her, she will once again be put in danger. They have an inseparable bond and want to be at home together for the holidays.

Overseas dogs are always in danger there and are not treated the same way they are treated here in America. Guardians is asking for help for Sergeant Tiann and Millie to help reunite the two. Transporting a dog across from overseas is something that Guardians of Rescue can help the soldier do, but it’s a costly venture that is also complicated. They will only be able to pull off the mission with the financial assistance from the community to help make it happen.

“Leaving Millie behind is just not an option for me,” says Sergeant Tiann. “She’s become my best friend and we don’t leave our best friends behind and in danger. I appreciate everyone who helps me bring her home with me.”

To make a donation to help bring Millie home to the US where she can live her life with Sergeant Tiann, visit the site at:  https://guardiansofrescue.networkforgood.com/projects/120170-bring-soldier-s-dog-little-millie-to-safety-in-the-us 

Guardians of Rescue provides assistance to active military overseas through the “No Buddy Left Behind” program and investigates animal cruelty cases. It is located in New York, but it helps animals in many places around the country. It is also instrumental in helping military members with their pets. To learn more, get involved, or to make a donation to support the Guardians of Rescue, log onto www.guardiansofrescue.org.

About Guardians of Rescue
Based in New York, Guardians of Rescue is an organization whose mission is to protect the well-being of all animals. It provides aid to animals in distress, including rehabilitation, assisting other rescue groups, and providing support to families, both military and not, who need assistance due to economic factors. To learn more about Guardians of Rescue, visit the site at www.guardiansofrescue.org.

This Christmas Give the Gift of Saving a Soldiers Dog from being Abandoned Overseas, Time Is Running Out

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happy rescue dog smiling at soldier

A soldier’s dog is in urgent need of rescue, or he could be left behind as his soldier is being deployed back to the U.S. from serving overseas.

Due to reduced flights and heighted requirements for animal travel there are just days left to make this rescue happen and keep this soldier and his dog together.

“The United States military does not leave best friends behind. We need your help to reunite them here in America,” explains Robert Misseri, co-founder of Paws of War. “Even small donations will add up to help. We want to give Specialist Lucas the great Christmas present of bringing his dog back home with him.”

When soldiers are deployed they can get lonely, miss home, and become depressed. Every once in a while they are lucky enough to come across a stray animal that they befriend, which brings them happiness. That’s exactly what happened to Army Specialist Lucas, when he came across a dog that he’s now desperate to bring back to the U.S. with him now that his deployment is over.

“I noticed his calmness, he just wanted some love and attention. I love all animals but he was special,” says Specialist Lucas. “I can’t imagine having to leave my best friend behind, God only knows what will happen to him and my heart will be broken.”

The soldier saw the dog walking around, lonely and hungry, near the base where he is stationed. As he considered how he could help, the dog made his way to him, wanting attention. Specialist Lucas decided to name him Boy Dawg, and they instantly made a connection. Each day, the dog would seek him out for attention and food.

Over time, they created a bond that has helped Specialist Lucas during his time being deployed. When he got word that he was going to be sent back home to the states, he couldn’t imagine leaving Boy Dawg behind to forage on his own again. By this point, he considered him part of his family. He reached out to Paws of War to see if they could help him bring his dog back home.

Paws of War has helped numerous soldiers to bring their pets back to the U.S. However, this year the mission is more challenging to pull off. The pandemic has severely limited the number of flights coming from the U.S., especially those allowing dogs. Plus, flights from overseas are costly, and there is a lot of red tape that needs to be addressed and logistics to overcome.

The only way they can successfully bring Boy Dawg home with Specialist Lucas is with financial help from people in the community. They are urgently accepting donations so they can plan the mission and secure the flight.

To see pictures of Specialist Lucas and Boy Dawg or to make a donation, visit the site at: https://pawsofwar.networkforgood.com/projects/119293-boy-dawg.

Paws of War rescues dogs, provides them with proper training, and then pairs them with veterans who need service animals, all free of charge. They also help soldiers bring their dog back to America after serving in the Middle East. Those who would like to learn more about supporting Paws of War and its mission can go online to: http://pawsofwar.org.

About Paws of War

Paws of War is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides assistance to military members and their pets, rescues and trains dogs to be service dogs, and provides therapy dogs to veterans. To learn more about Paws of War and the programs provided or to make a donation visit its site at: http://pawsofwar.org.

WWII veteran becomes first VA patient to get COVID-19 vaccine

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female VA patient receiving vaccine

Less than three days after the first COVID-19 vaccine received government authorization, a World War II veteran in Massachusetts became the first Veterans Affairs patient in the country to get the shot.

The VA Bedford Healthcare System’s shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived Monday morning and the facility began to administer doses within a few hours.

Margaret Klessens, a 96-year-old resident of the Community Living Center in the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, received the shot Monday at 12:07 p.m., the VA Bedford Healthcare System announced in a statement.

Thirteen minutes later, Andrew Miller, a housekeeper in the environmental management services became the first employee to get the jab.

Elsewhere in Massachusetts, shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were arriving and hospitals are preparing to begin administering them to staff this week.

Boston Medical Center said Monday it received its first shipment of 1,950 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID19 vaccine.

Continue on to wvcb.com to read the complete article. Department of Veterans Affairs photo via Twitter.

Never Settle – How I Took a Leap into the Tech Industry

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Paul Yoon pictured in Army uniform holding a rifle standing in rough terrain

By Paul Yoon

I was in the military for four years. I served in the US Army as a wheeled-vehicle mechanic for the first two, then transitioned to an artillery surveyor.

I gained experience as a radio technician, and also managed and secured transportation for equipment and personnel.

After the military, I became a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for about five years. I had to help my parents with a lot of bills. I had to find work, and law enforcement was hiring quite heavily at the time.

I’ve always had some interest in coding. When I was an adolescent, a couple of my friends and I explored basic HTML and CSS, as well as how to build web and mobile applications. But I grew distant. A lot of my friends became software engineers, and they encouraged me to look into it once my family was more settled.

I had a stable career. I’d just bought a house. I was comfortable. But I had this mental struggle: If I stay here, accept and try to be happy with what I have, I’m settling. Do I want to live with regret, or would I rather take some time, make a few sacrifices and try it out?

Going back to school wasn’t a feasible option for me as I was helping my parents with bills. I needed something quicker and coding bootcamps were popular at the time, so I started researching. I noticed that a lot of them only covered one stack. Coding Dojo split it up into three different stacks, and that was more what I was looking for. I wanted to get my feet wet, understand certain stacks and experiment with them. At the Coding Dojo orientation, the main presenter was very open and welcoming. He was also a veteran – there’s a lot of vets in bootcamps.

Bootcamps are meant to be hard. It’s four years of coursework condensed into about four months. But I realized if I’m going to make this huge jump, I had to reserve a lot of time.

Looking at the material that we covered during the first few days, I knew that if I went home each night and just read a few things, it wasn’t going to be enough. Sometimes the material is hard to understand. I was “that guy” who asked a lot of questions, and I think that’s what helped the most. A couple of my course mates were too prideful. They wouldn’t ask the instructors, or they’d just be stuck on the same thing all day.

MERN was my favorite stack, but Python was close behind. For fun projects and applications, I would use MERN, but for deeper studies, analysis or data, I would use Python. I would’ve preferred to stay away from Java, but it’s a foundational language that is useful to know. Coincidentally enough, the work I’m in uses Java.

After graduation came the job hunt, and COVID-19 had a severe impact. I was competing for entry level jobs against people who were getting laid off as software engineers with years of experience and who were willing to take lower-paying jobs. I told myself I’d rather seek an opportunity to learn and grow than merely look for the highest-paying job. I considered a lot of paid internships, mentorships and entry-level positions. It was a lot of rejection as many apprenticeships and internships got delayed or canceled due to COVID-19.

Then, a company called Twilio finally responded about their Hatch apprenticeship. The process took two and a half months, but it ultimately worked out. I’m now officially a Software Engineering apprentice and learn something new every day.

You have to go in with the mentality that you’re going to be challenged. You have to sacrifice and compromise. Just give it everything you got. The only way to learn and understand the material is to put in the hours. Your family and loved ones will support you.

Having been in the military, making sacrifices was easy for me. I’d usually be the first one in and the last one out. I had a competitive mindset. I knew if my goals and missions were set, I couldn’t leave until I finished. It was comfortable for me to approach people from different backgrounds, being collaborative and working with peers.

The tech industry is huge. There are so many roles that start with coding and development as entry points. If you can find transferable skills similar to web development or software engineering, by all means you should consider making the change. It’s healthy. If you’re in a position where you’re not comfortable and feel like you can do more, it’s never too late. Don’t doubt that.

VA announces initial plans for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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scientist holding vile of vaccine for covid

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced a preliminary plan for distributing COVID-19 vaccinations it will implement once the Food and Drug Administration issues an emergency use authorization for a vaccine.

VA has worked in close coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Operation Warp Speed to plan for COVID-19 vaccination of VA staff and Veterans.

VA will first provide vaccinations to front-line VA health care workers and Veterans residing in long-term care units in 37 of its medical centers across the country.

The centers, listed below, were chosen for their ability to vaccinate large numbers of people and store the vaccines at extremely cold temperatures.

Health care workers will be among the first to receive vaccinations because they are at high risk for contracting and spreading COVID-19 to other staff members and patients, and their health is critical to ensuring the continued care of Veterans.

Veterans in VA’s long-term care facilities will be the first patient group to be vaccinated. As vaccine supplies increase, additional Veterans will receive vaccinations based on factors such as age, existing health problems and other considerations that increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19.

VA anticipates a limited vaccine supply immediately after FDA’s approval, but expects more supplies to be available in short order.

“VA is well prepared and positioned to begin COVID-19 vaccinations,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “Our ultimate goal is to offer it to all Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

The 37 VA sites chosen for initial distribution of the vaccine will closely monitor patients and staff for side effects and log this information in its vaccine monitoring and tracking system. This is the same system VA uses to monitor reactions to all vaccines, including those for the flu and shingles.

VA will report directly to the CDC data on all vaccine doses administered by VA. The department will also provide general, public updates on the number of people who receive the vaccination at these sites, similar to how VA posts COVID-19 testing figures.

The 37 VA sites are spread throughout the country and include:

Birmingham (AL) VA Health Care System

Phoenix (AZ) VA Health Care System

Greater Los Angeles (CA) VA Health Care System

Palo Alto (CA) VA Health Care System

Eastern Colorado (CO) VA Health Care System

Connecticut (West Haven Campus) VA Health Care System

Washington DC VA Health Care System

Orlando (FL) VA Health Care System

Augusta (GA) VA Health Care System

Edward J. Hines Jr. VA Hospital (IL)

Lexington (KY) VA Health Care System

Southeast Louisiana (New Orleans) VA Health Care System

Maryland (Baltimore) VA Health Care System

Bedford (MA) VA Health Care System

Ann Arbor (MI) VA Health Care System

Minneapolis (MN) VA Health Care System

Harry S Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital (Columbia MO)

St. Louis (MO) VA Health Care System

Omaha (NE) VA Health Care System

Southern Nevada (North Las Vegas) VA Health Care System

Raymond G. Murphy (NM) VA Health Care System

New York Harbor (Brooklyn) VA Health Care System

Western New York (Buffalo) VA Health Care System

Durham (NC) VA Health Care System

Cleveland (OH) VA Health Care System

Oklahoma City (OK) VA Health Care System

Portland (OR) VA Health Care System

Corporal Michael J. Crescenz VA Medical Center (Philadelphia PA)

Pittsburgh (PA) VA Health Care System

Caribbean (Puerto Rico) VA Health Care System

Memphis (TN) VA Health Care System

Dallas (TX) VA Medical Center

Michael E. DeBakey VA Health Care System (Houston TX)

Audie L. Murphy VA Hospital (San Antonio TX)

Richmond (VA) VA Health Care System

Puget Sound (WA) VA Health Care System

Milwaukee (WI) VA Health Care System

Veterans seeking additional information should visit the VA COVID-19 vaccine webpage, contact their care team or visit their facility website.

Source: VA.gov

Learning to Pivot Together When the Going Gets Tough

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The Rosie Network Logo Shield with woman in bandana holding her arm up in a strength position

By Leona Sublett, CEO, The Rosie Network

Looking back at the early days of March and onset of COVID19, few knew the impact the virus would have on the nationwide shutdown and the thousands of military entrepreneurs and their families looking to launch or grow their business.

As storefronts shuttered, offices closed and many small business owners scrambled to seek assistance through PPE loans, many new to the entrepreneurial space questioned if this was the right time to even launch a business. With a nationwide network of thousands of military entrepreneurs—spouses, veterans and transitioning service members to serve—in true Rosie the Riveter fashion, shutting doors and putting a hold on service was not an option for The Rosie Network team.

In fact, now more than ever, this was the time to stay connected—leveraging the power and strength of the community we serve, along with today’s technology—to be that accountability partner who’s there for them at all stages of their business. We recognized early on that despite physical distancing this connection would be needed, and what would be needed even more was the no-cost support, training and networking that our mission as a nonprofit was built on. In order for The Rosie Network to continue to successfully support our entrepreneurs, who we believed were at the heart of our nation’s economic recovery, we had to rise to the challenge and make the pivot quickly to a virtual environment across all of our chapters nationwide.

And rise, we did. Our leadership team across the nation came together and rolled out our Service2CEO curriculum in a virtual platform across all of our Rosie and Warrior Chapter current cohorts, not missing a single session during this challenging time. In fact, not only did The Rosie Network not experience any interruption in the delivery services, the cost was minimal, and surprisingly, the impact and reach expanded during this time. Our scheduled Rosie Chapter Open Houses and Cohort graduations and pitch events went off without a hitch in this new virtual environment; we hosted a virtual Veteran Business PopUp event, and launched our Rosie Talks Entrepreneurial Series. What we learned, together with our military entrepreneurs, is that with challenge comes opportunity. As entrepreneurs, we must always look at the ability to see opportunity by looking at ways to pivot based on economy, disaster and just simple market climate to stay successful.

As a nonprofit, we rely one hundred percent on the generosity of American companies and individuals to continue our mission. During the last few months, we’ve been fortunate to continue to receive funding in order to expand our chapters, as we are set to launch five additional Rosie and Warrior Chapters in 2021. Our impact in this short time has been close to 1,500 served, with our Rosie Talks views at nearly 1,000 and our graduation event views at 2,500. Our retention rate has not dropped and due to need, our Service2CEO program applicants has increased. In addition, nominations for our Annual Veteran/Military Entrepreneur National Awards has increased 10-fold.

The key to this success in the pivot of services has been in large part due to the culture of the community we serve—military families. Much like a change in duty station, deployment or any other event that comes with serving our country, our military entrepreneurs took this challenge in stride, and with the strength and the determination to move forward together during this time of economic recovery.

For military entrepreneurs (spouses, veterans and transitioning service members) looking to launch or grow a business, The Rosie Network offers a 12-week, no cost virtual Service2CEO training at Rosie and Warrior Chapters nationwide. Applications are available on our website, along with details on our Rosie Talks calendar and upcoming Military Entrepreneurial Awards. Sponsorships are available to donors looking to partner with The Rosie Network in building the next generation of military entrepreneurs and business owners. For more information, visit therosienetwork.org.

As the daughter of an Army Veteran who served in Germany after WWII, Leona Sublett is a lifelong patriot who brings a unique blend of more than 25 years of non-profit, private and public industry, and entrepreneurial leadership and experience to The Rosie Network (TRN). As an entrepreneur and small business owner, she is honored to serve in her role of leading the development, grant acquisition and reporting for TRN.

Veterans with Crohn’s or Colitis, We Need Your Input!

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Female soldier in fatigues pictured looking somber facing forward with the text Crohn's & Colitis Foundation at the top

If you are a veteran of the U.S. military, and have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, we need your input!

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation invites veterans affected by these diseases to participate in a survey that will help us understand their healthcare needs. Participants of who qualify and complete the survey can be entered for a chance to win a $300 gift card

Start our survey now!

The mission of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is to cure Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who are affected by these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research; providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public; and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD.

For more information about the Foundation, visit: www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org

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