Armed Forces Bank Named “Distinguished Bank of the Year” by the Department of the Army and Navy
Armed Forces Bank (AFB) – a full-service military bank committed to serving those who serve since 1907 – has been named “Distinguished Bank of the Year” by the Department of the Army and Navy. The award recognizes AFB’s leadership in serving military service members and their families with a vast array of banking services, installation support and financial education. AFB was formally recognized at the virtual Fall Workshop hosted by the Association of Military Banks of America (AMBA) held August 31 and September 1.
“Being awarded the ‘Distinguished Bank of the Year’ reflects our unwavering commitment to meet the distinct needs of military service members and their families,” said Paul Holewinski, CEO of Armed Forces Bank and Dickinson Financial Corporation. “No matter where they are stationed or deployed around the world, AFB strives to make everything from banking solutions to financial advice personal, valuable and convenient.”
AFB received 15 nominations combined from the three branches of service (Army, Air Force and Navy) for the award by Command Leadership at military installations around the country. The Department of the Army recognized AFB at Fort Knox, Kentucky and the Department of the Navy selected AFB at Naval Station Great Lakes, Illinois. Financial education, community outreach and product value propositions were some of the contributing factors for acknowledgment at these locations.
The “Military Saves Designation of Savings Excellence” was also earned by AFB and celebrated at the AMBA workshop this week. AFB has supported and participated in Military Saves for many years. It is a program coordinated by the non-profit Consumer Federation of America and is designed to help service members and their families save money, reduce debt and build wealth.
Armed Forces Bank is fortunate to have been honored for eight consecutive years for the “Military Saves Designation of Savings Excellence,” as well as “Distinguished Bank of the Year” by at least one branch of service (Army, Air Force and/or Navy).
With a constant focus on innovation to help military clients effectively manage their finances no matter where they are around the globe, AFB recently launched a new and improved Digital Banking platform. Online and Mobile Banking services have been upgraded to include:
- Person-to-Person Payments and Account-to-Account Transfers
- Enhanced security and login features including fingerprint and facial recognition
- Account alerts to help clients closely monitor accounts and trigger timely decision-making
AFB also launched “Cash in at the Cashier” through a partnership with Walmart. The new program offers clients the convenience to load cash on their AFB debit cards at any register at more than 4,000 Walmart locations across the U.S.
“We are continuously innovating to make banking more accessible, convenient and effective in meeting the unique needs of our clients,” Holewinski added. “Every day, it is an honor to serve the active and retired military service members and their families who are dedicated to serving our country.”
Armed Forces Bank
Armed Forces Bank (AFB), headquartered in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is a full-service military bank committed to serving those who serve since 1907. As part of a family of banks with over $1.1 billion in assets, AFB provides affordable, personal and convenient banking and financial services to both active and retired military and civilian clients in all 50 states and around the world. Armed Forces Bank is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Dickinson Financial Corporation, a $3.5 billion bank holding company headquartered in Kansas City, Mo. AFB’s sister bank, Academy Bank, is a full-service commercial bank with over 70 branch locations in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri. For more, visit www.afbank.com
L.I.Ve2Heal – Long Island Veterans Bereavement Support during COVID-19
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has unfortunately left members of our Long Island Veteran community grieving the loss of a loved one. L.I.Ve2Heal services are here to support you and your family, and service providers working with Veterans.
This program begins in September and is open to all who have experienced the loss of a loved one during the pandemic:
ü Free online bereavement support groups
ü Free Workshops for Veterans, families and friends
ü Free Workshops and resources for parents
ü Free Workshops and skill building for service providers
To learn more about our program, event dates and resources, please visit us at: https://veteranshealthalliance.org/live2heal
For any questions, please email Audrey at ALewis@mhanc.org
Red Cross Resources:
- For an industry-wide perspective on the systemic problem of veteran caregiver isolation and the Red Cross MVCN online programs, please visit: www.redcross.org/caregivers
- Please see the MVCN RAND study news story here: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/news/2020/veteran-caregivers-online-communities-can-cut-isolation.html
- For an in-depth look at the Virtual Resiliency COVID-19 program, please find the press release here: https://www.redcross.org/about-us/news-and-events/press-release/2020/virtual-resiliency-workshop-for-military-coping-during-covid-19.html
Military Discount Guide
An updated list of military deals and discounts available by state. This all-encompassing discount guide covers everything from tuition assistance to tech deals available to veterans today.
Visit allconnect.com/military-discount-guide for details and more information.
Help for Visually Impaired Users
A comprehensive summary of practical internet accessibility tips for vision-impaired users – covering things like using text-to-speech, changing text size and more.
Visit nvisioncenters.com/internet-accessibility-guide for details and more information.
New PTSD and Sleep Resource
This guide explains how PTSD can impact your sleep, the connection between sleep problems and this disorder, and gives helpful suggestions to help combat these problems.
Visit mattressadvisor.com/sleep-and-ptsd/ for more information.
New VA Home Loan without Lender Fees
Silverton Mortgage is proud to offer zero lender fees to eligible individuals on new applications for home financing using our VA loan programs. VA loans, backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, were designed to help service members, veterans, and eligible surviving spouses become homeowners. Whether purchasing or refinancing, eligible borrowers who finance with a VA loan will see competitive rates, no down payment, and no private mortgage insurance. The program also offers a cash-out refinance option, allowing recipients to borrow against their home’s equity to pay off debt, fund education, or make home improvements.
By eliminating lender fees, Silverton Mortgage is aiming to make a good deal even better for those in the armed forces with an additional savings of up to $1,295 on new applications. Considering the amount of fees associated with the homeownership process, this is a significant cost that we’re happy alleviate for qualified veterans.
With over 18 million veterans in the United States, we appreciate the decision that they each made to serve this country and are honored to help them realize all the benefits available when financing their home. We look forward to helping eligible veterans through the VA Loan Programs. No lender fees is our way of saying thanks.
About Silverton Mortgage
Silverton Mortgage is a direct residential mortgage lender serving borrowers across the United States. Founded in 1998, Silverton offers a wide range of mortgage products including purchases, refinances, conventional, FHA, VA USDA, and Jumbo loans. As a direct lender, the entire loan process, from application to closing, is managed in-house. This way, loans close faster, and clients know what’s going on every step of the way. All loans are subject to credit approval.
Veterans Financial Literacy Guides
“We take the financial literacy of veterans seriously, and have written a comprehensive guide on VA loans and veterans taxes to assist those who have served.” -MoneyGeek.com
VA Loan Guide: moneygeek.com/mortgage/va-home-loan/
Veterans Taxes Guide: moneygeek.com/financial-planning/resources/guide-to-veterans-taxes/
Caliber Collision understands that the transition from military service to civilian life can be challenging. That’s why we are devoted to giving back to those men and women who have already given so much to our country. Changing Lanes is a no cost employment program provided by Caliber Collision for military personnel transitioning to civilian life. Participants train for 18 weeks to become auto body and collision repair techs. Upon completion, graduates receive a job at one of the 1,100+ Caliber Collision locations, a mentor to continue their career path, and tools valued at $12,000.
-opportunity for career growth
-competitive pay plans
-company-paid training (I-CAR, ASE)
-paid time off and holidays
-first day coverage on medical/dental/vision insurance
-company matched 401(k)
For more information or to apply to this program, you can visit the Changing Lanes program page here:
EyePoint Pharmaceuticals Announces Addition of DEXYCU® and YUTIQ® to Department of Veteran Affairs Federal Supply Schedule
EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYPT), a specialty biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic products, today announced that it has signed an interim agreement with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) for DEXYCU® and YUTIQ® to be included on the Federal Supply Schedule (FSS), providing U.S. veterans and other federal government agencies with access to both products.
The VA FSS contract will extend access to Eyepoint products to over nine million VA beneficiaries and others within the federal system. The final VA contract is expected to be executed in the next few months and have a five-year term.
“This new agreement with the VA further extends the commercial reach of DEXYCU and YUTIQ to patients suffering from ocular diseases in areas of high unmet medical need,” said Nancy Lurker, President and CEO of EyePoint Pharmaceuticals. “Our commercial launch efforts have yielded a positive reception with physicians and an increased product demand from ambulatory surgical centers for DEXYCU and uveitis specialists for YUTIQ. We are extremely proud that U.S. veterans and other federal employees will now be offered access to our innovative ophthalmic products, increasing patient access to an additional nine million beneficiaries.”
About EyePoint Pharmaceuticals
EyePoint Pharmaceuticals, Inc., headquartered in Watertown, MA, is a specialty biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic products in indications with high unmet medical need to help improve the lives of patients with serious eye disorders.
With the approval by the FDA on October 12, 2018 of the YUTIQ® three-year treatment of chronic non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye, the Company has developed five of the six FDA-approved sustained-release treatments for eye diseases. The most common adverse reactions reported for YUTIQ were cataract development and increases in intraocular pressure. DEXYCU® was approved by the FDA on February 9, 2018. DEXYCU, administered as a single intraocular dose at the end of ocular surgery for the treatment of postoperative inflammation, is the first and only FDA-approved intraocular product with this indication.
To learn more about the Company, please visit eyepointpharma.com and connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.
American Red Cross
Hero Care App: Military members, veterans and their families can access these Red Cross services by downloading the FREE Red Cross Hero Care App on any Apple or Android device.
Reconnection Workshops: Transitioning to military and veteran service can be hard, and Red Cross Reconnection Workshops aim to ease the stress that comes with these changes. This free, confidential program offers effective ways to work through challenges, improve wellbeing and build skills through small-group discussion and hands-on activities.
Connecting the Community: Red Cross chapters maintain relationships with key partners in their region and can connect veterans and their families with them to get the help they need. These vital services include responding to emergency needs for food, clothing, and shelter, referrals to counseling services, and information on veterans’ cemeteries and burial benefits. Find out more about Red Cross services for veterans here.
Military Veteran Caregiver Network (MCVN): This Red Cross network is also available for veterans and their caregivers to offer support for the country’s approximately 5.5 million caregivers of military and veteran wounded, ill or injured. See more about the MCVN here.
What You Can Do: Many Red Cross volunteers are veterans who continue to support their communities after their active duty service ends, and about 6% of Red Cross employees include transitioning military or veterans. Tens of thousands of Red Cross volunteers also serve in Veterans Administration (VA) and military hospitals across the nation and around the world. These volunteers support such areas as rehabilitation, recreation, administration, and personal services to the men and women who are now cared for each day in these facilities. To learn more about how you can give back in your community this Veterans Day, visit redcross.org/volunteer.
Bradley University: Tips and Resources for Veterans with PTSD
During their time serving our country, military personnel can encounter many kinds of traumatic events. Millions of veterans will carry that trauma with them, resulting in a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
“Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”
PTSD in veterans is a serious issue, but many former service members and their loved ones do not know how to identify the condition or seek treatment. Because PTSD affects mental health and can be hidden, it can be difficult for health practitioners and other individuals to gauge its severity. Additionally, PTSD in veterans is often misunderstood by the public to be a condition that only affects combat veterans or those who have encountered violence firsthand. And even those who understand PTSD in veterans and its potential long-lasting harms still may not know all of its wide-ranging symptoms.
Included here are tips, tools and resources that can help friends and families of veterans who may be suffering from PTSD. Ideas range from offering assistance to veterans after they have returned home from service, encouraging former service members to seek mental health treatment and simply having friendly conversations with veterans to see how they’re feeling.
Continue on here…bradley.edu/counseling/veterans-with-ptsd/
Interview Essentials: Key Resources For Active Duty Military and Veterans Preparing to Interview
Are you preparing to interview and not sure where to begin? Listen to our recommended podcasts and watch the videos below to kickstart your career search and interview with confidence and success. Interviewing Essentials
Air Force Academy Graduates: Free Career Placement Services for Transitioning and Former Air Force Officers/
Orion is the nation’s largest military career placement firm. We find civilian careers for the top 15% of Junior Military Officers leaving Active Duty, as well as veterans who have already transitioned but are seeking a career change. We are proud of the high caliber opportunities we have available for graduates of our nation’s Service Academy graduates. Orion’s team of former Officer Recruiters will help you make the transition into the civilian workforce by matching your skills and career goals with opportunities within America’s finest companies.
Orion will work with you to build your resume, provide you with transition advice and assistance, prepare you for interviews, and arrange interviews for positions that are a match with your background, qualifications, and desires. https://www.oriontalent.com/military-job-seekers/officers/usafa-graduates.aspx
Five Resources for Returning to School
Many people who leave the military decide to take advantage of the GI Bill and other education benefits in their post-military careers by enrolling in a higher education degree or certificate program. It can sometimes be challenging to return to the civilian community after deployment, and adjusting to academic life can be stressful for all students, including veterans.
While this transition is often challenging, there are many exciting opportunities available to you. One is to go back to school to further your education. The five resources outlined in this article can help make the transition easier and can help provide the tools for academic success for the men and women who have bravely served our nation in the military.
#1: Tips From Student Veterans of America
Student Veterans of America’s Military to College Guide provides the following suggestions for those navigating the transition from deployment to student life:
✪ Start with a few courses to ease the transition.
✪ Reach out to other veterans on your campus to establish a network of people you can rely on, just as you did in your military life.
✪ Get to know your new help.
✪ When studying, take notes, take frequent breaks, and find a study partner.
✪ Take advantage of your school’s academic, tutoring and counseling services.
✪ Recognize your own signs of physical and psychological stress, and seek help if you are overwhelmed.
✪ Practice regular exercise and relaxation techniques to help reduce anxiety and improve concentration.
✪ Participate in student activities to break down barriers and become part of the campus community.
✪ Recognize that others may not agree with you or understand your military service. Agree to disagree, and respectfully decline to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable. The full Military to College Guide is available for free download online and contains information for all student veterans about topics such as—
• education, state and university resources
• employment assistance and services
• combat stress reference guide
• navigating VA and VA education benefits
Student Veterans of America (SVA) is a nonprofit coalition of student veterans groups at more than 265 college campuses across the United States that provide peer-to-peer networks for veterans attending those schools. SVA coordinates campus activities, provides information unique to veterans and facilitates the transition process to help support veteran success in higher education. Locate a chapter at your campus or a nearby campus on the SVA website (studentveterans.org).
#2: Educational and Vocational Counseling From the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
In addition to the resources available to students at many colleges, community colleges and universities, the VA provides free educational and vocational counseling services to transitioning service members who are—
✪ Within six months prior to being discharged from active duty;
✪ Within one year following discharge from active duty;
✪ Current beneficiaries or veterans and qualified dependents who are eligible for, and have entitlement to, educational assistance under chapters 30, 31, 32, 33, 35, 1606 or 1607.
If you meet the eligibility criteria above, the services available to you include:
✪ Counseling to facilitate career decision-making for civilian or military occupations;
✪ Educational and vocational counseling to choose an appropriate civilian occupation and develop a training program;
✪ Academic and adjustment counseling to resolve barriers that impede success in training or employment.
Visit the VA’s GI Bill website to learn more and find out how you can apply for these free counseling services (benefits.va.gov/ gibill).
#3: Vet Centers and VA Medical Centers
In addition to the VA’s educational and vocational counseling services, you can always contact your local Vet Center or a VA medical center for additional support during your return to school. Vet Centers provide readjustment counseling and outreach services at no cost to all veterans who served in any combat zone. And, the VA healthcare system includes healthcare facilities located across the country that range from small, local clinics to large medical centers.
#4: Academic Counseling From Veterans Upward Bound
Public and private colleges and universities in the United States and abroad have partnered with the VA to reduce tuition rates for student veterans. Visit the VA’s GI Bill website (www. benefits.va.gov/gibill) to view participating Yellow Ribbon Program schools by state. It may have been several years since you were in school, and it is common to find your academic responsibilities challenging. To get support with your academic work, contact the Veterans Upward Bound Program near you (2.ed.gov/programs/triovub). Veterans Upward Bound is a free Department of Education program designed to help eligible veterans enter and succeed in their post-secondary education. The resources offered by the program are designed to help identify learning needs and to help veterans succeed in school.
#5: Support From the DCoE Outreach Center
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury (DCoE) offer an outreach center to provide information and resources to service members, veterans, family members, healthcare providers, caregivers, employers and others in the community with questions about psychological health issues and traumatic brain injury. If you have questions about which tools for supporting your reintegration or education are right for you, a trained health resource consultant is ready to talk, listen and provide free, confidential guidance 24/7.
✪ Call 866-966-1020 (toll free);
✪ Log on to Real Warriors Live Chat (realwarriors.net/livechat);
✪ E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Real Warriors, realwarriors.net
K9s For Warriors – Because Together We Stand
The following is an excerpt from a blog on consumeradvocate.org written by Scott Smith.
James Rutland is a 12-year Army veteran who served a tour of duty in Iraq in 2004, followed by two more tours in South Korea. He left the military in 2014, suffering from multiple medical conditions related to his service, including mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), sleep apnea, and hearing loss, to name a few.
Most importantly, he suffered from depression and often thought about suicide. Thinking he could do it alone, Rutland tried healing from the trauma on his own. That wasn’t working. “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got,” says Rutland.
In 2016, Rutland finally rounded the bend of recovery when he was paired with his service dog, Dunkin. “I started focusing on “we instead of “me”, says Rutland.
He has a semi-colon tattoo on his right wrist, a known symbol of taking a pause when thinking about suicide. Unlike a “period” which ends a sentence, the semicolon creates a pause, for the reader, then continues the story. Rutland wears it proudly. “It’s a great conversation starter,” Rutland says.
He goes on to explain that breathing, family, friends, and the program that gave him Dunkin are what keeps him going.
K9s For Warriors is a BBB accredited charity organization located in Ponte Vedra, Florida, that has been pairing rescue dogs with traumatized soldiers since 2011. The dogs are trained to be service dogs, specifically performing tasks to quiet the symptoms of war trauma disabilities in soldiers.
“The skillsets our dogs learn help these warriors with anxiety, isolation, depression, and nightmares,” says Shari Duval, the founder of K9s For Warriors. “So, the warriors can function again in public.”
Specifically, the dogs are trained to deal with symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or military sexual trauma (MST), as a result of military service on or after 9/11.-
Duval started the program after watching her son Brett Simon suffer from PTSD after he returned from Iraq. Simon did two tours, developing PTSD during the first one. Watching her son suffer from the debilitating condition motivated Duval to research alternative treatments to the standard talk therapy and medication, neither of which worked for her son.
“On average, soldiers take 14 meds a day to treat PTSD, TBI, or MST,” says Duval. If treatment is not working, she says veterans are prescribed more and more drugs. “I even knew one soldier who was taking 44 meds per day.”
After two years of researching alternative PTSD treatments, Duval came upon a program that paired service dogs to alleviate their PTSD symptoms in veterans.
According to Simon, “Mom was the one that suggested I use a service dog to deal with my PTSD when nothing else worked.” Duval saw her son’s symptoms begin to improve. She then wanted to help other veterans do the same.
Thus, the K9s For Warrior program was born. With her son’s background in training dogs, including 13 years as a canine police officer, Duval convinced Simon to start the nonprofit together.
To date, the program has rescued more than 850 dogs and 440 military service members, with an astounding 99 percent program success rate.
Visit consumeradvocate.org to read the rest of this story.
Giving Veterans Our Largest Discount Ever
There is no greater honor than serving your country. However, as a veteran, adjusting to everyday life can be tough sometimes without an emotional support system to help you through the tough times. Emotional support animals are companions that bring you lots of happiness, fun and a reason to take long walks and meet other people. Your pet dog or cat is an important part of your emotional support system and with an Emotional Support Animal letter, you can live and travel anywhere with your pet without restrictions.
Esanimals.com offers convenient and flexible ESA plans for ex-military men and veterans at an affordable cost and even same day order processing if it’s an emergency. We will provide you with a confidential mental health evaluation and help you process your Housing ESA letter, multi-airline ESA letter and an Identification Card. We also provide you with access to a 24/7 ESAnimals database that you can use whenever you need to.
Get all the comfort and relief you need from your pet today whether at home or when you travel by getting an ESA letter today. As part of our commitment to veterans and ex-military personnel who have fought hard for our nation’s freedom. Call us on 877-955-8555 or click here to get started.