On Veterans Day in 1988, Ronald Reagan said …”We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty. . . Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble cause.”
Each Veterans Day is a remembrance set aside to honor those who have defended our country in peace and war.
On November 11th, we pause to reflect on American Veterans, men and women who have served and sacrificed while wearing the uniforms of the Nation—ordinary Americans performing extraordinary service.
In March of 1864, after almost 3 years of devastating fighting in the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln reminded the nation of the sacrifices veterans make for us all … “All that a man hath he will give his life for his country … the soldier puts his life at stake, and often yields it up in his country’s cause. The highest merit, then, is due the soldier.”
That demonstration of “highest merit” has now spanned 244 years, founded upon a singular, enduring principle—Liberty and Justice for All.
Every American is a beneficiary of veterans’ vigilance and valor, and their contributions to our way of life are incalculable. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, every day is Veterans Day. We are privileged to work to repay, in full, our country’s debt of gratitude… to Veterans who were there when we needed them most. We represent our grateful nation in delivering to those Veterans the programs and services they earned.
In doing so, we keep faith with the promise of President Lincoln, who promised in his iconic second inaugural address to “care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan. ”On Veterans Day 2020, we remember and honor all “champions of a noble cause” … and pledge never to forget the sacrifices they made for us.
On behalf of VA’s over 415,000 employees, I am proud to extend to America’s veterans our department’s heartfelt appreciation and thanks for your service in the formations of the United States Armed Forces.
Thank you and God Bless you all.
August is National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM). This annual observance highlights the efforts of healthcare professionals to protect patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination.
During NIAM, we encourage you to ensure that you are up to date on recommended vaccines. If you have a chronic condition such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, getting sick with vaccine-preventable diseases like flu and pneumonia can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Protect yourself – get vaccinated. Learn more: https://go.usa.gov/xwga2external icon
Networking, while not a new concept, has become a significant component of modern life. Commonly associated with career advancement, the evolution of online social platforms has extended networking far beyond just opportunities to further one’s career.
While networking can be important and beneficial to anyone, it may be even more so for military members, Veterans and their spouses.
Former service members are aware of the difficulties that can come from adjusting to life outside of the military. Whether it’s acclimating to a new job title and company or understanding the inner workings of today’s corporate culture, Veterans often face obstacles not well-understood by those without similar experiences.
Given this reality, it makes sense for any Veteran to start forming connections and building relationships with those who understand their unique point of view.
Here are several ways joining a Veteran network can help a service member, Veteran or their spouses.
Why You Should Join an Online Veteran Network
1. It’s where your battle buddies hang out.
Every service member knows that there will be a transition to civilian life, but it impacts everyone differently. Your experiences while in the military, how long you served, where you served, your circumstance upon returning to civilian life – these all come together to form a unique set of circumstances.
For some Veterans, leaving the military means leaving a way of life and community behind. Their housing or homes may have been on base or provided by the military. Their food, alcohol, home furnishings, jewelry, or even their car shopping might have been on base, as well as their place of work, socializing and recreational events. The support network is built into each military installation.
There’s also a substantial difference in which attitudes and behaviors are appreciated and sought after in the military versus in the civilian community. The more conversations a member can have with those who have been through or are going through a similar situation, the more they can learn what behaviors from the military should be kept and what should be shed, what’s to be amplified and what’s to be silenced.
Humans are social, relational creatures, meaning the friendships and personal connections we create and foster matter. The difficulty transitioning to civilian life is an all-too-common story. But through the empathy and shared experiences of other Veterans in your network, this challenging transition can be made smoother.
2. You’ll get a better understanding of the civilian work culture.
There aren’t any first shirts, no XOs, no squad leaders, no platoon guides, or section chiefs outside the military. The daily language is practically a foreign language in corporate America and one that’s not easily understood. No one’s reporting at o’dark thirty for required PT, let alone in cadence while double timing. Instead, there’s an entire new lexicon and lingo in the civilian workplace, and mastering it soonest means connecting with new colleagues, with your new tribe, in valuable ways.
Trying to make the switch from the military to a role in a company can be one of the greatest and most critical challenges a Veteran will face. With a network of fellow Vets who have been through comparable situations, it’s likely someone has directly applicable words of wisdom or experiences to offer.
3. You’ll find a place to build your community and network.
Many service members spend years training and mastering their skills, and even longer using them throughout the world. Their next job and career might not take advantage of those skills. The earlier a member can connect with their future community and learn the culture, terminology and ways of dress and business practice, the better.
Within a wide network, there will be plenty of firsthand advice specific to your new role. Beyond the commonalities of military service and transition, a refined network of individuals in the same position and industry offers a valuable resource that you likely won’t find on the job.
4. They have access to resources and information.
Where a military member is from, where they served, and where they’re going after the military may all be different places. Building an online network means developing real relationships and local knowledge for your next chapter of life – wherever it may take you.
Having a vast network of peers available to connect with makes it easier to gain firsthand knowledge about a community that might be a potential next home. It can also provide you with actual connections in that very community, offering an invaluable support system upon arrival.
5. You get the opportunity to make an impact.
Joining a Veteran’s network isn’t only about gaining advice and knowledge. It’s also about giving it. You never know how your experiences might be helpful to someone else. As an advisor or mentor, or potentially even as just an acquaintance or connection, you could be an excellent guide for how someone can best succeed within a new company, school district, soccer league, church, or even a homeowner’s association.
The bonds you make during military service are unique. The unity, camaraderie and shared experience can extend beyond your service and play a role in helping yourself and fellow Veterans make the most of life outside of military duty. It just takes a little networking.
Written by Paige Brown and Veteran David Tenenbaum, director of Heroes Linked.
It’s a nightmare come true; the realization that you were scammed, and your finances have been wrecked. According to the NCOA, “1 in 10 Americans age 60 and up experience some form of financial abuse”. That accounts for as many as 5 million seniors and $2.9 million monetary loss annually due to financial fraud. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself from falling prey:
Veteran unemployment saw another small decrease in the month of June, from 9% in May to 8.6%. However, that number is still double the rate of 4.1% of unemployed veterans in March. Older veterans fared better in their job search then their younger counterparts. The rate of unemployment has held steady at 10.3% for Iraq and Afghanistan veteran while the unemployment rate for Gulf War era veterans is 6%. Improving veteran employment has been a concern and given priority by lawmakers recently. However, “employment experts have said that most of the recent troubles with veterans employment are tied to the country’s overall economic downturn, and can’t be fully reversed until those underlying national problems are addressed”.
On July 4th, we celebrate the freedom and independence gained by the United States. It is a day for Americans to unite in their love of their country and pride in democracy. The original copy of the Declaration is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. and July 4 has been designated a national holiday to commemorate the day the United States
Some interesting Independence Day facts:
In June, President Trump released the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS). This 53-million-dollar plan includes a public messaging campaign to raise awareness and awarding grants to community projects in an effort to aid those at risk. “My administration is taking steps to ensure that the men and women who bravely fought for us when they were called will be given the care and attention they need during some of their darkest hours,” said President Donald J. Trump. More information about the projects, as written in the VAntage Point, follows:
National Suicide Prevention Activation Campaign
This summer, the PREVENTS Office will launch a nationwide public health campaign aimed at educating Americans that suicide is preventable. It creates awareness of mental health and suicide prevention best practices with a call to action for ALL Americans to take the PREVENTS Pledge to Prevent Suicide.
Improving Suicide Prevention Research
Too often, we focus on a one-size-fits-all approach to suicide prevention that fails to take into account an individual’s specific risk factors. As a key element of the roadmap, PREVENTS will launch the National Research Strategy to accelerate the development and implementation of effective solutions to help prevent suicide among Veterans and all Americans.
The PREVENTS Office has built relationships with dozens of organizations across the country. These include Veteran and military service organizations, faith-based groups, universities, non-profits, corporations, small businesses. It also includes state and local governments to share best practices for promoting mental health, to ensure awareness of and access to federal, state, local and tribal resources.
“The release of the PREVENTS Roadmap is a critical step in advancing the national priority of preventing suicide in this nation, but it is only a first step” said PREVENTS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Van Dahlen. “With our Veterans leading the way, we will engage all Americans as we fully implement the PREVENTS Roadmap. Together we will prevent suicide.”
For more on PREVENTS, please visit: https://www.va.gov/prevents/.
Lock-down is tough for everyone; especially for those who are immune compromised and/or alone, quarantine can be even more difficult. Couple that with lack of technology and the loneliness become nearly intolerable. For many seniors, technology awareness and proficiency were not necessarily a part of their skill set.
The Coronavirus crisis, however, has motivated them to lean and expand their knowledge of technology. Video chats, Zoom classes, and access to other resources, such as news, shopping, or tele-medicine options, can be key to surviving the lock-down. A survey by TheSeniorList.com found that those above the age of 60 are using technology more frequently now. Grocery shopping, app downloads, and financial transactions are all on the rise with seniors. Technology is a tool to navigate the new reality and seniors are embracing this change.
Team Red, White & Blue’s 1776 Challenge is an epic physical series of goals that brings Veterans, supporters, and Team RWB partners together to focus on service, personal growth, and the joy that comes from doing something hard with others.
Take the challenge each day from June 17, 2020, to July 4, 2020. Together, we will perform up to 100 daily repetitions of various exercises such as lunges, squats, push ups, or crunches. Alternative exercises will be provided to ensure participants at all ability levels are able to complete the challenge.
New exercises will be shared through the Team RWB App every day, featuring demonstrative videos hosted by Team RWB’s corporate and nonprofit partners. Demonstrations will include modifications for various fitness levels and mobility. Additional adaptive exercises will be demonstrated by retired Army Sergeant First Class and and Paralympian Centra “Ce-Ce” Mazyck, a recipient of TrueCar’s DrivenToDrive program.
Up for the challenge?If you’re up for the challenge, join Team RWB as we tackle 1776 reps and break down barriers for Veterans. Click here to sign up for reminders and daily inspiration straight to your inbox. Participants to complete every exercise and check-in through the app will receive a free 1776 Challenge patch.
You must be a member of Team RWB to check in and participate. Membership is free and Veterans get a free Nike shirt!
Take actions to reduce your risk of getting sickIf you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
Have supplies on hand
Take everyday precautions:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Take everyday preventive actions:
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community:
Take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people to further reduce your risk of being exposed to this new virus.
Have a plan for if you get sick:
Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs
What to do if you get sick:
What others can do to support older adults:
Community support for older adults
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