Tag Archives: veterans

Boston’s 6th Annual Wounded Vet Run: Updated

Boston’s 6th Annual Wounded Vet Run updated

Boston’s 6th Annual Wounded Vet Run

Boston's 6th Annual Wounded Vet Run

Wheelchair Van Ramp Vs. Wheelchair Van Lift

Choosing a wheelchair ramp over a lift system is a matter of budget and personal preference. Both can get you safely in and out of a new or used wheelchair van; however, handicap lowered-floor vans with ramps tend to be less expensive, take up less space and are more fuel-efficient compared to a full-size van, which is used for most wheelchair-lift applications.

Wheelchair Ramps
Wheelchair van conversion ramps normally come in permanent van conversions where the floor is lowered to allow enough headroom for entering and riding in the vehicle. Most lowered-floor vans come with wheelchair ramps and kneeling systems that lower the wheelchair van and reduce the angle of the ramp. There are two styles of wheelchair ramps—one type folds up in a vertical position, and the other type slides out from the floor of the van.

New and used handicapped accessible vehicles with wheelchair ramps come with either a manual or power conversion. Power wheelchair ramps operate by remote control or by a switch located either on the dash or just inside the side-door panel. Push a button and the door slides open, the ramp extends out and, in cases where a kneeling system is needed, the van lowers. (In case of a power failure, the ramp can be easily operated manually.) Guide your wheelchair or mobility scooter inside and push the button or switch, and the system reverses. Manual systems are spring-loaded to easily fold out and retract into the van.

Wheelchair Lifts
A vehicle wheelchair lift is a mechanical device used to raise a person in a wheelchair effortlessly into a vehicle. Wheelchair lifts are typically installed in full-sized vans.

There are several wheelchair lift types: cassette lifts that slide out from under the van, horizontal folding lifts that provide users better vision through the windows, vertical folding lifts that enable passengers to enter the van without deploying the lift, and platform wheelchair lifts, which are the most basic of wheelchair lifts.

Hydraulic lifts are the most common type, since they allow for heavier steel construction and higher lift capacity. The other type is the electric lift, made with lightweight aluminum and lighter lift capacity. Lifts require either a lowered floor or a raised roof to provide enough headroom for wheelchair passengers to ride comfortably inside their chairs.

Wheelchair lifts work when space limitations or height requirements make a ramp prohibitive. Wheelchair lifts are often less expensive than a lowered-floor conversion with a ramp, but there are other considerations that include difficulty parking due to their size, high gas prices, and if the floor isn’t lowered, then the wheelchair user can’t see out the windows.

The WaterFire Salute to Veterans

WaterFire Salute To Veterans 2015

The WaterFire Salute to Veterans is scheduled to take place on November 7th, 2015. This is the third year for this community wide celebration of Veterans. This WaterFire will be a full WaterFire event lighting and solely devoted to saluting and honoring our Veterans and all military personnel of the United States and their families.

Much more than the bonfires, WaterFire presents a wide variety of experiences – traditional to avant-garde and experimental, bringing new audiences to art while filling the city with energy, vibrancy and a new vision for urban life. Programming around this installation varies greatly and WaterFire prides itself on being able to celebrate, champion and highlight various other forms of art, causes, other local organizations and local history. This year WaterFire is proud to honor all of our Veterans with an entire evening dedicated to their service, sacrifice and dedication.

This WaterFire event lighting will include many different activities and initiatives that highlight and celebrate, in both creative and literal representations, all Rhode Island Veterans as well as current members of the armed forces from all branches. The goal is to use the WaterFire platform as a means to educate and bring awareness to the community at large about our Veterans and Veterans Services, as well as serve as a celebration and thank you for the sacrifices that these men and women have made for our country and our community.

Throughout the WaterFire installation there will be many ceremonies and tributes planned over the course of the evening as well as many areas for displays and engagement from Waterplace Basin to Steeple Street to Memorial Park. WaterFire is excited to produce a Veteran’s Resource Fair at the heart of the installation.

Operation Flags for Vets

Operation Flags for Vets

Operation Flags for Vets will be placing 64,000 flags on the graves of our beloved veterans for veterans Day, Flagging will commence following a brief ceremony at 10 AM on Saturday November 7. Please bring a long shank screwdriver to make starter holes for the flags.

Removal will take place on Sunday November 15 at 10 AM.

North Carolina Wounded Vet Run 2015

NC Wounded Vet Run 2015

Check out the Facebook Page

Tomorrow Is The Greater Boston Stand Down Event!

Greater Boston Stand Down Event

2nd Annual Bike Day At The Diamond

Bike Day ar the Diamond

For more information please visit the Facebook Page

Project 22 – Promoted by Team RWB Boston

Project 22

Tuesday, July 28 7:30PM – 9:12PM
$14.00 General
at Landmark Kendall Square Cinema
Bldg. 1900 One Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA, US, 02139

For more information on this event please visit the Website

Click here to view the trailers!

The making of Project 22
Project 22 was a 22 day, 6,500 mile motorcycle awareness campaign from San Francisco to New York City to raise awareness of the high rate of suicides within the Veteran community. As we traveled across the country, we spoke with many Veterans who had contemplated or attempted suicide and asked them for their stories; what led them to it and what brought them out of it. The responses regarding the challenges were in remarkable unison although the hope they found came in many different forms. We were able to explore the therapeutic potential behind sailing, pottery, education, activism, family, service dogs, painting and more.

We also spoke with leading researchers of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, mental health clinicians and educators, as well as, leading experts in warrior culture and combat stress. Coupled with the insightful and potentially life changing information we captured in interviews, we filmed the motorcycle awareness campaign, including camping, several organized rides and our final ride being escorted into World Trade Center by the Port Authority Police Department. We gathered incredible footage and news coverage in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh and New York.

Project 22 was entirely crowd-funded via an IndieGoGo campaign and private donations. In addition, the crew was offered food, lodging and assistance wherever we rode, helping keep production costs low. Project 22 is fiscally sponsored by From The Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, while Medicinal Missions applies for independent non-profit status. All donations are tax-deductible and are made payable to From The Heart Productions via the PayPal link on our website or by check to: From The Heart Productions 1455 Mandalay Beach Road Oxnard, CA 93035-2845

From The Heart has been successfully funding films since inception in 1993 under the 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Also classified as a public charity under section 509 (a) (2) of the Code. Monetary donations to the Fiscal Sponsorship Program qualify as charitable contributions under the U.S. Tax Code for 95 444 5418.

The 3rd Annual Vermont Veterans Ride

The 3rd Annual Vermont Veterans Ride

35th Annual National Veterans Wheelchair Games

If you’re looking for a summer vacation getaway full of excitement, look no further than the National Veterans Wheelchair Games held this year in Dallas, Texas. Whether you’re taking the whole family to experience these acts of courage and strength, or making a stop on your summer accessible road trip, this event supports and benefits our country’s veterans by encouraging a spirit of healthy activity and friendship.

The History
Since the Games began over 30 years ago in 1981, the event has grown from only 74 competitors to over 500 in 2014. This event is presented each year by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Paralyzed Veterans of America, with additional support from numerous organizations, corporate and community sponsors. Wheelchair sports had their start in the aftermath of World War II, when young disabled Veterans began playing wheelchair basketball in VA hospitals throughout the U.S. Since 1980, when the VA’s efforts brought about an enhanced awareness of the rehabilitative value of wheelchair athletics, VA therapists have used wheelchair sporting as a therapeutic tool for supporting Veterans with disabilities.

The Location
The event has moved from city to city over the years and 2015 marks the 35th annual NVWG. The event is being held in Dallas, a city with much to offer as host, including cultural districts, the best restaurants, hotels and museums for something to do while you’re not at the games. This years games are being held June 21–26, so if you’re looking to turn up the heat this summer, Dallas is the perfect place to be!

The Events
Veterans can compete in 18 different events at the games, including: 9-ball, air rifle, hand cycling, quad rugby, softball, track, table tennis, weightlifting, and many more. Athletes are classified by degree of disability and then further into divisions. Although registration for this years event ended April 15, if you are a U.S. military service veteran who uses a wheelchair due to mobility impairments, be on the lookout early next year to register!

If you aren’t a veteran, or just happened to miss registration but still want to be involved with this event you can always sponsor the games, or volunteer! More than 3,000 local volunteers are required to assist with all aspects of the games, from helping with transportation, to event set-up, water distribution, assistance with meals, and much, much more. Summer time calls for travel and excitement, and what more of a rewarding way to spend your summer days then traveling to Dallas to support our veterans.

Adaptive Mobility Equipment Financing Options

Adaptive equipment describes an installed device, in addition to a structural modification, that is necessary for a person with a permanent physical disability to drive or be transported in a vehicle.

Some equipment not thought of as typical adaptive equipment, or equipment which is not available from the factory, that serves a need to operate or ride in a vehicle for persons with disabilities such as but not limited to: assist handles, keyless entry, keyless ignition switch, lumbar support, headrest adjustment, pedal extensions power seats, remote liftgate opener, running boards, seat belt extenders, seat modifications, and special mirrors may be eligible for reimbursement and require additional documentation. You will be notified if additional documentation is needed such as a letter or prescription clearly describing the permanent physical disability requiring this equipment, prepared by a licensed or certified medical professional.

Factory installed options such as air conditioning, running boards, lumbar seats and power windows are not considered eligible under the terms of the program.

Driving is a privilege for people stroke survivors with limited mobility; it provides a sense of stability in their lives so they can regain their independence. They love the flexibility their adaptive mobility equipment provides, but they often face exorbitant costs when it comes to financing the purchase of the equipment.

“The number one reason people with disabilities don’t have access to adequate transportation is because they cannot afford it.” The good news is that funding assistance to purchase adaptive equipment is becoming increasingly available.

Sources of funding determine a person’s “buying power.” Unlike the financing options provided by original equipment manufacturers, Mobility Equipment Dealers, such as such as ourselves, have access to financing options specifically for adaptive equipment purchases; they offer options and solutions for the customer.

Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers grants enabling 100% service related disabled veterans to purchase a new or used modified vehicle and adaptive equipment. Automobile grants are available once in the service member’s lifetime and adaptive equipment grants are available for special equipment that may used more than once.  For more information, call 1-800-827-1000 or read the VA’s “Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants” fact sheet.

State Programs

  • State Vocational Rehabilitation (Voc Rehab) Agencies may be able to assist with the costs associated with purchasing an adaptive vehicle (or adding adaptive equipment to an existing one) if the vehicle is necessary in order for a person to get to and from work.
  • State Assistive Technology Loan Programs may also be able to provide assistance to help pay for modifications to the vehicle.
  • Center for Independent Living (CIL) can provide additional information on programs that may be available in your state.

Government Programs

  • Medicaid: Medicaid is a jointly administered federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. Medicaid benefits differ by state and are approved on a case-by-case basis when a request for funding is presented through a prior approval.
  • Medicare: Medicare is a federal program and in some instances they will pay for adaptive equipment following a specialty evaluation performed by a qualified practitioner. For more information, call 1-800-633-4227.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI offers a Plan to Achieve Self-Support program, or PASS, which helps those with disabilities pay for items or services needed to achieve a specific employment goal – to ultimately return to work.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Often sales-tax exemptions on equipment purchases and other out-of-pocket costs can qualify for tax deductions as medical expenses. Contact a tax adviser or get literature from the IRS that outlines the tax code for medical equipment by calling 1-800-829-1040 and asking for publications with extensions 3966, 907 and 502.

Workman’s Compensation:
Your insurance or workman’s compensation policies may also pay for vehicle adaptation. Check with your HR department or workman’s comp. organization for more information.

Fundraisers, Charitable Organizations/Churches
These may not be for everyone, but they can be effective and many people have successfully raised the money to pay for a wheelchair accessible vehicle and adaptive equipment using these options.

Automakers Rebate Programs
Many automobile makers are providing people with disabilities a wide range of rebates and incentive programs to cover adaptive equipment installation. Below is an overview of some programs offering rebates or reimbursements for adaptive mobility equipment.

  • Ford Motor Company: The Ford Mobility Motoring adaptive equipment reimbursement offers up to $1,000 off for a vehicle modification. You may also qualify for up to $200 for alert hearing devices, lumbar support, or running boards installed on any new Ford or Lincoln vehicle purchased or leased from a U.S. Ford or Lincoln dealer during the program period.
  • Daimler Chrysler Corporation: Once you have a 2010-2013 Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram or FIAT vehicle that fits your transportation needs, contact a reputable and qualified adaptive equipment installer to ensure that it can be adapted to meet your needs.
  • General Motors Company Reimbursement Program:  New vehicle purchasers/lessees who install eligible adaptive mobility equipment on their new Chevrolet, Buick or GMC vehicles can receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for the cost of the equipment.
  • Toyota: The Toyota Mobility Assistance Program provides cash reimbursement of up to $1,000 of the cost of any aftermarket adaptive equipment or conversion, for drivers and/or passengers, when installed on any eligible purchased or leased new Toyota vehicle within 12 months of vehicle purchase or lease.

The decision to purchase adaptive mobility equipment stems from a need for mobility freedom for people with disabilities, including stroke survivors. The purchase process begins with selecting a reputable dealer to provide the adaptive equipment and installation, locating options to finance the purchase, and ends with insuring the adaptive equipment.

Make sure the after-market mobility modifications are professionally installed by a NMEDA mobility dealer. Once the adaptive mobility equipment is financed and installed, notify your insurance agent with a full disclosure of all adaptive mobility equipment installed in the vehicle.

Make sure your auto insurance company provides coverage for the conversion and adaptive equipment. Make sure you request coverage for “special” equipment, not just “handicapped” equipment.

  • “Handicapped equipment” covers only basic equipment such as the ramp or lift, not the lowered floor, kneeling system, lockdown system or other adaptive equipment.
  • “Special equipment” covers the conversion in its entirety. Be sure and send your insurance company an itemized list of every modification (which you can get from the mobility dealership that performed the conversion).

VMi New England Mobility Center is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a wheelchair accessible car, truck or van, please contact us at 508-697-6006  info@newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Veterans Assisting Veterans Comedy Night

Veterans Assisting Veterans Comedy Night

Friday May 29 at 7:00
VFW Mottolo Post in Revere
10 Garafolo Street Revere, MA

Check out the Facebook Page and join them for a great night of comedy, Pork Roast Dinner and good times to help raise funds towards two truck mounted AmeriDeck lifts. These are needed to aid in the use of Track Chairs for a couple wounded vets. We also hope to promote and raise awareness of what Veterans Assisting Veterans does and is all about. Donation of $20.00 per person collected at the door.

Memorial Day Parade! Help Surprise Veterans!

Memorial Day Parade! Help Surprise The Veterans!

When
Memorial Day – Monday, May 25
At 10:00am in Athol, Massachusetts

“Please show your support to our veterans, the parade starts at Silver Lake cemetery, and they follow Crescent st ” the same road Staretts is on ” All the way down to the Veterans monument, across from the YMCA ” Next to the bus stop! We all have the day off from work/school, why not show your support? These men and women are more than deserving of it. The best part is, these veterans are not expecting this, they are in for a huge surprise!”

For more information please visit the Facebook Page

The 5th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run Is Today! Come Say Hi!

Bosotn Wpunded Vet Run 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike Downing
All donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race Track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!
Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call with any questions: (617) 697-5080

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run Is Tomorrow!!

Boston's 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run - 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike Downing
All donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race Track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!
Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call with any questions: (617) 697-5080

Motorcycle Awareness MonthMay is Motorcycle Awareness Month.
Share The Road.

Veterans & Community: Job & Resource Fair

Veterans & Community Job & Resource Fair

Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair: One Month Away

Hiring Our Heroes Job Fair

Join them for a hiring expo for service members, veterans, and military spouses at Fenway Park in Boston.

Fenway Park

20 Yawkey Way

Boston, MA 02215

 

Event Schedule:
9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Employment Workshop
12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Hiring Expo

Registration
Job Seekers, Employers, and Service Organizations: Click here to register.
Why register? Job seekers can upload their resumes to be viewed by employers ahead of the event.

If you have any other questions, please visit their FAQ page.

This Boston Red Sox and GE sponsored hiring event is being conducted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS), the Massachusetts Committee of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Goodwill Industries International, The American Legion, NBC News, and other local partners.

Travis Mills Foundation Retreat

The TMF retreat, located in Maine, will provide fully accessible facilities dedicated to serving the recreational and reintegration needs of combat-wounded veterans and their families. The retreat will fill a vital role in the recovery, camaraderie, spousal support, reconnection, and relaxation needs of our disabled veteran families.   Upon completion of extensive renovations, veteran families from all over the United States will be invited to enjoy swimming, boating, fishing, site-seeing, campfires, adaptive sports, and spa treatments like massage, facials, and yoga.

For more information and updates on their progress to fully renovate and rehabilitate the property please visit The Travis Mills Foundation Retreat website. If you would like to show your support by donating to the Travis Mills Foundation you can do so here.

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run Is One Month Away!!

Boston's 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run - 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike Downing
All donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race Track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!
Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call with any questions: (617) 697-5080

April is the Month of the Military Child

April is the Month of the Military Child

In 1986 the Department of Defense deemed April as the Month of the Military Child. From deployments to frequent moves, military children face unique challenges that most youth their age do not experience. This annual awareness campaign recognizes the sacrifices made and applauds the courage of military children.

  • Military families relocate 10 times more often the civilian families; on average, every two or three years
  • Since 2001, more than 2 million American children have had a parent deployed at least once.
  • More than 900,000 children have experienced the deployment of one or both parents multiple times.
  • Children in military families experience high rates of mental health, trauma, and related problems. About 30% reported feeling sad or hopeless almost everyday for 2 weeks during the past 12 months. Nearly 1 in 4 reported having considered suicide.
  • 37% of children with a deployed parent reported that they seriously worry about what could happen to their deployed caretaker.

Project 22

Project 22

The cost will be $12.50 for civilians and FREE for Veterans.
VETERANS STILL MUST CLICK ON THE LINK AND RESERVE THEIR TICKETS!

Tickets will go fast and this will be a one night only show so make sure you get yours today! Just go to www.clickitevents.com to purchase yours!

For those riding, there will be a link up at Harley-Davidson of Frederick and then will have an after party at Hardtimes Cafe And Cue.

Saturday, May 2
at 7:00pm
MDL Holiday Cinemas official
100 Baughmans Ln, Frederick, Maryland 21702

For more information on this event please visit the Website or Facebook Page
Click here to view the trailers!
If you can’t make it to the event but still want to support the cause you can Donate Here!

ALL PROCEEDS WILL BENEFIT 22 NEEDS A FACE

The making of Project 22
Project 22 was a 22 day, 6,500 mile motorcycle awareness campaign from San Francisco to New York City to raise awareness of the high rate of suicides within the Veteran community. As we traveled across the country, we spoke with many Veterans who had contemplated or attempted suicide and asked them for their stories; what led them to it and what brought them out of it. The responses regarding the challenges were in remarkable unison although the hope they found came in many different forms. We were able to explore the therapeutic potential behind sailing, pottery, education, activism, family, service dogs, painting and more.

We also spoke with leading researchers of Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, mental health clinicians and educators, as well as, leading experts in warrior culture and combat stress. Coupled with the insightful and potentially life changing information we captured in interviews, we filmed the motorcycle awareness campaign, including camping, several organized rides and our final ride being escorted into World Trade Center by the Port Authority Police Department. We gathered incredible footage and news coverage in multiple cities, including Pittsburgh and New York.

Project 22 was entirely crowd-funded via an IndieGoGo campaign and private donations. In addition, the crew was offered food, lodging and assistance wherever we rode, helping keep production costs low. Project 22 is fiscally sponsored by From The Heart Productions, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, while Medicinal Missions applies for independent non-profit status. All donations are tax-deductible and are made payable to From The Heart Productions via the PayPal link on our website or by check to: From The Heart Productions 1455 Mandalay Beach Road Oxnard, CA 93035-2845

From The Heart has been successfully funding films since inception in 1993 under the 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Code of 1954. Also classified as a public charity under section 509 (a) (2) of the Code. Monetary donations to the Fiscal Sponsorship Program qualify as charitable contributions under the U.S. Tax Code for 95 444 5418.

Current Campaign
Statistically, 22 Veterans of the US Military will take their own lives and 22 families will lose loved ones today due to combat-related stresses and injuries. Project 22 follows two combat-wounded Veterans on a mission to find hope. Riding motorcycles from San Francisco to New York, Daniel and Doc speak with Veterans about post-war challenges that lead to suicide and the healing Veterans are finding in alternative forms of therapy such as sailing, pottery, education, service dogs and more.

During the 6,500 mile journey, our riders interview leading researchers, mental health clinicians and educators who specialize in Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress, as well as a leading expert in Warrior Culture and Combat Stress. Asking hard hitting questions and opening up about their own struggles, Daniel and Doc will stop at nothing to reach tomorrow’s twenty-two.

Mission Statement
To raise awareness of Veteran suicides and to educate on methods to overcome symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in order to prevent Veteran suicides and make alternative therapies available to Veterans with PTS and TBI.

Carry The Fallen – Boston Marathon Route

 Carry The Fallen

Active Heroes, a 501c3 charity presents the Carry The Fallen Ruck-March event. Carry The Fallen is a team hiking event lasting 3, 6, 12 or 22 hours (depending on the event) that is part of the charity’s Active Challenges program that builds camaraderie, wellness, morale and connects military families with supporters and peer mentors. Participants carry weight to symbolize the emotional weight that many veterans are carrying after war.  22 veterans a day take their own lives and Active Heroes is working towards reducing these numbers with a one of a kind Military Family Retreat Center located in Shepherdsville, KY. Carry the Fallen participants can Fund-Raise towards building the retreat center after registering.

Register for free or register to become an Active Heroes Ambassador for $50 and you will be sent a Carry The Fallen shirt, bumper sticker, refrigerator magnet, flyers (donation Cards), and an Ambassador Booklet containing suicide prevention information and peer mentor campaign information. Shipping is included in the $50 donation.

Earn your Carry The Fallen Patch by fundraising $100 or more and completing a 3, 6, 12 or 22 hour long Carry The Fallen Ruck-March event! Carry The Fallen Team Leaders will distribute patches, only to participants who raise $100, during the closing ceremony of the event.  Participants can even make their own donations towards the patch on their fundraising page, or keep sharing their fundraising page on social media, emails and in other conversations to raise the $100 minimum donation amount.

Carry the Fallen 3, 6, 12, 22

Carry The Fallen – Boston Marathon Route
March 21, 2015
6:00am – 7:00pm

Active Heroes – Team Minuteman (All participants) will be rucking the Boston Marathon route starting at 1 Ash St. Hopkinton MA 01748 and finishing at 659 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116.  There will be on street parking at the starting point.  Transportation back to starting point is up to participants to schedule.  Some people drop cars at the finish line in Boston to help shuttle people back to the beginning.  Please help carpool if you can.  The team will be followed by an RV during the hike to help assist people who drop out during the 26.2 miles. The hike moves as fast as the slowest person.

Carry as much weight that you can carry for the entire march but make sure you don’t over do it for safety. Please wear an Active Heroes or Carry The Fallen shirt to the event to help spread awareness about reducing veteran suicide through Active Heroes. You can find more shirts and gear at: www.ActiveHeroes.org and search for store. Learn more about the Carry The Fallen event at www.CarryTheFallen.org

Safety is very important. Depending on your hiking event the terrain might be on road ways and traffic can be present. Children are allowed to the event but please keep an eye on them for safety. Flashing lights or reflectors belts are encouraged for early morning hiking or night time events. bring plenty of water, sports drinks with no excess sodium, first aide kit and energy snacks. Bathroom breaks are generally planned but keep in mind that Team Leaders are working to keep everyone together to accomplish the long distance event, so stops wont be frequent unless of medical emergencies.

Above all, the Carry the Fallen events are extremely fun and the entire family can join. Your help is needed to build the retreat to help reduce Veteran Suicide. Learn More About the Military Family Retreat here: www.ActiveHeroes.org

March Proclaimed Red Cross Month: Red Cross Recognizes Every Day Heroes

President Barack Obama has proclaimed March as Red Cross Month across the country, a tradition upheld by each of our nation’s leaders since President Franklin D. Roosevelt first recognized Red Cross Month in 1943.

“For more than 130 years, the devoted women and men of the American Red Cross have responded to challenges at home and abroad with compassion and generosity. In times of conflict and great tragedy, they deliver humanitarian relief, save lives, and offer hope for a brighter tomorrow,” the proclamation reads. “Their service has meant so much to so many, and it reflects a fundamental American truth: we look out for one another and we do not leave anyone behind. This month, we renew our sense of common purpose and honor all those whose sacrifices have made our society more prepared, resilient, and united.” Read the entire proclamation here.

The Red Cross has a long-standing relationship with the White House dating back to 1913 and President Woodrow Wilson. In 1906 a largely ceremonial office of president was added to the Red Cross leadership. In 1913, President Wilson agreed to serve in this role. This began a tradition that continues today whereby the president of the United States serves as honorary chairman of the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is not a government agency and does not receive a regular appropriation from Congress.

The American Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters every year. It provides 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families at home and around the world; collects and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply and trains millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.

During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross is recognizing the country’s everyday heroes – heroes who reach out to help people in need. These are the people who –

  • Help disaster victims get on the road to recovery.
  • Give blood to help a hospital patient
  • Brighten the day of an injured service member who is in a hospital far from home.
  • Take one of our lifesaving classes and step forward to assist someone having a heart attack or to save a drowning child.

Red Cross Month is a great time to become part of the Red Cross. You can work on a preparedness plan with members of your household so you are ready for emergencies. You can become a Red Cross volunteer. Or you can give blood or a financial donation.

VA Adaptive Sports Program

Mission Redefined
Your courage, your determination and your drive all led you to serve America proudly. Those same characteristics will also lead to satisfaction and success in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans of all ages and abilities report better health, new friendships and a better quality of life when participating in adaptive sports. Disabled Veterans who are physically active simply have more fun! To get started, take some time to review the many sports opportunities available to you by reaching out to your VA clinical team.

Get started by learning how disabled Veterans can benefit from adaptive sports. If you have questions, contact them at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

2015 Schedule of National Events
2014 Annual Report to Congress

The Grant Program
The Grants for Adaptive Sports Programs for disabled Veterans and Members of the Armed Forces (ASG Program) provides grant funding to organizations to increase and expand the quantity and quality of adaptive sport activities disabled Veterans and members of the Armed Forces have to participate in physical activity within their home communities, as well as more advanced Paralympic and adaptive sport programs at the regional and national levels. Learn more»

Training Allowance
Interested in becoming a Paralympic athlete?
The VA National Veterans Sports Programs & Special Events Office provides a monthly assistance allowance for disabled Veterans as authorized by 38 U.S.C. 322(d) and Section 703 of the Veterans’ Benefits Improvement Act of 2008 for qualifying athletes training in Paralympic sports.

Through the program, VA will pay a monthly allowance to a Veteran with either a service-connected or non-service-connected disability if the Veteran meets the minimum military standards or higher (e.g., Emerging, Talent Pool, National Team) in his or her respective sport at a recognized competition. Besides making the military standard, an athlete must also be nationally or internationally classified by his or her respective sport federation as eligible for Paralympic competition within six or 12 months of a qualifying performance.

Athletes must also have established training and competition plans and are responsible for turning in monthly and quarterly reports in order to continue receiving the monthly assistance allowance. The allowance rate for an athlete approved for monetary assistance is the same as the 38 U.S.C. Chapter 31 Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment (VR&E) rate, which in FY 2013 ranged from $585.11 up to $1,104.64 per month, depending on the number of dependents.

Download the VA Training Allowance Standards

Download the VA Training Allowance Briefing

To learn more about the specific sport standards or the monthly assistance allowance, email them at vacoadaptiveSP@va.gov.

2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

2015 National Veterans Golden Age Games

#22KILL: Battle Buddy

Become a Veterans’ Advocate and “Battle Buddy”
You do not have to be a trained professional to help someone in need. You don’t have to be a veteran to empathize with their situation. People in a crisis sometimes just need someone to talk to because they feel alone and unheard by those who are closest to them.  They may feel too ashamed to call out for help from their friends and family and can benefit from speaking to an anonymous individual.  By not feeling judged, they can feel more comfortable about opening up and and talking about their situation.

Criteria:

  • Have a genuine love and respect for veterans and all active military members. You do not have to be a veteran.
  • Have a cell phone, and be willing to take calls/texts at any time from a veteran wanting to talk

Roles/Responsibilities:
As a Battle Buddy, you will have a profile listed on www.22kill.com’s  public directory, and veterans in crisis will be able to find you and call you if they want to talk. Your commitment is to simply be someone who cares and to listen if a veteran ever calls. That’s it. Don’t judge; don’t push. Just having someone to talk to who genuinely cares and will listen can make a substantial difference. If you do feel there is a crisis, you can call 911 or have someone else call.

 If you are not comfortable with being a Battle Buddy there are other ways you can help as a Veterans’ Advocate. We encourage you to join Team #22KILL in connecting and growing the veteran support system. Become a volunteer for their events and community projects, and share their page with your network of friends, family, and every veteran you know.

Sign up and become a Battle Buddy today!
Please Visit www.22kill.com for more information

Warfighter Sports

Warfighter Sports have provided 8,200 wounded warriors and family opportunities to participate in more than 30 sports since 2003, free of any costs.

The mission of Warfighter Sports is simple:
Provide adaptive sports to severely wounded warriors free of cost. Thanks to generous supporters, they have supported 1,500 wounded warriors just last year alone.

Apply To Be  A Warfighter Here

Warfighter Sports Individual Training Grants
Warfighter Sports is offering grants to veterans and members of the armed forces with permanent physical disabilities who do not have nearby access to adaptive training in the sport of their choice.

Grant funding can be used to assist with participation expenses associated with their individual sport goals. Successful applicants will be awarded grant funding as well as Warfighter Sports apparel to wear during their participation.

The goal of this program is to help veterans and members of the armed forces with permanent physical disabilities gain independence in their chosen sport, so that even if an adaptive club is not available nearby, they have the ability to participate in non-adaptive programs alongside family and friends.

Grants of up to $1000, per warrior, per year are available on a rolling basis until all funds have been spent. Funds are only distributed once valid receipts and reports have been received by Disabled Sports USA. Applicants will be notified if their grant is approved within 21 business days of their submission.

Grant Qualifications:

  • Veterans or members of the armed forces with a permanent physical disability* who do not have nearby access to adaptive training in their chosen sport
  • Veterans or members of the armed forces with a permanent physical disability* who are seeking advanced training, competitive or classification opportunities in their chosen sport
  • $1000 maximum grant awarded per year
  • Must participate in qualified sporting activity (see application for specific list)

*i.e. spinal cord injury, amputation, vision impairment, traumatic brain injury, nerve/joint or muscle damage that permanently impedes function.

 Sample Expenses Covered:

  • Travel expenses to train in an adaptive sport if not offered locally
  • Travel to attend classification opportunities or Paralympic competition
  • Coaching fees for individualized instruction
  • Adaptive sports equipment not covered by the VA

Reporting Requirements: 

The following is to be submitted no later than two weeks post-activity or by September 1, 2015 (whichever is soonest)

  • Brief summary of program outcomes (one paragraph)
  • Photo of participation in activity (preferably while wearing Warfighter Sports provided apparel)
  • Provide valid receipts for expenses

Department of Veteran Affairs: Making Mobility Equipment Accessible & Affordable

The Department of Veteran Affairs is a great resource for making mobility equipment accessible and affordable through available benefits. There are several options available to shoppers for new equipment as well as those looking for upgrades with their current equipment.

One option is to accept a special benefit allowance for automobiles. These funds are available for modifications covered in the Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program for existing vehicles- from mini-vans to motor homes. One should check with the local VA office to make sure criteria are met before making a purchase for a specialized vehicle. The application for adaptive equipment is also titled VAF 10-1394. Find more specific information about modifications and the list of required documents for reimbursement by following this link to the VA program profile.

Once in ownership of a modified vehicle, the VA helps cover some repairs however, regular maintenance is not covered. The VA typically allows for two vehicles to be purchased or modified in a 4-year period and exceptions are made for instances of theft, fire, accident, court or legal actions, costly repairs and changes in the driver’s medical needs that would require a new vehicle.

A second option deals with the prescription of orthotic equipment such as wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Once a veteran is assessed to need mobility equipment by the VA and its doctors- an approved and accredited firm helps fit the veteran in need the top of the line orthotic equipment.  For a list of these firms, follow this link.

Help Our Veterans This Holiday Season!

Give Back to Veterans in Need This Holiday Season by Donating an Item on Veterans Inc.’s Holiday Wish List!

Donations are accepted 24/7 at our headquarters on 69 Grove Street in Worcester, MA.

Gift bags will be assembled using the donated items on Friday, December 19th and will be ready to be distributed to our veterans in time for Christmas.

Help Our Veterans This Holiday Season!

Holiday Mail for Heroes: Give Something That Means Something

Holiday Mail for Heroes- Give Something that means something 2014

Program Overview

With many service members and veterans separated from their families this holiday season due to deployments and hospital stays, the American Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes (HMFH) program empowers people to “Give Something That Means Something” by sending a card of thanks and support to the members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families.

Beginning in 2014, the program will take on a different look, as Red Cross chapters across the continental U.S. and Red Cross offices on military installations overseas will take complete control of the program. There will no longer be a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards are sent.

Moving forward, local Red Cross offices will collect, sort, and distributing the holiday cards using an events-based approach in their local communities. Local Red Cross offices will:

  1. Hold events to sign or make holiday cards
  2. Schedule card-sorting times.
  3. Coordinate card delivery to the military, vets and families in their communities.

These changes will allow local Red Cross offices to better concentrate on reaching out to the members of the military, veterans and families in their community—neighbors helping neighbors.

Questions & Answers

What is the Holiday Mail for Heroes Program?
The Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program enables Americans to “Give Something That Means Something” this holiday season. We are inviting the public to send cards of thanks, encouragement and holiday cheer to members of our U.S. Armed Forces, veterans and military families, many of whom will be far away from home this holiday season.

What is the address of the P.O. Box for the program?
There is no longer a national P.O. Box for the program. Instead, Holiday Mail for Heroes is being conducted at the Red Cross office in your local community. Check with your local Red Cross for times and locations of events and for opportunities to get involved.

Why is the Red Cross changing the format of the program?
We have made this change for several reasons including:

  • A reduction in U.S. military forces overseas, particularly in the Middle East and across Europe.
  • Increased costs of conducting the program.

I contacted my local Red Cross office and they are not participating in the program this year. Where do I send my cards?
There are two options for sharing your holiday cards:

  • Ask your local Red Cross office for military and veterans organizations in your community where you can send your cards directly.
  • Check the participating chapters tab for updated information regarding the closest Red Cross chapter in your area participating in Holiday Mail for Heroes.

I don’t know anyone in the military; how do I participate?
You don’t need to know anyone in the military. Red Cross workers will distribute cards to members of the military and veterans around the world. Contact your local Red Cross for times and locations of card-signing and card-making events.

Cards are not addressed to anyone specific, so who gets these cards?
Participating Red Cross chapters will determine how to best distribute cards to service members, veterans and family members in their local communities, across the nation and around the world. Cards may be delivered individually, included in care packages or displayed at common venues in military installations and hospitals.

Can I drop cards off at my local Red Cross office?
Yes.

Will my card be distributed to our troops stationed overseas?
Cards are distributed to hundreds of locations domestically and around the world, including military installations, military and VA medical facilities and veterans organizations. Please understand that it is difficult to determine which cards will be sent overseas and which will be sent domestically.

What is the goal for the 2014 Holiday Mail for Heroes Program?
The goal is to share season’s greeting and holiday cheer to the members of our Armed Forces. We do not have a goal for a total number of cards.

Are there other restrictions and guidelines for cards?
In order to make cards as meaningful as possible to a wide audience, we recommend that the public use generic titles such as “Dear Service Member, Veteran, or Military Family Member” when writing the cards. Cards should not contain glitter because some cards may end up at the bedside of a wounded service member and the glitter could aggravate existing health issues.

Can I include calling cards, money or other items in the cards?
We ask that people not enclose any items with the holiday cards. Any items enclosed with the holiday cards will be removed, including photos and other gifts. If you wish to provide financial support for Red Cross services to the military, please donate online.

How can people get involved in the Holiday Mail program beyond mailing a card?
  • Word of Mouth: Check with your local Red Cross office for up-to-date information about the program.
  • Social Media: Connect with fellow card senders through social media channels and help us get the word out through Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to use the hashtag #holidaymail.
  • Help Sort and Deliver Cards: If you are interested in helping sort and deliver cards, please contact a participating chapter in your area to see how you can help.

How can people support other Red Cross programs that help members of the military and their families?
Supporting Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces work is simple and we encourage you to make a financial donation by donating online or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

**Contact your local Red Cross chapter directly to find out if they are participating**

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run

Boston's 5th Annual Wounded Vet Run - 2015

What
Motorcycle Ride and Concert
Ceremony – Food – Music By TigerLily Band
Beer Tent – Vendors -Raffle Items – Stunt Show

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE -Everyone Welcome
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs to welcome Veterans and Bikers!

Purpose
To support four of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:
SSG Nick Lavery
SGT Brendan Ferreira
SSG Travis Mills
SSG Mike DowningAll donations directly benefit these wounded Veterans and charities of their choosing.

When
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Rain date: May 16, 2015
Registration begins at 10am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where
Begins at:
“New” Boston Harley-Davidson
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost
$20 per rider
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins

Donate Here!!Donations can be made out to ‘Boston’s Wounded Veterans’ and sent to:
60 Paris Street
East Boston, MA 02128

Call Andrew with any questions: 903-340-9402
Vendors please call: 617-416-0782

Tri Town Veterans Day Commemoration 2014

Tri Town Veterans Day Commemoration 2014

Honoring those who served on Veterans Day

BRIDGEWATER | EAST BRIDGEWATER | WEST BRIDGEWATER

Parade and ceremony: The Tri-Town Parade steps off at 10 a.m. Tuesday from Spring Hill Avenue and travels on Summer Street, Route 104 and Route 28 to Legion Field. There will be a ceremony at Legion Field gazebo. Collation for parade participants will be at the Veterans Club on Cottage Street.

MIDDLEBORO

Parade and ceremony: Parade starts at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Town Hall. A ceremony will take place at the Middleboro Veterans Memorial Park on the Town Hall lawn after the parade. The parade will be cancelled if it rains, but a ceremony will take place at 10 a.m. in the ballroom at the Town Hall.

BROCKTON

Parade and ceremony: Parade steps off at 10 a.m. Tuesday from the War Memorial Building, 156 West Elm St., and concludes with a ceremony at the Veterans of All Wars Monument on Legion Parkway.

RAYNHAM

School program: The 12th annual Veterans Day program is set for 9 a.m. Monday in the gymnasium at Raynham Middle School and includes guest speakers and entertainment by the school students. All residents who have served in the military, including the Reserves, are invited to attend and receive a show of support from the community.

TAUNTON

Breakfast: A pancake breakfast will be held from 8 to 11 a.m. Tuesday at Coyle Cassidy High School, 2 Hamilton St. Cost is $5 is those age 12 and older, $3 for ages 3-11. Proceeds will assist in purchasing and placing memorial markers at veterans’ gravesites in Taunton.

CARVER

Breakfast: 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at United Parish of Carver, 115 Main St. All Carver veterans will be served at no charge.

ABINGTON | ROCKLAND | WHITMAN

Parade: The annual Tri-Town Parade steps off at 9 a.m. Tuesday from Summit and Union streets in Rockland. The parade is hosted on an alternating basis by Abington, Whitman and Rockland.

EASTON

Parade and ceremony: Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Washington Plaza and proceeds up Main Street to the World War I Memorial for a ceremony, continues to Veterans Memorial Park and the World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorial for a ceremony.

HALIFAX

Ceremony: A brief ceremony at 9 a.m. Tuesday at Town Hall, 499 Plymouth St., includes the laying of wreaths at the various monuments near the Town Hall and a few words from attendees.

PEMBROKE

Ceremony: A ceremony at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Pembroke Middle School, 559 School St., will include guest speakers and a performance by the Pembroke High School Chorus.

RANDOLPH

Breakfast and march: Breakfast starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at the VFW hall, 10 Highland Ave. At 10:30 a.m., a group will march from the VFW to the war memorial outside the Turner Free Library in Crawford Square.

STOUGHTON

Flags for gravesites: Flags will be placed at veterans’ graves on Saturday at the Holy Sepulcher and Evergreen cemeteries. Refreshments will be served at the VFW afterward.

Parade and ceremony: The parade starts at 9 a.m. Tuesday at VFW Post 1645, Washington Street; stops at Town Hall for a ceremony and wreath-laying at the Memorial Bell; forms again on Pearl Street and travels to Faxon Veterans Memorial Park for a ceremony; and proceeds on Walnut Street and Washington Street back to the VFW. Collation is at noon at VFW, 837 Washington St.

Hope For Heroes: Homeless Veteran Drive

Hope For Heroes - Homeless Veteran Drive

Event:
Hope For Heroes
Homeless Veteran Drive
“Support those who supported U.S.”

When:
November 7-11 2014

What Can You Do?

Donate! Hope For Heroes is collecting items to be donated to homeless Veterans residing at three Massachusetts Veteran Shelters. The following items are needed:

  • Sweaters, Turtlenecks, Thermal Underwear, Belts (All Sizes)
  • Functional Computers/Software
  • Gift Cards to Supermarkets, Drug Stores and/or Department Stores
  • Toiletry Items (Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Razors)
  • Pillows, Pillow Cases, Blankets, Sheets for Twin Beds
  • Wool Knit Hats, Scarves, Gloves
  • Disposable Diapers
  • Bras (Sizes C and D Preferred)
  • Padlocks
  • Gift Wrap and Supplies
  • Gently Worn Male/Female Business Clothing (For Job Interviews)

Collection Location
Milford Nissan: (508) 422-8000
320 East Main Street (Route 16) Milford, MA 01757

Drop Off Times:

  • Friday: November 7th 8am – 6pm
  • Saturday: November 8th 8am – 5pm | 10am – 12 Noon: WMRC Radio (1490am) LIVE Remote Broadcast
  • Sunday: November 9th 12pm – 5pm
  • Monday: November 10th 8am – 8pm
  • Tuesday November 11th (Veterans Day) 8am – 8pm
    8am – 11am Chef Barry Keefe (Dinner & Co. Gourmet Catering) will provide FREE Breakfast Sandwiches to anyone making a donation.

2014 Veterans Day Free Meals and Discounts

Veterans Day is soon approaching and there are many restaurants and companies who want to thank our veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, we thank you!

Please Note:

  • Most companies require some form of Proof of Military Service. These include: a Military ID Card (active/reserve/retired), Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Drivers License with Veterans Designation, Photograph in uniform, be wearing uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification. Other restaurants and companies may go by the honor system.
  • Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies.
  • Visit WWW.TheMilitaryWallet.com for more information and updates. They do their best to keep their page up to date.

2014 Veterans Day Free Meals and Discounts

Applebee’s – free meal, Nov. 11, 2014:
Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active service-members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014. There will be 7 entrées to choose from, beverage and gratuity not included. Military ID or proof of service required. Click here for more information.

BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Complimentary lunch entree, up to $9.95 value. Offer valid to all active duty military and veterans, with proof of service. Click Here For Locations.

Bob Evans, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free All you can eat hotcakes. For active duty military and veterans with ID or proof of service. Click here for Locations.

California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11, 2014:
Choose a pizza, full size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military I.D. or other proof of service. Click here for Locations.

Carraba’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free appetizer of your choice for active duty service-members and veterans. Military ID or proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Cattlemens Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free 8 oz Sirloin Steak Dinner and beverage on Veterans Day. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

CentraArchy Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal with proof of service at participating restaurants, including Burrito Loco, California Dreaming, Carolina Roadhouse, ChopHouse New Orleans, ChopHouse ’47, Gulfstream Café, Joey D’s Oak Room, and New York Prime. Click here for Locations.

Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for active and former military members with ID or other valid proof of service. Click here for Locations.

Chili’s – free meal, Tuesday, Nov. 11 2014:
Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of one of 7 meals during the dinner hour, or any lunch combo during lunch. Offer only available at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Click here for Locations.

Cotton Patch Café, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former military members. Choices include full-size chicken fried steak, or chicken fried chicken. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Country Cookin, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former military. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

East Coast Wings, Nov. 11, 2014
Free Appetizer or Desert. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Einstein Bros Bagels, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free coffee at participating locations. Available to all active duty members and veterans with ID or proof of service. Click here for Locations.

Fatz Eatz & Drinkz, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former military members, up to $13.00 value. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Fire & Ice Grill & Bar, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for military and veterans. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Friendly’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Breakfast offering is free a Big Two Do breakfast, which includes a coffee and the choice between French toast, buttermilk pancakes, or regular toast along with bacon or sausage links, and some eggs. Lunch or dinner includes an All-American Burger served with fries and a beverage. Offer available for active military and veterans with ID or discharge papers. Participating locations only. Click here for Locations.

Golden Corral – Free meal, Monday Nov. 17, 2014 (5pm – 9pm):
The 14th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation Monday dinner will is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Monday dinner. Click here for more information.

Special thanks to Golden Corral: To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 4 million free meals and contributed over $8.7 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization. Amazing!

Hooters, Nov. 11, 2014:
Tuesday, Nov. 11, Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to enjoy a free meal, up to $10.99 in value with any drink purchase, by presenting a military ID or proof of service at any Hooters location across the country. Click here for Locations.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal form the American Values Menu, Nov. 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Includes soup, salad, desert, and beverage. Dine-in only, valid ID or proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Krispy Kreme – Free doughnut and small coffee, Nov. 11, 2014:
Available only at participating Krispy Kreme stores. Offer available to all active-duty, retirees, & veterans. Be sure to call ahead to verify your local Krispy Kreme is participating. Click here for Locations.

Lone Star Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
All veterans and active duty military will be eligible for a free Starter. ID or proof of service required. Please call ahead for verification. Click here for Locations.

LongHorn Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2014:
Complimentary Texas Tonion and non-alcoholic beverage. Offer good for Veterans and active-duty military members. Proof of service required. Visit their site to Click here for Locations.

Max & Erma’s, November 11, 2014:
Participating Max & Erma’s locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes tortilla soup or side Caesar salad, seasoned fries, and chocolate chip cookies. Dine-in only. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. Click here for more information. Click here for Locations.

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner, Sunday Nov 9, 2014: McCormick & Schmick’s is celebrating their 16th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event on Sunday, November 9th. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée from a special menu. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Also, space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. Click here for more information.

Menchie’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
All veterans and current service-members will receive a free 6 oz. frozen yogurt on Veterans Day. Click here for Locations.

Noah’s Bagles, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free coffee for active duty and veterans. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Orange Leaf, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free frozen yogurt (up to 11 0z.). Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Outback Steakhouse – Nov. 11, 2014:
Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage. This offer is available to Military Personnel and veterans with ID. Also receive 15% off your purchase from Nov. 12-Dec 31, 2014. Click here for Locations.

Perkin’s Restaurant & Bakery, Nov. 11, 2014:
Participating restaurants are offering current service-members and veterans a free Magnificent Seven meal which includes two eggs, three buttermilk pancakes, and a choice of two bacon strips or two sausage links. Beverage not included. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Pinnacle Entertainment (Casino Chain), Nov. 11, 2014:
Select locations are offering a free buffet meal for current military members and veterans. ID or proof of service required. Click here for more information and locations.

Red Hot & Blue, Nov. 10-12, 2014:
Free Entrée with purchase of another entrée of equal or greater value. Coupon. Proof of Service required. Click here for more information.

Red Lobster – Monday, Nov. 10 – Thursday Nov. 13, 2014:
Free Appetizer on Veterans Day with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers. Click here for locations.

Rib City (St. Louis, Missouri), Nov. 11, 2014:
50% Military Appreciation Meal Discount everyday to all Veterans and Active Duty Military. Eat in or carry out. (Des Peres and Cottleville, MO) Click here for more information.

Shoney’s, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free All-American Burger to veterans and active duty servicemembers. Dine-in only, Proof of Service required. Click here for more information. Click here for Locations.

Sizzler Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free lunch served until 4pm. Choice of 3 entrees, and a free coffee, tea, or fountain drink. Valid with proof of military service. Dine-in only, not valid for salad bar or gratuity. Click here for Locations.

StarBucks, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free tall brewed coffee for active duty, veterans, and their spouses. Participating stores only. Please call ahead.

Tap House Grill, Nov. 11, 2014. Free meal for service-members and veterans with proof of service. Dine-in only. Click here for Locations.

Texas De Brazil Churrascaria, Nov. 11, 2014:
50% off for all current and former service-members at participating locations (please call ahead). Click here for Locations.

Texas Land and Cattle Steak House, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free appetizer or shared plate for current service-members and veterans. ID or proof of service is required. Click here for Locations.

Tim Hortons, Nov. 11, 2014:
All US locations are offering a free donut to all active duty servicemembers and veterans. No purchase necessary. Proof of service required. Click here for Locations.

Travel Centers of America, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for CDL holders who are also veterans. Participating locations only; proof of service required. Click here for more information.

Twin Peaks, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal for current and former service-members with proof of service or valid ID. Click here for Locations.

Uno Chicago Grill, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free individual pizza or entrée with the purchase of a pizza or entrée of equal or greater value. Available for all active duty and veterans. No coupon necessary; proof of service required. Don’t forget to tell the staff you are there that day to support Fisher House, and a portion of your party’s check will go to benefit the Fisher House Foundation, an awesome military charity. Click here for Locations.

54th Street Grill, Nov. 11, 2014:
Free meal, up to $12 value, valid for current and former service members, proof of service required Click here for more information. Click here for Locations.

**** For updates and new information visit WWW.TheMilitaryWallet.com. ****

Veteran’s Comedy Night

Disabled And Limbless Veterans
Proudly Present
Veteran’s Comedy Night

vet comedy nightEvent Information

When?
Monday November 10, 2014
The show starts at 7:30pm
Doors Open at 6:00pm

Where?
Timothy’s225 Newbury Street, Route 1
Danvers, MA 01923

How Much?
Tickets: $30.00

The Show is Featuring:
Tom Gilmore
Jimmy Tingle
Mike Donovan
and
A Special Guest Appearance

For More Information Call:
Mike: 781-352-3575
or
Dom: 617-538-3632

Boston’s 5th Annual Wounded Vet Motorcycle Run

 Boston’s Annual Wounded Vet Bike Run Inspired by Cpl. Vincent Mannion Brodeur began in 2011. One of the most severely wounded veterans in the nation, Vinnie is the recipient of the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. While serving in Iraq in 2007 with the 82nd Airborne, Vinnie was critically injured by an insurgents improvised explosive device. After surviving 40 operations and a year long coma Vincent has become an inspiration for people throughout the nation. All proceeds from Vinnie’s Run went to creating a handicapped accessible living space for Vinnie. Every year Boston’s Wounded Vet Run will be dedicated to different veterans. All proceeds raised go towards housing modifications to suite a comfortable living for the disabled veteran. Besides housing modifications, funds are also used to improve the quality of life of disabled veterans. Recreational needs, cars, and basic living needs are also other fields of charity the ride is dedicated to. The event is sponsored by the Italian-American War Veterans, a federally chartered non-profit veterans organization. They fought, and we ride, a bike run honoring the wounded veteran’s of New England.

The Honorees for the 5th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run

2015 Event Information

When?
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Registration begins at 9am.
Kickstands up 12pm

Where?
Begins at:
New Boston Harley
650 Squire Road, Revere, Ma

Ends at:
Suffolk Downs Race track
550 McClellan Hwy East Boston

Cost:
$20 per person
10$ passenger
$20 Walk-ins
Donate Here!!

Motorcycle NOT REQUIRED TO PARTICIPATE
Those who do not ride can join us at Suffolk Downs at 1:30 for ceremony, food, and entertainment.

2015 Honorees
U.S ARMY SSGT Nick Lavery
U.S ARMY SSGT Mike Downing
U.S. ARMY SGT Brendan Ferreira
U.S ARMY SSGT Travis Mills

Vendors please call:
617-416-0782

5th Annual Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Dinner

5th Annual Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Dinner
Massachusetts Fallen Heroes was created to memorialize our fallen heroes who served in the Global War on Terrorism since 2001. The organization acts as a liaison to acquire education, employment, medical, legal and financial services to military veterans, their families, and Gold Star families.

Event Information

What:
5th Annual Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Dinner

When:
Thursday, December 4, 2014

Times:
Reception starts – 6:00 PM
Dinner begins at – 7:00 PM

Location:
Seaport World Trade Center
Boston, Massachusetts

Giving Opportunities

PRESENTING SPONSOR ($50,000)
•Sponsorship exclusivity in your industry
•Recognition in all press releases
•Recognition as the “Presenting Sponsor” from podium during speaking program
•Premier listing of company name/logo on official event invitation cover
•Premier listing of company name/logo on screens during dinner
•Premier listing of company name/logo in event program
•Premier listing of company name/logo on event signage
•Premier listing of company name/logo on website
•Three tables (30 seats) in premier location for dinner

GOLD STAR FAMILY RECEPTION SPONSOR ($25,000)
•Official sponsor of the Gold Star Family reception

•Prominent listing of company name/logo on official event invitation
•Prominent listing of company name/logo on screens during dinner
•Prominent listing of company name/logo in event program
•Prominent listing of company name/logo on event signage
•Prominent listing of company name/logo on website
•Two tables (20 seats) in prominent location for dinner

LEADERSHIP SPONSOR ($15,000)
•Listing of company name on official event invitation
•Listing of company name on screens during dinner
•Listing of company name in event program
•Listing of company name on event signage
•Listing of company name on website
•One table (10 seats) for dinner

PATRON SPONSOR ($10,000)
•Listing of company name on screens during dinner

•Listing of company name in event program
•Listing of company name on event signage
•Listing of company name on website
•One table (10 seats) for dinner

FRIEND SPONSOR ($5,000)
•Listing of company name in event program

•Listing of company name on event signage
•Tickets for four (4) guests to the dinner

* If desired, disabled veterans may be seated at your table

Veterans! 18 More Days to Enter The Star Spangled Salute Contest

WIN a Brand New 2015 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar Access 360 Wheelchair Van!

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Remebering Lt. Waverly Wray

When most people think of June 6th, they think of D-Day, but one story told in the prologue of Citizen Solider will forever mark June 7th off in my mind. It involves the actions taken by one, southern boy from Mississippi named Waverly Wray. I will let Ambrose tell it:

At Dawn on June 7th, Lt. Waverly Wray, executive officer in Company D, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR), who had jumped into the night sky over Normandy twenty-eight hours earlier, was on the north western outskirts of the village, Ste.-Mere-Eglise. He peered intently into the lifting gloom. What he couldn’t see, he could sense. From the sounds of the movement of personnel and vehicles to the north of Ste.-Mere-Eglise, he could feel and figure that the major German counterattack, the one the Germans counted on to drive the Americans into the sea and the one the paratroopers had been expecting, was coming at Ste.-Mere-Eglise.

It was indeed. Six thousands German soldiers were on the move, with infantry, artillery, tanks, and self-propelled guns – more than a match for the 600 or so lightly armed paratroopers in Ste.-Mere-Eglise. A German break through to the beaches seemed imminent. And Lieutenant Wray was at the point of attack.

Wray was a big man, 250 pounds with “legs like tree trunks.” He was from Batesville, Mississippi, and was an avid woodsman, skilled with rifles and shotguns. He claimed he had never missed a shot in his life. A veteran of the Sicily and Italy campaigns, Wray was – in the words of Col. Ben Vandervoort, commanding the 505th – “as experienced and skilled as an infantry solider can get and still be alive.”

Wray had deep South religious convictions. A Baptist, each month he sent half his pay home to help build a new church. He never swore. His exclamation when exasperated was, “John Brown!” meaning abolitionist John Brown of Harpers Ferry. He didn’t drink, smoke, or chase girls. Some troopers called him “The Deacon,” but in an admiring rather than critical way.

On June 7, shortly after dawn, Wray reported to Vandervoort – whose leg broken in the jump, was now in a cast – on the movements he had spotted, the things he had sensed, where he expected the Germans to attack and in what strength.

Vandervoort took all this in, then ordered Wray to return to the company and have it attack the German flank before the Germans could get their attack started. “He said ‘Yes sir,'” Vandervoort later wrote, “saluted, about-faced, and moved out like a parade ground Sergeant Major.”

Back in the company area, Wray passed on the order. As the company prepared to attack, he took up his M-1, grabbed a half dozen grenades, and strode out, his Colt .45 on his hip and a silver plated .38 revolver stuck in his jump boot. He was going to do a one-man reconnaissance to formulate a plan of attack.

Wray was going out into the unknown. He had spent half a year preparing for this moment but he was not trained for it. In one of the greatest intelligence failures of all time, neither G-2 (intelligence) at U.S. First Army nor SHAEF G-2, nor any division S-2 had ever thought to tell the men who were going to fight the battle that the dominant physical feature of the battlefield was the maze of hedgerows that covered the western half of Normandy.

How could the various G-2s have missed such an obvious feature, especially as aerial reconnaissance clearly revealed the hedges? Because the photo interpreters, looking only straight down at them, thought that they were like English hedges, the kind fox hunters jump over, and they missed the sunken nature of the roads entirely.

Wray moved up the sunken lanes, crossed an orchard, pushed his way through hedgerows, crawled through a ditch. Along the way he noted concentrations of Germans, in fields and lanes. A man without his woodsman’s sense of direction would have gotten lost. He reached a point near the N-13, the main highway coming into Ste.-Mere-Eglise from Cherbourg.

The N-13 was the axis of the German attack. Wray “was moving like the deer stalker he was” (Vandervoort’s words), got to a place where he could hear guttural voices on the other side of a hedgerow. They sounded like officers talking about map coordinates. Wray rose up, burst through the obstacle, swung his M-1 to a ready position, and barked in his strong command voice, “Hande Hoch!” to the eight German officers gathered around a radio.

Seven instinctively raised their hands. The eighth tried to pull a pistol from his holster; Wray shot him instantly, between the eyes. Two Germans in a slit trench 100 meters to Wray’s rear fired bursts from their Schmeisser machine pistols at him. Bullets cut through his jacket; one cut off half of his right ear. Wray dropped to his knee and began shooting the other seven officers, one at a time as they attempted to run away. When he had used up his clip, Wray jumped into a ditch, put another clip into his M-1, and dropped the German soldiers with the Schmeissers with one shot each.

Wray made his way back to the company areas to report on what he had seen. At the command post he came in with blood down his jacket, a big chunk of his ear gone, holes in his clothing. “Who’s got more grenades?” he demanded. Then he started leading. He put a 60mm mortar crew on the German flank and directed fire into the lanes and hedgerows most densely packed with the enemy. Next he sent D Company into an attack down one of the lanes. The Germans broke and ran. By mid-morning Ste.-Mere-Eglise was secure and the potential for a German breakthrough to the beaches was much diminished.

The next day Vandervoort, Wray, and Sgt. John Rabig went to the spot to examine the German officers Wray had shot. It turned out that they were the commanding officer and his staff of the 1st Battalion, 158th Grenadier Infantry Regiment. The maps showed that it was leading the way for the counterattack. The German confusion and subsequent retreat were in part due to having been rendered leaderless by Wray. At the scene of the action, Vandervoort noted that every one of the dead Germans, including the two Schmeisser-armed Grenadiers more than 100 meters away, had been killed with a single shot in the head. Wray insisted on burying the bodies. He said he had killed them, and they deserved a decent burial, and it was his responsibility. (Citizen Soldiers, 17-21)

Lt. Wray was killed in action on September 19th, 1944.

The American Legion Riders “Legacy Run” is Tomorrow!

AMERICAN LEGION RIDERS "LEGACY RUN", CHAPTER 18

“The Legacy Fund” is a charitable Veterans Fund used to ensure that higher education is a possibility fir children whos parents were killed in action serving our country
Walk, Run and or wheel in! Everyone is Welcome
$15.00 per person

Registration
9:30 – 10:30am

Blessing:
10:30am

Kickstands Up:
11:00am

Escorted Ride over beautiful secondary roads
Arriving back to the Legion for a fabulous Catered Buffet (Marion Roy)
Live Music – Great Raffles – and Fun

Sponsors & Vendors are Welcome.
Lynn’s Alterations will be there to sew your leathers, patches or sell you new ones!

Contact:
Jeri Rumsis 508 337 9344

Boston Abilities Expo 2014

Boston Abilities Expo 2014

Abilities Expo is a CELEBRATION of what you CAN DO

Imagine everything you need, all under one roof! For more than 30 years, Abilities Expo has been the go-to source for the Community of people with disabilities, their families, seniors, veterans and healthcare professionals. Every event opens your eyes to new technologies, new possibilities, new solutions and new opportunities to change your life. Where else can you discover ability-enhancing products and services, play a few adaptive sports, learn new dance moves, attend informative workshops and only scratch the surface of what Abilities Expo has to offer? Register for free today.

Veterans!! Don’t Miss Your Chance To Win A Free 2015 Toyota Sienna Wheelchair Van

Calling All Veterans! Enter 'The Star Spanged Salute' Today For Your Chance To Win!

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Today is the Freedom Fest at Fort Kent, Maine

August 9th 2014 Freedom Fest

Freedom Fest 2014 is an outdoor concert on August 09, 2014 in Fort Kent, Maine to raise funds for a
Veterans Museum & Community Center in Northern Maine.
A joint project of Martin-Klein American Legion Post 133 and the Fort Kent Historical Society

“So that the future can understand what the past has given in the name of Freedom”


Their Vision
To build a Veterans Museum & community center in Northern Maine to showcase and appreciate the sacrifices provided on our behalf so that our children and future generations will understand the true cost of freedom. The Center shall be a living, breathing kiosk of history providing a dynamic educational opportunity for all those in the community!

Fort Kent Municipal Airport

Tickets: FreedomFest2014.bpt.me
ADULT: $40/$35 advance purchase
Under 16: $25   Under 12: FREE 
or visit Albert’s Jewelry or Gas-n-Go Foods in Fort Kent
Bring your own chair or blankets
NO Backpacks
NO Coolers

Contact Information
Duane Belanger – Martin-Klein American Legion
Email: commander@americanlegionpost133.org
Chad Pelletier – President of Fort Kent Historical Society
Email: fkhistory1@yahoo.com

Featuring
Thomas Nicholas Band
Madison Rising
Mallett Brothers Band
Spirit of Cash
Harold Ford
Laura Lucy & the Cash Band
Gunther Brown
Forget, Forget
Randolph S Michaud
Tennessee Haze
Uprooted
Kindered
Along with the cast of Freedom Fighters TV!
Featuring on opening Bike Run from Plourde Harley Davidson , Caribou to Fort Kent lead by the Patriot Guard Riders & First Lady Ann LePage honoring the fallen and respectfully welcomed in Fort Kent by the Saluting Marine SSG Tim Chambers!    Honored to welcome quad-amputee and American Hero SSG Travis MIlls as well!

Featuring a parachute jump by the First Lady of Maine & Travis Mills courtesy of Wreaths Across America!!

Vendors – Partners
VMI New England ● Fort Kent Lions ● Vets Rock ● Young Marines ● Toys For Tots ● Post 133 LadiesAuxiliary ● Fort Kent Knights of Columbus ● Market Street Coop ● Armed Forces Motorsports Foundation ● Maine Veterans Homes ● National Veterans Family Center ● US VA Togus ● Maine Military  & Community Network  ● Gas-N-Go Foods ● Albert’s Jewelry ● Maine Veterans Services ● VetCenter ● Maine National Guard
● VFW Department of Maine ● American Legion Department of Maine ● AMVETS  Department of Maine ● Fort Kent VFW ● Gary I Gordon Division Sea Cadets  ● KTC’s Brainfreeze  ● Mad Town Grillers ● Carter Dogs  ● Wreaths Across America ● Jeni’s Jewelry  ● JSB Arts ● Maine State Council Knights of Columbus  ● the Lunchbox ● Sally Bateau  ● Maine Army Guard 185th Engineer Company ● Honor & Remember – Massachusetts Chapter● Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce

FREEDOM-FEST 2014
Make a Donation — http://www.iamtheamericanflag.com/donate/

Attention Homeless and At-Risk Veterans – We Want To Honor and Serve You

The Massachusetts Stand Down is ONE DAY ONLY on Friday August 22, 2014

Event Location
IBEW Local 103
256 Freeport Street Dorchester

Registration
Veterans MUST Bring Proof of Military Service
Hours: 8:00am 4:00pm
No Administration after registration closes

Contact Information
Call: 6175228086
Email: veteran@voamass.org
Or Log On To: www.voamass.org

Free Services Include
Housing Assistance * Job Assistance * Legal Assistance * Education * Mass Health * Medical Aid
Eye Glasses
* Hair Cuts * Foot Care * Oral Health and Dental Screening * Clothing * VA Benefits * Child Support
VA Boston Healthcare System Registration
* Mental Health Counseling * Counseling * Food Stamps
HIV/Aids Resources
* Female Veteran Programs * Voter Registration * Massachusetts ID and Driver License Renewals

What Is The Massachusetts Stand Down?
“Stand Down” is a military term referring to the brief period of time a soldier leaves an active combat area in order to rest and regain strength. Today, Stand Down refers to a grassroots, community based intervention program designed to help the nation’s homeless veteran population.

This event has served as a way of bringing a wide range of specialized resources to help the city’s veterans facing a wide range of problems, from homelessness to mental health needs and everything in between. Stand Down is a once a year opportunity for homeless and at-risk veterans to access a broad spectrum of services in one location

Volunteer
The Massachusetts Stand Down depends on a large number of volunteers to help serve over 1,000 Veterans.
Volunteer areas include:
Veteran and Volunteer Registration * Friendly Site Guide * Clothing Tent * Food Preparation and Service * Family Tent

2014 Stand Down Volunteer Application
For questions about volunteering at Stand Down, contact Melita Little at mlittle@voamass.org or 617-522-8086.

Donate
To find out how you or your business can donate time and services, please contact:

Stephanie Paauwe, Volunteers of America, spaauwe@voamass.org or 617-522-8086.

Veterans! Have You Entered The Star Spangled Salute Contest Yet?

Calling All Veterans! Enter 'The Star Spanged Salute' Today For Your Chance To Win!

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

In Sickness & in Health: A Husband Invents A ‘Tankchair’ For His Paralyzed Wife

During all the trial and error it took for combat veteran Brad Soden to invent a wheelchair worthy of his wife, nothing motivated him more than her tears.

Liz Soden, partially paralyzed after a traffic accident only three months before their wedding, would often be distraught at missing out on family hikes and camping trips with their five kids.

Brad was determined to do something about it.

“When you get her to cry, I’m motivated,” Brad told Matt Lauer on TODAY Thursday. “I’ll make it happen.”

A plumber without a college degree or any training as an engineer, Brad suffered a few setbacks to construct a wheelchair with tank-like treads rugged enough to work off-road and powerful enough to handle mountain trails.

“We started a couple fires, but we had beer on hand, so we could just put it out,” Brad said.

Watch a video on the ‘Tankchair’ at NBC.Com

The end result was the “Tankchair,” which gave Liz the freedom she craved and soon became Brad’s full-time job.

Husband Invents A ‘Tankchair’ For His Paralyzed Wife

Building the “Tankchair” took some trial and error and set some stuff on fire, but Brad got it done.

“It made it where I could go out and go hiking and camping,” Liz told Lauer. “When we went to the snow, I would sit in the car. Now I can get out, and I can chase my kids around, and I can go with them. Just the hiking and getting out — I’m not a prisoner anymore in the car and in the house.”

Brad hopes to provide Tankchairs free of charge to wounded warriors, but as the chairs are classified as recreational vehicles, they are not covered by insurance. The chair, which can travel up to 30 miles per hour and costs between $12,000 and $15,000, has become a hit with disabled veterans — a new one has a three-month waiting list.

Veterans! You Still Have Time To Enter The Star Spangled Salute Contest

VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:
The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Q&A’s About the 100% Disabled Veteran’s Homestead Exemption

If you qualify as a 100% Disabled Veteran, you will be interested in the answers to the most commonly asked questions below.

  • What are the qualifications for this exemption?
    • You qualify for this 100% homestead exemption if you meet these requirements:
      • You own a home and occupy it as your residence homestead.
      • You are receiving 100% disability compensation from the US Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability.
      • You have a disability rating of 100% disabled or of individual unemployability.

      To get this exemption, you must fill out Form 11.13, checking the box for 100% Disabled Veterans Exemption, as well as all boxes that apply to you. You must attach documentation as well. You may attach a copy of your award letter, a “VA tax letter,” or another document from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs showing 100% disability compensation due to a service-connected disability and a rating of 100% disability or of individual unemployability. The documents you attach must be current documents.

  • How much of my home’s value will it exempt?

    • If you qualify, your home will be totally exempt from property taxes in all jurisdictions, regardless of the home’s value. If you co-own the home with someone other than your spouse, your share of the home’s value will be exempted.
  • I already have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption?
    • Yes. This exemption is not given automatically.
  • I just qualified for the disabled veteran’s exemption. Why do I need to send you my documentation for this exemption?
    • Qualifications for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption differ from those for the prior disabled veteran’s exemption. In particular, you must show that you actually receive 100% disability compensation for a service-connected disability, and have a rating of 100% disability or individual unemployability.
  • When is the new homestead exemption effective?
    • If you apply and qualify for the current tax year as well as the prior tax year, you will be granted the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption for both years. Effective January 1, 2012, you may receive this exemption for the applicable portion of the year immediately upon qualification. (This applies to 2012 forward; not to prior years).
  • I bought my home after January 1, 2011. Will I get the new exemption for part of 2011?
    • No. The exemption will take effect for the 2012 year if you didn’t own your home on January 1, 2011.
  • My disability rating is actually 50%, but because I am over 65, I receive the maximum disability exemption. Do I qualify for the new homestead exemption?
    • No. You must be 100% disabled or have a rating of individual unemployability to qualify for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption. You must also be receiving 100% disability compensation from the VA. If the VA reduces or changes either of these ratings, it is your responsibility to notify the appraisal district in writing.
  • If something happens to me, will the new homestead exemption pass to my spouse or children?
    • Your surviving spouse, married to you and living at the same residence, may qualify to continue this exemption.
  • I owe delinquent taxes on my home for years before 2011. Will the new exemption affect those?
    • No. The exemption will apply for 2011 forward. It does not affect prior years.
  • I am in a hospital or nursing home. Can I still get the new exemption?
    • Yes, as long as you intend to return to the home when you are able.
  • My spouse and I own our home together. How is this homestead exemption calculated?
    • If the home is community property, it is calculated as if you owned 100% of the home. If the home is not community property, the exemption is prorated in proportion to the value of your interest.
  • I have a mortgage on the home. Can I still get the new homestead exemption?
    • Yes.
  • I don’t currently have a homestead exemption. Do I need to apply for the regular homestead exemption in addition to this one?
    • You should also apply for the regular homestead exemption. This will ensure that you receive the maximum benefits of the regular exemption should your qualification for the new exemption change.
  • I have recently turned 65. Should I apply for the over-65 homestead exemption in addition to the new exemption?
    • Yes, for the same reasons given above.
  • Q. How much of my home’s value will the new exemption exempt?
    • Your home will be totally exempt from property taxes.
  • I meet all of the qualifications for this exemption. I currently apply the $12,000 regular disabled veteran’s exemption to my home. When I get the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption, what happens to the other exemption?
    • This exemption will exempt all of the value of your home. Consequently, the $12,000 disabled veteran’s exemption will have no effect. If you own other taxable property (such as a vacation home or business), you should file a new application with the appraisal district and designate the $12,000 exemption as applying to the other property.
  • Will I have to reapply every year for the 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption?
    • No. Once your exemption is granted, you will not have to reapply unless the chief appraiser requires you to do so in writing.
  • I already have a disability homestead exemption on my home. What is the difference between that one and this one?
    • The existing disability homestead exemption has different requirements and benefits. For that exemption, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disabled, which is not necessarily the same as that used by the VA or your branch of the military. The benefits are also different. Only school districts are required to provide a disability homestead exemption, though many other taxing entities do. The 100% Disabled Veteran Homestead Exemption will apply to all taxing units and will exempt the total value of your home.
  • Can I apply this exemption to my main home and get the general homestead exemption on my vacation home?
    • No. Both exemptions apply only to the home that is your principal residence. You can, however, apply the prior disabled veteran’s exemption to your vacation home.
  • How do I get documentation of my status from the VA?
    • You can contact the VA at 1-800-827-1000. Their website is at www.va.gov.

They Fought, We Rode: Wounded Vet Run

They Fought We Rode Wounded Vet Run

Yesterday, Sunday April 27th 2014, was the Boston Wounded Vet Run. Thousands of riders hit the open road Sunday afternoon for the 4th annual Boston Wounded Vet Motorcycle Run, to honor fallen Veterans including

  • Spc. Andy Kingsley from Athol, MA
  • Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers from Bellingham MA
  • Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island
  • and firefighter Michael Kennedy

The 40-mile ride through North Shore towns raises money for wounded veterans. It takes about an hour and a half to complete and goes through Everett, Medford, Stoneham, Wakefield, Saugus, Lunn, Revere and East Boston.

The motorcade included about 4,000 members and was led by three convertibles carrying wounded service members.

Honor & Remember Wounded Vet Run

Honoring Vets Wounded Vet Run

Wounded Vet Run Boston Strong

Our Fallen - Afghan-Iraq - Never Forgotten

Wounded Vet run Apr14

Wounded Vet Run

Wounded Vet Run

VMi New England at the Woundeed Vet Run VMi New England at The 2014 4th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run

VMi New England at The 2014 4th Annual Boston Wounded Vet Run

Understanding Your Employment Rights Under the Americans with Disabilities Act: A Guide for Veterans

In recent years, the percentage of veterans who report having service-connected disabilities (i.e., disabilities that were incurred in, or aggravated during, military service) has risen. About twenty-five percent of recent veterans report having a service-connected disability, as compared to about thirteen percent of all veterans. Common injuries experienced by veterans include missing limbs, spinal cord injuries, burns, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), hearing loss, traumatic brain injuries, and other impairments.

This guide is intended to answer questions you may have about your rights as an injured veteran, now that you have left the service and are returning to a civilian job or seeking a new job. It also explains the kinds of adjustments (called reasonable accommodations) that may help you be successful in the workplace.

1. Are there any laws that protect veterans with disabilities in employment?
Yes. There are several federal laws that provide important protections for veterans with disabilities who are looking for jobs or are already in the workplace. Two of those laws –the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – protect veterans from employment discrimination.

USERRA has requirements for reemploying veterans with and without service-connected disabilities and is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Title I of the ADA, which is enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), prohibits private and state and local government employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against individuals on the basis of disability.

2. What does USERRA do?
USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of their military status or military obligations. It also protects the reemployment rights of individuals who leave their civilian jobs (whether voluntarily or involuntarily) to serve in the uniformed services, including the U.S. Reserve forces and state, District of Columbia, and territory (e.g., Guam) National Guards.

Under USERRA, employers must make “reasonable efforts” to help a veteran who is returning to employment to become qualified to perform the duties of the position he or she would have held but for military service whether or not the veteran has a service-connected disability. If the veteran has a disability incurred in, or aggravated during, his or her service, the employer must make reasonable efforts to accommodate the disability and return the veteran to the position in which he or she would have been employed if the veteran had not performed military service. If the veteran is not qualified for that position due to the disability, USERRA requires the employer to make reasonable efforts to help qualify the veteran for a job of equivalent seniority, status, and pay, the duties of which the person is qualified to perform or could become qualified to perform. This could include providing training or retraining for the position at no cost to the veteran. See Title 38, United States Code, Chapter 43 – Employment and Reemployment Rights of Members of the Uniformed Services, 38 U.S.C. § 4313; 20 C.F.R. §§ 1002.198, 1002.225 -.226. USERRA applies to all veterans, not just those with service-connected disabilities, and to all employers regardless of size. For more information on the reemployment rights of uniformed service personnel, see DOL’s website at www.dol.gov/vets.

3. What protections does the ADA provide?
Title I of the ADA prohibits an employer from treating an applicant or employee unfavorably in all aspects of employment — including hiring, promotions, job assignments, training, termination, and any other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment — because he has a disability, a history of having a disability, or because the employer regards him as having a disability. That means, for example, that it is illegal for an employer to refuse to hire a veteran because he has PTSD, because he was previously diagnosed with PTSD, or because the employer assumes he has PTSD. The ADA also limits the medical information employers may obtain and prohibits disability-based harass­ment and retaliation.

Finally, the ADA provides that, absent undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense to the employer), applicants and employees with disabilities are entitled to reasonable accommodation to apply for jobs, to perform their jobs, and to enjoy equal benefits and privileges of employment (e.g., access to the parts of an employer’s facility available to all employees and access to employer-sponsored training and social events).

Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act applies the same standards of non-discrimination and reasonable accommodation as the ADA to Federal Executive Branch agencies and the United States Postal Service. Documents explaining Title I of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act can be found on EEOC’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

4. I was injured during active duty but don’t think of myself as “disabled.” How do I know if I am protected by the ADA?
You are protected if you meet the ADA’s definition of disability and are qualified for the job you want or hold. The ADA defines an “individual with a disability” as a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such an impairment (i.e. was substantially limited in the past, such as prior to undergoing rehabilitation); or (3) is regarded, or treated by an employer, as having such an impairment, even if no substantial limitation exists. You are considered qualified if you are able to meet an employer’s requirements for the job, such as education, training, employment experience, skills, or licenses, and are able to perform the job’s essential or fundamental duties with or without reasonable accommodation.

As a result of changes to the ADA made by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, it is now much easier for individuals with a wide range of impairments to establish that they are individuals with disabilities and entitled to the ADA’s protections. For example, the term “major life activities” includes not only activities such as walking, seeing, hearing, and concentrating, but also the operation of major bodily functions, such as functions of the brain and the neurological system.

Additionally, an impairment need not prevent or severely or significantly restrict your performance of a major life activity to be considered substantially limiting; the determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity must be made without regard to any mitigating measures (e.g., medications or assistive devices, such as prosthetic limbs) that you may use to lessen your impairment’s effects; and impairments that are episodic or in remission (e.g., epilepsy or PTSD) are considered disabilities if they would be substantially limiting when active. Some service-connected disabilities, such as deafness, blindness, partially or completely missing limbs, mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair, major depressive disorder, and PTSD, will easily be concluded to be disabilities under the ADA.

5. If I have a military disability rating or a disability rating from the VA, does that mean I am also covered by the ADA?
Yes, you are probably covered. Although the ADA uses different standards than the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in determining disability, many more service-connected disabilities will also be considered disabilities under the ADA than prior to the ADA Amendments Act.

6. Under the ADA, is a private employer required to hire me over other applicants because I have a disability?
Though it is not required to do so, a private employer may decide to give a veteran with a disability a preference in hiring. The ADA prohibits discrimination “on the basis of disability.” This means that if you are qualified for a job, an employer cannot refuse to hire you because you have a disability or because you may need a reasonable accommodation to perform the job. Even if you are qualified for a job, an employer may choose another applicant without a disability because that individual is better qualified.

Some laws, however, require private employers to give a preference to veterans with disabilities. For example, the Vietnam Era Veteran’s Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA) requires that businesses with a federal contract or subcontract in the amount of $100,000 or more, entered into on or after December 1, 2003, take affirmative action to employ and advance qualified disabled veterans. VEVRAA also requires these businesses to list their employment openings with the appropriate employment service and to give covered veterans priority in referral to such openings.

7. Are there any laws that will give me special consideration if I am looking for a job with the federal government?
Yes. Under the Veterans Preference Act, veterans with and without disabilities are entitled to preference over others in hiring from competitive lists of eligible applicants and may be considered for special noncompetitive appointments for which they are eligible.

Federal agencies also may use specific rules and regulations, called “special hiring authorities,” to hire individuals with disabilities outside the normal competitive hiring process, and sometimes may even be required to give preferential treatment to veterans, including disabled veterans, in making hiring decisions.

Here are some of the special hiring authorities that may apply to you if you are looking for a job with the federal government:

  • The Veterans’ Recruitment Appointment (VRA) program allows agencies to appoint eligible veterans without competition.
  • The Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) can be used when filling permanent, competitive service positions. It allows veterans to apply for jobs that are only open to “status” candidates, which means “current competitive service employees.”
  • The Schedule A Appointing Authority, though not specifically for veterans, allows agencies to appoint eligible applicants who have a severe physical, psychological, or intellectual disability.

8. During a job interview, may an employer ask about my amputation, why I am in a wheelchair, or how I sustained any other injury I may have?
No. Even if your disability is obvious, an employer cannot ask questions about when, where, or how you were injured. However, where it seems likely that you will need a reasonable accommodation to do the job, an employer may ask you if an accommodation is needed and, if so, what type. In addition, an employer may ask you to describe or demonstrate how you would perform the job with or without an accommodation. For example, if the job requires that you lift objects weighing up to 50 pounds, the employer can ask whether you will need assistance or ask you to demonstrate how you will perform this task. Similarly, if you voluntarily reveal that you have an injury or illness and an employer reasonably believes that you will need an accommodation, it may ask what accommodation you need to do the job.

9. Do I have to disclose an injury or illness that is not obvious during an interview or indicate on a job application that I have a disability?
No. The ADA does not require you to disclose that you have any medical condition on a job application or during an interview. However, if you will need a reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process, such as more time to take a test or permis­sion to provide oral instead of written responses, you must request it. Additionally, some veterans with service-connected disabilities may choose to disclose that they have medical conditions, such as PTSD or a traumatic brain injury, because of symptoms they experience or because they will need a reasonable accommodation at work. Once an employer makes a job offer, it may ask you questions about your medical conditions, and perhaps even require you to take a medical examination, as long as it requires everyone else in the same job to answer the same questions and/or take the same medical examination before starting work.

10. Some applications ask me to indicate whether I am a “disabled veteran.” Is this legal?
Yes, if the information is being requested for affirmative action purposes. See EEOC Enforcement Guidance: Preemployment Disability-Related Questions and Medical Examinations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (1995) at www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/preemp.html. An employer may ask applicants to voluntarily self-identify as individuals with disabilities or “disabled veterans” when the employer is: (1) undertaking affirmative action because of a federal, state, or local law (including a veterans’ preference law) that requires affirmative action for individuals with disabilities; or (2) voluntarily using the information to benefit individuals with disabilities, including veterans with service-connected disabilities.

If an employer invites you to voluntarily self-identify as a disabled veteran, it must clearly inform you in writing (or orally, if no written questionnaire is used) that: (1) the information is being requested as part of the employer’s affirmative action program; (2) providing the information is voluntary; (3) failure to provide it will not subject you to any adverse treatment; and (4) the information will be kept confidential and only used in a way that complies with the ADA.

11. What types of reasonable accommodations may I want to request for the application process or on the job?
The following are examples of types of accommodations that you may need for the application process or while on the job:

  • written materials in accessible formats, such as large print, Braille, or on computer disk
  • extra time to complete a test if you have difficulty concentrating or have a learning disability or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • interviews, tests, and training held in accessible locations
  • modified equipment or devices (e.g., assistive technology that would allow you to use a computer if you are blind or to use a telephone if you are deaf or hard of hearing; a glare guard for a computer monitor if you have a TBI; a one-handed keyboard if you are missing an arm or hand)
  • physical modifications to the workplace (e.g., reconfiguring a workspace, including adjusting the height of a desk or shelves if you use a wheelchair)
  • permission to work from home
  • leave for treatment, recuperation, or training related to your disability
  • a modified or part-time work schedule
  • a job coach who could assist you if you initially have some difficulty learning or remembering job tasks
  • modification of supervisory methods, such as having a supervisor break complex assignments into smaller, separate tasks, provide some additional feedback or guidance on a task, or adjust methods of communication (e.g., give written rather than oral instructions for completing certain tasks)
  • reassignment to a vacant position if your disability prevents you from performing the duties of your current position or where any reasonable accommodation in your current position would result in undue hardship (i.e., significant difficulty or expense)

12. How do I ask for a reasonable accommodation?
You simply have to indicate — orally or in writing — that you need an adjustment or change in the application process or at work for a reason related to a medical condition. For example, if you have a vision loss and cannot read standard print, you would need to inform the employer that you need the application materials in some other format (e.g., large print or on computer disk) or read to you. You do not have to mention the ADA or use the term “reasonable accommodation.” Someone acting on your behalf, such as a family member, rehabilitation counselor, health professional, or other representative, also can make the request.

13. What happens after I request a reasonable accommodation?
A request for reasonable accommodation is the first step in an informal interactive process between you and the employer.

The process will involve determining whether you have a disability as defined by the ADA (where this is not obvious or already known) and identifying accommodation solutions. An employer also may ask if you know what accommodation you need that will help you apply for or do the job. There are extensive public and private resources to help identify reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with particular disabilities. For example, the website for the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides a practical guide for individuals with disabilities on requesting and discussing reasonable accommodations and on finding the right job. See JAN’s website at www.askjan.org.

14. I am not sure whether I will need a reasonable accommodation. If I don’t ask for one before I start working, can I still ask for one later?
Yes. You can request an accommodation at any time during the application process or when you start working even if you did not ask for one when applying for a job or after receiving a job offer. If you are already receiving a reasonable accommodation, you may also request a different or additional accommodation later if your disability and/or the job changes, or if another accommodation becomes available that will help you.

Generally, you should request an accommodation when you know that there is a workplace barrier that is preventing you from competing for or performing a job or having equal access to the benefits of employment. As a practical matter, it is better to request a reasonable accommodation before your job performance suffers.

15. What can I do if I feel that an employer has violated the ADA by not hiring me or providing a reasonable accommodation?
If you believe that your employment rights have been violated on the basis of disability (or for some other discriminatory reason), there are actions you can take:

  • Claims against a private or a state or local government employer:To take formal action, you must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The charge must be filed by mail or in person with the local EEOC office within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation. The 180-day filing deadline is extended to 300 days if a state or local anti-discrimination law also covers the charge.The EEOC will send you and the employer a copy of the charge and may ask for responses and supporting information. Before a formal investigation, the EEOC may select the charge for EEOC’s mediation program. Mediation is free, confidential, and voluntary for both parties. A charge will only be mediated if both parties agree to participate in the process. Mediation may prevent a time-consuming investigation of the charge.If a charge goes to mediation but is unsuccessful or is not selected for mediation, the EEOC investigates the charge to determine if there is “reasonable cause” to believe discrimination has occurred. If reasonable cause is found, the EEOC will then try to resolve the charge with the employer. In some cases, where the charge cannot be resolved, the EEOC will file a court action. If the EEOC finds no discrimination, or if an attempt to resolve the charge fails and the EEOC decides not to file suit, it will issue you a notice of a “right to sue,” which will give you 90 days to file a court action. You also can request a notice of a “right to sue” from the EEOC 180 days after the charge first was filed with the EEOC and may then bring suit within 90 days after receiving the notice.

For a detailed description of the process, visit our website at www.eeoc.gov/charge/overview_charge_filing.html.

  • Claims against a federal government agency: If you are a federal employee or applicant and you believe that a federal agency has discriminated against you, you have a right to file a complaint. Each agency is required to post information about how to contact the agency’s EEO Office. You can contact an EEO Counselor by calling the office responsible for the agency’s EEO complaints program.The first step is to contact an EEO Counselor at the agency where you work or where you applied for a job. Generally, you must contact the EEO Counselor within 45 days from the day the discrimination occurred. In most cases the EEO Counselor will give you the choice of participating either in EEO counseling or in an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) program, such as a mediation program.If you do not settle the dispute during counseling or through ADR, you can file a formal discrimination complaint against the agency with the agency’s EEO Office. You must file within 15 days from the day you receive notice from your EEO Counselor about how to file. Once you have filed a formal complaint, the agency will review the complaint and, if the complaint is not dismissed for procedural reasons (e.g., because it was filed too late), the agency will conduct an investigation. The agency has 180 days from the day you filed your complaint to finish the investigation. When the investigation is finished, the agency will issue a notice giving you two choices: either request a hearing before an EEOC Administrative Judge or ask the agency to issue a decision as to whether the discrimination occurred.

Calling All Veterans! Don’t Forget To Enter The Star Spanged Salute Today For Your Chance To Win!

Calling All Veterans! Enter 'The Star Spanged Salute' Today For Your Chance To Win!
VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Don’t Forget To Mark Your Calenders The Wounded Vet Run Is Just One Week Away!!

Wounded-Warriors
Wounded Veteran Run

Sunday, April 27, 2014 [Rain Date: Sunday, May 4]

Advanced ticket purchase and info at: www.TheyFoughtWeRide.com

Motorcycle Ride and Concert
$20 a rider, $10 per passenger, $20 Walk-Ins
Registration starts 10am – Kickstands up 1:30pm
Purpose: To support three of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:

Honoring:

  • Spc. Andy Kingsley from Athol, MA
  • Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers from Bellingham, MA
  • Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island

START: Boston Harley Davidson, 1760 Revere Beach Pkway, Everett MA
END: Suffolk Downs, 525 McClellan Hwy, E. Boston, MA

Ceremony – Food – Music by Tigerlily – Beer Tent – Vendors – Raffle Items – Stunt Shows

Call Andrew for questions: 903-340-9402
Vendors call: 617-416-0782

Bike not required to participate, EVERYONE WELCOME!

VMI Announces Partnership With AMVETS

VMI Announces Partnership With AMVETS
Vantage Mobility International (VMI) announced their new partnership with AMVETS to increase support for U.S. active military, veterans and their families. The partnership, which recognizes VMI as an Official Vehicle Mobility Partner, was established as part of VMI’s ongoing effort to bolster its Operation Independence program.

“Our partnership will enable our organizations to reach more and do more for the courageous men and women who serve our country,” said Jeff Weston, vice president of sales and business development at VMI.

AMVETS, which is the first World War II organization to be chartered by Congress, is now represented in virtually every state by national services officers (NSOs). These NSOs provide sound advice and prompt action on compensation claims at no charge to the veteran. As a leader in preserving the freedoms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS provides support for community service and legislative reform that enhances the quality of life for both citizens and veterans.

“Vantage Mobility has played an important role in supporting our disabled veterans through their Operation Independence program,” said J. Michael Fisher, development director at AMVETS. “The VMI team shares our belief that military men and women deserve the absolute best in care, support and resources in return for their honorable service. We look forward to working VMI to help disabled American veterans find access to quality mobility transportation.”

VMI and AMVETS finalized their partnership in February.

About AMVETS
A leader since 1944 in pre­serv­ing the free­doms secured by America’s armed forces, AMVETS pro­vides sup­port for vet­er­ans and the active mil­i­tary in procur­ing their earned enti­tle­ments, as well as com­mu­nity ser­vice and leg­isla­tive reform that enhances the qual­ity of life for this nation’s cit­i­zens and vet­er­ans alike. AMVETS is one of the largest congressionally-chartered vet­er­ans’ ser­vice orga­ni­za­tions in the United States, and includes mem­bers from each branch of the mil­i­tary, includ­ing the National Guard and Reserves. To learn more visit www.amvets.org.

About Van­tage Mobil­ity Inter­na­tional
Van­tage Mobil­ity Inter­na­tional is a man­u­fac­turer and dis­trib­u­tor of the most inno­v­a­tive, reli­able, high­est qual­ity and eas­ily acces­si­ble trans­porta­tion in the world. Their full line of prod­ucts include domes­tic and import mini­van con­ver­sions, full-size van con­ver­sions, plat­form lifts, scooter and wheel­chair lifts and trans­fer seats. For more infor­ma­tion, call Aaron Cook at (214) 520‑3430 Ext. 306 or visit http://www.VantageMobility.com.

WIN a Brand New 2015 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar Access 360 Wheelchair Van!

WIN a Brand New 2015 Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar Access 360 Wheelchair Van!
VMI’s Star Spangled Salute
The 2nd Annual Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute Veteran Contest has now been launched by VMI (Vantage Mobility International) alongside Toyota Motor Sales USA. Enter for your chance to win a brand new 2015 Toyota Sienna with a VMI Access 360 in-floor ramp conversion system.

Eligibility
Only U.S. disabled veterans are eligible to win the free mobility van. If you are a disabled veteran or would like to enter the contest on a veteran’s behalf, simply fill out the form. Only one-entry per household.

Contest Details

  • Registrar to win a 2015 Toyota VMI Wheelchair Van
  • Entries must be submitted by 11/09/14
  • Winner announced Veterans Day, 11/11/14

Important Dates

  • 04/02/2014 – VMI will begin accepting The Star Spangled Salute entries
  • 11/09/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Entries End
  • 11/11/2014 – VMI will draw and announce The Star Spangled Salute on Veterans Day
  • 12/31/2014 – The Star Spangled Salute Winner MUST claim prize before December 31, 2014


Terms and Conditions:

The 2014 Operation Independence Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from April 2, 2014 to November 9, 2014 for all Disabled U.S. Veterans.

Winner will be randomly drawn and announced on November 11, 2014 and must show proof of military service. Winner will receive any 2015 Toyota Sienna with the VMI Northstar Conversion; no exceptions will be made.

No purchase necessary. Valid in the United States only. Limit one entry per household. Entries may be made at www.vans4vets.com or by calling 800-488-6148.

If the winner already purchased their Toyota VMI Northstar conversion between April 2, 2014 and November 10, 2014 – they can elect to be reimbursed for their out of pocket cost of the wheelchair accessible Toyota VMI Northstar minivan by December 31, 2014. Reimbursement will be coordinated between VMI and the winner directly if the vehicle was purchased prior to the winner being announced.

Campaign is not valid on any added accessories. Winner is responsible for the payment of applicable taxes and registration fees. Prize must be claimed by December 31, 2014 and is non-transferable. No exceptions will be made.

Join the VMi New England Team at the Wounded Veteran Run

Wounded-Warriors
Wounded Veteran Run
Sunday, April 27, 2014 [Rain Date: Sunday, May 4]

Advanced ticket purchase and info at: www.TheyFoughtWeRide.com

Motorcycle Ride and Concert
$20 a rider, $10 per passenger, $20 Walk-Ins
Registration starts 10am – Kickstands up 1:30pm
Purpose: To support three of New England’s most severely wounded Veterans:

Honoring:

  • Spc. Andy Kingsley from Athol, MA
  • Master Sgt. Joseph Deslauriers from Bellingham, MA
  • Cpl. Kevin Dubois from Rhode Island

START: Boston Harley Davidson, 1760 Revere Beach Pkway, Everett MA
END: Suffolk Downs, 525 McClellan Hwy, E. Boston, MA

Ceremony – Food – Music by Tigerlily – Beer Tent – Vendors – Raffle Items – Stunt Shows

Call Andrew for questions: 903-340-9402
Vendors call: 617-416-0782

Bike not required to participate, EVERYONE WELCOME!

Veterans Resources

Grants through the Veterans Association for Disabled Veterans
Get help with a disabled veterans grant toward the sale price or conversion of a handicap accessible minivan. This grant is available for disabled veterans with service-related disabilities including:

  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
  • Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands
  • Permanent loss or impairment of vision in both eyes
  • Ankylosis (immobility) of one or both knees, or one or both hips

There is a one-time Disabled Veterans Grant payment by the Veterans Association, toward the purchase of a vehicle chassis and/or adaptive equipment. The Veterans Association will pay for adaptive equipment, for repair, replacement, or reinstallation required because of disability, and for the safe operation of a vehicle purchased with the Veterans Association assistance.

Effective October 1, 2011, the amount of money granted to service connected veterans under the one-time VA Auto Grant Program increased from $11,000 to $18,900. The amount that the Veteran receives will depend on the date that the sale was executed and submitted for reimbursement. Not when the 4502 Application was approved.

This means that if a Veteran was approved for the Auto Grant Program Prior to October 1, 2011, but the sale/purchase of the vehicle is executed (date of sale) after October 1, the Veteran is eligible for the $18,900. If the sale was executed prior to October 1, 2011 the Veteran will only receive $11,000 regardless of when the paperwork is submitted. This means that a sale executed in September, and not submitted for reimbursement until after October 1, would only get the $11,000 grant.

To clarify this another way, if the Veteran was approved for an Auto Grant prior to October 1, 2011 and enters into negotiation with a mobility dealer, orders a vehicle, and/or places a deposit on a vehicle, the Veteran would be eligible for the $18,900 as long as the date of sale and submission to the VA for reimbursement is after October 1, 2011.

Disabled Veterans who wish to convert an existing vehicle may also qualify for an Adaptive Equipment Grant. Adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle. Contact should be made with your local VA medical center’s Prosthetic Department prior to purchasing any equipment.

The adaptive equipment grant may be paid more than once, and it may be paid to either the seller or the veteran.

Disabled Veterans Loan Program
Loans for disabled veterans are available by seeking funds through other outlets. It is advised that you search for veterans loan programs by seeking out loans available for your specific disability.

You can also find loans to help pay for adapted vehicles by searching for money based on your disability instead of purely focusing on veterans benefits. Search through our Wheelchair Van Loans section to find other loans that apply to you.

We are always seeking to expand funding opportunities for the disabled to help pay for a handicap accessible minivan. If you know of other disability grant and loan programs for disabled veterans, please let us know.


Automobile Adaptive Equipment Program
The Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program permits physically challenged persons to enter, exit and/or operate a motor vehicle or other conveyance. The VA also provides necessary equipment such as platform wheelchair lifts, Under Vehicle Lifts (ULV), power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controls, left foot gas pedals, reduced effort and zero effort steering and braking, air conditioning and digital driving systems.

Eligibility

  • Veterans who are service connected for the loss, or loss of use of one or both feet or hands, or service connected ankylosis of one or both knees or hips.
  • Veterans who are service connected for permanent impairment of vision of both eyes that have a central acuity of 20/200.
  • NSC veterans are eligible for equipment/ modifications that will allow ingress and egress from a vehicle only.

Note: Eligible service connected veterans who are non-drivers are not eligible for reimbursement for operational equipment.

Required Documentation to VBA

  • The following must be submitted to the VBA:
  • Completed VAF 10-1394, “Application for Adaptive Equipment”
  • Copy of Valid Driver’s License
  • Bill of sale, Invoice, Lease Agreement or Registration Form
  • Window Sticker

If a window sticker is NOT Available you could:

  • Inspect and document the vehicle and items
  • Use a Comparable Vehicle Listing Guide
  • Get an invoice or bill of sale, it must substantiate the items of adaptive equipment
  • Have proof of ownership (Vehicle Title)
  • Have proof of release of disposal of a previously owned vehicle

If veteran paid sales tax, adjust 10-1394 to reimburse Repairs: Marked PAID and include the certification statement signed by vendor


Used Vehicles
Prorated by reducing the standard equipment reimbursable amount for like items by 10% per year. (This includes any add on adaptive equipment previously installed)

Maximum deduction of 90% of the new reimbursement rate will be allowed for vehicles 10 years or older (Vehicles will have a residual value of 10%)

Leased Vehicles
Same guidelines apply for leased vehicles just as if the veteran purchased a new or used vehicle.

Lease must be to the veteran and he/she be responsible for the repairs and maintenance of the vehicle, and not to any business.

Cost limitations will not exceed the allowable reimbursable amounts.

Conversions
Mini- Van

  • Reimbursement for mini-van conversions will be made in an amount equal to or less than the average cost of a conventional van modification, plus 25% (SC only).
  • VA will reimburse for the cost of transporting/delivery of the vehicle.

Full Size Van

  • This type of conversion is considered comfort, far exceeds the space required for transportation
  • The amount should not exceed conventional van conversion

Pick-up Trucks

  • The space modified about half that of a mini van
  • The dollar amount should not exceed mini van conversion

Motor Homes

  • All modifications must be pre-authorized.
  • Only VA approved add-on equipment may be authorized.
  • Maximum reimbursable amounts established for automobile adaptive equipment will not be exceeded for similar items authorized as adaptive equipment in a motor home.
  • Amount authorized and the purchase and installation of an approved lift in a motor home will not exceed the average amount authorized for purchase and installation of similar lifts installed in vans by the authorizing VA facility.
  • VA is not responsible for the removal, modification or reinstallation of any convenience items contained in the motor home, e.g., cabinets, stoves, showers, refrigerators, etc.

Repairs
Routine service to items is not considered a repair e.g., brake shoes, drums & pads or other adjustments (only the power booster). Power Steering and Automatic Transmission service or fluid refills are not authorized (only the transmission itself, or the power steering components).

Maximum reimbursement is for the total amount of the certified invoice.

Repairs, cost of parts and labor, is listed in thee current Mitchell Mechanical Parts and Labor Estimating Guide for Domestic Cars.

Towing is not normally an authorized repair.

Exceptions to the 2 vehicles in a 4-year period rule
Normally only allowance can be provided for 2 vehicles in a 4-year period.

Exceptions to this rule are:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Accident
  • Court of legal actions
  • Costly Repairs
  • Changes in the drivers medical requirements necessitating a different type of vehicle

Required documentation to remove a vehicle of record
Important Note: These vehicles may not be sold or given to family members or any other party residing in the same household of the veteran, or transferred to a business owned by the veteran.

  • Proof of trade-in
  • Proof of sale
  • Proof of other means of disposal, e.g., total loss by accident , act of God, fire, theft, etc.

How to Apply
Please contact your local PVA National Service Officer for assistance with the application.

Operation Independence

Operation Independence wheelchair accessible vehicles for veterans
Operation Independence is an awareness campaign to help Veterans understand and utilize their vehicle mobility benefits such as the auto allowance grant and the automobile adaptive equipment program. These benefits along with the assistance of a VMI Select Dealer can help a Veteran select and purchase a wheelchair accessible vehicle that best fits their needs.

VMI is the premier manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans. VMI Dealers, such as VMi New England, are experts in mobility assessment and customization. Together we have combined our knowledge with the Paralyzed Veterans of America to increase awareness with disabled Veterans regarding VA vehicle benefits, and help them get the benefits they have earned while serving our country.

VMI and Select Dealer Networks, such as VMi New England, will help give Veterans a $1000 rebate towards a van that will be converted for wheelchair accessibility.

11 Facts About Veterans Day

11 Facts About Veterans Day Honoring Veterans at VMi New England

How much do you really know about this national holiday honoring those who have served our country?

Here are 11 Veterans Day facts in honor of the holiday celebrated in the United States on November 11th. Thank you to all those who have served!


When was Veterans Day first celebrated?
Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day was celebrated on Nov. 11, 1919, which was the first anniversary of the end of the fighting of World War I. The Allies and Germany agree to an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities,on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. (Technically WWI did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919.)

Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?
President Woodrow Wilson said of that first observance in 1919, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” That purpose has not changed as today the purpose is still to honor those who have served our nation.

When did Veterans Day become a national holiday?
Although first observed in 1919, Congress did not make it official until 1938. IN 1954, the name changed to Veterans Day. In the 1970s the date moved around in November, causing confusion, and President Gerald Ford in 1975 signed a law placing the observance on Nov. 11 and there it has remained. For more details, please see the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs History of Veterans Day and the U.S. Army’s Center for Miliary History page on History of Veterans Day.

What is the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day?
These two holidays are frequently confused but they are not the same. Memorial Day, celebrated in May, honors those who lost their lives in service to our country, and Veterans Day, celebrated in November, honors all who have served and focusing on thanking living service members, past and present. For the official answer, the Office of of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains, “Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”

In what war did the largest number of Americans serve in the Armed Forces?
World War II saw more than 16 million Americans become service members, according to the 2009 Veterans Day Teacher Resource Guide. As of June 2013, CNN reported that 1.7 million WII vets were still alive.


Why do we spell it Veterans Day? Shouldn’t there be an apostrophe?
“Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an ‘s’ at the end of ‘veterans’ because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans,” explains the Office of of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Is there a national ceremony?
In keeping with the honoring of the timing of the armistice ending the carnage of WWI, a Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The VA website says that ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces.


Which state is home to the largest number of veterans?
California has the most, with 2 million veterans calling the Golden State home. Texas and Florida are next, with 1.6 million vets in each state, reports the Census Bureau.

How many of U.S. vets are female?
There are 1.6 million female veterans, as of 2011, according to the Census Bureau.


How many veterans are there living in the United States?
The U.S. has 21.8 million veterans, according the the Census Bureau’s Snapshot of Our Nation’s Veterans.

Do veterans ever serve in more than one war?
Yes. More than 1.3 million of America’s living veterans have served in more than one conflict, and 54,000 have served in 3 wars – WWI, Korea and Vietnam – according to the Census Bureau’s Snapshot of Our Nation’s Veterans.

Honoring All Who Served

Veterans Day 2013  VMi New England Thanks and Honors All Who Served

Veterans Day
Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That’s not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America’s war dead.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

Armistice Day
To commemorate the ending of the “Great War” (World War I), an “unknown soldier” was buried in highest place of honor in both England and France ( (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe). These ceremonies took place on November 11th, celebrating the ending of World War I hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). This day became known internationally as “Armistice Day”.

In 1921, the United States of America followed France and England by laying to rest the remains of a World War I American soldier — his name “known but to God” — on a Virginia hillside overlooking the city of Washington DC and the Potomac River. This site became known as the “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” and today is called the “Tomb of the Unknowns.” Located in Arlington National Cemetery, the tomb symbolizes dignity and reverence for the American veteran.

In America, November 11th officially became known as Armistice Day through an act of Congress in 1926. It wasn’t until 12 years later, through a similar act that Armistice Day became a national holiday.

The entire World thought that World War I was the “War to end all wars.” Had this been true, the holiday might still be called Armistice Day today. That dream was shattered in 1939 when World War II broke out in Europe. More than 400,000 American service members died during that horrific war.

Veterans Day
In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a “Veterans Day” parade on November 11th to honor all of America’s veterans for their loyal and dedicated service. Shortly thereafter, Congressman Edward H. Rees (Kansas) introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs), to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

Congress passed legislation in 1968 to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However as it became apparent that November 11th was historically significant to many Americans, in 1978, Congress reversed itself and returned the holiday to its traditional date.

Veterans Day National Ceremony
At exactly 11 a.m., each November 11th, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, renders honors to America’s war dead during a heart-moving ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

The President or his representative places a wreath at the Tomb and a bugler sounds Taps. The balance of the ceremony, including a “Parade of Flags” by numerous veterans service organizations, takes place inside the Memorial Amphitheater, adjacent to the Tomb.

In addition to planning and coordinating the National Veterans Day Ceremony, the Veterans Day National Committee supports a number of Veterans Day Regional Sites. These sites conduct Veterans Day celebrations that provide excellent examples for other communities to follow.

Veterans Day Observance
Veterans Day is always observed on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. The Veterans Day National Ceremony is always held on Veterans Day itself, even if the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday. However, like all other federal holidays, when it falls on a non-workday — Saturday or Sunday — the federal government employees take the day off on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday).

Federal government holiday observance (for federal employees, including military) is established by federal law. 5 U.S.C. 6103 establishes the following public holidays for Federal employees: New Year’s Day, Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., Washington’s Birthday (President’s Day), Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

This federal law does not apply to state and local governments. They are free to determine local government closings (including school closings) locally. As such, there is no legal requirement that schools close of Veterans Day, and many do not. However, most schools hold Veterans Day activities on Veterans Day and throughout the week of the holiday to honor American veterans.

Veterans Day Around the World
Many other countries honor their veterans on November 11th of each year. However, the name of the holiday and the types of ceremonies differ from the Veterans Day activities in the United States.

Canada, Australia, and Great Britain refer to their holidays as “Remembrance Day.” Canada and Australia observe the day on November 11, and Great Britain conducts their ceremonies on the Sunday nearest to November 11th.

In Canada, the observance of “Remembrance Day” is actually quite similar to the United States, in that the day is set aside to honor all of Canada’s veterans, both living and dead. One notable difference is that many Canadians wear a red poppy flower on November 11 to honor their war dead, while the “red poppy” tradition is observed in the United States on Memorial Day.

In Australia, “Remembrance Day” is very much like America’s Memorial Day, in that its considered a day to honor Australian veterans who died in war.

In Great Britain, the day is commemorated by church services and parades of ex-service members in Whitehall, a wide ceremonial avenue leading from London’s Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. Wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, which was built after the First World War. At the Cenotaph and elsewhere in the country, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 a.m., to honor those who lost their lives in wars.

Have You Hugged Your Veteran Today?
One of the most personal and meaningful Veterans Day activities for people is to send notes or cards to hospitalized veterans or those living in veterans homes. Or, better yet, visit a veteran in a local veterans hospital or veterans home. The best way to have a “happy Veterans Day” is to do something special to make a veteran happy.

VETERANS BENEFITS: OPERATION INDEPENDENCE MOBILITY VEHICLE PROGRAM

VETERANS BENEFITS
Come to VMi New England Mobility Center and learn more about the Paralyzed Veterans of America and Operation Independence
veteran mobility equipment VMi New England
OPERATION INDEPENDENCE
VMI is the premier manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans. At the VMi New England Mobility Center we are experts in mobility assessment and customization. We have combined our knowledge with the Veterans across America to increase awareness with disabled veterans regarding VA vehicle benefits, and help them get the benefits they have earned while serving our country:
•  You may be entitled to VA funding for adaptive automotive equipment
•  In many cases, you may also be entitled to a one-time auto allowance for the vehicle itself.Operation Independence helps veterans get into their first wheelchair accessible van. Whether you are entitled to the auto allowance grant or will be personally funding your first wheelchair accessible van, the VMi New England Mobility Center will give you a $1,000 rebate towards the van we are converting for you.VETERAN MOBILITY BENEFITS
To be eligible for financial assistance in purchasing a new or used automobile (or other conveyance), a Veteran or serviceperson must have acquired one of the following disabilities as a result of injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service, or as a result of medical treatment or examination, vocations rehabilitation, or compensated work therapy provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) (38 U.S.C. 1151):•  Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
•  Loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands, or
•  Permanent impairment of vision in both eyes with a
•  Central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective glasses, or
•  Central visual acuity of more than 20/200 if there is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to such an extent that the widest diameter of visual field has an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye
Even if you are not entitled to the auto allowance grant (21-4502), you may still qualify for an adaptive automotive equipment grant (10-1394) for a wheelchair accessible conversion on a vehicle which you would fund through alternative means. .
“FEDERAL BENEFITS FOR VETERANS, DEPENDENTS AND SURVIVORS”
veteran mobility equipment

The VMi New England Mobility Center values our veterans and the services they provided to protect our freedoms. We see first hand the impact of the sacrifices they have made defending our country. As a result we have put together information that will make it easier for them to find the benefits and support they need.

Key areas of benefits are focused on here:
1. Service Connected Disabilities
2. VA4502 Grant
3. Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE)

Service-Connected Disabilities
Disability Compensation Disability compensation is a monetary benefit paid to veterans who are disabled by an injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated during active military service. These disabilities are considered to be service-connected.
Click here to review the Federal Benefits for Veterans
http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book/benefits_chap02.asp

VA 4502 GRANT
Can a Veteran Receive Financial Assistance From VA to Purchase an Automobile?
Yes. Financial assistance, in the form of a grant, is available to purchase a new or used automobile (or other conveyance) to accommodate a veteran or service member with certain disabilities that resulted from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service. The grant may also be paid, if disabilities are a result of medical treatment, examination, vocational rehabilitation, or compensated work therapy provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

 

The grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile for the total price (up to $18,900) of the automobile. The veteran or service member may only receive the automobile grant once in his/her lifetime.
Effective October 1, 2011

Section 804- Enhancement of automobile assistance allowance for veterans would increase automobile assistance from $11,000 to $18,900, effective October 1, 2011

Click here to see a pdf for more details Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants Click here to review the Federal Form VBA-21-4502
http://www.vba.va.gov/pubs/forms/VBA-21-4502-ARE.pdf

Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE)
The Automobile Adaptive Equipment (AAE) program permits physically challenged persons to enter, exit, and/or operate a motor vehicle or other conveyance.

Veterans are trained, through the VA Driver’s Rehabilitation Program, how to safely operate their vehicle on our nation’s roadways.

The VA also provides necessary equipment such as platform wheelchair lifts, UVLs (under vehicle lifts), power door openers, lowered floors/raised roofs, raised doors, hand controls, left foot gas pedals, reduced effort and zero effort steering and braking, and digital driving systems.

Additionally, VA’s program provides reimbursements for standard equipment including, but not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and other special equipment necessary for the safe operation of an approved vehicle. For more information click on the link below.
http://www.prosthetics.va.gov/AAE.asp

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

“Automobile and Special Adaptive Equipment Grants”

Can a Veteran Receive Financial Assistance From VA to Purchase an Automobile?
Yes. Financial assistance, in the form of a grant, is available to purchase a new or used automobile (or other conveyance) to accommodate a veteran or servicemember with certain disabilities that resulted from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated during active military service. The grant may also be paid, if disabilities are a result of medical treatment, examination, vocational rehabilitation, or compensated work therapy provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The grant is paid directly to the seller of the automobile for the total price (up to $11,000) of the automobile. The veteran or servicemember may only receive the automobile grant once in his/her lifetime.

What Disabilities Must You Have to Qualify for the Automobile Grant?
A veteran or servicemember must have one of the following disabilities to qualify for the automobile grant:

  •  loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both feet
•  loss, or permanent loss of use, of one or both hands, or
•  permanent impairment of vision in both eyes to a certain degree

Does VA Pay to Adapt a Vehicle?
Yes. Those qualified for the automobile grant, and veterans or servicemembers with ankylosis (immobility of the joint) of one or both knees or hips resulting from an injury or disease incurred or aggravated by active military service may also qualify for the adaptive equipment grant.

Adaptive equipment includes, but is not limited to, power steering, power brakes, power windows, power seats, and special equipment necessary to assist the eligible person into and out of the vehicle. Contact should be made with your local VA medical center’s Prosthetic Department prior to purchasing any equipment.

The adaptive equipment grant may be paid more than once, and it may be paid to either the seller or the veteran.

How Can I Apply for an Automobile and/or Special Adaptive Equipment Grant?
You can apply for the automobile and/or the special adaptive equipment grant by completing VA Form 21-4502, Application for Automobile or Other Conveyance and Adaptive Equipment and submitting it to your local VA regional office. The instructions on the VA Form 21-4502 contain a list of adaptive equipment that has been pre-approved for particular disabilities.

Note: After you complete and submit Section I of the application, VA will complete Section II and return the original to you. You are responsible for obtaining the invoice from the seller, updating Section III, and submitting the form to your local VA regional office for payment.

If you are entitled to adaptive equipment only (i.e., service connected for ankylosis of knees or hips) you should complete VA Form 10-1394, Application for Adaptive Equipment – Motor Vehicle and submit it to your local VA medical center. Additionally, VA Form 10-1394 should be completed for approval of equipment not specified on the VA Form 21-4502.

Funding Your Wheelchair Van with a Grant


Mobility beyond the wheelchair is out there, but so often, it’s out of reach financially for individuals with disabilities who have spent thousands on medical care. There are several avenues that lead to funds for a wheelchair accessible vehicle or adaptive equipment for driving, like loans, government assistance, mobility rebates and grants. So what’s great about grants?

Grant money doesn’t need to be repaid, which makes it especially attractive. What’s more, grant opportunities are plentiful; relevant grant-making organizations and foundations will supply partial or complete funding on wheelchair accessible vans for sale or assistive equipment; and you can combine funds from several sources to purchase the freedom and independence an accessible vehicle provides. Obtaining a grant to fund an accessible vehicle requires patience, perseverance and a detailed application process. Though it sounds daunting, these tips will help you navigate the process:

  • Be Patient

Grant providers don’t work in your time frame. They process thousands of applications just like yours, so you may wait longer than you’d like for a response. Expressing your aggravation to the grant provider might be counterproductive. Lowering your expectations will also lower your level of frustration during your quest for grant money. If you’re prepared for progress to move slowly, you’ll be thrilled if it takes less time than you expect.

  • Be Prepared with Necessary Information

With the likelihood you’ll want to apply to several granting institutions, it simply makes sense to have your basic information gathered and quickly accessible, so you can begin filling out an application as soon as you’ve identified another potential grant opportunity. Though the requirements on grant applications vary, you’ll need personal information on all of them, such as your Social Security Number, driver’s license number (if you have one), marital status, financial information and personal background details. It’s all about expediting the application process on your end. Keep in mind that funding organizations have different policies and requirements, so you’ll need to be flexible.

  • Line up Medical Records and References

Granting institutions will want to see your medical records. Your physician can provide you with a copy. Some physicians prefer to send your records directly to the granting institution. Either way, be sure your physician understands why you need your medical records. While you’re at it, ask your physician to write a letter of recommendation. It’s not necessary, but a letter from your physician, written on letterhead stationery, can often be helpful when applying for a grant. Ask that the letter be addressed to a generic individual (“Dear Sir or Madam” or “To Whom It May Concern”), so you can include a copy with each application.

Now’s the time to get references to support your efforts – ask close friends, neighbors, colleagues, church members and anyone who you believe will provide convincing, compelling input about your character and disability. Funding organizations want their personal perspective about your accomplishments, your attitude and how you manage your disability on a daily basis. Your references can also comment on how grant money to buy a wheelchair accessible vehicle would improve your present lifestyle.

  • Make Your Case

Your mission is to help the funding organization understand your personal history, your challenges and the impact any hardships have had on your life. Be honest and persuasive in telling your story to the grant provider (including an articulate, straightforward narrative, 1-2 pages in length), describing your plans for the funding and its potential positive effect on your future. Focus on setting yourself apart from other applicants with an emotional, inspiring account. You’re in competition for a limited amount of money, so this is important.

  • Research and Identify Appropriate Granting Institutions

You now have the necessary documents and backing to begin applying for grants. Start your research with these handicap van grants, sorted by location, medical need, veterans, special needs children and others to find one or more grants for your specific situation. If you search the Internet, use “disability grant providers,” “disability grants” and other relevant keyword phrases to find foundations and organizations. If you’re a disabled veteran, check with the Veterans Administration. Remember, you can combine sources to amass as much money as possible for your wheelchair van or adaptive equipment.

Organizations that support specific conditions often provide grants to people living with that disorder. Examples include United Cerebral Palsy, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).

When you’ve identified a potential granting organization, read their mission statement and get an application form. Craft a cover letter in which you align your needs with the organization’s goals to demonstrate how you can help achieve the provider’s objectives. This is essential information for the funding organization.

  • Contact the Grant Providers

If at all possible, speak or write to the person in charge when you begin the application process to fund your handicap van. Typically, assistance programs will assign a project officer or contact person to help you through the details. Always be polite and thank them for their time. Through this direct line of communication, you can have your questions and concerns addressed. Get a contact name, phone number and email address for every organization to obtain status updates on your application. Request information on their timeline for choosing a candidate for the funding opportunity.

  • Stay Organized and Aware

With multiple applications at different stages in the process, it’s essential to keep track of your documents and deadlines. You should be able to put your hands on documents and paperwork at any given moment. Devise a system to remind yourself of important dates and deadlines, and be sure everything is submitted on time. Stand out from other applicants by demonstrating your desire to earn their financial assistance – meet all deadlines and stay up-to-date on the status of your applications.

Keep copies of all of your applications (electronic or paper copies, or both), and save any confirmation numbers or application numbers you may receive in a safe, readily accessible place. You may be asked for them at some point.

It may take time and effort to get the funding you need for a wheelchair van or adaptive equipment, but it’s absolutely worth it to gain the freedom and independence that can change your life.

Freedom Fest 2014

Freedon Fest 2014Freedom Fest 2014 is an outdoor concert on August 09, 2014 in Fort Kent, Maine to raise funds to build a Veterans Museum & community center in Northern Maine.  A joint project of Martin-Klein American Legion Post 133 and the Fort Kent Historical Society, more information is available at www.IamtheAmericanFlag.com

Contact Information
Duane Belanger – Martin-Klein American Legion
Email: commander@americanlegionpost133.org
Chad Pelletier – President of Fort Kent Historical Society
Email: fkhistory1@yahoo.com


Headliner
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Thosmas Ian Nicholas - Freedom FestActor, Singer and Songwriter: Most famous for Henry Rowengartner in Rookie of the Year
and Kevin Myers in the American Pie film series


Their Vision
To build a Veterans Museum & community center in Northern Maine to showcase and appreciate the sacrifices provided on our behalf so that our children and future generations will understand the true cost of freedom.  The Center shall be a living, breathing kiosk of history providing a dynamic educational opportunity for all those in the community!

FREEDOM-FEST 2014
Make a Donation — http://www.iamtheamericanflag.com/donate/

Presidential Proclamation – NDEAM 2013

National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2013
By the President Of The United States Of America
A Proclamation

Our Nation has always drawn its strength from the differences of our people, from a vast range of thought, experience, and ability.  Every day, Americans with disabilities enrich our communities and businesses.  They are leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, each with unique talents to contribute and points of view to express.  During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we nurture our culture of diversity and renew our commitment to building an American workforce that offers inclusion and opportunity for all.

Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have made great progress in removing barriers for hardworking Americans.  Yet today, only 20 percent of Americans with disabilities, including veterans who became disabled while serving our country, participate in our labor force.  We need their talent, dedication, and creativity, which is why my Administration proudly supports increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  To that end, I remain dedicated to implementing Executive Order 13548, which called on Federal agencies to increase recruitment, hiring, and retention of people with disabilities.  As a result of our efforts, the Federal Government is hiring people with disabilities at a higher rate than at any point in over three decades.  Most recently, we updated the rules to make sure Federal contractors and subcontractors are doing more to recruit, hire, and promote qualified individuals with disabilities, including disabled veterans.  And thanks to the Affordable Care Act, States are taking advantage of new options to support and expand home and community-based services.

In the years to come, I will remain committed to ensuring the Federal Government leads by example.  This year, as we mark the 40th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act, I will continue to marshal the full resources of my Administration toward effective and comprehensive implementation.

If we swing wide the doors of opportunity for our family, friends, and neighbors with disabilities, all of us will enjoy the benefits of their professional contributions.  This month, let us uphold the ideals of equal access, equal opportunity, and a level playing field for all Americans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2013 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for all people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

National Disability Employment Awareness Month Facts & Figures

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2013 facts & figuresHeld each October, Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues. The opportunity to earn a living and be self-supporting is a broadly held goal by Americans. Work is a foundation of stability for individuals and can give one’s life meaning and purpose.  Unfortunately, the rate and level of employment for people with disabilities is staggeringly low. Labor force participation is 22% for people with disabilities as compared to 69% for people without disabilities.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2013

Because We Are EQUAL to the Task

2013 NDEAM Poster

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2013 is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.”

NDEAM’s roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.” Upon its establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.

Heroes Remembered: The 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice

heroes remembered the 60th anniversary of the korean war armistice

 

Saturday, July 27, 2013 – 00:00

Our “Heroes Remembered” event will honor and recognize all Korean War Veterans on the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Armistice on the National Mall at the Korean War Memorial in Washington, DC. The event start time is to be determined. Please continue to check back on this site, as additional information will be provided. To receive an official invitation, please provide your mailing address by clicking HERE.

National Korean War Veterans Memorial

Washington, DC

United States
See map: Google Maps

2013 National Veterans Wheelchair Games Expo to Feature More than 75 Exhibitors

Paralyzed veteran with service dog at 2012 Expo

More than 600 athletes and thousands of visitors will gather in Tampa on July 13, 2013, for the Disabled Sports, Recreation and Fitness Exposition (Expo) — the official kickoff to the 33rd National Veterans Wheelchair Games. The event will take place at the Tampa Convention Center, East Hall from 9 AM to 4 PM.

This year’s Expo will feature more than 75 exhibitors, including booths held by the Department of Veterans Affairs and Paralyzed Veterans of America, featuring Paralyzed Veterans’ programs like Wheels Helping Warriors and Operation PAVE. Some longtime private sector supporters of the games, including Invacare Corporation, Iron Bow Technologies and UPS, also will have booths at the games, said Elizabeth Aulwes, program manager for corporate and cause marketing at Paralyzed Veterans.

This year’s Expo also will include some new corporate faces, including Mountain Trike, a United Kingdom-based all-terrain wheelchair company, and Bioderm Inc./Men’s Liberty, a provider of external men’s catheters, Aulwes said.

“We always try to bring in new exhibitors who have exciting services to offer,” Aulwes said. “The Expo presents the opportunity to check out new products and services that serve those in the disability community.”

Kelly Barry, senior marketing manager for Hollister Continence Care, a returning exhibitor at the Expo, expressed the company’s continued support for Paralyzed Veterans and the Games.

“Hollister Continence Care shares Paralyzed Veterans of America’s ongoing commitment to care and to help veterans live the full, rewarding lives they deserve,” Barry said.

Aulwes said the Games Expo is unique in that it provides an opportunity for exhibitors to reach out to disabled veterans in a way no other Expo provides, allowing companies to network with the VA and work directly with the veteran community.

But the value of the Expo extends beyond just the marketing aspects; it also serves as a central gathering place for veterans, exhibitors and others to reconnect with old friends, Aulwes added. Many of the returning exhibitors who have participated in the games over the past 30 years have built friendships with the athletes, so it’s a great time for them to reconnect as well, Aulwes added.

“The Expo is always the central gathering point for the wheelchair games on that day,” she said. “Everyone spends the majority of the day there to reconnect with old friends; it’s almost like a big reunion.”

Read about featured exhibitors at the 2013 Expo

Find information, results, and more from the 33rd NVWG

New Operation PAVE Tampa Office Will Help Veterans Find New Careers

Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Operation PAVE Provides Free Training, Education, Job Counseling & Placement Assistance

 

Tampa Operation PAVE Opening
View photos from Operation PAVE Tampa Opening

A national vocational program that equips veterans with job skills and helps them find employment opened its Florida office Friday, July 12, 2013, at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.

 

Paralyzed Veterans of America’s Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment), a vocational assistance program helps all veterans find jobs and navigate their employment, education and benefits options.

The Tampa office is the seventh PAVE center opened by Paralyzed Veterans of America, which operates offices at VA facilities in San Antonio, Long Beach, Minneapolis, Richmond, Boston and Augusta, GA. The organization plans to open an eighth center in Chicago next year.

“It’s unacceptable that so many of our nation’s veterans who have served and sacrificed for our freedoms are struggling to find jobs,” said Bill Lawson, National President of Paralyzed Veterans of America, who officially opened the Tampa office. “Through Operation PAVE, we hope to reach these veterans, place them with employers who are looking to hire veterans and cut the unemployment rate among veterans.”

Joining Lawson at the grand opening was Rich Brooks, President of Agility Defense & Government Services Inc., the private sector partner that raised the money to fund the Tampa PAVE center.

“We owe a great debt to those who have served our country. We need to make sure they get every chance to find and thrive in productive, meaningful careers,” Brooks said. “I’m confident that employers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and across Florida will step up and look to this center for help in hiring veterans. They understand the value veterans bring to the workplace.”

Representative Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, applauded PAVE’s public-private partnership as a much-needed new resource to help veterans find meaningful careers.

“The PAVE program is a fine example of how the private sector and government are working  together to give our nation’s wounded heroes a better chance at achieving the American dream.”

Congressman Gus Bilirakis, Vice-Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, also commended PAVE’s collaborative efforts and innovative supported employment model.

“I applaud the partnership between the Paralyzed Veterans of America and James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital and welcome Operation PAVE to the Tampa Bay area. I am confident that through this program, many of Florida’s veterans will obtain the support they need to find jobs and pursue education opportunities, paving a better and brighter future.”

Congresswoman Kathy Castor of Florida’s 14th district and Congressional Representative for the Haley VA Medical Center welcomed PAVE as a valuable new resource for service members in the 14th district and across Florida.

“The launching of the Operation PAVE Tampa office will provide a valuable resource to Florida veterans who are returning home. Because PAVE is funded completely by private donations, the program will be provided free of charge to Florida Veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much for their country.”

Florida is home to the country’s third-largest veterans population and the third-largest number of disabled veterans, according to the Florida Department of Veteran Affairs. The state is expected to experience a large influx of veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq as those veterans resettle, move into the civilian workforce or retire.

Anthony Hopkins, an Air Force veteran living in the Tampa area, also attended the center opening. He is going through the PAVE program and currently working with Tampa PAVE counselor Susan Deguzman.

“Working with Susan and the PAVE program has really helped with the transition from my military career to the civilian world,” said Hopkins, a 23 year Air Force veteran. “I highly recommend that any veteran seeking employment or looking for assistance with where to start should contact their closest PAVE program center – they are truly there to help.

Operation PAVE provides free one-on-one employment assistance, benefits counseling and support to any veteran and his/her family. The program also helps employers who are committed to hiring veterans.

Tampa’s Operation PAVE office is part of a national network built by Paralyzed Veterans through an innovative public-private partnership. For more information about Operation PAVE, visit www.operationpave.org.

Since 2007, 1,500 veterans have received services through the PAVE program, and 700+ companies and organizations in the PAVE Employer Network have committed to hiring a PAVE client.

Discover the National Veterans Wheelchair Games

 

discover- the national veterans wheelchair games wheelchair vans newenglandwheelchairvan.com

The National Veterans Wheelchair Games, copresented annually by Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA), allows veterans with disabilities to rediscover their strength and potential through athletic competition with peers. The Games are the largest annual wheelchair-sporting event in the world, with hundreds of participants and thousands of volunteers attending, making planning and preparation a year-long process.

The 33rd Wheelchair Games will be held July 13–18, 2013, in Tampa, FL. The Tampa Convention Center met all of the criteria for hosting the Games, which included availability of a very large, open space suitable for the Sports, Recreation and Fitness Expo and availability of appropriate venues around the city for the various competitions, including softball, basketball, track and field and trapshooting. Events will take place at the riverwalk, in parks, the host hotel, the zoo, a local high school and at the Convention Center, where competitions, ceremonies and the Expo will be held.

At the Expo corporate and nonprofit organizations showcase their brand and engage with hundreds of wheelchair athletes, coaches, family members, health-care providers and rehabilitation professionals.  Veterans can learn about a variety of health-care products and services and organizations that offer assistance or opportunities.

Local Host Coordinator (LOC) and VA Recreation Therapist Jeanene LeSure said the LOC just “recently secured all of our venues for the various sporting events and ceremonies. Our entire LOC is complete; we have a lot of dedicated VA employees as well as chapter members from the Paralyzed Veterans Florida Gulf Coast serving on several committees.”

LeSure is responsible for managing the LOC and its nonstop work to have everything ready for the Games in 2013. “We’re almost at the halfway point; we’ve been working for about a year now,” she said.

Without the generous and selfless support of sponsors, many of which have been supporting the Games for upward of 20, 25 and 30 years, the Games could not be the annual success that it is.  Sponsor and exhibitor recruitment is also a year-round process, conducted by Paralyzed Veterans corporate marketing team as well as the LOC.

“Simply put, our sponsors are the lifeblood to ensuring each year that we have the appropriate means to make the NVWG a great success,” said Pablo Sosa, associate director, Corporate & Cause Marketing. “Through our sponsors’ generous support, Paralyzed Veterans is helping improve the lives and well-being of these most deserving men and women.”

Back in Tampa, logistics take priority. Recently the LOC completed its warehouse inventory. “We went through about 17 53-foot UPS trucks full of equipment [for the sporting events]. We counted everything and took note of what we needed in order to ensure we have everything we need for the Games,” LeSure added.

Even with several accomplishments under its belt, the LOC still has a lot of work to do in order to make the Games a success. Currently, the LOC is working out the “finer details” of the Games, including finalizing the event schedule, ensuring that it has the necessary equipment for the various sporting events and ensuring that the venues are capable of holding the planned sports.

“In that area, the Tampa area has an advantage because many of the events that we are hosting at the Games are already hosted locally here in Tampa. So many of our venues are already familiar with the rules and regulations of these sports, making the whole process a lot easier for everyone,” LeSure said.

Tom Brown, Paralyzed Veterans’ consultant and program manager for the Games, noted, “The LOC in Tampa has been extremely cooperative and energetic. They are eager to ensure that the 33rd NVWG is the best ever.  We all share the same goal, that of making sure the veterans have an excellent, life-changing experience.”

In the months ahead, LeSure and the LOC will be busy trying to register the 2,500-3,000 volunteers necessary to work the Wheelchair Games. For those interested, there will be an online signup that will open in January 2013. This registration period will last until June.

Thirty-two years ago, the Wheelchair Games started out as a rehabilitation event, an extension of therapy in the community to help our nation’s wounded heroes know that disabled does not mean unable.

“The Games have never lost that focus and have been introducing veterans to opportunities in sports and recreation that they never dreamed possible. For many of our veterans, the Games are truly life changing,” Brown said. “We make it our priority to ensure that each veteran has a truly memorable and rewarding experience.”

Learn more about the National Veterans Wheelchair Games

 

This Fourth Of July, Show Veterans Your Gratitude

Show Veterans Your Gratitude mobility center bridgewater, ma newenglandwheelchairvan.com

Although we should show our gratitude every chance we get, the Fourth of July is an especially profound time to thank the nation’s military community for their sacrifices and for our freedom.

And our current and ongoing support is crucial, given statistics such as the fact that the the vet unemployment rate is hovering at 6.6 percent .

Show your patriotism this Fourth of July by checking out the organizations below and supporting vets in need:

Unemployed Vets
Hire Heroes USA
Hire Heroes USA helps train and advise veterans in order to help them find jobs. The organization reports that it finds nine veterans a job each week. This July 4th – with the help of MedAssets, a health care management company – golfer Carl Meyers will host and play in the the 6th annual “100 Holes For Our Heroes” golf tournament to raise funds and awareness for Hire Heroes USA. To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Military Families 
National Military Families Association
NMFA is a nonprofit committed to providing military service members and their families with much-needed financial and educational support. This Independence Day, the organization is encouraging Americans to send eCards to military families commemorating them on their service and sacrifice. On the Fourth of July, TravelCenters of America will also be hosting a donation drive to benefit the National Military Family Association’s Operation Purple Program. To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Homeless Vets:
The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
NCHV is a nonprofit that helps fund and offer administrative support for various local, state, and federal agencies in order to provide veterans with housing, food, health services, and employment opportunities. To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Vets Struggling With Mental Health Issues
Veterans Crisis Line
With about 22 veteran suicides occurring each day, it is important that veterans receive adequate mental health and support services. The Veterans Crisis Line provides veterans with private 24-hour hotlines, online chatrooms, and text services to connect them to VA professionals who will consult them and sometimes perform suicide rescues. To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Military Spouses
Hearts of Valor (formerly known as Wounded Warrior Wives)
This organization sponsors retreats for the spouses of wounded veterans to both relax and also discuss the challenges that they experience caring for their significant other.To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Young Vets
Iraq And Afghanistan Veterans Of America
IAVA empowers and improves the lives of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan with programs that support their health care, employment, and educational needs. To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Vets With Disabilities
Disabled American Veterans
DAV employs hundreds of service officers nationwide to help struggling veterans receive the care and benefits they deserve from various government agencies – most notably the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. To learn more about how you can help out, click here.

Veterans Star Spangled Salute – Wheelchair Van Giveaway

Veteran Wheelchair Van Boston MA

Contact us for more info on your chance to win a 2013 Toyota Sienna SE, with a VMI Northstar Conversion. The Star Spangled Salute campaign is valid from March 13, 2013 to November 10, 2013 for all Disabled US Veterans.

***Limit one entry per household!***

Toyota Sienna VMI Northstar at Automotive Innovations www.bridgewatermobility.comWin A 2013 Toyota Sienna SE

In Phoenix, AZ a 2013 Toyota Sienna SE minivan, that is wheelchair accessible, is up for grabs in a new contest sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. and Vantage Mobility International.

The contest, The Star Spangled Salute, runs from March 13th 2013 through November 10th 2013 and is open to all disabled veterans.

The winner will be picked in a random drawing on Veteran’s Day.

The Toyota Sienna SE Wheelchair accessible minivan features VMI’s Access360 In-floor Ramp Conversion.