Becoming a Homeowner through SONYMA's Homes for Veterans Program

Becoming a Homeowner through SONYMA's Homes for Veterans Program

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Food Assistance with SNAP

Food Assistance with SNAP

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Learn Ways to use VA’s Telehealth Tools to Manage VA Health Care

Learn Ways to use VA’s Telehealth Tools to Manage VA Health Care

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Win a $500 Shopping Spree on ShopVCS

Get your Valentine's Day shopping done on ShopVCS.com with discounts on diamond jewelry, Phillip's flowers, YETI, Under Armour and more. Plus, new members are automatically entered to win a $500 account credit when they sign up before Jan. 31 at 11:59 p.m. PT. Other terms and conditions apply.

SIGN UP FOR FREE


The U.S. Census Bureau's "American Community Survey"

The U.S. Census Bureau's "American Community Survey"

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Join Your Local Community Board and Advocate for NYC Veterans!

Join Your Local Community Board and Advocate for NYC Veterans!

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Attention Veteran Service Organizations and Local Nonprofits the FY2024 City Council Discretionary Funding Period is Now Open

Attention Veteran Service Organizations and Local Nonprofits the FY2024 City Council Discretionary Funding Period is Now Open

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Veterans in Crisis Can Visit Any VA or Non-VA Health Facility for Free Emergency Care

VA News: Veterans in Crisis Can Visit Any VA or Non-VA Health Facility for Free Emergency Care

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Empowering Veteran Business Owners - Veteran Business Leadership Association (VBLA)

The primary mission of the VBLA is to serve Veterans seeking support and assistance with running a business and in their pursuit of New York City Government contracting opportunities. Our leadership association engages with the private sector, government, advisory board, and local partners to build a consortium that facilitates the growth and development of Veteran Businesses. 


Affordable Housing For Veterans

The NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) maintains a list of federal, state, and city programs that offers a limited, but selective list of affordable housing options for veterans seeking financial relief for their housing arrangements. Visit our Affordable Housing for Veterans page to learn more.


Operation Family Resilience (OFR): Advancing Holistic Health for Military Families

Blue Star Families is committed to advancing military and Veteran families' holistic health to help you thrive no matter where the military takes you. They have teamed up with Humana Military, Team RWB, and Military Family Advisory Network to form Operation Family Resiliency (OFR). Thanks to OFR servicemembers, Veterans and their families, can enjoy a series of health and wellness applications as part of their Blue Star Perks for FREE!

SIGN UP FOR BLUE STAR PERKS TODAY!

 


DAV: Victories for Veterans Challenge

Ever wanted to hike a trail, swim a mile, participate in a yoga class or even run a 10K? Take those ideas and turn them into goals! Join our Victories for Veterans Challenge — set a goal, challenge yourself, and fundraise for America’s veterans just like you would an average 5K run/walk. You will help fuel services that connect veterans to the health care, education, and financial benefits they've earned through their sacrifice for our country. Every victory created and every dollar raised goes towards DAV's free services that help over a million veterans in life-changing ways every year.

REGISTER TODAY

DONATE NOW


Team RWB - Take Flight with Eagle Nation

We’re one week into the new year and people everywhere are falling off the resolution bandwagon. At Team RWB, we’re in it for the long game and we’re here to support you every step of the way.

MOVEMENT

MINDFULLNESS

NUTRITION

SLEEP

That’s why we’re kicking off the Take Flight Challenge focused on four pillars of health. Now through January 31, you’ll receive resources and encouragement to keep health and wellness top of mind all month long.

Today’s tip is accountability. Join the Take Flight Challenge using the buttons above based on your interests: Movement, Mindfulness, Nutrition, or Sleep. Check in daily to stay in the game with veterans and supporters across the nation.

CLAIM YOUR FREE:

Take flight patch by completing all challenges for Mindfullness, Sleep, Nutrition, and Movement.

*Please note that you have to create an account with Team RWB in order to access the content linked above. 


Podcasts on Veterans' Issues

More Podcasts on Veterans' Issues

Veterans Corner Radio focuses on what Veterans and their families need to know to maximize the services and benefits due to them. No matter if someone is currently serving or left the military 50 years ago, the program provides answers to questions that Veterans didn’t even know they should be asking. Each show is roughly a 15-minute investment in the future of Veterans and that of their families. The podcast’s web site includes a library of shows featuring more than 140 interviews.

Air Force Veteran Bill Hodges hosts Veterans Corner Radio, which airs on four radio stations in Florida: Sun Radio WSCQ FM 96.3; New Beginning Radio WKOT FM 102.1; Phoenix Community Radio WPHX FM 101.9; and Power 901 WYPW FM 90.1. The show is also available on podcast apps including Apple, Google, Pandora and Spotify.
 

The Veterans Voice is aimed at giving a voice to Veterans and improving the lives of Veterans, active-duty military and their families in a weekly, one-hour format presentation. The podcast highlights transition, employment, housing, financial, food, health, wellness and recreational resources available to all members of the military-connected community. The Veterans Voice is a service of Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is presented by the United States Automobile Association (USAA).

Two hosts of The Veterans Voice are Mike Lewis, a 30-year Veteran of the Navy Reserve, and Ted Robertson, who was raised in an Army family and raised a Marine. Their broadcast airs on KRDO 105.5 FM, 1240 AM and 92.5 FM in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Army Veteran Cassime Joseph hosts The Veterans Voice on KTSC 89.5 FM in Pueblo, Colorado. The show is also streamed on Wreaths Across America Radio and is available on more than a dozen podcast apps, including Amazon Music, Spotify, iHeartRadio, iTunes and Google.
 

Oscar Mike Radio is a show about real-life stories of active-duty military and Veterans, hosted by Marine Veteran Travis Partington. For more than six years, the show has been raising awareness about the people and programs that support the military and Veterans. Oscar Mike Radio has interviewed Veteran business owners, musicians and athletes, and has covered pressing issues like PTSD, military sexual trauma and Veteran advocacy.

Oscar Mike Radio is part of the Veteran Podcast Network  and is available on SoundCloud, iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify, YouTube and Facebook, among other platforms.

Visit the VA Radio Outreach Initiative for More Podcasts


Jedburgh Podcast With Commissioner Hendon

Check Out the Latest Episode of the Jedburgh Podcast With Commissioner Hendon

This past Veterans Day, Commissioner Hendon sat down with Fran Racioppi, the host of the Jedburgh Podcast and a former Special Forces Green Beret. The two Army Veterans covered issues facing Veterans in NYC across the nation and what our agency is doing to face those challenges head on. 


Excerpt from the Episode:

FRAN: Talk about the meaning of the parade here today. We’ve been talking about it and why in your role as the Veterans Department of New York City, how do we keep the military front and center as we come out of this global war on terror era and we move on to the next phase?

HENDON: I think a lot of this is making sure that our brothers and sisters know that we see them, that we appreciate them and that we love them. And so things like this, they're so symbolic, but they move mountains emotionally for a lot of our men and women who serve and their families. Just to know that you're not forgotten right now, when we look at the larger numbers, about 33.1%of all veterans, according to the Gross Domestic Expenditure report from the VA, use VA services. Of those who are eligible, that means the remaining more than 65% don't use the services. We know. That number comes down to 29.7% in New York State. It comes down to 24.6% in New York City. In other words, I like to tell people when you see me, there are two to three brothers and sisters who you don't see. And so a lot of it is creating an environment where you have the psychological safety to feel comfortable coming out saying, hey, in need of some help, I need some services.

Check out the Jedburgh podcast for more coverage from Veterans Day including their two previous episodes  with CBS’s SEAL Team lead actor David Boreanaz, Grand Marshall of the parade Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Vince Patton, and NYC’s most famous entertainer the Naked Cowboy!


The Blue Star Neighborhood

From Blue Star Families:

The Blue Star Neighborhood is an online community for members, like you, to connect with other military families and enjoy all that Blue Star Families has to offer. 

In the Neighborhood, you’ll have exclusive access to our programs and events, member perks, and more! So whether you’re looking for a volunteer opportunity, help to find your next career, or just want to meet others in your community — you’ve come to the right place. 

What are you waiting for? Join the Neighborhood today!

Join Today!


Be Vigilant of VA Caregiver Support Stipend Scams

From the VA:

Caregivers and Veterans, we’ve recently learned of a potential scam about a VA Caregiver Stipend Recoupment. Please do not respond to such requests, as VA will not email you a request for money.

If you receive a suspicious email from the Department of Veterans Affairs, DO NOT open the email or click on any attachments or links. VA does not send emails asking for personal information, threatening emails, or emails claiming to take adverse actions on claimants or beneficiaries (jail or lawsuits). If you receive any of these emails or are in doubt about any communications appearing to be from VA, please contact VA directly at 1 (800) 827-1000.

Protect yourself against potential scams with these tips:

  • Do not provide personal, benefits, medical or financial details online or over the phone. Federal agencies will not contact you unless you make a request.
  • Do not click on online ads or engage with social media that seem suspicious.
  • Check for https:// at the start of website addresses.
  • Enable multi-factor authentication on all accounts.
  • Work with Veteran service providers you already know.

Visit the Cybercrime Support Network for additional resources to help Veterans, service members, and their families combat cybercrime.


Free 3-day Bahamas Cruise

Veterans receive a FREE Bahamas cruise and $50 onboard credit with at least one paying guest. Plus, enjoy exclusive savings on food, beverages, spa and salon services. To learn more and book your cruise, create your ShopVCS.com account by clicking below.

More info: https://shopvcs.va.gov/t/vcs-margaritaville?utm_source=vcs_va_news_email&utm_medium=email_promotional&utm_campaign=2022121_c_vcs_margaritaville


VA Launches New Life Insurance Program in January

On Jan. 1, 2023, the Department of Veterans Affairs will open enrollment for Veterans Affairs Life Insurance - the first new VA life insurance program for Veterans in more than 50 years - extending VALife access to millions of Veterans.

To read the full article, visit: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5844

 


VA Benefit Payment Rates Increase

The Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for VA disability compensation benefits programs became effective on December 1, 2022. The 8.7% COLA increase is for the calendar year 2023.

Veterans and beneficiaries receiving VA disability compensation will notice an increase in their monthly payments, starting January 1, 2023. This annual increase impacts disability benefits, clothing allowance, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC), as well as other VA assistance programs. If you do not see a difference in the amount, you should contact the VA regional office near you.

To ask questions about applying for VA disability benefits or appealing a VA decision, reach out to a VA-accredited representative today.


Apply for MVJ's Journalism Grants Program

MVJ is still accepting grant applications for reporting on disability issues in the military veteran community. Grant amounts vary depending on the story, and start at $500. Publish quality stories about military veteran disability issues and get paid for it!

Read More & Apply

MVJ now offers Journalism Grants for quality stories about issues related to disabilities in the military veteran community.

This program helps aspiring journalists grow professionally in their reporting careers and publish quality stories about issues related to disabilities in the military veteran community. Grant amounts vary depending on the story, and start at $500. MVJ has a total budget of $50,000 for all grants under this program, so we recommend interested parties apply as soon as possible.

MVJ is not a publishing organization – nor do we plan to be. But we care about developing the careers of military vets in journalism. So, if you are selected, we can help you shape your story and assist in getting the story placed. We’d like you to have an idea of where you want to publish your story.

A few notes on what our grant selection committee is looking for:

  • Disability focused. We are seeking pitches for stories related to disability in the military veteran community. Maybe it’s a story about a new healthcare issue, or a personal narrative about a visit to a crummy VA facility, or an investigative piece on an emerging medical issue that affects vets.
  • Be ambitious. We are looking to support deeply reported stories that will make a splash and potentially be impactful.
  • Small (shorter) stories are OK too. For serious investigative reporting, we’ll be looking for proof that you know what you’re doing. If you’re new to journalism, a shorter feature might be more realistic. 
  • Be original. We aren’t interested in the same stories that we’ve all read a million times before. As veterans, we can provide depth and nuance on these stories. Use that experience to come up with unique angles.
  • No PR. Non-profits do great work and they might be part of the story. But we want to see pitches that are more than a happy story about a non-profit providing a house to a homeless vet.  
  • Look for trends. We’re keen to fund stories that only veterans can tell. As vets, you are seeing what’s affecting vets, especially when it comes to healthcare and the VA. Use your networks to find a good story. 

PUBLISH quality stories about disability issues in the military veteran community and get paid for it! 

Note: Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and will be reviewed every two weeks until our funding limit is reached. Applicant has to be an MVJ member in order to be eligible to receive the grant.


Military Veterans in Journalism New Release: Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide

Military Veterans in Journalism has launched the Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide, an online portal that provides a range of resources for reporters covering military and veteran issues.

This portal provides several helpful items for journalists seeking guidance, including:

  • A guide on reporting on military and veteran issues like post-traumatic stress and military sexual trauma
  • A showcase of veterans working in the news media
  • A directory of experts focused on military and veteran affairs
  • A series of reporting tips from seasoned journalists in this space

The Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide was compiled over the past year with assistance from MVJ’s community of veterans in journalism. It is a living portal that will frequently be updated with feedback from the veteran community.

Access the Military & Veteran Affairs Reporting Guide


Healthy Veterans Needed for a Research Study

Healthy Veterans Needed for a Research Study at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY.

We are conducting a research study to understand brain structure and mental health in Veterans at risk of suicide.

Healthy Veterans are needed as a comparison group in this research study.

What is involved?

Attending visits at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC First Visit: Mental health assessments, questionnaires, non-invasive (MRI) brain scan, and blood draw
6- and 12-Month Follow-Up:

  • Review of mental health assessments
  • No cost to participate
  • Transportation may be provided

U.S. Military Veterans between the ages of 18 to 65 may be eligible to participate if they do not have major medical or mental health
disorders.

Why participate?

  • Increase our understanding of Veteran suicide
  • Share experiences so that other Veterans may benefit
  • Receive up to $825 for your time

For more information contact:
Sharon Alter, MA, Clinical Research Coordinator,
Phone: (718) 584-9000 ext. 3786 Email: [email protected]

Principal Investigator:
Philip Szeszko, Ph.D.
MIRB#: 01920


Free College Course for Veterans

The Cornwall Center at Rutgers University-Newark will host a free college course for veterans from February 6-June 27, 2023.  The course will meet on Mondays and Thursdays from 5:30pm-7pm on the Rutgers-Newark campus. The class will explore themes of war and reconciliation through philosophy, literature, art, and history. It is open to all veterans, regardless of discharge status. Family members and friends of veterans are also welcomed to apply. A high school diploma or GED is not required for admission.  Participants can earn 3 transferrable college credits.

All important information, including the application, is available at: https://www.clementenewark.com/

Applications will be accepted through December 2022.  Potential applicants can contact the academic director, Charity Anderson, at [email protected] with any questions.


Bareburger Offering 20% Discount for Veterans/Military Personnel

BAREBURGER

KITCHEN+BAR

Serve & Save, on every bite, 20% OFF

All dine-in & take-out orders, all day - every day (orders must be placed in person).

If you're an active or retired educator, librarian, hospital care team member, veteran/military personnel, firefighter/ems, law enforcement officer or AARP member you're eligible to receive a 20% discount on your entire check.

Must provide ID or be in uniform ~ 20% off entire check ~ dine in and take out only ~no exclusions/blackout dates ~ sales tax does not qualify for discount ~ this offer is not redeemable for cash or gift cards, nor is it valid toward previous purchases~offer valid on in-stock items only~ at participating locations ~ terms & conditions subject to change.

THANK YOU


Teachers College Study on Veteran Family Resilience

VETERAN FAMILIES ARE NOT GETTING THE ATTENTION THEY DESERVE

JOIN US NOW

Veteran or civilian parents and their children (aged 11-17) are invited to participate in a study about how their families manage stress and difficult times. This paid study will award you $205 for three fully remote visits.

Unfortunately, there is just too little that is done for veteran families, and we are trying to change that.

Your time will translate into information that will be helpful for policy makers and health providers to consider with this important population. We want to make sure your needs are heard, and your efforts can MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

If you have any questions about our study and would like to speak to a team member, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (929)-266-5064.

Teachers College Columbia University,

A Graduate School of Education, Health & Psychology

Approved IRB Protocol #21-146

FIND US:

tc.columbia.edu/ltelab/famflex-study

IG @familyflexstudy

FB FamilyFlexResearchProject

Twitter @familyflexstudy1


Join a research study for Veterans with BIPOLAR DISORDER

Join a research study for Veterans with BIPOLAR DISORDER at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY.

Researchers are conducting a study to better understand brain structure and mental health in Veterans with BIPOLAR DISORDER

• Transportation may be provided
• There is no cost to participate
• Receive up to $825 for your time

What is involved?
Attending visits at the James J. Peters VA Medical Center in the Bronx, NY and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in NYC

First Visit:
Diagnostic/clinical assessments, questionnaires, MRI scan, and blood draw

6 Month Follow-Up Visit:
Review of clinical assessments

12 Month Follow-up Visit:
Review of clinical assessments

Eligibility:
Military Veterans between the ages of 18 to 65 may be eligible to participate if they have ever experienced any of the following:

  • Significant shifts in mood
  • Rapid speech
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased energy or irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Impulsive behavior

For more information contact:
Sharon Alter, MA, Clinical Research Coordinator,
Phone: (718) 584-9000 ext. 3786 Email: [email protected]

Principal Investigator:
Philip Szeszko, Ph.D.
MIRB#: 01920


The 2022 MVA Winter Wish Project is LIVE! Don't miss your chance to signup!

Making 50 minority veteran families’ wishes come true!

It's the end of the year and with the rising cost of goods, inflation, and a years’ long pandemic, we know winter has been tough. Join Minority Vets for our 3rd annual ❄ Winter Wish Project️ ❄ We're spreading some winter joy to members of our community by fulfilling the wishes of minority veteran families.

What does that mean? We're looking for minority veterans who could use a little extra support this winter to provide for them and their families. If selected, we'll ask you to create an Amazon wishlist with up to $200 in items that we'll order for you and your family. Priority will be given to new applicants this winter but past Winter Wish Project recipients are welcome and encouraged to apply. King County members are eligible to create wishlists with up to $250.

The priority deadline to register for the Winter Wish Project is December 10, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. EST. All applications received after will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all spots on the Wish List have been filled. After the application has closed, we'll review and send notifications of selection and you will have 48 hours to complete your wishlists.

Deadline to Apply - Dec. 10th
Rolling Applications from Dec. 11th

Qualifications for the Winter Wish List:

  • Parents of a child or children under the age of 23, single parents will receive priority

  • Must be a minority veteran. (Identify as a racial/ethnic minority, woman, LGBTQ, or a religious minority and have served in the US Armed Forces. Proof of service required, open to all discharge types)

  • Must be a member of Minority Veterans of America (Click here to join)

  • May be a past recipient of Winter Wish Project support, priority will be given to new applicants

 

APPLY NOW

Help us spread the love - sponsor a family for Winter Wish Project

Since 2020, Minority Vets has been delivering the Winter Wish Project to our members by the generous support of our community and partners like VA Claims Insider who has sponsored more than half of our participants each year. This is truly a community led effort and we need your support to continue it. Consider sponsoring a Winter Wish Project family, for each $200 donated we can adopt one additional family.

CLICK HERE TO SPONSOR A FAMILY

From the Minority Vets family to yours, we hope you have a happy holidays, if you celebrate, and that all have a safe and healthy winter and new year. 

In community, 

The Minority Vets Team


Military Veterans in Journalism Free Training Sessions on Disability Reporting

Military Veterans in Journalism is offering free training sessions on disability reporting, including on veterans, for newsrooms across the nation.

Thanks to support from the Ford Foundation, over the past year, military veterans in the MVJ Speakers Bureau have been training with top disability beat journalists and experts at organizations like Disabled American Veterans with the goal of improving coverage on disabled veterans and the broader disabled community. Now, the participants are taking that training into newsrooms across the nation to increase awareness and understanding when journalists cover these issues.

The training sessions take roughly 60 minutes, and it’s preferred that the training be in-person, but can also be conducted via Zoom.

What will reporters learn?

  • Relevant data points on disabled veterans
  • Challenges and common tropes related to disabled veterans
  • Intersectionality in the disabled veterans and broader disability communities – how does improving coverage of disabled veterans affect the issues in disability reporting?
  • Crafting respectful narratives around disabilities – language and storytelling tips and advice

 

Email MVJ Operations Manager Sara Feges at [email protected] to schedule a free training session for your newsroom.


Bunker Labs Transition Podcast

Every Thursday, join host "Iron" Mike Steadman as he demystifies entrepreneurship in Bunker Labs official Transition Podcast. You can also catch Mike every Tuesday at 11 AM EST on Bunker Labs Office Hours, a livestream show available on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook.

Haven’t been listening? Get started and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the same time by checking out some of "Iron" Mike’s favorite interviews with Latinx entrepreneurs this past year!


Veteran-Owned Small Business Verification Moving to SBA

 

Effective January 1st, the SBA will take over the verification and evaluation of certifying veteran-owned small businesses. If you’re already VOSB or SDVOSB certified, verified by the VA, there is nothing you need to do at this time. But if you’re self-certified, there will be some guidance for what you need to do next. You can learn more about it here or here, or go straight to the Frequently Asked Questions page.

 


NYC Child Support Pay It Off Program

Pay It Off is a special limited-time program through the NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA) that may help you lower the amount you owe in child support.  Pay It Off doubles the value of the payment (up to the amount you owe) that you make toward child support debt that is owed to the NYC Department of Social Services (DSS), allowing noncustodial parents to pay off their child support debt twice as fast.  The program runs from October 17th through October 31st.

With Pay It Off, noncustodial parents can pay off their NYC DSS child support arrears twice as fast.  The Office of Child Support Services (OCSS) will double the debt reduction when a payment of at least $500 is made toward DSS arrears during October (up to the amount you owe). For those with an active support order, the court ordered child support amount must be paid first.  Once this is made, the Pay It Off payment can reduce the debt by double. On top of that, parents may be eligible for additional reductions up to $15,000 over three years. After you pay off your principle in full, all of the interest you owe to DSS will be eliminated.

Learn more about Pay It Off at http://nyc.gov/payitoff.


Veterans Day Deals: Discounts and Free Meals

HONORING ALL WHO SERVED 

VETERAN'S DAY FREE MEALS

Happy Veterans and Military Families Month!

Each year, hundreds of restaurants honor military service with free or discounted meals on Veterans Day.  To those companies offering Veterans a free meal or discount, the NYC Department of Veterans' Services (DVS) and the military community give a collective thanks!

Keep in mind that most businesses require proof of service.  Be sure to contact your nearest establishment to confirm it is participating.  

Here you’ll find a list of this year’s restaurant offers for Veterans


VA Extends Survivorship Benefits for Spouses of LGBTQ+ Veterans

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced that survivorship benefits will be provided to the surviving spouses of certain lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) Veterans. In 2015, same-sex marriage was made legal nationwide with the Obergefell v. Hodges decision.  The historic Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made marriage equality the law of the land, changing the lives of millions of people who could now marry the person they love.  However, there are many long-term partners of deceased LGBTQ+ Veterans who were unable to receive survivorship benefits because it was not legal for them to be married.

“VA is closing a gap in benefits for surviving spouses of LGBTQ+ Veterans, righting a wrong that is a legacy of the discriminatory federal ban on same-sex marriages,” VA Secretary Denis McDonough said. “It is VA’s mission to serve all Veterans, including LGTBQ+ Veterans as well, as they’ve served our country, and this decision is a key part of that effort,” he said.

The VA last year began providing benefits to Veterans discharged under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of military service, which prohibited LGBTQ+ military personnel from sharing or openly acknowledging their sexual or gender identity.

In January, the department rolled out a policy allowing Veterans who identify as transgender or nonbinary to self-select their gender designation on official health records, which now include transgender and nonbinary gender markers.  This change helps VA healthcare providers better understand and meet the medical needs of their patients.

“All Veterans, all people, have a basic right to be identified as they define themselves." 


Blue Star Families: Your MasterClass subscription is on us!

Blue Star Families has partnered with MasterClass to give an annual membership to 5,000 military families. 

From Blue Star Families:

 

We’ve partnered with MasterClass to present an annual membership to 5,000 military families! 

Why? Because MasterClass knows the services and sacrifices of military families often go unnoticed, and they’re committed to helping us empower you to thrive — not just survive — while serving our country.

In honor of Military Family Appreciation Month, enter your military family for a chance to receive a Get one, give one MasterClass membership ($360 VALUE 🤩 )!
 

Here’s what the annual membership includes👇:
 

✔️Unlimited online classes accessible by mobile, desktop, and smart TV 

✔️Unlimited access to 100+ instructors 

✔️Unlimited access to a wide range of subjects like…

Arts & Entertainment

Business

Design & Style

Sports & Gaming

Writing

Music

And much, much more.

 

Keep one for yourself, and give one to a friend!

 

ENTER NOW


VA Health Care Eligibility - PACT Act

VA opens health care eligibility for Vietnam, Gulf War, post-9/11 Veterans under PACT Act

Colleagues,

I am reaching out to provide an update concerning VA’s implementation of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics Act (PACT Act).

For those unaware, on August 10, President Biden signed the PACT Act into law, authorizing one of the largest health care and benefits expansions in VA history. 

Next month will mark VHA’s first step in that expansion. Effective October 1, VA is expanding and extending eligibility for VA health care for certain Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras under the PACT Act.

As Secretary McDonough says, “This expansion will bring generations of new Veterans into VA health care, and increase the health care benefits of many more, which will result in the one outcome that matters most: better health outcomes for Veterans,”, “I highly encourage these Veterans to apply now for the health care they’ve earned and deserve.”

Here is important information for all VHA employees to know and share with Veterans.

Vietnam era Veterans who served in the following locations and time periods are eligible to apply for enrollment now:

  • Service in the Republic of Vietnam between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975
  • Service in Thailand at any U.S. or Royal Thai base between Jan. 9, 1962, and June 30, 1976
  • Service in Laos between Dec. 1, 1965, and Sept. 30, 1969
  • Service in certain provinces in Cambodia between April 16, 1969, and April 30, 1969
  • Service in Guam or American Samoa (or their territorial waters) between Jan. 9, 1962, and July 30, 1980
  • Service in Johnston Atoll (or a ship that called there) between Jan. 1, 1972, and Sept. 30, 1977

Beginning October 1, Gulf War Veterans who served on active duty in a theater of combat operations after the Persian Gulf War may be eligible to enroll in VA health care. This includes Veterans who, in connection with service during such period, received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Service Specific Expeditionary Medal, Combat Era Specific Expeditionary Medal, Campaign Specific Medal, or any other combat theater award established by Federal statute or Executive order.

Beginning October 1, Post-9/11 Veterans who did not previously enroll in VA health care will have a one-year window in which they may be eligible to enroll if they:

  • Served on active duty in a theater of combat operations during a period of war after the Persian Gulf War, or
  • Served in a combat against a hostile force during a period of hostilities after Nov. 11, 1998, and
  • Were discharged or released between Sept. 11, 2001, and Oct. 1, 2013

You can visit www.va.gov/PACT to get the latest information and updates.   

Thank you for your work in continually improving Veterans’ health care.

Shereef Elnahal, M.D., M.B.A.

Under Secretary for Health

 

 


"Backpacks for Life" Documentary Film

Backpacks For Life is thrilled to share a special documentary with you that we had the honor of producing and now sharing with the world. The Long March Home: An American Soldier’s Life as a Nazi Slave Laborer, tells the story of the life of Robert Max, US Army veteran and prisoner of war who escaped Nazi slave labor during World War II. Robert Max’s story is unique, inspiring and above all, teaches us about resiliency and living a full life.
 
We would be thrilled if you would watch the film and share it with your extended community. Our goal is to ensure that this moment in history reaches many far and wide. As our co-producers Top Notch Cinema say, "We have really all created something that is important and will resonate with audiences beyond what we can imagine.

 


A WIN-WIN-WIN SWEEPSTAKES FROM THE COMBAT VETERAN HEROES TO HEROES FOUNDATION

A WIN-WIN-WIN SWEEPSTAKES FROM THE COMBAT VETERAN HEROES TO HEROES FOUNDATION (https://heroestoheroes.org/

I serve as the organizations Board Chair.

• Raising money to save combat veterans, suffering moral injury, and at serious risk of death by suicide. Team journeys of 12 veterans to Israel are one of the keys to the success of our mission,
• Lucky winners, chosen on Veterans Day, will win inflation fighting cash for the holidays,
• Winners will choose a veteran to receive the same prize that they do.

Entries are as little as $25 for 10 chances to win.

https://go.rallyup.com/heroestoheroes/m/michaelhaltman/Member/Details

Questions?

Let me know at [email protected]
Mike
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Food and Nutrition Service for US Military Veterans

God's Love We Deliver is introducing a new service, Connected: the Food and Nutrition Service for US Military Veterans living with a Mental Health and/or Substance Use Challenge.  This service provides medically-tailored meals, nutrition counseling, and trauma-informed care to NYC veterans living with activities of daily living (ADL) limitations and one or more of the following diagnoses: PTSD, anxiety disorder, major depression, bipolar disorder, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, and/or substance use disorder.

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VA 2022 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report

The purpose of VA’s National Suicide Prevention report is to COUNT every Veteran suicide so we can PREVENT every Veteran suicide. Preventing Veteran suicide and saving lives is our top clinical priority at VA, and we take every step possible to make sure that our Veteran suicide data is accurate—because the first step to SOLVING this problem is UNDERSTANDING it. Our methodology for creating this report is well-established and consistent, based on verified data from the CDC and DoD, and meets the quality and standards of a peer-reviewed publication. In the interest of full transparency, we release these yearly reports detailing how we come to the conclusions in the Annual Report.

Here are some major conclusions from this year’s report:

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VA's Largest Research Program Needs Women Veterans!

The Million Veteran Program (MVP) is a national research program to learn how genes, lifestyle, and military exposures affect health and illness.

Since launching in 2011, over 900,000 veterans have joined MVP, making it one of the world’s largest programs on genetics and health.

They aim to enroll one million veterans in 2023 and want women to have a seat at the table in their research. If more women join MVP, they can strengthen their research findings for women veterans of all backgrounds. Sign up now:

Click here to learn more and to sign up to participate.


#UniformAccess Storytelling Project

Our stories are the strongest tools we have for creating change. Share your story of accessing reproductive health care while serving or as a veteran. Stories will be compiled as part of public comment and a storytelling campaign based on your preferences indicated in the form here


Submit Your Comment to VA Interim Final Rule on Reproductive Health Services

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently released an Interim Final Rule on Reproductive Health Services that allows the Department to provide abortion counseling to all veterans and abortion care in the cases of rape, incest, and when the pregnancy threatens the life or health of the patient. Take a moment to submit public comment on the rule using the toolkit provided here.


#UniformAccess Grassroots Week of Action

A grassroots coalition of advocates and organizations will be hosting a Week of Action in Washington DC September 27-October 1, 2022 to defend the reproductive rights of service members, veterans, and their loved ones and demanding action on military sexual assault. As part of this week of action, advocates will be meeting with Members of Congress on September 27 and 28. We invite you to join these meetings by filling out the form here. For questions, please reach out to Jackii Wang with the National Women's Law Center ([email protected]).


Minority Vets 2022 Equity, Inclusion & Justice Summit

Minority Veterans of America will host the 2022 Equity, Inclusion & Justice Summit virtually on October 15-16. 

The Equity, Inclusion, & Justice Summit is back for the third year and we're building our best event yet!  The past two years have been a rollercoaster for many of us. Our equity has been challenged. Our inclusion has been challenged. The core of justice has been challenged. Each of us has felt a range of emotions including confusion, grief, and anxiety. But it’s time to remember our strength. To remind ourselves that equity, inclusion, and justice are not just words. They’re a way of life and at this year’s Summit, we are determined to build our roadmap back to joy.

You will leave Summit knowing that together we are strong, we are equitable, and we are a united force for change. We remember our journey. Together we are a community. We were created for this moment. We will bring joy. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Pre-conference workshops will also be offered on October 14.

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Pace University SBDC Free 1:1 Small Business Advisement

Pace University's Small Business Development Center (https://www.pacesbdc.org/) provides in-depth and confidential 1:1 business advisement to help small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs grow or launch their business venture, all at no cost. From helping to access financing to identifying contract opportunities, from marketing and sales strategies to business planning, our experienced and NYS-certified business advisors have the expertise to help your business reach its full potential. Contact the Pace SBDC (https://www.pacesbdc.org/contact) to learn more and arrange a meeting (in-person or virtual) with a Business Advisor.

NYC DVS Build-a-Thon Furniture Giveaway

Are you a veteran in need of stools or tables?  If so, please reach out to [email protected] or 1-616-818-0289.

Click here for the flyer with furniture dimensions.


DE-CRUIT Veteran Theater Arts Workshop

DE-CRUIT is offering a free veteran theater arts workshop that will run on Tuesday & Thursday nights from September 28 to October 14.

DE-CRUIT is a veteran-led, nationally recognized program that uses techniques from theater arts and verses from Shakespeare to support healthy, productive lives for military veterans. 


For more information, contact:

Ayesha Ganguly

[email protected]

1-206-612-2509

Click here for the program flyer.


Enter to Win Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular Tickets from BSF!

Blue Star Families is welcoming you to NYC with the Radio City Rockettes! Register for the opportunity to enjoy tickets to the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall!

Lucky families will have the opportunity to enjoy up to four tickets to the Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall on Monday, November 28th at 8 PM ET. The entry period is open September 15th-October 2nd, 2022.

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Employing US Vets Conference

This year's Employing US Vets Conference will be held virtually on Thursday, October 13, 11am-4pm ET.

Hosted by VETS Indexes, this semi-annual conference includes discussions of best practices and challenges related to veteran employment, recognition of companies going above and beyond for vets and their families, and lots of opportunities to network. The bi-yearly conference is designed to offer attendees actionable tools and information to establish and build upon veteran initiatives. It also provides a great opportunity to network with peers from leading companies.

Click here for the full agenda and list of speakers.

Click here for more information and to apply.


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