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Is Congress

doing enough to help

Disabled Veteran

Businesses? Issue 1 January 2017


“what lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us� - Unknown

DVBA Is puclished quarterly by VIRTEK Company and VIRTEK Company Associates. 2016 All Rights Reserved. For Advertising Rates, contact Virgal Woolfolk at info@dvbemagazine.com 951-741-9297 This issue contains articles not exclusive to DVBE Magazine


Overview of DVBE Magazine The Disabled Veteran Business Empowerment (DVBE) Magazine will be the required reading for Disabled Veteran and Veteran Business owners and senior level executives and managers that own, manage or supervise those businesses that operate under the small business certifications for Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE), or Service Veteran Owned Small Business (SVOSB). These small business owners (500 employees or less), medium business owners (500 to 1000 employees), and large corporate business owners (1000 employees or more) are already anticipating relying on our on-point news stories and editorials, whether online or quarterly in print, for practical solutions to avoid turnover and to better understand developmental strategies to avoid being burned on governmental projects by large Primes. The DVBE Magazine will also provide extensive coverage on economic and political changes affecting all segments of governmental small business goals; and engaging, insightful stories and profiles of emerging and established Disabled Veteran and Veteran business owners, projects, companies, and initiatives that would and could impact our industry. Having operated his own Service Disabled Veteran business since 1999, Mr. Woolfolk decided that a business and educational magazine like DVBE Magazine was necessary and needed due to the many veterans that need direction in the beginning, managing and operating successful business enterprises. With thousands of disabled veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars returning from the battlefield and after overcoming many physical challenges, many will have no choice or option but to start businesses for employment. In speaking with many returning disabled veterans and veterans, they realize the job market is tight or nonexistent for many career and employment opportunities. So many are choosing to go into business for themselves to utilize the leadership and team skills developed on the battlefield to lead them to a successful business and take advantage of federal sources sought projects with the Veteran Administration, the US Navy, the Department of Water Reclamation and state agencies that use federal funding on projects and must meet federal and state small business goals for disabled veteran business owners. These disabled Veterans are people who fearlessly headed into the battlefield, had to learn to become part of a team to become successful to return with their lives, then, had to overcome what appeared to be insurmountable odds in recovery and are still standing. Mr. Woolfolk has been one of them and has operated one of the premier SDVOSB/ DVBE firms called VIRTEK Company since 1999.

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For women taking care of disabled veterans, a welcome break For many women in Los Angeles, taking care of a disabled spouse is a full-time job. And on Saturday morning, more than 80 women got together in the basement of Bob Hope Patriotic Hall downtown to take a little bit of a break from being a caregiver. Each of them was a military veteran, or was taking care of a veteran spouse or significant other. “Traditionally women are caregivers,” said Lauren Duncan, who works for the Red Cross, and helped set up the event with the Department of Veterans Affairs. “So it’s hard for us to admit, you know, ‘I need someone to care for

me’.” In order to give the women some free time, volunteers ran a day care room on-site to take care of children. Non-profits were there to offer help with employment, housing, and educational needs – the kind of help Duncan said can be difficult for some caregivers to ask for. One group offered mindfulness training as a way to handle stress, as well as free massages. The massage brought Kyle Orlemann to tears. “I haven’t had anybody so something like that for me for so long that I can’t even find the words,” she

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost” - Arthur Ash 4 | PAGE

said. “We don’t get to stand down ever. We’re on alert 24 - 7, 365.” Orlemann’s husband served two tours in Vietnam, and is now disabled as a result of his military service. She takes care of him fulltime, and as a result she can’t have a job outside the home. Lauren Duncan said it was important to reach out to these women, who often don’t have any time for themselves. “We wanted to just reach out to this group that is usually underrepresented but in the highest need just to let them know we love them, appreciate them….and want to love on them.”


The course, which pened in 1957, has helped countless vets find sanctuary while inspiring hundreds of volunteers. Among those giving their time? Jack Nicklaus, the best to ever play the game. Jim Martinson, a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, chips on the new portion of the American Lake Veterans Golf Course.

Disabled Veteran Receives Surprising Note After He Returns To His Car Right when you think you might be all alone in this world, even when you’re surrounded by people, we get a reminder that anyone within arms length can be a friend and help you out. Especially when you least expect it. One disabled veteran was out to lunch by himself when one of those friendly strangers decided to let him know how much he’s appreciated. After the veteran returned to his car, this note was waiting for him with a gift. The veteran says that his car has Purple Heart Army license plates which is moreso how the stranger took notice, rather than actually spotting the veteran. The note was signed by an ex-Marine chopper pilot but is getting extra internet points for his damn fine penmanship rather than leaving cash for the man’s lunch. The disabled veteran who posted the photo to the internet left with the comment “ I just like showing that there’s still some genuinely nice/thoughtful people still out there.”

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Goodwill Helps Homeless Veterans Find a Home Timothy Hogan told officials with the Goodwill of Northeast Iowa that he had never in his life had his own bedroom. Now the 20-year-old Iowa resident and U.S. Marine veteran has both a job and a bedroom of his own, thanks to Goodwill officials. Hogan is the first of four U.S. veterans to move into a four-bedroom home in Cedar Falls, Iowa, leased by the local Goodwill office. He also now has a job at the local Goodwill donation center. PHOTO: Timothy Hogan, a 20-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, is one of four veterans living in a house thanks to Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa.ABC News Timothy Hogan, a 20-year-old U.S. Marine veteran, is one of four veterans living in a house thanks to Goodwill Industries of Northeast Iowa.more + Steve Tisue, vice president of human services for Goodwill of Northeast Iowa, said the goal is to help Hogan and the three other veterans, whose names have not been released, to get back into the game of life. “It’s not a handout but a hand up,” Tisue told ABC News. “They can get established, get a permanent address and work history under their belts.”

Hogan, who could not be reached by ABC News, was honorably discharged from the military due to medical issues, according to Tisue. He had been living in various homeless shelters before being selected for the Goodwill home after a screening process. “Timothy has been very grateful,” Tisue said. “Our focus with him will be what his next step will be.” Tisue said there is no time limit on how long the veterans may stay in the home. The nonprofit which typically focuses its services on helping people with disabilities is grateful to be able to give back to servicemen and women. “I think it’s very rewarding serving veterans who have served us so well over the years, to pay that back a little,” Tisue said. “Goodwill is grateful as well.”

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Over 400 disabled veterans waiting on priority list for public-service jobs Successive federal governments have said they would help disabled veterans get public-service jobs, but a long-time advocate says the civil service is not co-operative and he questions whether anyone ensures that discharged military personnel are considered when openings arise. Don Leonardo, president of Veterans Canada, says it is in the public interest to find jobs for disabled former soldiers, if only because it would reduce the amount that taxpayers spend on benefits.

Over 400 disabled veterans waiting on priority list for public-service jobs “But who is in charge of it?” Mr. Leonardo asked. “The public service is against this, so they are not going to help the injured veteran get there. So who is getting him that job?” The former Conservative government brought in the Veterans Hiring Act on Canada Day of last year that said veterans who were released for medical reasons were to be first in line for any civil-service job, and that all veterans would get “priority entitlement” to advertised government vacancies. The federal Public Service Commission (PSC) said in an e-mail on Tuesday that, between July 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, there were 26 veterans who were given government jobs based on a priority status resulting from an injury attribut-

able to their service. The government also gave priority placements to 112 veterans who were released due to injuries that were not directly attributable to their military career. But, as of May 16, there were still 424 medically discharged veterans waiting on the priority list to be hired, despite the fact that more than 20,000 people were appointed to government positions between July and April. The PSC said it maintains the inventory of people with a priority entitlement and ensures that they are considered during the appointment processes, but it is the deputy ministers within each department who are responsible for ensuring that eligible veterans are given priority in hiring. The PSC also said it plays an active role in monitoring all categories of priority entitlements and believes the system is working well. Since the implementation of the Veterans Hiring Act, said the commission, the number of veterans participating in appointment processes has increased and that is expected to continue over time. Still, veterans contacted by The Globe and Mail report frustration with the lack of response they receive when they apply for vacancies. And public servants are not always willing to step aside to give veterans the first chance at a job that could be filled by one of their own.

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Disabled veterans finding doors shut to jobs in federal civil service At the age of 50, Master Corporal Kelly Carter saw the writing on the wall. His injured body was no longer capable of keeping up with the infantry soldiers at the Edmonton Garrison where he was stationed.

Even though taxpayers had spent tens of thousands of dollars training him to do his job, he quickly learned that his years of service to Canada meant little to federal employers.

With four permanent injuries due to military exercises and drills, Mr. Carter could not do the rucksack trek. He couldn’t run. He needed hip surgery. And, even though his Armed Forces career had been spent in human resources, he was required to maintain the fitness standards of the Land Force Command.

Men and women whose physical or mental injuries force an early end to their military careers, who are discharged because they no longer meet the “universality of service” test of being deployable anywhere at any time, are not finding easy entry to the bureaucracy.

Before he could be declared unfit, Mr. Carter retired to his home in Calgary in August, 2013, on a small Canadian Forces pension. He immediately started looking for a job in the federal government.

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The government says veterans get priority hiring, but Mr. Carter said, “I am one of those people who can walk into 85 or 90 per cent of the clerical jobs and, until this week, I have not been called for testing or interviews, not even the professional courtesy of a phone call.” Only

recently, he was invited to apply to be an appeals officer with Revenue Canada. The former Conservative government brought in a law on Canada Day of last year that said veterans who were released for medical reasons were to be first in line for civil service jobs and that all veterans would get “priority entitlement” to government vacancies. That legislation also meant, for the first time, that former soldiers, sailors and air personnel could apply for the internally listed postings that are open only to civil servants. In the first seven months after that law took effect, the Public Service Commission says just 146 of the nearly 20,000 people hired by the federal government were veterans who used the preference law.


Dog dumped at warehouse chosen to become service dog for disabled veteran Libby the Belgian Malinois walked into her new life Tuesday, eager and friendly, unaware of the huge responsibility that will be placed on her doggy shoulders. “One look at her I can see she’s going to be perfect for the program,” said professional dog trainer Mike Lorraine. Libby is going to transform from a dog dumped at a Jupiter warehouse to a fully trained service dog for a disabled veteran.

“I was in tears,” said Katie Newitt. “You find the dog on 9/11 and she can now go to a service member; it’s amazing.” Katie and Andy Newitt say Libby was chipped, but when they tracked down Libby’s owner, the owner didn’t want her anymore. They named her Liberty in honor of the date, but they couldn’t keep her because she didn’t get along with their dog. All the shelters were full, so they asked Pat Deshong, president of the Furry Friends Adoption and Clinic, if she could help. Deshong realized the Belgian Malinois was smart, friendly and a candidate for their Shelter to Service dogs program. “Libby is perfect for that program,” said Deshong.

Disabled veterans to get significant help from new Veterans Legal Fund Veterans who suffer from disabilities and are fighting for benefits can now get support from a new fund aimed at helping them with legal fees. Former Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer helped launch the Veteran’s Legal Assistance Fund on Friday in Ottawa. The fund was established with a $1 million donation from law firms that received fees in the class action law suit led by veteran Dennis Manuge in Nova Scotia.

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The Feds Have Failed Veterans but the Private Sector Is Picking Up the Slack The federal government’s ability to care for returning veterans and set them up for success in civilian life has proved woefully inadequate for decades. The notorious failures and backlogs of the VA have received renewed attention on the presidential campaign trail, but the problems go much deeper than issues with basic medical care. A recent survey from Disabled American Veterans indicates that less than half of veterans believe they have received the support they were promised upon returning from service, with only 1 in 5 saying the federal government treats them well or that they have gotten the benefits due to them. Moreover, fully two-thirds of respondents say they are unprepared for or stigmatized in the civilian job market. More sinister evidence of a lack of concern or understanding for veterans’ issues has also just been released

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by the Death Penalty Information Center, which reports that while only 0.04% 0.4% of the general population have served currently serve in active duty, at least 10% of current death row inmates are veterans, and many others have already been executed. While the exact prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder and other service-related disabilities among these vets is difficult to determine, many are known to have PTSD, some having been granted 100% disability as a result. The Obama administration has paid repeated lip service to cleaning up the VA and otherwise keeping promises to vets. Among other programs, the White House created Joining Forces, an effort to reduce homelessness and increase opportunities for former military members. A recently announced partnership with Uber and Lyft claims it will give free rides to veterans for job interviews.


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US Military Veterans Feel Federal Government Has Not Treated Them Well While the majority of veterans said they valued their service and would do it again, most do not feel as if they received adequate support in reintegrating into civilian life, a new survey released Tuesday by Disabled American Veterans revealed. Roughly two-thirds of veterans of recent wars said their qualifications do not translate well to the civilian job market, and 59 percent felt as if civilians don’t understand what vets are dealing with when coming home from war, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

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When asked whether they felt that promises made by the government to them as a veteran had been kept, 48 percent answered yes, 28 percent answered no and 24 percent were not sure. Only 19 percent of veterans agreed that the federal government treats them well, while 30


past decade, reaching $163.9 billion this year, and a report released last summer discovered that post-9/11 veterans have higher incomes and are better covered by private and public health insurance than civilians, based on 2013 numbers. However, 31 percent of post-9/11 veterans have service-connected disabilities, while only 16 percent of all other veterans do.

percent disagreed. And a mere 15 percent of veterans said that they agreed that disabled veterans have received the benefits they were promised, while 30 percent disagreed. “That’s why I’m doing this job,” Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald told the Wall Street Journal, who warned that some of his overhauls may take time. “There have been shortfalls in the past; there may even be shortfalls today.” The Veterans Affairs (VA) budget has doubled in the

During the race to 2016, major veterans’ groups have complained the VA has not been talked about enough. Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley, though, announced Monday a comprehensive veterans and military policy platform, which included ending veterans’ unemployment by 2020, overhauling healthcare offerings and ending “wrongful” military discharges related to post-traumatic stress disorder, the Military Times reported. “Veterans have not escaped Washington’s dysfunction,” O’Malley said in his policy paper. “While some progress has been made at [the VA], the current situation remains unacceptable. Further reform and bold actions are needed to ensure instances of data manipulation and secret waitlists never happen again.”

How Can a Disabled Veteran Buy a House? Dear Real Estate Adviser, I am a 65-year-old disabled veteran and am interested in buying an $85,000 home. My income is from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). My veteran son will be living with me and contributing to my mortgage. I have good credit and could put up to $60,000 down if needed. But I have no clue what kind of help I can get or where to start. -- Kandy Dear Kandy, With your military background, you should definitely pursue a federally backed Veterans Affairs Home Loan. This could allow you to buy a home with little to no down payment, no mortgage insurance and lower-than-average closing costs. There are no prepayment penalties either if you are compelled to pay it off

early. The only extra expected of you is a modest VA funding fee of about 2%. Contact a couple of large local real estate agencies and ask to interview agents experienced with clients who have bought with VA loans. The agent you choose should be able to put you in touch with banks that are VA-approved lenders (not all are). Closing costs may vary, so shop around. If you want to do this, however, first consult a real estate attorney, estate attorney or similarly qualified professional who can suggest the best way to structure the purchase (joint tenants with full rights of survivorship, tenants in common, etc.) to protect you and your son from future tax or estate-distribution problems.

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The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrafice for our country has earned them out lasting gratitude� - Jeff Miller

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This Georgetown Bakery Helps Disabled Veterans Get Back to Work

A Georgetown bakery might be the last spot you’d expect to find wounded veterans, but that’s what the staff is mostly composed of at Dog Tag Bakery. Founders Rick Curry and Connie Milstein—he’s a priest, she’s an entrepreneur and philanthropist—opened the storefront in December. Their mission? To prepare disabled vets for gainful employment in civilian life. The work/study arrangement goes beyond baking and packing orders— Dog Tag Inc. fellows participate in a service-to-civilian transitional program, which includes earning a business-administration certificate at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies. The goal is to harness and feed their entrepreneurial spirit while providing a safe space to readjust to civilian life. And the cinnamon buns ain’t bad, either.

Disabled veterans to get significant help from new Veterans Legal Fund Veterans who suffer from disabilities and are fighting for benefits can now get support from a new fund aimed at helping them with legal fees. Former Nova Scotia MP Peter Stoffer helped launch the Veteran’s Legal Assistance Fund on Friday in Ottawa. The fund was established with a $1 million donation from law firms that received fees in the class action law suit led by veteran Dennis Manuge in Nova Scotia. 18 | PAGE


Marathon Runners to Raise Funds for Paralyzed Veterans of America You probably pound the pavement multiple times a week preparing for your next race. But what about those who don’t have the luxury of running, walking or even getting out of bed by themselves? These challenges are a reality for more than 44,000 American veterans living with a spinal cord injury or disease, who were injured after putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom as Americans. For able-bodied endurance athletes, however, there is a new way to give back to them. In June of 2015, the Paralyzed Veterans of America introduced REVolution, a new fundraising program that allows endurance and multisport athletes to give back to the thousands of paralyzed United States veterans. Al Kovach Jr., the national president of Paralyzed Veterans of America, U.S. Navy SEAL, former Paralympian and two-time winner of the Los Angeles Marathon, was instrumental in building the charitable program.

Runners who join the REVolution are guaranteed entry into one of the organization’s two sponsored events: the Air Force Marathon Sept. 19, 2015, or the Marine Corps Marathon Oct. 25, 2015. The registration fee for each person goes toward the minimum amount required to fundraise, $500.

nounce improvements to the allowance for those veterans who are permanently impaired, as well as a benefit for caregivers. The deficiencies in the permanent impairment allowance – a taxable monthly benefit paid to the most severely disabled veterans who fall under the New Veterans Charter, which became law in 2006 – have been discussed for years.

Ottawa to announce better benefits for disabled veterans and their caregivers The federal government is attempting to fill two more gaps in the support offered to Canada’s most injured military personnel with better compensation for severely disabled veterans and financial assistance for the family members who care for them. Veterans Affairs Minister Erin O’Toole will be at a naval reserve facility in Vancouver on Tuesday to an-

So, too, has support for caregivers, though it was unclear Monday whether the government would offer them a benefit or a tax credit. A tax credit would be of little help to some spouses of disabled veterans whose family income is low. The changes expected Tuesday address key complaints voiced by veterans. The caregivers’ grievance was highlighted last spring when then-veterans minister Julian Fantino was chased out of a Commons Veterans Affairs committee by the wife of a veteran diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The television cameras were rolling as Jenny Migneault shouted: “What about us? The spouses, the caregivers, the ones who live 24 hours a day with their heroes? Nothing for us?” PAGE PAGE

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Veterans and

Law Enforcement Law enforcement has always been a full-contact business. We see the very best and worst of what our society has to offer, and hold the welfare and safety of our communities in the balance. We can be fully engaged in helping a citizen one moment, and, minutes later, find ourselves taking action against another human being hell bent on doing our community harm. Either way, we are here to make a difference in our communities by ensuring the rule of law does not break down, relationships between our police departments and the people we serve grow stronger each day, and that transparency and forthrightness are at the forefront of our strategic growth and development for the future. More importantly, we need good men and women to carry this most honorable profession into the future. And, those with key skillsets and characteristics, like our military veterans, are often perfect candidates for such a calling. Law enforcement has a lot to offer military veterans. It is a network of federal, state, county, and municipal agencies that offer an array of career choices. From police officers at the municipal level, to deputy sheriffs and probation officers at the county level, highway patrol officers, troopers, and correctional officers at the state level, and agents at the federal level, professional options within the law enforcement community are both wide ranging, and far reaching. As the chief executive of a southern California municipal police department, I am often asked what I am looking for in a police recruit candidate? My answer has been the same for many years now. I am looking for good men and women – period. Yes, you need to be in good, if not exceptional, physical condition to be a police officer. You also need a level head on your shoulders. Moreover, you have to possess a general ability to communicate both verbally and in writing – minimally. And, yes, those collective traits, partnered with a dedicated entrylevel training program at any organization, go a long way in developing our future police officers. But, that stated, we can’t teach you to be a good person. You either are or you aren’t. I have personally found our military veterans to be some of the best, most dedicated, and selfless people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. That, alone, suggests a pool of candidates in our communities that is ripe for the picking. What we need now is a recruitment effort that helps bridge that gap between our military veterans and a rewarding career in law enforcement. I’m hoping my article here helps to do that in a small way, and encourages, at the very least, even one military veteran to take that leap of faith into a law enforcement career. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. I’d like to turn to the process for a moment, and share what any recruit candidate could expect in trying to become a police

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officer or deputy sheriff for a municipal or county agency. Though each agency has its own, deliberative process, many follow a very similar process. A typical recruit candidate will initiate his or her process by filling out an application for police officer / deputy sheriff at their chosen agency. The application may or may not require a resume. Some agencies also require a hand-written or typing exemplar around this time. What commonly follows next is a formal written exam that consists of a multiple-choice test – much like you took in high school or college. The written test is often just a qualifier – meaning that you either pass of fail. Pass the written test, and you will often have to take a physical fitness qualification, followed by an oral examination regularly consisting of two or three raters currently in law enforcement. The oral examination is what often ranks recruit candidates on a list where they are selected for a background investigation. The background investigation is a very detailed, often time consuming process that tells a lot about candidates both in its research and their reaction to the process overall. Assuming a candidate passes the background process, they often receive a conditional offer of employment where a polygraph test, psychological test, and medical evaluation follow. Once those remaining tests are completed and passed, the chief executive often meets with a recruit candidate, conducts a final interview with him or her, and, if all goes well, offers them a job as a police recruit officer. Thereafter, the police recruit officer enters a police academy where he or she will spend the next 5-6 months preparing to become a fully sworn police officer or deputy sheriff. Such a process is both demanding, and time consuming – but well worth the effort in the end. I truly believe there is no higher calling in the civilian world than being a police officer or law enforcement professional selflessly dedicated to the safety and welfare of your fellow citizens. In that vein, we have something in common with our military veterans. Where our military veterans have so willingly sacrificed so much for us in defending the green line to keep us safe from those that would do us harm both here and abroad, we, in law enforcement, do the same in defending the blue line to keep our communities safe from those wanting to do harm as well. I also believe our military veterans bring a much needed balance to our law enforcement workforce in that regard, and I, as well as many other chief executives, look forward to growing our departments in that regard. It truly is the very least we can do for the sacrifices our military veterans have made for all of us.


How Can a Disabled Veteran Get a Mortgage? Dear Real Estate Adviser, I am a 65-yearold disabled veteran and am interested in buying an $85,000 home. My income is from Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). My veteran son will be living with me and contributing to my mortgage. I have good credit and could put up to $60,000 down if needed. But I have no clue what kind of help I can get or where to start. -- Kandy Dear Kandy, With your military background, you should definitely pursue a federally backed Veterans Affairs Home Loan. This could allow you to buy a home with little to no down payment, no mortgage insurance and lower-than-average closing costs. There are no prepayment penalties either if you are compelled to pay it off early. The only extra expected of you is a modest VA funding fee of about 2%.

of large local real estate agencies and ask to interview agents experienced with clients who have bought with VA loans. The agent you choose should be able to put you in touch with banks that are VA-approved lenders (not all are). Closing costs may vary, so shop around. If you want to do this, however, first consult a real estate attorney, estate attorney or similarly qualified professional who can suggest the best way to structure the purchase (joint tenants with full rights of survivorship, tenants in common, etc.) to protect you and your son from future tax or estate-distribution problems.

Dear Kandy, With your military background, you should definitely pursue a federally backed Veterans Affairs Home Loan. Contact a couple

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Over 400 disabled veterans waiting on priority list for public-service jobs Successive federal governments have said they would help disabled veterans get public-service jobs, but a long-time advocate says the civil service is not co-operative and he questions whether anyone ensures that discharged military personnel are considered when openings arise. Don Leonardo, president of Veterans Canada, says it is in the public interest to find jobs for disabled former soldiers, if only because it would reduce the amount that taxpayers spend on benefits.

Over 400 disabled veterans waiting on priority list for public-service jobs “But who is in charge of it?” Mr. Leonardo asked. “The public service is against this, so they are not going to help the injured veteran get there. So who is getting him that job?” The former Conservative government brought in the Veterans Hiring Act on Canada Day of last year that said veterans who were released for medical reasons were to be first in line for any civil-service job, and that all veterans would get “priority entitlement” to advertised government vacancies. The federal Public Service Commission (PSC) said in an e-mail on Tuesday that, between July 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016, there were 26 veterans who were given government jobs based on a priority status resulting from an injury attribut-

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able to their service. The government also gave priority placements to 112 veterans who were released due to injuries that were not directly attributable to their military career. But, as of May 16, there were still 424 medically discharged veterans waiting on the priority list to be hired, despite the fact that more than 20,000 people were appointed to government positions between July and April. The PSC said it maintains the inventory of people with a priority entitlement and ensures that they are considered during the appointment processes, but it is the deputy ministers within each department who are responsible for ensuring that eligible veterans are given priority in hiring. The PSC also said it plays an active role in monitoring all categories of priority entitlements and believes the system is working well. Since the implementation of the Veterans Hiring Act, said the commission, the number of veterans participating in appointment processes has increased and that is expected to continue over time. Still, veterans contacted by The Globe and Mail report frustration with the lack of response they receive when they apply for vacancies. And public servants are not always willing to step aside to give veterans the first chance at a job that could be filled by one of their own.


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