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In This Issue Editor’s Letter Billy Madison Senator Nick Kettle Identity Crisis Profile: Julie Frisone Exclusive Interview: Kasim Yarn John McCrillis – A Local Story Veteran Networking Profile: LTC Christopher Wingate Know Your Resources From Soldier to Student 3 RI Veteran Resource Guide

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Editor’s Letter By Karen Dalton In 2014 I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified Health Coach so that I could work with my Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians members on helping them meet their quality measures and meaningful use requirements and help engage their patients to live a healthy lifestyle and reduce their chronic disease symptoms. Half way through the program past graduates spoke about what they did with their training. They were changing health policies, writing books, on the food network and more. I decided at this time that I wanted to do something that would cause a ripple effect and make a difference in this world. I journaled about my journey in life and how my father, a Marine, that served during the Vietnam Era, struggled with anger management issues and how that affected my life. This is when Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc. was created. Through alternative therapy programs that have helped me, we hope to help our service members, veterans and their families with emotional challenges like PTSD, anxiety, depression, military sexual trauma and mild traumatic brain injury through alternative therapy programs like equine therapy, yoga, horticulture,

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nutritional cooking, wood working, fly tying/fishing, kayak/canoe trips and more. It has been a long 2 years, but we have our own facility now with 7 horses, 3 goats, 2 bunnies, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. This 11 acre farm is located in Foster RI. We had to scale down our project from its original plans to meet our fiscal availability, but we are working diligently to get it up to our original plans. We have some great collaborative efforts with other veteran non-profits, veteran service organizations, and civilian businesses to help serve our local service members, veterans and their families. We see clients that have been in an IED explosion, lost battle buddies, going through a divorce, lonely, depressed, anger management issues, and custody issues. Horses are hypervigilant, fight or flight animals. They mirror your behavior which allows you to see in real time what energy you are giving off. All of our programs are mindful, you have to be in the moment, which helps to stop thinking about the past, even if it is for only a few minutes. Our equine program focuses on Non Verbal Communication, Relationships, Trust and Leadership. We see clients Tuesday-Sunday. These are by appointment only. If you would like to make an appointment to visit the farm, start a 6 week program, volunteer or sponsor our programs please email Karendaltonhealthyliving@gmail.com. You can find out more about our programs and events by visiting our website at www.daretodreamranch.org or our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/DareToDreamRanch

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Blackhawk Cat As our first story of an Inspirational Service member who has overcome many obstacles, I am honored to write about my own Battle Buddy, Staff Sergeant Nikki "Cat" Catanzaro. We served together as volunteers in a small company, the 1058 Convoy Security Company while deployed to Iraq in 2010 with the 1166th Hett Company Army National Guard of Massachusetts. Cat had joined the military as soon as she turned 18 in 2008 after many years of foster homes, she had finally found a family of soldiers where she felt accepted. On 27 July 2010, Cat and 2 other members of her gun truck were involved in a rollover accident while on mission from FOB Speicher. As a 240B machine gunner in an Up-Armored

HMMWV (Humvee) she was ejected from her fighting position in the turret. After Cat and another soldier were CASEVAC (casualty evacuation) off the MSR (major supply route) by

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Blackhawk Helicopters, they were brought to a base in Iraq to be stabilized. Cat was then airlifted to Germany and placed in a medical induced coma for over a week. While there she was treated for her injuries which included a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), dislocated hip, hearing and vision loss, a fractured vertebrae and partial paralysis on her left side. Eventually Cat was transferred to Walter Reed National Military Center in Washington D.C. She spent more than a year at the center recuperating. While there she was inspired by the perseverance of other injured service members. Cat decided to pursue a college education at Northern Essex Community College in Engineering Science. While there she excelled and was recruited by Conformis Company. She became a CAD Specialist. Her position was to convert MRIs to 3D models for knee replacements. SSG Catanzaro has continued training in the National Guard and is continuing

her education at the UMass Lowell campus as a part-time student all while working a full-time career. Cat will be graduating in 2017 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Cat is planning on using her skills to make her own prosthetic line. "Every day is truly a new challenge to overcome." "The sleepless days take hold on the brain injury. At the end of the day, it comes down to managing it all." She explains. While she still suffers from her TBI she makes due with lots of notes and alarms on her phone to ensure she doesn't forget anything. While she exercises regularly and does yoga to keep her mental fitness sharp, she is still learning to deal with daily migraines and cope with the symptoms. "At this point, I've forgotten what not having a headache was like." The last thing she told me in this interview was "Eat or be eaten, right?"

Eat or be eaten, right?

- SPC Ed Swale

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The 25-year-old freshman

Billy Madison Billy Madison is one of Adam Sandler’s most iconic roles. For those who don’t know, Sandler portrays a 27 year old man who has to start school at the kindergarten level and work his way up to high school graduate in order to inherit his retiring father’s company. As you can imagine, the movie pokes fun at a 27 year old man sitting crisscross on the floor with a bunch of five year olds listening to a story told by the teacher. After speaking with many veterans, it was a surprise that many of them identified with this Billy Madison character. Even though it was not as extreme, many vets felt weird being 25 years or older in classes with 18

year olds. Many veterans expressed this feeling and their transition to college. When asked about re-assimilating to civilian society, school was a large concern among vets. Veteran Brian McCrillis shared that he was most afraid of not getting along with anyone. “I thought that I was gonna be like Billy Madison in college, and I kinda do feel that way. But I realize that I've had a lot more time than college students to think about things, and it's given me a much more mature perspective.” Even though he is older, he finds comfort in knowing that his experiences gives him a more

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holistic, bigger picture view on the world. We also asked veterans about how the service has better prepared them for college life. Over all, the veterans had positive responses. Veteran Chris Rosera said, “It definitely gave me a stronger work ethic than most of my coworkers/peers. Equally, I have stronger public speaking skills, and a better sense of prioritization than most people I meet.” Similarly, veteran Lucas Nydam said, “I've done so many difficult things in the army, that nothing seems to be too difficult/ impossible. Also, it matured me and gave me a way to look at things differently and from


different angles.” Brian McCrillis also noted that, “Besides not having crippling debt, I’d say it's made me more mature, and I usually find common ground with professors with what they're saying, because I'm sometimes closer to their age than my fellow classmates. I’m also never late to class or school in general. I always arrive really early, which helps me study.” The service helped each individual differently, but overall it empowered them to be more responsible and made them feel as if they excel above their peers. In these cases, the Billy Madison effect actually helped the veterans, rather than make them feel uncomfortable. Some veterans did have opposing views on college. Most of them had planned on staying in the service, then retiring without school, while others went in order to pay for their education. John Boccanfuso realized that “After getting out, you have to break the military lifestyle, and get back into the school lifestyle. I have much more difficulty now with concentration and articulation than I ever have before service. I have to work

extra hard to complete the same tasks that would have easily completed prior to deployment/service.” His experiences lead him to a difficult transition back into college life. Lucas Nydam, however, had a different opinion. He believes “College is honestly super easy. I’ve found if you show up to class every day, pay attention and just complete all the assignments you will easily pass.” Finally, many vets realized that the service shaped them into a better student than they ever were before. Nick Burbaugh admitted: I went to college before I joined the Navy and I was a royal screw-up. I didn't go to class or do my homework. I generally didn't care and was not in the right mindset to conquer the challenges that come with being a college student. The Navy taught me to rise above my obstacles, to keep fighting, and to put everything I have into what I'm doing. Showing up on time and getting the job done, as is required by the military, has also helped tremendously. I am a completely different person now compared to

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who I was prior to my service. Likewise, Sargent John Harrington confessed he had dropped out of high school because he didn’t want to pass classes by doing homework. After his experience, Harrington turned his educational career around by thriving at the University of Connecticut, successfully studying to become a paramedic. Both men also found that the structure and experience in the military gave them a better opportunity to do well in school. Leaving the education system and returning at a later age, when they were more mature and driven lead them to be the outstanding students they are today. Each veteran that we interviewed expressed apprehension about returning to school older than their classmates. After some reflection, they realized how their newfound maturity and different way of thinking gave them a leg up against their peers. Over all, the Billy Madison effect is apparent, but each veteran appreciates their standing and exhibits determination to succeed.


Senator Nick Kettle How the RI government is helping local veterans The RISE team had the privilege of interviewing Nick Kettle. Senator Kettle has been representing District 21, Foster, Coventry, West Greenwich and Scituate, since 2010 and was recently reelected to another term. Nick Kettle has run on the platform of being ethical, fiscally

responsible,

pro

small

government, and pro Veteran. His pro Veteran stances have become a staple of his term in the State Senate, advocating for veterans like those in his own family. “My father served in the Army Reserves and my grandfather and uncle also both served in the Army. My second Cousin

The RISE team took the opportunity to

Holly Charette served in the Marines

inquire about his plans for his next term

and was killed while serving in Iraq so

in office, especially in relation to his bill,

we are a part of a gold star family and are

Senate Bill No. 2047, which aims to

very active with the other gold star

exempt Veteran pensions from facing

families in Rhode Island.�

Rhode Island state income tax. The bill was reviewed by a committee but hasn’t

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seen any activity since April 28th, 2016.

so primarily by eliminating taxation on

We asked Kettle if there was any reason

military pensions. According to Kettle,

that

be

“the Senate previously has passed several

concerned about the delay and the

pieces of legislation to make it easier for

overall success of the bill.

veterans to return home and stay in RI,”

Kettle responds claiming that “as for this

providing hope for future improvements

year the bill will not pass as the

to the system.

Legislature has adjourned, should I

We then inquired about a piece of

return to the Senate I will put it in again.

legislation in support of veterans that

However I will say veterans received a

Kettle

tax cut in the budget for Veterans

support from. Recently, the Rhode

Pensions this year, it is a step in the right

Island Veteran Home Bonds, HB 7454

direction. Typically for items such as

bill was approved in the House with

this, they will happen in the budget not

100% support and the Senate with only

as a stand-alone bill.”

three “No” votes, Kettle included. We

So it seems like there is hope. While the

asked Kettle to tell us about the bill and

bill may not pass in the standard way, it

his position on it.

could potentially be incorporated in

Kettle indicated that he “[has] no

future budgets. Still, we are concerned

problem for the Veteran’s home and

for the welfare of Rhode Island

plan on voting for it.” Kettle explained

Veterans. We asked Kettle how he

that while he did vote against the

thinks we should go about enticing

budget, it was not for lack of support to

veterans and veteran families to stay in

the veteran home initiative. There were

Rhode Island or if relocation should be

other elements in the budget that

the recommendation.

seemed

Kettle responds in support of his home

Providence Port bond and where

state. He believes that we need to make

payments were being made to. If it

Rhode Island “affordable overall,” doing

weren’t for these uncertainties, he would

retired

veterans

should

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had

interestingly

“fishy,”

withheld

specifically

the


have supported the veteran homes and

the construction of these facilities, but

voted to pass the legislation.

reassures us that the government is

Director of Rhode Island Office of

acting in good interest of its veterans.

Veteran Affairs Kasim Yarn has referred

We conclude the interview by inquiring

to the new veteran home in Bristol as

about Kettle’s personal views on the role

“State of the Art” which seems to justify

of the state in the livelihood of its

the $94 Million estimate in 2008, but

veterans. Here is Kettle’s closing

this estimate has now shown to be far

statement:

lower than the actual costs. We asked

“I think the role of the state should be

Kettle if he believed that Rhode Island is

just to make lives easier for people not

in need of such a facility, and how he

harder especially for our veterans. I hear

would propose the State or People of

so many stories from people who love

Rhode Island would pay to build it.

Rhode Island but can’t afford to stay

Kettle affirms that such facilities would

here. We need to make it affordable for

benefit Rhode Island, and going over

our veterans, increase access to services if

budget in such endeavors is to be

possible and duly recognize those whom

expected. However, he does believe that

have served. Without our Veterans we

“this issue strikes at the importance of

would not have the great state and

governing fiscally responsible.” Kettle

nation we live in today.”

doesn’t propose a means of paying for The RISE team thanks Nick Kettle for lending his time and thoughts to this article. We have hope for the betterment of veteran lives in Rhode Island, thanks to government members like himself. Have hope veterans, your people are looking out for you.

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Identity Crisis After leaving the service, many veterans experience a loss of identity. This struggle stems from having previously been a part of an organization much bigger than themselves to returning to civilian life as just any other citizen. Except they are not just any other citizen. These veterans spent years being referred to by their rank and title, recognized even in their address for their accomplishments and time served. They leave this life of structure and interdependence and find themselves feeling suddenly insignificant and alone. When veteran Brian McCrillis was asked what struggles he faced when returning from service, his first response was loneliness. “It’s weird…not being around a lot of people that you know and like…Also finding a job. It was hard to justify to myself leaving a position that I had a lot of pride in to go work at Dunkin Donuts or AutoZone or something.” To go right into work or back to school is a big decision. Many veterans indicated that they initially felt like they wouldn’t be able to perform well in academics, since it so much time had passed since any of them had sat in a formal classroom. Even the idea of making decisions can 13 be scary. According to Nick Burbaugh, “You know what to wear, where to be, and when to be there. You know


where you're eating, exactly what your job is, and how you relate to others in the command structure. The civilian world is completely different and that's a daunting transition.” The military is so regimented that it is easy and common to feel lost when suddenly living without strict guidelines to direct every decision. Chris Rosera about experiencing culture shock when he left the military. “The military is a very forward place, where opinions are spoken openly and strongly. This was quite different from the average work environment.” Even though we consider Veterans to be “coming home,” they are actually leaving something that they have considered to be home for so long that their former “home” becomes something entirely foreign. Average social rules about what you can and cannot say or do are entirely unique in a military setting. There is a social adjustment that occurs when going between settings, and failure to adapt can leave a veteran feeling isolated and unreliable. Even family and friends, the biggest identification of home, seemed so foreign. Josh Boccanfuso described how his biggest fear when returning home was that he had matured beyond his friends. Unfortunately his fear was realized, and he struggled as “[his] closest friends … seemed more like acquaintances.” Civilians tend not to consider such difficulties when welcoming veterans home. The most common assumption is that returning home means returning to something familiar and assimilation will be immediate and natural. It is important to recognize that this is not the case. There are many obstacles that veterans must overcome, and challenges they face every day. It is imperative that veterans make use of their networks and resources, as they are available to help in times of struggle. These resources can assist in assimilating back into civilian life and to help realize who they are beyond their years of service. 14


PROFILE - JULIE FRISONE My name is Julie Frisone and I am a Veteran Advocate for Veterans Assembled Electronics, a vocational school that trains, certifies and advocates for employment opportunities for service disabled veterans. Prior to this I was the Associate Director of Veteran Employment & Training for a nonprofit organization helping at risk and homeless veterans. My stepfather was in the Air Force, My Uncle served in the Army in Vietnam and I am a former military spouse of an active duty service disabled combat Veteran, who served as an Infantry Sergeant for the United States Army. I supported him through multiple deployments including Iraq in 2010 and Afghanistan in 2012. I am presently engaged to a 20 year retired Navy Chief and Service Disabled Veteran. I have known Karen Dalton for several years now and serve on the OEF/OIF Task force Committee with her, which meets once a month at the Providence VA Medical Center. I have always know Karen as a passionate Veteran Advocate, and was blown away this past weekend when our VAe student class went on a field trip and took a tour of Dare to Dream Ranch. I myself took over 50 photos and the students took many more. I did attach some of them to this email and would be glad to provide more if needed. Many of the Veteran students I work with face significant challenges and barriers when they separate from the service. They come from all different branches of service, walks of life, and experiences from their time of service and are often resistant to seek help for themselves. 8 Veterans, their spouses and children all met my family and Karen at the Ranch on Saturday. I have spent the last 5 months with the group I took to the ranch. I saw them in new

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light and was blessed and grateful enough to see them come out of their shells, see some of them smile for the first time ever, and watch a very moving and spiritual exchange between the veterans and the horses, goats, dogs and other animals on the ranch. I also was able to witness them showing great camaraderie and support for each other. We were at the ranch for over two hours and no one wanted to leave. Karen has a very special and unique talent and ability to break down walls and get to the heart and soul of my veteran students. She was very brave and courageous in sharing her own personal testimony and story with my students. By being so open, real, vulnerable and honest, she opened the pathway for some of my veterans to begin talking about their own struggles and experiences, many of whom have kept this bottled down inside for years, and others who had never spoken about until that day. She is so down to earth and compassionate. She works from her heart and for a cause far bigger and greater beyond her. The next week I watched the veterans students exchange photos and stories from their time at the ranch. They are all eager and passionate to return. I heard so many wonderful comments. One veteran told me he grew up on a horse farm, it was a good time and memory for him, and being able to visit the ranch brought him back to that place of happiness when he was 7. I had another veteran express how truly peaceful and comfortable he felt there, which for him was a huge milestone given he has trust issues and suffers from severe PTSD. Another Veteran stated that working with the horses was very therapeutic and calming. One other veteran stated that he was not going to come that day but at the last minute changed his mind and he was so grateful he did. The

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biggest piece I took away from the experience, having brought my children and Jack, was that Karen offers these services to the entire family, understanding that military life and service affects the whole family. She also offers families a healthy forum to heal together, connect and bond and spend good old fashion fun as a community.

Many of the Veterans I work with suffer the consequences of combat and unintended results that sometimes comes with military service including PTSD, Divorce & Custody Battles, Health Issues, legal and financial issues, substance abuse and the list goes on from there. Karen has implemented programs that support rehabilitation, recovery, health and wellness, community outreach and support and overall healthy living. She is doing what she can with the tools and resources she presently has. She does have some volunteers and resources donated, but given more resources I am confident that Karen can take her Ranch to the next level and expand not only her services, but the number of veterans she can affect. It is my understanding that she is presently applying for grant money to be able to expand her services to veterans. Having seen first-hand the work she is doing, I respectfully request that you take into consideration my own testimony, having lived the military life for 39 years now and having served my community in the field of veteran advocacy for roughly 5 years now. I would be truly grateful and appreciative of your time and consideration and am very glad to discuss further by phone or in person.

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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

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Kasim Yarn

New director of the Rhode Island Veteran’s Affairs

A native of Jackson, Mississippi, Kasim Yarn joined the Navy in 1991 at age 18 and reported for basic training immediately after graduating high school. Mr. Yarn earned his bachelor's degree from Boston University and a master's degree from Newport's Naval War College. Yarn has completed four deployments, including missions to Europe and the Middle East as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. During his career, he had been stationed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Illinois, Virginia and Mississippi. He has lived in Rhode Island for 20 years along with his wife Rosaria, whom he met in service, and their two children. In early November, we went to the newly opened Veterans Affairs office in Warwick, Rhode Island to speak with Rhode Island’s first ever Director of Veterans Affairs, Kasim Yarn. Our purpose for meeting with Mr. Yarn was to learn about the new director position, what he does day to day, and his intentions for helping the 72,000 veterans in the state of Rhode Island. We asked him what his reasoning was for retiring from the Navy after 20 years and accepting his new position as director to which he happily responded “I love my country and I love the Navy but I need to

take care of my family also. I asked myself ‘what can I do to give back to a state that’s given me so much?’ And this position provides me the opportunity to do both”. Just like many other veteran’s family was a priority. After the hour we had spent with Mr. Yarn, it was obvious he had the utmost professionalism and seriousness when working towards a solution to benefit veterans and supply them with the best services and support that Rhode Island can. For most people, a new job and curriculum may lead to anxiety and difficult challenges but fortunately for Director Yarn, upon taking this position, he said he faced “zero challenges. It was like taking the uniform off and putting on a suit and tie.” Such a smooth transition is evident in his hit the ground running attitude, and is to the benefit of veterans as Yarn uses his prior experience and knowledge to help the state bridge the gap between itself and its veterans. With his dedication and love for his family and country, Mr. Yarn has become a very accomplished and dependable veteran as well as a resource for any veteran seeking help. His main goal is to “continue to build on what we’ve started. Continue to outreach to identify what the veterans’ needs are. What their needs are will dictate my ability to bring that to the

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governor’s office and provide her options going forward.” Director Yarns desire to help each and every one of the 72,000 veterans and their families in Rhode Island makes him the perfect candidate for this position. He and his staff have made various changes in their approach to connect with veterans. Defining a problem, coming up with an action solution, and resolving any and all conflicts possible is Mr. Yarn’s successful method. Prior to Director Yarn’s arrival, the Office of Veterans Affairs did not have a physical location until Director Yarn and his team created a location easily accessible by car, bus, train, “and any other way possible other than boat” He joked. Along with the easy accessibility of the office, Mr. Yarn and his staff have also help with the general assembly as well as with the guidance of Governor Raimondo. “We have two case managers now. Never before did this state have that. That is an indication that this state cares about our Rhode Islanders and our veterans. Another example, is that never before has this state had a headquarters in which a veteran can call home. At the end of the day if they have a question, they can pick up the phone, look at the website, email, or even come here”, says the director of the VA, who is proud of what they have accomplished, yet still hungry to accomplish more. Instead of providing behind the counter drugs to relieve any physical or physiological pain, Dare to Dream Ranch provides safer, healthier alternative therapies to help veterans cope with the stresses and anxiety that comes as a result of experience in the service as well as separation anxiety when transitioning into the civilian world. When asked about his opinion on alternative therapies, Director Yarn said ““There is work being done. We are in the people business and

no one is alike….all the organizations are doing great things in the community.” Director Yarn believes with more research and a better understanding of what each person needs, organizations such as Dare to Dream Ranch can expand and supply more support for veterans. Although the use of medicinal marijuana has recently become popular, Yarn believes it is not always the best possible solution. Being a veteran himself, Director Yarn emphasized his personal opinion is the same as his professional opinion on the topic of medical marijuana, telling us he “will defer that to our leadership. From my perspective, it’s something we need to keep looking into.” Mr. Yarn is working diligently to raise awareness and support the veterans of Rhode Island in any way he can. His team at the Office of Veteran’s Affairs along with Governor Raimondo are fully committed to aiding those who unselfishly served our country. From making the Veteran’s Affairs website easily accessible to getting more money to support different organizations and funding, Mr. Yarn shows he cares and proves it with his actions. When talking about Rhode Island he has stated multiple times that “my home is here and my heart is here” and is evident that he prides himself on the home he has made. If you need to stop in you can find the Office of Veterans Affairs at 560 Jefferson Boulevard in Warwick Rhode Island, or if you need to reach out to them their website is http://www.vets.ri.gov/contact/ or call at (401) 921-2119.

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JOHN McCRILLIS A LOCAL STORY

John McCrillis was born in Rhode Island and joined the army in 2006 when he was 22 years old. He enlisted as an Infantryman and was trained in Ft. Benning, GA before completing the Special Forces Qualification Course (Q Course) earning his Green Beret and being stationed with 1st Group Special Forces in Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. In 2011 John and his team were on a combat mission in a small village in northern Afghanistan. While moving up an alley to a compound an enemy combatant opened fire through the compound door striking a friendly Afghani soldier, as well as one of John’s teammates. John rushed forward to grab his teammate in order to pull him out of the line of fire but was himself shot

twice, once through the chest, collapsing his lung, and a second time in the hip. John fought for his life that night as he was evacuated via helicopter, though the events from that night still haunt him physically and mentally. While John was recovering he lost all his normal sleep habits and was forced to sleep sitting up. “I couldn’t sleep on my right side because of the chest wound, or my left side because of my hip, my stomach because I couldn’t breathe, the same on my back.” He often slept in the bathroom with the hot shower running to help with pain and discomfort. His wife Kate played a huge role in his recovery process, providing emotional and physical support. “Kate had to clean wounds and repack them a few times a day so the packing didn’t dry out and get stuck inside the bullet holes, she had to wash and dress me for

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months.” After a year John was using a cane to walk more freely but still with severe pain. The doctors learned that his femur was not attached, “it was free hanging like a tooth that had come out but just held by the gums” but this had been missed due to the military not performing an MRI until prior to a scheduled surgery, but after the MRI they realized that the surgery which took over a year to schedule was not even the right surgery, “it took a false diagnosis to find the issue, but I chose to recover in Washington at Madigan instead of Walter Reed due to my wife’s location, even though they have less experience with gunshot wounds.” John was still physically recovering when he was medically retired from the Army and moved to Texas where his wife’s family lived. He began working as a logistics coordinator in the power utilities industry out at remote sites for 28 days out of the month but felt the hours were too long and his position was too distant from his

family who had supported him for so long. While he was happy with the support the company showed him and the relationships he had built, he left and started his own company recruiting veterans like himself and helping companies create veteran hiring pipelines that could efficiently find high caliber veterans to fill the positions they needed. John did this for over two years and began to finally recover physically from his wounds. John began looking to go back to school and applied to Brown University, his parents and siblings all live in Rhode Island and he knew he would have a strong support base to raise his family, especially with his two girls being the same age as his older sister Alison’s son and daughter. John understood that the key to his success was not only perseverance and hard work but also having a strong support system from his family and also from the veterans in Rhode Island. He is an active participant in Browns Veteran

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community and was a speaker at the Veterans Day memorial held last year where he spoke about the challenges facing the veteran community and how the whole community needs to come together to support our veterans, and to help where the VA is unable to. John spoke about his friend Dominic from the service who also grew up in Rhode Island and was suffering with PTSD but pride had kept them from seeking help. “Everyone in my small unit, including myself, knew that Dom was having difficulties emotionally but we did not step in. We were Green Berets, we put our problems in a lock box and tossed the key…I never once asked him what he needed from me or what I could do to help…that following week we buried Dom.” John spoke of the problems in the veteran community, how we should inspire each other to reach higher and

continue to grow after the service. That we cannot be too proud to ask for help or to accept it, and that we must be open to helping anyone that may need it. John’s journey is one filled with adversity and struggle, but also filled with inspiration and love. He was able to take the most difficult situation of his life and with the support and love of his family, friends, and even strangers, turn it into a positive for himself and everyone he comes in contact with. John is now studying Business Economics at Brown University’s Business Entrepreneurship and Organizations program. “I ask each of you to follow thank you for your service with a question, ‘How are you?’ give them a moment to reach out if they need it…because outside our friends and family, the community is the only thing we can truly depend on.”

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VETERAN NETWORKING Networking enables you to establish your business contacts, develop resources, form opportunities, and can help further your career. Throughout our day to day lives, we’ve always been told that networking is the key to becoming successful. Young adults and veterans returning from service often find themselves struggling to locate and create the correct connections. After returning from their respective branch of the military, most veterans enter into an unfamiliar style of living with little direction as to what they want to do with their newfound opportunity. There are a plethora of people and groups working to help veterans and willing to hire veterans, yet, the problem seems to be that they don’t know where to look. There’s a good chance someone else has gone through the same confusing situation as you, and the answer you’re looking for is one question away. The best action to take is speaking with other veterans as well as friends and family members in order to create a structure for yourself to build off. Once created, you can reach out to the names and organizations you have acquired, apply for interviews so that you can share your background story as well as your experiences and how they apply to the position you’re seeking. It never hurts to research and come with questions about the

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organization to the interview, showing them you’re interested and knowledgeable. Josh, a current citizen of Rhode Island and veteran, decided to take on helping veterans himself and has successfully “been helping vets start school and ... create goals and give them tools advice” and tells us of one specific instance where he helped someone. “I had a veteran who came into my office and she was upset because she was having financial difficulties and could not afford books. I linked her up with the right people and she became eligible to get help. She bought her books and a car so she could get to class. She had no idea that help was put there, or who to ask.” He seeks to provide fellow veterans and guide them into the direction of success with the friends and associates he has acquired himself upon his return from service. Once you build your network and take action, repeat the process to discover more opportunities. The benefits of networking can potentially acclimate to a successful transition back to civilian life. Organizations such as Dare to Dream Ranch serve as an outlet to veterans in order to equip them with resume writing training, interview training, coaching, and job internship opportunities as well as guide them. The ability to build off of a connection you’ve made will make job hunting a little less complicated. 25


PROFILE - LTC Christopher Wingate ROTC stands for Reserve

Wales University, Rhode

learned not to stress about

Officers’ Training Corps. It

Island College, University of

small things but to focus on

is a program to give men and

Massachusetts at Dartmouth

the big picture.

women interested in the

and Community College of

This is important for

army a chance to receive

Rhode Island. Wingate is an

ROTC cadets to consider

education and train at the

18 year Army veteran who

when

same time. After graduating

led soldiers and operations

program.

from the program, students

in the Middle East, South

enter the military already

looking

into

the

They

are

committing

to

an

Korea, Germany, and the

organization

bigger

ranked as US Army Officers.

United States. Immediately

themselves. Being a part of

This gives them authority

before

and

Providence

arrived

at

something larger is a great

College,

he

encouragement for college

entering the army, along

served as an Operations

students who do not yet

with their college degrees.

Officer in Northern Iraq.

know their place in the

Students pursuing this kind

With such an impressive

world. College is an easy

of

resume,

was

place to get caught up on

resources they can rely on in

excited to ask LTC Wingate

insignificant problems and

order to guide them through

some

about

with ROTC, cadets can

the process. For cadets in the

ROTC

own

identify with something and

area, Lieutenant Colonel

experiences in the Army.

responsibility

career

when

have

many

he

than

our

team

questions

(LTC) Christopher Wingate

and We

his were

very

find purpose and comfort in it.

leads efforts to provide

interested in the strengths

college students/cadets the

and

LTC

has a lot to offer, there are

support system to prepare

Wingate took from his time

some major things to think

them to be Army officers.

in the Army. When asked

about. ROTC carries the

He is now the head of the

about this, Wingate replied:

expectation that cadets will

ROTC

at

“I have learned the power of

serve in the army after

College,

teamwork when a group of

receiving their education.

diverse

come

While it is an honor to serve

Providence College Bryant

together in pursuit of a

the country, there are some

University,

mission or idea bigger than

obstacles to be aware of. We

program

Providence overseeing

University,

cadets

from Brown

Johnson

&

lessons

that

people

themselves. [...] I also have

26

Even though ROTC


asked LTC Wingate what he

on a family is long lasting

themselves to a cause bigger

found was most challenging.

and the lives lost affects

than themselves. I think that

soldiers

forever.

is critical to our military’s

military

Overcoming these hardships

health so am excited to be

experience have been the

are what cadets can be proud

here

strain the military puts on a

of. Even though there are

mentoring/instructing role.”

family. I deployed for a year

challenges, if you have a

With all of his experience,

when my first child was two

strong support system, it is

Wingate has the knowledge

weeks old and then again

possible to get through

on what values to instill on

when my wife was pregnant.

anything

the students in the program.

Seeing my family struggle

before.

“The hardest thing about

my

stronger

than

in

this

Using his guidance, ROTC

while I was away was the

ROTC is a very

students can gain the values

very hardest part of my

respectable program, and

and habits to lead them to a

experience.

with determined students

successful career, in and out

communication were the

and

of the army. LTC Wingate’s

essential bridge that got us

there is a demand for

hard

through those times. The

leadership.

determination ensure that

other great hardship is seeing

Colonel

fits

the ROTC students have the

your friends and comrades

perfectly into this role. We

right mindset to protect our

die in the service, and seeing

asked him why he wanted to

country

first-hand the impact of that

work with ROTC.

character and skills needed

Trust

and

strong

personalities, Lieutenant

Wingate

on families. I will never

“I love working with

forget those times and those

folks just starting out in their

families.”

career and I am fortunate to

Wingate highlights how the

be able to influence them in

military is a permanent part

their

of your life. The tremendous

establishment of habits and

fulfillment and sense of

priorities that will hopefully

purpose to a cause greater

serve them well in their

than yourself is a life-long

career and life. I want to

asset that military members

instill

feel both during and after

students/cadets that military

their time in uniform. At the

service means selfless service

same time, the toll it takes

and that they must commit

choices

in

27

and

these

work

and

and

gain

to excel in the future.

the


Know Your Resources There comes a point in all of our careers in the service in which we say “Do I really want to do this for the rest of my life?” Sure we enlisted as scrawny, bright eyed youths looking to become barrel chested freedom fighters. Growing up watching Saving Private Ryan, Blackhawk Down, or Jarhead (if you’re into that kind of thing) but after a few years in the service, with twenty-threeyear-old knees and backs swollen and aching like we’re one step from social security, the images of the bureaucratic idiocy that is government employment, you’ve had enough. And why shouldn’t you? What was keeping you from getting out? Some of the biggest fears we’ve seen from Veterans was the fear of “What do I do now?”. The obscurity of civilian life, with no mission, no hierarchy, seemingly no order, and a whole new set of rules for a politically correct culture we are not attuned for. The simple thought of dealing with the VA, applying to college, potentially moving back in with your parents, or just learning how to resemble a normal

person is absolutely daunting. You contacted the VA but just ended up becoming more frustrated and anxious trying to get help than you were before. The nest egg you built on E4 pay is disappearing faster than a private after a Friday safety brief and you’re starting to feel the strain. You’re writing that college entrance paper and can’t think of anything you’ve done worth mentioning that won’t make you sound like an adrenaline junkie. But I’ll let you in on a little secret, this situation you’re going through, someone has gone through something just like it. Better yet, they came out smelling of roses and want to help you too! There are services set up by civilians and Veterans alike that aim to help returning Veterans hit the ground running, and look to pick up the hilariously massive slack from the VA and set us on the right course. If you’re having trouble dealing with the VA, look into the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). They are a non-profit charity that can help you deal with the VA. For instance, if you are filing a claim

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Veteran Brian McCrillis and Bryant University Veteran benefits Administrator Kerri Forbes

form the DAV can review your paperwork, determine the extent of your claim and even file your claim and represent you in dealing with the VA. Another issue we see is the fear of what the VA will say about you and what they may prescribe you to take. Dare to Dream Ranch seeks to help Veterans who are facing any kind of issue by using alternative, natural methods of therapy from working with horses, gardening or even yoga.

If you are worried about applying to school, you should first search the school for a Veterans benefits office. Most schools will have a liaison and a School Certifying Official (SCO) that understands the inner workings of the various GI Bills/Vocational Rehab programs and can provide helpful insight on what you should do first in order to apply. These same offices can give you information on programs like Yellow Ribbon, which is a partnership

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between the school and the VA that aims to help you cover the costs of tuition if the GI bill does not fully cover it. As you probably know, there are a lot of nuances and technicalities to the GI bill and a school’s Veteran benefits liaison is there to help you figure out your benefits, all you have to do is reach out. Make sure you check out the Military to Student checklist on the next page. If college isn’t for you that’s okay, but you’re probably going to want to get a job after you tire of growing that scraggly beard and long hair, and finally worn down those Merrell shoes you bought. But translating “Door-kicker” or “Operator” into civilian talk on a resume can prove to be challenging, but fret not. There are literally dozens and dozens of groups, charities, schools, and even businesses that are looking to help Veterans translate their experiences into something that will catch an employer’s eye. Right here at Dare to Dream Ranch we conduct resume writing training,

interview training, coaching, and job internship opportunities so that you can accurately present yourself to employers and gain confidence in yourself when you walk into an interview. I know what you’re thinking, I too was thinking it when I first got out. That I can figure things out for myself, I don’t need help. I’m sure you can, but the reality is this is a massive shift in your life and seeking help transitioning is probably the best move you can make. There is a literal Army of people who are waiting for you to grab that sweet, beautiful DD-214 and run out into that chaotic new world looking for a fresh start, and come to them so that they can help support your journey, and empower your success, and soon enough you’ll see that us Veterans are in this together. And while we may tease each other’s respective branches, we respect each other, and inspire one another to do something great.

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From Soldier to Student: The 10 Essential Steps When leaving the service and looking to begin searching and applying to universities, there are some important things you must first do in order to receive the proper benefits you are entitled to and to make the transition as smooth as possible. Here are the 10 essential steps, provided by Kerri Forbes of Bryant University 1. Explore benefits available on the eBenefits website: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage These are YOUR benefits. Learn how they work best for you. 2. Apply for education benefits by creating an account on the VonApp site: https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/vonapp 3. Explore the best options for your education using the comparison tool on the GI Bill website: http://www.benefits.va.gov/GIBILL/comparison_chart.asp Chapter 31 students must meet with their Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor to devise an educational plan and obtain a copy of their VA Form 28-1905. 4. Request Application Fee and Matriculation Fee Waiver 5. Be prepared to present your DD214 and military transcript/ inquire about the school’s policy on granting credit for military training 6. Seek out the School Certifying Official (SCO). Inquire what steps are needed to be taken in order to be certified as a veteran student using benefits. Know your school’s yearly/term requirements for re-certification 7. Inquire about Student Veteran Organizations on campus and designated veteran space. 8. Get shot record and physical exam (if within last 365). Liaison with school’s Health and Wellness to ensure all up to dat. If not, schedule before school starts 9. If VA health care eligible and have potential learning disabilities due to service connection, schedule VA Testing for learning disabilities for accommodations.

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RI Veteran Resource Guide Created by Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc.™ to help our service members, veterans and their families.

Advocay: Fleet & Family Support Centers (FFSC) Provides services for service members and their families. Domestic violence, spouse and child abuse and neglect are serious problems which may be experienced by individuals and families. The Navy’s Family Advocacy Program provides the following vital services to commands and individuals: clinical counseling resources, intervention and case management, domestic abuse prevention and awareness education, victim services. 1800-372-5463 or www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema

Benefits: VA Caregiver Support Program - To promote the health and well-being of family Caregivers who care for our nation’s Veterans, through education, resources, support, and services. Caregiver Support Coordinators can be found in all VA Medical Centers. The Program provides for benefit counseling, education and support opportunities for Caregivers of Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare. Caregivers of Line Of Duty injured Post 9/11 Veterans who meet additional criteria may be eligible for more comprehensive benefits. The VA Caregiver Program has a comprehensive website and a Caregiver Support Line. Caregivers of Veterans receiving care at the Providence VA Medical Center may call the Caregiver Support Program at 401-273-7100 extension 3283 for further information. VA Caregiver Resource Website: http://www.caregiver.va.gov VA Caregiver Support Line (Toll-Free): 1-855-260-3274 VA REGIONAL OFFICE: Disability Benefits Providence Regional Office Current as of 01/01/2016 380 Westminster Street Providence, RI 0242903 Walk-in hours: 08:30AM till 4:00PM no appointment needed. Phone: 1-800-827-1000 Web: www.va.gov Careers: Veteran Assembled Electronics VAe- We train and certify military veterans with a disability rating of 10% or greater for careers as electronics technicians, and we provide electronics modernization services STRAC™, a Skills Training And Certification program that includes tailored employment assistance, all designed to provide career path opportunities for military veterans throughout the electronics industry. There is NO COST TO VETERAN, funded through conditional benefit. Program admission determined by Vae and VA VRE counselor approval. Immersion program enabling veterans to acquire electronic technician skills and industry-standard certifications within 5 months. Intensive instruction, the STRAC™ program mirrors active duty

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training. By creating a training environment with schedules, demands, and expectations that are familiar to the veteran, the STRAC™ model facilitates learning and reduces the risk of failure. For more information, please contact Julie Frisone, Veteran Advocate at 401-301-7665 or email Jfrisone@vaellc.com Veterans Count- Employment Counseling, Emergency Financial Assistance, Mental Health Support, Deployment Support, Substance Abuse Services. Our one-of-a-kind Care Coordination program provides, free, and confidential support designed to meet the unique needs of Veterans, Military Members and their families. Care Coordinators work with clients in a flexible and comfortable setting. They travel to the client and respond to the client’s needs and are not constrained by office hours or locations. For more information please go to http://vetscount.org/contact/

Veterans Inc - provides assistance with employment and training and we can also assist homeless and at-risk veterans with housing including but not limited to rental arrearages, first and security deposits, utility assistance and much more. Our Services include: Housing Programs, Case Management, Employment & Training, Outreach & Referral Health & Wellness, Supportive Services for Veterans & Their Families, Food Pantry, Women and children Services, Little Patriots Early Learning Center. We are New England’s Largest Provider of Support Services to Veterans and Their Families. CT - MA - ME - NH - RI – VT For more information please call (800) 4822565 or visit www.veteransinc.org Counseling Family Services- The Children’s Treatment and Recovery Center clinicians are trained by experts in the field who have extensive academic and clinical experience with military families. Helping families who may be struggling with the unique facets of their service member’s return back home. 401-519-2280 Fleet & Family Support Centers (FFSC) New challenges occur all the time. Things like new jobs, new babies, relationship problems, or stress at work. Counseling can help. It gives you a chance to develop new problem-solving skills to help reduce your stress-level and focus on solutions. Child Counseling, Education programs, Individual and Couples Counseling, Therapeutic Group Counseling. 1-800-372-5463 or www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema Military OneSource- (For active-duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. help - any time, anywhere, at no cost to you. ) Consultations, research, and referrals. Are you relocating or looking for child care? Do you want to speak with an expert about your child or teenager with special needs? Maybe you want to talk about relationship issues, sharpen your communication skills, or get practical information about how to live within your budget. Call or e-mail a Military OneSource master’s-level consultant today. Interpretation services are available. No question is too small. No issue is too big. Military OneSource.com Stateside: 1-800-342-9647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-6076794 Overseas:

33


access code - * 800-3429-6477 Military OneSource- (For active-duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. help - any time, anywhere, at no cost to you. ) In-person counseling. Our licensed counselors can provide you with in-person non-medical counseling sessions in your own community at no cost to you. For issues like dealing with deployment and return, adjusting to a new location, relationship concerns, parenting and family matters, and grief and loss. Up to 12 sessions per year, per issue. Online and telephone options are also available. You will receive a privacy statement explaining the limits on confidentiality when you call the service or see a counselor. Military OneSource.com Stateside: 1-800-342-9647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: access code - * 800-34296477 Vet Center- Rochelle Fortin, LICSW, BCD, ACSW,Team Leader/Readjustment Therapist, Vet Center, 2038 Warwick Avenue, Warwick RI 02889, Tel. 401-739-0167 Deployment and Mobilization Support Fleet & Family Support Centers – FFSCs work very closely with deploying commands, their Ombudsman, and Family Readiness Groups to offer advice and assistance. Deployment Readiness Brief, Deployment Readiness for Parents, Inidivual Augmentee Support, Reserve Mobilization/Demobilization Assistance, Return and Reunion, Singles and Couples PreDeployment. DD214 DD-214s are NOW Online- The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has provided the following website for veterans to gain access to their DD-214s online: http://vetrecs.archives.gov/ or try http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/ Education: Military OneSource- (For active-duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. help - any time, anywhere, at no cost to you. ) Educational materials. Whether you’re single, a new parent, a deployed mom or dad, or you’re looking for ways to spruce up your resume, sleep better, or identify the best mortgage loan for you, our CDs, DVDs, expertly prepared articles, and booklets can help. Read or listen at MilitaryOneSource.com or have hard copies sent to you at no cost. Military OneSource.com Stateside: 1-800342-9647 En espanol : 1877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: access code - * 800-3429-6477

Veterans Inc - provides assistance with employment and training and we can also assist homeless and at-risk veterans with housing including but not limited to rental arrearages, first and security deposits, utility assistance and much more. Our Services include: Housing Programs, Case

34


Management, Employment & Training, Outreach & Referral Health & Wellness, Supportive Services for Veterans & Their Families, Food Pantry, Women and children Services, Little Patriots Early Learning Center. We are New England’s Largest Provider of Support Services to Veterans and Their Families. CT - MA - ME - NH - RI – VT For more information please call (800) 4822565 or visit www.veteransinc.org Employment- Hiring Our Heroes Opportunities: Fleet & Family Support Center- Family Employment Readiness Program is a valuable resource to help military spouses and family members find employment. FFSC offers Employment and Career Workshops, Federal Employment Application Information, Individual Career Counseling, Local and National Employment Information, Resume Critiques. 1-800-3725463 or www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema General Dynamics- www.GDEB.com/careers Anthony Paolino @ Apaolin1@gdeb.com Land

Rover-

http://www.jlrvets.com/

Melissa

Ann

Clamor

@

melissaannclamor51284@outlook.com This program is to recruit military veterans, transitioning military service members, and currently serving members of the national guard and reserve. Who can apply: A verified Honorable Discharge from the military (proof in the form of a DD form 214 or Commander’s Certification Letter). Formal military or private sector vocational technical training (e.g., tank/automotive, aviation, electronics/electrical, marine systems). Veterans with vocational technical school training must provide substantiating transcripts (e.g., ASE/NATEF, Lincoln Tech, WyoTech, UTI, or similar accredited training institution). 3 years or more years of military, government, or private sector related technical maintenance and / or repair experience. Proof of possession of a valid motor vehicle operator’s permit / license and a clean driving record. Ability to pass the retailer’s basic pre-employment screening requirements, which vary from state-to-state and retailer or retailer group.

Entrepreneurship: The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation: The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation offers a host of programs and services for businesses who are starting, expanding or relocating to Rhode Island. Dedicated to stimulating economic growth in Rhode Island, the Commerce Corporation is a customer-service-focused agency that invests in Rhode Island’s businesses. By helping to navigate through the public sector, providing financing vehicles, deploying state incentives, and investing in networking opportunities, the Commerce Corporation is in the business of business.

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As the only state agency focused on revitalizing the economy and fostering job creation, the Commerce Corporation is dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and innovative programs to the Rhode Island business community. Two of these programs are the Business Navigation Center and the Statewide Action Team. Business Navigation Center: We know that the to-do list for a business can be long, but it does not have to be daunting. The team at the Commerce Corporation can help businesses walk through their ideas or challenges and make sure they are accessing all available resources at the right time. The recently launched Business Navigation Center, located at the Commerce Corporation, is your knowledge source for a range of business needs and opportunities. Staffed with a team of five economic development professionals who will meet one-on-one with start-up and existing businesses, the Business Navigation Center is connected to a state network of governmental agencies and resource partners to help your business thrive in Rhode Island. Whether you are launching a new start-up or looking to expand overseas, the team at the Business Navigation Center will act as your hands-on navigators walking you through these government services and partner programs. Rhode Island offers incentives and credits as well as grants that can aid businesses in a host of ways. To make sure that companies understand and take advantage of these incentives, the Commerce Corporation’s staff works one-on-one with clients to piece together the right approach. From the incentives that support the growth of companies in the state to the job training and development credits and grants that keep businesses staffed with highly qualified employees, the Commerce Corporation knows the lay of the land. We will work strategically to match clients with the appropriate tools to help them flourish. Business owners can connect to the Business Navigation Center at 401-278-9100 or online using the Business Navigator Tool at www.commerceri.com. Statewide Action Team (STAT): Do you have an issue with a state agency that is impacting your business, and you need resolution to succeed? In July of 2015, the Commerce Corporation created STAT, which is a centralized statewide concierge network comprised of 27 state agencies. STAT aims to help businesses access information, resources and programs through a single point of contact in a timely and efficient manner to promote business success. STAT seeks to: • • • •

Provide easy access to state agencies and their services; Connect a business to the right state expertise and resources to make a project happen quickly and successfully; Answer questions in a timely and accurate manner; Provide a personalized approach for business in Rhode Island and; Enhance agency to agency transparency and visibility.

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If you have a business challenge or are stuck in the regulatory process, contact STAT at 401-2789100 and let us help you chart your course to success.

Finances: ASFC, Financial Coach-We offer free financial counseling services to post 9/11 Veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists. Veterans who are needing assistance with issues such as foreclosure, bankruptcies, collections, settlements, repair and/or establishing credit, budgeting savings and other money management tools. We offer unbiased, professional support and information to those ready to set and reach their financial goals. For more information please contact, Angela Salavarrieta, AFSC, Financial Coach, at Network RI, 1 Reservoir Ave., Providence, RI 02907 or by calling 401-462-8916. Fleet & Family Support Centers (FFSC) Resources for service members and their family to help manage your money. Command Financial Specialist Training and Support, Individual Financial Counseling, Personal Financial Management Workshops. Military OneSource- (For active-duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. help - any time, anywhere, at no cost to you. ) Financial counseling. Whether you need advice for a specific debt problem or basic assistance with money management, a financial expert can help you analyze your situation and develop a debt-management plan. Available in person in your local community or by telephone. Military OneSource.com Stateside: 1-800-3429647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: access code - * 8003429-6477 Veterans Count- Employment Counseling, Emergency Financial Assistance, Mental Health Support, Deployment Support, Substance Abuse Services. Our one-of-a-kind Care Coordination program provides, free, and confidential support designed to meet the unique needs of Veterans, Military Members and their families. Care Coordinators work with clients in a flexible and comfortable setting. They travel to the client and respond to the client’s needs and are not constrained by office hours or locations. For more information please go to http://vetscount.org/contact/ Government Resources: Office of United States Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - Helping ensure that federal government agencies are responsive to Rhode Islanders' needs is one of my most important jobs as your United States Senator. My staff and I can often help you answer questions, find resources, or resolve problems. We are proud to work on your behalf. If you are a resident of Rhode Island and you

37


need help with a federal agency, we will be happy to work with you. Federal agencies include departments within the President's cabinet, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and independent agencies, like the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Postal Service. (Check USA.gov for a list of offices within the federal Executive Branch.). While we can't ask an agency to circumvent its rules, force it to decide a question in your favor, or change a decision that is already final, we can make inquiries about the status of your situation and review steps taken thus far to make certain your case is being handled properly. If you have a question or problem with which we may assist you, I encourage you to talk with us and to be referred to one of the caseworkers on my staff. For more information please contact: Tyrone A. Smith (Veterans Affairs Coordinator) (Tyrone_Smith@whitehouse.senate.gov) , 170 Westminster Street, Suite 1100, Providence, RI 02903. Phone (401) 453-5294 Fax: (401)453-5085 Website: www.whitehouse.senate.gov Health care: TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve. To maintain medical readiness and optimal health. National Guard and Reserve members’ are encouraged to maintain continuous health and dental coverage, whether through TRICARE or other coverage they may be eligible to receive. TRICARE Choices for National Guard and Reserve: At a Glance provides an overview of TRICARE medical, pharmacy, and dental options in the United States. Virginia Hanke, Virginia.X.Hanke@healthnet.com 401-742-4940 US Family Health Plan- is a TRICARE Prime option, funded by the Department of Defense, available to families of active-duty service members and to retired service members and their families. US Family Health Plan provides the full TRICARE Prime benefit, including doctor visits, hospitalizations, emergency care, and prescription drugs. But we’re different from other TRICARE Prime options in some important ways. James.Souza@USFamilyHealth.org 508-2084781 Delta Dental is pleased to offer the Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program (VADIP) for Veterans enrolled in VA healthcare and individuals enrolled in the VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program (CHAMPVA). The Veterans Affairs Dental Insurance Program is offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs and is administered by Delta Dental’s Federal Government Programs division. This program began January 1, 2014. Delta Dental’s VADIP offers cost-effective dental coverage with three plan options designed to meet the various needs of VA beneficiaries. Enrollees in the VADIP are eligible for covered benefits within the service area that includes the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Delta Dental provides access to an expansive nationwide dentist network, allowing VADIP enrollees to experience maximum cost savings, optimum program value and the highest quality of dental care available. For more information about the VADIP eligibility, plan benefits and enrollment, please visit the website at deltadentalvadip.org. P.S. If you are retired from the military, please visit trdp.org for information on the TRICARE Retiree Dental Program.

Housing:

38


Veterans Count- Employment Counseling, Emergency Financial Assistance, Mental Health Support, Deployment Support, Substance Abuse Services. Our one-of-a-kind Care Coordination program provides, free, and confidential support designed to meet the unique needs of Veterans, Military Members and their families. Care Coordinators work with clients in a flexible and comfortable setting. They travel to the client and respond to the client’s needs and are not constrained by office hours or locations. For more information please go to http://vetscount.org/contact/ Veterans Inc - provides assistance with employment and training and we can also assist homeless and at-risk veterans with housing including but not limited to rental arrearages, first and security deposits, utility assistance and much more. Our Services include: Housing Programs, Case Management, Employment & Training, Outreach & Referral Health & Wellness, Supportive Services for Veterans & Their Families, Food Pantry, Women and children Services, Little Patriots Early Learning Center. We are New England’s Largest Provider of Support Services to Veterans and Their Families. CT - MA - ME - NH - RI – VT For more information please call (800) 4822565 or visit www.veteransinc.org Legal Support Lt. Col Jon Shelburne, Esq. -(USMC Reserves) For Service Members: A litigation firm dedicated to providing exceptional legal services in the most challenging cases. Attorney Jon Shelburne is an experienced trial lawyer who has successfully litigated complex cases across the country and around the world. As a trial lawyer, former prosecutor, professor and Marine Judge Advocate, Attorney Shelburne gained vast experience in complex litigation. He has the critical litigation skills and experience necessary to provide aggressive representation in your case. http://www.jonshelburnelaw.net/ Life Skills: Fleet & Family Support Centers: FFSC Life Skills Edcucation programs provide a varie=ty of valuable resources that can help service members and their families successfully manage the challenges of military life: Building Healthy Relationships, Family Violcence Prevention Education, Information and Referral, New Parent Support/Parenting Programs, Stress and Anger Management. 1-800-372-5463 www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema Pet Care Dogs on Deployment- Support all military pets nationwide so our troops can serve with peace of mind.501(c)3 non profit which promotes responsible pet ownership and provides an online network for military members nationwide to search for volunteers and resources for your pet’s care and to attain financial assistance for emergency pet care, when needed, during their service commitments. Find Active Duty/Veteran/Wounded Warrior. www.dogsondeployment.org Amanda Beck, RI Coordinator, 631-335-4973, ri-events@dogsondeployment.org Real Estate:

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Real Estate Counselor: Arthur Yatsko salisburysearch.com 401-781-6886 Relocation Assistance Program Fleet & Family Support Centers For service members arriving or departing. Individual Relocation Assistance, Lending Locker and Local Resources, Relocation Workshops, Welcome Aboard Information.1-800-372-5463 www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema Transition Assistance: Fleet and Family Support Centers- FFSC can help you become better prepared for your transition into the civilian sector by providing the civilian sector by providing Employment and Career Workshops, Individual Career Counseling, Internet Job Searching, Transition Assistance Services. 1800-372-5463 www.cnic.navy.mil/navylifema Rhode Island National Guard Transition Assistance Advisor (RING TAA) - The TAA provides transitional assistance and support to all Veterans, service members, and their Families, regardless of service branch, or whether Guard, reserve, or active duty. The TAA also provides information and counsel to the RING Adjutant General and staff regarding Veteran benefits and services available through the US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), the military health system, federal and state Departments of Labor, and other service and benefit programs. The TAA matches the needs of Veterans, service members, military retirees, and their Families by: •

Providing information and assistance in understanding and obtaining services and benefits from the VA and TRICARE to meet their specific needs.

Coordinating with appropriate VA, TRICARE, Veterans Service Organizations, and other federal, state, and local community resources to provide critical information and assistance in obtaining services and benefits.

Participating in the mobilization and demobilization process to brief and advise them regarding all available benefits and services.

Assisting and participating in the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program

Researching and resolving issues associated with entitlements when they encounter problems.

Providing advice to the JFHQ, and coordinating with Family Support Specialists and Employer Support Groups, regarding benefits and services available through the VA, Departments of Labor (Federal and State), and other service and benefit programs.

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The RING TAA is Sergeant Major Chuck O'Connor, US Army (Retired). He is located at the Joint Force Headquarters, Command Readiness Center, 645 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI 02920-4198. You can contact him at 401.275.4198, or via email at charles.b.oconnor.ctr@mail.mil. Website: http://ri.ng.mil/resources/vsb/SitePages/Home.aspx Vehicle Storage and Transportation: Vehicles stored in safe, secure units, affordable packages and pricing, pick up and delivery services available, keep your vehicle in top condition, online vehicle monitoring 24/7. POV transport across the U.S. Open or enclosed transport available, always receive fair and honest pricing, no deposit fee required 1-866-768-2929 ADKOS.com Wellness: Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc. – Non profit 501(c)3. We offer alternative therapy programs for service members, veterans and their families to help overcome emotional challenges from war like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Some of our programs have also been found beneficial for Mild TBI, and MST as well. We offer equine therapy, yoga, horticulture therapy (the produce from the garden will go back to feed our homeless and at risk veterans), nutritional cooking (so they learn the food/ mood connection and how what you eat can either exasperate or reduce the symptoms of PTSD, anxiety or depression ), reflexology and massage are offered through volunteers, woodworking workshops, fly tying and fly fishing program, creative arts program, recreational therapy and career counseling. If veterans, or their immediate family members are looking for assistance in these areas, please contact Karen Dalton, founder & Executive Vice President, at 401919-2059 or karendaltonhealthyliving@gmail.com. More information can also be found at www.daretodreamranch.org

Military OneSource- (For active-duty, Guard and Reserve (regardless of activation status) and their families. help - anytime, anywhere, at no cost to you. ) Healthy Habits coaching. Our Healthy Habits health coaches provide personal coaching by telephone or online to help you change your health habits for the better. Weight management, nutrition and exercise, and stress reduction. With a special program just for teenagers. Military OneSource.com Stateside: 1-800342-9647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: access code - * 800-3429-6477 Team Red, White & Blue’s mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Our free membership consists of both veterans and supporters, whose simple goal is to provide the camaraderie and a support system that many vets left behind when they separated from the military. Veterans get the red Team RWB shirt for free (less shipping and handling). Our activities include weekly events such as yoga and run clubs, organized races, Crossfit, bike rides, movie nights, dinner’s out, concerts, and sporting events. Local chapters are strictly volunteer leaders and we try to hold events based on the interest and suggestions of our members. For more information or to join our team, please go to www.teamrwb.org.

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Veterans Angler Charters- Veteran Angler Charters is an all-volunteer, federally recognized 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to offer free charter fishing trips to injured and recovering veterans, providing recreational rehabilitation and therapeutic support. Based in West Haven, CT, VA Charters averages 30-40 fishing trips per year, aboard private charter boats, skippered by USCG licensed captains. Groups are small (4 - 6 participants) and qualified peer support counselors or health care providers provide support as needed. Current clients include the VA hospitals in CT., Ma., and RI.; local vet centers, various regional military support groups, university veteran support centers, and the patients and alumni of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. To help with these efforts, or to inquire about taking a trip, please contact Director Capt. Kathy Granfield at kgranfield@veterananglercharters.org, or through our website at www.veterananglercharters.org. Veterans Count- Employment Counseling, Emergency Financial Assistance, Mental Health Support, Deployment Support, Substance Abuse Services. Our one-of-a-kind Care Coordination program provides, free, and confidential support designed to meet the unique needs of Veterans, Military Members and their families. Care Coordinators work with clients in a flexible and comfortable setting. They travel to the client and respond to the client’s needs and are not constrained by office hours or locations. For more information please go to http://vetscount.org/contact/

Veterans Inc - provides assistance with employment and training and we can also assist homeless and at-risk veterans with housing including but not limited to rental arrearages, first and security deposits, utility assistance and much more. Our Services include: Housing Programs, Case Management, Employment & Training, Outreach & Referral Health & Wellness, Supportive Services for Veterans & Their Families, Food Pantry, Women and children Services, Little Patriots Early Learning Center. We are New England’s Largest Provider of Support Services to Veterans and Their Families. CT - MA - ME - NH - RI – VT For more information please call (800) 4822565 or visit www.veteransinc.org

10. Know your limits. Not everyone is meant to be a traditional full time student. Success comes in many packages.

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RISE Magazine Ed.3  
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