Respect, Inspire, Support, Empower
June 2018 Edition
Rhonda Ziehl Rhode Islandâ€™s 1st Woman Veteran of the Year
Dare to Dream Ranch
Karen Dalton, CHC
Veronica McCullough Gavin Rowley James Picerelli Jake Keenan William Leonard Anthony Kolodziejczyk
In This Issue Editor’s Letter.......................................................................2 Readjusting to Reality........................................................3 Life Goes On, Walk Like You Have Purpose................5 Making a Difference..........................................................7 The Importance of Leadership & Relationship Building....9
Helping One Vet at a Time.............................................11 Finding Purpose Through Music.......................................13 VA’s Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Registry.............15 Dare to Dream Ranch BBQ.............................................16 Resource Guide.................................................................17
Dare to Dream Ranch 12 Snagwood Rd, Foster, RI 02825
firstname.lastname@example.org Cell (401) 919-2059 (By Appointment Only)
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Editorâ€™s Letter Dare to Dream Ranch is preparing for our Spring season. We are clearing land to prepare for our indoor riding arena. The indoor arena will have an attached barn so that clients donâ€™t have to deal with the New England weather. In inclement weather they will be able to go directly from the stalls to the indoor for their sessions. Having an indoor will also allow us to provide more services for our National Guard families. We are currently planning a mid-deployment yellow ribbon event at the Ranch for 19 May 2018. We are excited to be able to support the families while their loved ones are deployed. We would not be able to do this without the generous in-kind donations of our architect, engineers, helmets to hardhats apprenticeship program, IBEW, and numerous other volunteers. Our corporate volunteer program is going strong. Last year we had Blue Cross Blue Shield, Swarovski, and Embrace Home Loans. This year we have Rhode Islandâ€™s District Court and CVS Health already signed up.
Employees spend a day helping us improve our facility, and the corporation makes a donation to help us with our facility operating expenses. If you know of a company that would like to support our programs for our service members, veterans and their families, please have them email me at email@example.com. We are always looking for individual volunteers as well. You can join a committee or help with farm chores or facility landscaping. It takes a village to do what we do. Together we can make a difference in the lives of our service members, veterans and their families.
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Readjusting to Reality Jake Keenan
Adam DeCiccio joined the United States Army on September 7, 2001—just four days before the September 11th terrorist attacks—at the age of seventeen. After deciding to put his college plans on hold for the opportunity to serve his country, DeCiccio served sixyears active duty as a Squad Leader in the 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. In 2003, he was deployed to Afghanistan and served a oneyear tour. He decided to reenlist in the Army for three more years following his deployment and served a second one-year tour in Iraq from 2005 to 2006. While DeCiccio recognizes the challenges he has faced in the years during and after his service, he expresses his appreciation for the growth opportunities that the Army provided him. DeCiccio emphasized that he wouldn’t be where he is today if it weren’t for his service because of the essential core values he was taught. In conjunction with determination, personal courage and leadership are values that he has exhibited both during and after his military career. In light of his challenges, DeCiccio explained, “It was certainly a tough time
readjusting to reality, dealing with PTSD, and bouncing around jobs, but I knew that these were challenges to overcome.” While the challenges of reintegration and psychological trauma seemed daunting, DeCiccio’s positive attitude towards these challenges—fostered by his fortitude—enabled him to progress in conquering his internal battles, establish a foothold in the workforce, and pursue a passion for selfless service. Following his deployment, DeCiccio felt lost in the reintegration process and was overwhelmed by the postdeployment challenges of PTSD and a lack of college education. With help from a Vietnam veteran, he decided it was time to face his obstacles and establish a course of action. He enrolled in school at Johnson and Wales University (Providence, RI), learned how to utilize the VA system, and obtained counseling for his PTSD. He remained persistent and used his leadership experience from the Army to capitalize on managerial opportunities in the workforce. In 2009, he provided personal protection, training, and consulting as a Team Leader for Ronin Security and also served as an Assistant Manager
at the American Firearms School. Furthermore, DeCiccio landed a managerial role with Northeast Security Solutions in 2015. This is the same year in which he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality, Meeting and Event Planning from Johnson and Wales University. DeCiccio credits his successes in business, education, and psychological recovery to fellow veterans and the VA Hospital. In turn, DeCiccio committed himself to giving back to the veteran community and, ultimately, his local community. He is currently taking classes as a full-time student at Salve Regina University (Newport, RI) studying Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling in order to assist veterans in their ability to manage PTSD and/or physical disabilities.
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He is also an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Cranston, Rhode Island, which focuses on honoring and ensuring the care of local veterans and their families.1 Moreover, DeCiccio has helped raise over $70,000 for military families in need through his participation in the 2018 Tough Ruck with twenty-nine of his 10th Mountain Division brothers. In addition, DeCiccio continues to make considerable contributions to the veteran community through his work with Veteran’s Inc. Veteran’s Inc. is a federally funded, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to providing veterans with new opportunities in employment, housing, and overall wellness across all six New England states.1 It offers support programs for employment training, housing, outreach, health services, and women and children, to name a few. The organization was founded 1 2
on the pretext that veterans have deserved necessary postmilitary life services given the sacrifices they have made for our country. Veterans, Inc. is located in Worcester, Massachusetts and is available 24/7 for emergency assistance for veterans in need of services at (800) 482-2565.2 Veterans can also apply for services by visiting the website at www.veteransinc.org/services/ or by emailing at firstname.lastname@example.org. For those interesting in getting involved with Veterans Inc., visit the organization’s headquarters or visit the website at http://www.veteransinc.org/d onations/ to read about the different ways to donate time, gifts, and/or money. Adam DeCiccio joined Veterans Inc. in June of 2016 as an Employment Specialist and is currently a Regional Manager for Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. His story is a prime example of
Veterans of Foreign Wars. (2018). About Us. VFW. Retrieved from https://www.vfw.org/about-us. Veterans Inc. (2017). About Us. Veterans Inc. Retrieved from http://www.veteransinc.org/about-us/.
what veterans in similar circumstances can achieve, and he encourages veterans to utilize the great resources like Veterans Inc., the VA, and other veterans during the reintegration process. He stresses that he wouldn’t be where he is today or potentially here at all if it weren’t for the support from Vietnam veterans and the VA, saying, “They basically saved my life.” When asked what advice would he give for those veterans who are returning home currently, he said, “I would say the best thing to do upon returning home is to stay connected with other veterans and accept help without hesitation because it’s important to utilize what is offered, especially if it can help benefit themselves and for those around them as well.” Veterans in need can contact Adam directly at (774) 239-9756. 4
Life Goes On, Walk Like You Anthony Kolodziejczyk Have Purpose When Sergeant Sean Regan had Marine recruiters come to his home during his last year of high school, his parents expressed their dissatisfaction with his ambition of joining the military. His parents immediately expelled under the pretext “you’re going to college.” Yet, Regan described his desire to join the military as an “itch” that must be scratched. He was conflicted as he wanted to pursue his military career but did not want to disappoint his parents. Ultimately, Regan decided that it was possible to do both. After attending college for about one year, he joined the military to satisfy his “itch.” Regan joined the Army, serving as an E-5 sergeant. After about one year in the Reserve, he decided to become full-time active duty. He wasn’t satisfied by the Reserve; he still had to “heal that itch” he had since high school. Sergeant Regan’s opportunity finally came as he served for nearly two-and-a-half years with the 101st Airborne Division, before being sent to Korea with the 2nd Infantry Division. During his first tour to Korea, Sergeant Regan’s initial twelvemonth assignment turned into a nearly fifteen-month tour during the First Gulf War. Following a request to be reunited with the 101st Airborne Division, as they “were his brothers going to war,”
the Army denied his request, which resulted in a lengthened tour. He was classified as a “shorttimer” as he did not have enough time left in service to go back stateside with his former unit. In hopes of finding another opportunity, he reenlisted with his retention officer. Since the end of the Gulf War was near, there were not many service opportunities left, and Sergeant Regan decided to leave the Army. Before his assignment to Korea, Regan sought to attend Officer Candidate School (OCS) and then flight school. At the time, his commanding officer had suggested waiting until the next board to ensure he would be ready for it, to which Regan agreed. However, he received a letter four weeks later that detailed his reassignment to Korea, which ended his dreams of OCS. Sergeant Regan reflects that his experiences in the military were both positive and negative. While he was discontented with his assignment to the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea, he enjoyed the military training. What’s more, he learned many valuable life lessons through the Esprit de Corps, in which it educated him on how to handle the crests and troughs of life. Furthermore, the Army taught him how to overcome hardships with intense perseverance. 5 June 2018
Regan explained that “life does go on and knowing that, one must walk like you have a purpose.” He notes that challenges are central to the development of the type of individual one strives to be. On a micro level, although he was not able to attend OCS and subsequently fight school to become a pilot, Regan stayed persistent and fulfilled his dream by flying a Blackhawk helicopter. When Sergeant Regan exited the military, he decided to keep himself busy through exercise, specifically by running, as he saw running as “good therapy.” He did not seek immediate employment following his service. A carpenter by trade, Regan wanted to take two months off to relax and decompress before beginning his career in carpentry again. For those who are transitioning from the military to civilian life, Sean suggests joining a gym and reaping the mental, physical, and spiritual benefits that fitness has to offer. Overall, he recommends serving America in a new way. Regan urges veterans to volunteer, as it can lead to “many missed opportunities, otherwise missed or not even thought of.” Regan has heeded his own advice by capitalizing on an opportunity to give back to the military community. He has served as the Department Officer of Rhode Island for American Veterans (AmVets). AmVets is an organizations dedicated to improving the lives of veterans, veteran families, and veteran communities through compensation assistance programs, donations, and volunteering programs, to name a few.1 In order to raise funds, AmVets hosts events to raise money throughout the year for its veteran programs and with this, hopes to streamline the reintegration process by helping veterans fulfill financial needs, healthcare needs, and job needs. Moreover, AmVets is
committed to being an active voice for legislation that deals with veteran wellness—something Regan has valued.1 He joined AmVets because he knew that the organization’s contributions were significant and tangible and therefore have the opportunity to leave the greatest positive impact. If you are interested in learning more about American Veterans and how to get involved, please visit amvets.org or contact Sean Regan at email@example.com.
American Veterans. (2018). About Us. AMVETS. Retrieved from http://amvets.org/about-us/. 1
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Making a Difference
When Rhonda Ziehl thought about what she wanted to do after high school, she wasn’t too sure. But, after weighing her options, she thought that the Air Force was a great opportunity to leave a positive, lasting impact. Ziehl served four-and-a-half years on active-duty for the United States Air Force as an E-4 bomb-dog and patrol dog handler. In addition, Ziehl took advantage of a unique opportunity to work with the Secret Service, and provided protection to President George W. Bush and Vice President Dan Quayle while serving. Ziehl was stationed at Clark Air Base in the Philippines before being sent to Eaker Air Force Base in Arkansas. Her time in the Philippine Islands and Arkansas was eye-opening as she was immersed in new
culture and scenery, as well as new situations. She recounts that her first bomb threat search in Arkansas was a significant learning experience for her on a personal and professional level. It forced her to understand what the important aspects of her life were and prioritize them accordingly. Ziehl’s experiences abroad shaped her time in the military as well, and to this day, she still has lifelong friends from her time in the Philippines. Ultimately, her experiences from her military career taught her valuable life lessons; lessons that many people do not learn until later in life. Ziehl was able to discover herself as a person by understanding what her limitations were and what she was capable of achieving. “You know the value of true
Reilly, G. W. (2018). Veterans Journal: R.I. Woman Veteran of the Year honored by Providence VA regional office. Providence Journal. Retrieved from http://www.providencejournal.com/news/20180422/veterans-journal-riwoman-veteran-of-year-honored-by-providence-va-regional-office. 1
friendship, having someone’s back in any situation, how strong I can really be, and how to stay calm under pressure,” Ziehl said. Following her service, Ziehl immediately noticed that civilian life was much different than military life. She found it difficult to find sources of comradery, discipline, empathy, nostalgic stories, and structure, as these aspects of military life were seldom present in the civilian world. Being a veteran was a different experience for Ziehl given that she was no longer serving under an Air Force Specialty Code. She had been in essential decision making positions for high stress situations—situations that many civilians would have trouble comprehending. Ziehl found this lack of common 7
ground with civilians challenging, but she soon learned that family and a strong support network were critical for overcoming this integration challenge. Ziehl explained, “The military does a much better job of having classes for military members that prepare them for life in the civilian world, but it’s still scary.” With this, Ziehl urges veterans to ask other veterans for help regardless of the situation. Other veterans are valuable resources because many are willing to help, and often use their own experiences to guide veterans who
seek help towards similar success. What’s more, Ziehl advises veterans to find humor in every situation in order to get through hard times. She also emphasizes building relationships with likeminded people, finding a hobby, getting outside and exercising, and/or volunteering. “This is a chance to define you [veterans] in this next chapter and adventure in your life; embrace it” Ziehl accentuated. “Positive thoughts generate positive feelings and attract positive life experiences.” After leaving the Air Force, Ziehl and her husband Bill moved back to Rhode Island, where Ziehl had family ties as well as networks that could help her find employment. With regards to her post-military career, Ziehl expresses her appreciation for businesses that hire veterans. In effect, she urges veterans to take advantage of companies that hire veterans, especially veteran owned businesses. She also advises that veterans take advantage of job listings and search engines that cater to veterans who seek job opportunities. Ziehl cited the value of veteran status as companies look for the leadership experience, discipline, and structure veterans have had. Above all, Ziehl stresses flexibility. “Your military training may not be an exact fit for the civilian world, but your military discipline, and your ability to adapt and overcome challenges is a massive benefit to every company you apply too,” said Ziehl.
Rhode Island Blue Star Moms. (2018). About Us. Rhode Island Blue Star Moms. Retrieved from http://ribluestarmoms.com/about-us/ 3 The Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. (2008). The “Big Dipper” Organization. Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. Retrieved from https://bsma.memberclicks.net/big-dipper. 2
On April 26th, Ziehl was awarded Female Veteran of the Year by the Providence VA regional office,1 an award she described as “such a huge honor.” Ziehl recognizes that there are many veterans who actively support other veterans and active duty service members. She also says that to be recommended by Christin Hayward, a Navy veteran who provides a great deal of support to veterans and Gold Star families, is a tremendous honor. Rhonda stated, “So many of us do the work and volunteering behind the scenes. We just want to make a difference; we don’t look for recognition.” Currently, Ziehl is a member of the Rhode Island Blue Star Moms. The Blue Star Moms is a military support group that seeks to support veterans, troops and families who have children serving in the military.1 She has been a member for about six years and served as Secretary and as President for the Blue Star Mom’s Rhode Island Chapter. Ziehl also serves as Parliamentarian for the Big Dipper Organization—an auxiliary of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc.1 “Being able to talk openly with other moms who have children serving in similar situations as your child is refreshing, reassuring and so supportive” Ziehl said. “That kind of sisterhood and support is unbeatable – especially when your child is serving in the U.S. military.” If you are interested in joining the Blue Star Moms, visit the Rhode Island Chapter’s website at http://ribluestarmoms.com/ or the Blue Star Mothers of America’s 8 website at http://www.bluestarmothers.org/.
The Importance of Leadership and Relationship Building Gavin Rowley
When Brian LaFauci reflects on his military experience, he places special emphasis on the idea of leadership development. Yet, LaFauci’s insights, with regards to this concept, are focused more on the individual concepts of leadership and development than leadership development as a whole. His career experiences have shaped his philosophy on leadership development in large-scale, organizational settings and small-scale, team settings. With this, LaFauci has capitalized on his growth potential through his careers in the military and business world. He cites a sense of gratification that comes with fostering individual and organizational development, as he has transformed groups into high performing teams. Therefore, LaFauci attributes individual and organizational growth to quality leadership and relationship building. Even though LaFauci had always wanted to serve in the military, he decided to go to college after high school—a decision he thought was appropriate for the time. With this, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Rollins College and later earned a Master’s in Clinical Psychology from Rhode Island College in 2005. After Rollins, LaFauci fulfilled his adolescent ambition to serve his country. In 2002, he enlisted as a member of the Aerial Port Squadron before being commissioned as a Personnel Officer in Rhode Island’s Air National Guard. He joined at age twenty-five, an age he
Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. (2016). About Us. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved from http://www.yellowribbon.mil/yrrp/aboutUs.html. 2 Rhode Island Vet Corps. (n.d.). Hero 2 Hired. RIVC. Retrieved from https://guide.rivetcorps.org/programs/hero-2-hired/.
described as much older than that of the average enlistee. However, LaFauci used his educational experience and maturity to create growth opportunities for himself within the service. He explained that his psychology background brought a unique skill set to his military service. “That dynamic really impacted my ability to implement concepts that were taught in basic training and beyond” LaFauci said. While LaFauci’s psychological background fostered strong interpersonal skills, the limitations of education became evident to him. After enlisting, he soon understood that the military was an essential component to his individual development. “As a service member you are trained in leadership tactics that I never received in my undergraduate and graduate studies” LaFauci explained. “You are forced to learn how to manage and operate as a team. You fail without this skill in our armed forces.” LaFauci was able to develop his leadership/managerial skills as well as test his interpersonal skills through various positions. As an aerial port Personnel Officer, LaFauci was responsible for managing forces of personnel. Herewith, he had to assess staff needs, coordinate the movement of important military personnel and supplies, develop motivational strategies, handle procurement, and provide training to personnel in order to cultivate Airmen’s skills and maximize their potential.
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RISE Furthermore, LaFauci ensured the safety of his fellow Airmen as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He was responsible for implementing aircraft inspections and maintenance operations, along with performing critical airdrops all around the world. These experiences enhanced LaFauci’s values with regards to civilian career opportunities and in effect, improved his outlook on the implications of leadership development. “I have a very unique philosophy in all areas of life, business and leadership” LaFauci stated. “I believe it is all a matter of relationship building. The groundwork we lay with people allows our interaction to have merit and weight, regardless of if they are complimentary or reprimanding.” LaFauci soon used his experiences and insights to establish himself as a leader in the community and workforce. In doing so, he has exhibited
selfless values by aiding in the development of others, and improved his local community in the process. LaFauci has played a significant role in the lives of local Rhode Island adolescents and youths, as he has worked as both a Mental Health Clinician and soccer coach for these two communities since 2003. However, locality is insufficient to describe the scope of LaFauci’s impact. Despite his active military career ending in 2013, LaFauci has continued serving his country by giving back to current military members and the veteran community. His appreciation for the Air National Guard and the opportunities it provided, coupled with his understanding of post-military challenges, prompted him to take part in substantial service member and veteran support programs. In 2010, LaFauci became the Program Manager of Rhode Island’s Hero 2 Hired, Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program. Hero 2 Hired is a program sponsored by the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program—a DoD program that connects National Guard and Reserve members and their families with resources that assist in the deployment process1— which helps military members and their families find employment through resources such as advise, career exploration tools, education and training, job listings, and networking opportunities.1 LaFauci also managed the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve—a program aimed at establishing an understanding between Reserve Component Service members and civilian employers, so that work conflicts caused by employees’ military commitment can be resolved.1 LaFauci’s experience landed
ESGR. (2016). Who is ESGR. United States Department of Defense. Retrieved from https://www.esgr.mil/About-ESGR/Who-is-ESGR. 4 Center for Women & Enterprise. (2018). Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC). Center for Women & Enterprise. Retrieved from http://www.cweonline.org/AboutCWE/Veterans-Business-Outreach-Center. 3
him a position as the Director of the Veterans Business Outreach Centers (VBOC) of New England, where he has been directing since 2016. The VBOC Program is dedicated to helping active-duty service members and their families start and grow their businesses. Specifically, it provides services involving comprehensive business assessments, business plan prep, entrepreneurial training, mentorship opportunities, and pre-business plan workshops.4 Much like LaFauci, VBOC is predicated on individual and organizational development through leadership. Therefore, LaFauci urges current and former service members to take advantage of VBOC as a resource, in order to successfully streamline the reintegration process in terms of employment. He advises service members to be active in the military network and be aware of the support systems around them. Ultimately, LaFauci says, “Embrace the reality of the situation. Failure to acknowledge the underlying issues will surely make business, work and interpersonal success a difficulty.” He also points out that the Center for Women and Enterprise provides similar services that are all available to veterans. For more information on these programs, please visit https://www.cweonline.org/ or contact Kate O’Neil, VBOC Program Coordinator, and/or LaFauci directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and blafauci@CWEonline.org, 10 respectively.
Helping One Vet at a Time William Leonard Many serve, but not as many people serve our country in the ways that Bill Thomas served his country. After serving two years in Vietnam from 1966 through 1968, he went on to become a member of the Alaska House of Representatives for Alaska’s 5th District from 2005 through 2013. During his military career, he served two years as an airplane mechanic crew chief in the U.S. Army and earned his Crew Chief Wings as well as an Army Sharpshooter Badge. When Bill Thomas takes time to reflect on his time in the service, he expresses having a lot to take away from his experience. From the day he first walked into basic training, to the day he finally came home, he describes learning a considerable amount about unity and togetherness. Thomas recalled there never being a time when he did not have people with him working towards a common goal. As Thomas suggested, with these common goals came significant implications. Another defining moment from his time in service was the day that he realized how grateful he was to be alive. What brought Thomas to this recollection was being asked to become an officer. While honored, he described looking at his superior and saying, “With all due respect sir, I will have to decline, I am content with where I am.” His consideration of the perils that came with the officer position resulted in a new outlook of his life and how fortunate he was. After Thomas returned from his service, he sought ways through which he could be a significant contributor to society, and, within one year of his return, he was able to find full-time employment. In 1970, he began a commercial fishing career—mostly utilizing the gillnet and longline techniques. He also became the CEO and Chairman for Klukwan, Inc., a corporation of Alaska’s Klukwan village, and served on the boards of the Ballotpedia. (2014). Bill Thomas (Alaska). Ballotpedia. Retrieved from https://ballotpedia.org/Bill_Thomas_
corporation’s various subsidiaries.1 Thomas continued to pursue a position in which he could make a greater impact on his Alaskan community and in doing so, developed a greater desire to show appreciation for his military community. He was able to make meaningful contributions to his local community through community organizations like the Southeast Alaska Fisherman’s Alliance and the United Fishermen of Alaska. On a macro-level, he was able to honor the military community that taught him essential core values by becoming an honorary lifetime member of the American Legion.1 Thomas’s most significant contributions to his Alaskan and military communities came through his political career. As a member of the Alaska House of Representatives, he served as co-chair of the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee and also served on the Education, Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and Transportation committees.1 In addition to bettering the lives of Alaskan citizens, he was determined to use his powerful position as a way to help veterans and their families as well as honor those that have made the ultimate sacrifice. Thomas was a part of a Veterans Caucus that introduced and passed a bill that allowed spouses of active military members stationed in Alaska to use their professional licenses from other States, if they applied for a spouse license. Without this bill, it would take
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RISE spouses up to a year to use their professional license after moving to Alaska. He also built a thirteen unit Veterans Home above a Wellness Center in Haines, and named several bridges after men who got killed in Vietnam. Furthermore, Thomas helped name a National Guard building in Juneau after a friend who got killed in Vietnam. Thomas recalls seeing his friend in Japan while traveling to Vietnam in January 1968. Thomas’s most significant contributions to his Alaskan and military communities came through his political career. As a member of the Alaska House of Representatives, he served as co-chair of the House Community and Regional Affairs Committee and also served on the Education, Military and Veterans’ Affairs, and Transportation committees.1 In addition to bettering the lives of Alaskan citizens, he was determined to use his powerful position as a way to help veterans and their families as well as honor those that make the ultimate sacrifice. He did this by creating the Gold Star Family license plate. This license plate honors families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. After the initial circulation of the new Gold Star Family plates, Thomas recalls that his greatest feeling of accomplishment came in the form of a conversation with a father who lost his son in combat. The father expressed his gratitude for having something that could keep his son’s memory alive. The man told Thomas, “Thanks to you, I get to see my boy every day.”
of Foreign Wars. (2018). About Us. VFW. Retrieved from https://www.vfw.org/about-us
It was then that Thomas realized the lasting impact of his service. In addition, Thomas honored the fallen by creating the Gold Star Family license plate. This license plate honors families who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. After the initial circulation of the new Gold Star Family plates, Thomas recalls that his greatest feeling of accomplishment came in the form of a conversation with a father who lost his son in combat. The father expressed his gratitude for having something that could keep his son’s memory alive. The man told Thomas, “Thanks to you, I get to see my boy every day.” It was then that Thomas realized the lasting impact of his service. Overall, Thomas urges veterans to take advantage of any opportunity that presents itself and continue to serve the country in unique ways. He cited his reintegration process as being a challenge for him, but emphasized some strategies that assisted in the process. Thomas explained that reintegration through reflection and finding solace in hobbies was helpful for him in dealing with his experiences. He also promotes the benefits of reintegration programs and stressed taking advantage of these sorts of resources. Thomas urges veterans facing the challenges of reintegration to be honest with themselves and look for help, as there is no shame in finding help. If you are looking for assistance in the reintegration process or looking to get involved in the veteran community, Thomas are urges you to contact the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)— an organization that helps strengthen the veteran community through networking opportunities, and provides resources for veterans to further their education, find employment, improve their financial situation, and preserve health and wellness.1 Please visit the VFW’s website at www.VFW.org for information on donation opportunities, membership, regional contacts, and veteran services.
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Finding Purpose Through Music
If you are someone who likes to stay in the loop of the local musicians in the Greater Boston area, it is likely that you have heard of Adam Ezra and the Adam Ezra Group (AEG). Ezra has been a folk musician for the past 17 years, and while he strives to bring large crowds to his shows, his reasons for doing so surpass any notion of fame and fortune. There is something AEG sees as far more important than a sold out concert, and that is the sense of community that comes with serving others. Ezra describes his rise as a musician and the formation of his music group as a “slow and growing story of a grassroots community.” Even though AEG seeks to deliver a great performance, Ezra explains that the concert experience is more than just delivering a performance. He and his group are inspired by the people that attend his shows; AEG even sees its fans as part of the band itself. Adam Ezra Group: The Ramble. (2018). About. By the Pound Media. Retrieved from http://getrambled.com/about/. 2 New England Center and Home for Veterans. (2016). Mission. NECHV. Retrieved from http://nechv.org/privacy-policy/.
This unique sense of community that resides at Ezra’s core and that of AEG is fostered by a dedication to making the world a better place one cause at a time. This mission becomes a reality at each concert as each performance is dedicated to a cause. Both audience and musicians alike are united by sound and thus become empowered by music. While Ezra values a sense of community as a whole, the veteran community is one that is near and dear to him in particular. Ezra’s appreciation for veterans stems from the fact that both of his grandfathers were WWII draftees— something he is very proud to say—however, it was an unexpected conversation at a local bar that made his appreciation so deep rooted. Ezra recalls talking to a Vietnam veteran one night at the Polish Political Club in Chelsea, Massachusetts. The man described being in
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“I’m in awe of anyone who is willing to put themselves in harm’s way to protect us”
charge of a platoon one night in Vietnam while he was only nineteen years old. One member of his platoon had become mortally wounded after stepping on a land mine. In spite of the risks, the young platoon leader chose to stay with his fallen brother in a fox hole and comforted him until he eventually passed away. This story inspired Ezra and subsequently grew his admiration for those who make the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. His sudden moment of inspiration was significant in reshaping his outlook on service and further developing the overall mission of AEG. Ezra realized that while he did not serve in the military, he serves his country in a different but important way—through social contentiousness. With this, Ezra has committed himself to supporting the veteran community through his annual Ramble. In its ninth year, the Ramble is a free outdoor concert during which fans have the opportunity to donate money to a specific cause. In the past, the Ramble has been dedicated to causes like supporting the victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and feeding America’s hungry in 2011. But since 2013, the focus of the Ramble has shifted towards support for the veteran community and New England’s homeless veterans in particular.1 Ezra describes this new focus and the consequent partnership with the New England Center and Home for Veterans (NECHV)—a nonprofit organization devoted to housing at-risk homeless veterans and serving them through clinical, educational, and employment programs1—as something that is “powerful and
New England Center and Home for Veterans. (2016). Welcome Home, Veterans. NECHV. Retrieved from http://nechv.org/.
tangible.” He cites that this cause has been well received by his fans and even his staff, as some are veterans themselves and all show great empathy for the cause. In 2017, AEG’s Ramble helped house 19 homeless veterans in New England with donations from the 3,000 people who were in attendance. Given that the NECHV serves about 350 veterans per day and houses nearly 250 per night,1 Ezra seeks to increase his impact and urges more people—ideally between 3,000 and 10,000 people—to be activists by coming out to this year’s Ramble and enjoying the unifying power of music, while supporting a great cause. “There is often a misconception about being an activist. In order to be an activist, you don’t need to dedicate your entire life to a cause, be completely knowledgeable [of the cause], or protest,” says Ezra. “Be active by finding out about something that’s happening and just show up.” For those who want to get involved with AEG and its mission, Ezra encourages everyone to join him at the Ramble on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 2:00 pm on Salisbury Beach (Salisbury, MA). All donations collected in the Ramble’s “love buckets” will go to the NECHV and help put at-risk veterans in homes of their own. Other engagement opportunities like AEG’s summer concerts, fundraisers, and volunteering can be found by visiting AEG’s website at www.AdamEzra.com or by visiting Rally Sound at https://rallysound.org/. Furthermore, you can contact Adam directly via email at email@example.com. To learn more about the 2018 Ramble and its sponsors please visit http://getrambled.com/. 14
VA’s Airborne Hazards and Burn Pit Registry
A recent court ruling has given hope to thousands of veterans, private contractors, and civilian workers whose health has been compromised by deadly smoke clouds from burn pits in the Middle East.1 Burn pits are sites designated in military bases for open-air burning of various waste products. U.S. military bases located in Afghanistan and Iraq in particular have been known to use burn pits to light various waste products on fire with jet fuel. These objects include plastics, batteries, IED’s, and human waste, to name a few. The smoke produced from these fires contains numerous toxins and often comes into contact with the U.S. troops, private contractors, and civilian workers stationed in the bases containing these pits.1 Consequently, over 60,000 servicemen and women—both still active and retired—on the VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry have sought medical coverage for medical problems believed to be caused by burn pit exposure.2 In the past, insurance companies had not been paying for treatments associated with the health conditions caused by the buildup of toxic smoke, since they did not see substantial proof that the burn pits were what was causing health issues. However, a judge from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office for Worker’s Compensations Programs ruled in January 2018 that medical conditions like lung disease are directly correlated to exposure to contaminants in burn pits. With this, those servicemen, women, and their families suffering from the effects of burn pit-related illnesses have won a significant battle in the recovery process, as their medical care can now be insured.1 One woman in particular has been an advocate for all those effected. Veronica Landry of Colorado Springs was a private contractor in the Middle east at a time when burn pits were commonplace.1 In her testimony before the Department of Labor, Landry expressed that “every plastic water
bottle that every soldier drank out of was also burned in the burn pits.” She went on to tell Fox News in an interview that, “I knew what danger I was going to face in Iraq, but never imagined that I would bring it back home.” She soon realized after her return home to the United States that her health was not that of what it used to be. Not only did she experience PTSD, but she also experienced persistent wheezing, migraines, and severely low blood pressure. While plagued by her new health issues, Landry found solace in the court system when a court concluded that both her insurance carrier and employer were responsible for all of her medical bills and expenses.1 This decision marked a momentous step for millions of servicemen and women that have had similar circumstances, but have not spoken out. It has also shed light on one of the many unexpected dangers of military deployment. If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms such as low blood pressure, wheezing, severe pain, migraines, inflammation of the lungs, or chills, and have been exposed to burn pits during deployment, you can seek help from the VA. They currently have a database of over 140,000 veterans who have registered for the Burn Pit Registry.1 Don’t hesitate if you think your health has been compromised while serving overseas; visit the VA’s Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry.
Chiaramonte, P. (2018). Court determines military burn pits caused lung disease in service members. Fox News. Retrieved from 1
Chiaramonte, P. (2016). Thousands of Iraq, Afghan war vets sickened after working at ‘burn pits.’ Fox News. Retrieved from
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2018). Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved from https://veteran.mobilehealth.va.gov/AHBurnPitRegistry/#page/home
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RI Veteran Resource Guide Created by Dare to Dream Ranch, Inc.™ to help our service members, veterans and their families.
Advocacy: 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. 1-800-372-5463 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 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 CINDY HEBERT, M.S., C.R.C., Veteran Advocate at 401-301-7665 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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RISE 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) 482-2565 or visit www.veteransinc.org Anne Crawford : Certified Career Transition Coach CTACC- I give clarity to men , women and the military to find careers that match their personal and business ethics. Through in-depth questioning I am able to clarify their vision of what they desire as far as a career that addresses my client’s highest standard of work skills and communication. It is extremely important that when it comes to developing a resume it reflects their true personality and skill sets. Their summary must touch all responsibilities, and use key words to guarantee the resume will go through the difficult screening process that corporations use. Bullet points must support stories that show HOW you communicated and achieved success. I prepare my clients for a strong interview by asking key questions and discussing the correct response to express their professional accountability when it comes to being an asset to their next employer. In the past years I have also broadened my profession to include working with military clients, which includes Veterans, and Active duty soldiers. Merging their experience from their military career, to working in the civilian world can be difficult. By changing the military language, and developing a strategic plan we work together to mesh their achievements and leadership roles to attract civilian employers. Many clients have issues with how to be a good leader. There is a difference between a leader verses a manager. Through coaching my clients discuss expectations, communication styles, what they themselves want to represent, and where they want to focus their career advancement in their leadership role. This might include individual coaching or team coaching including upper management, and team building. Resume writing, How to network yourself to get what you want in life,Cover letter, Preparing clients for a strong interview, Leadership roles: How to achieve them, Stress management, What do I do next: Developing a career that focuses on your strengths and interests. ESGR RI
Counseling C. Duarte & Associates: Failth LaMunyon, LICSW Independent Clinical Social Worker 1130 Ten Rod Rad Building E, Suite 101, 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
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RISE 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 problemsolving 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: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: 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 - * 800-3429-6477 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 Pre-Deployment.
Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association of RI 9-2 - CVMA 9-2 believes that by sharing the combined bond of having served in a Combat Zone and riding our motorcycles together, that we create and maintain a Brotherhood not unlike what we saw in the military. We believe that as Combat Veterans, it is our duty and responsibility to maintain that Brotherhood that so many were missing upon exiting the Theater of War. Our fundraising efforts are to help provide temporary relief to local homeless or at risk in need Veterans ranging from buying groceries, emergency financial aid for rent, utilities, moving costs, childcare and bus transportation, ancillary support for Veterans & their families, food and toiletry pantry, mechanical labor to provide a reliable vehicle for safe transportation. We are Veterans Helping Veterans. For more information – Steve “PH” Mondaca – RI CVMA State Rep 860.575.9886, Yanick “Eighty-8” Koenig – 9-2 Chapter
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RISE Commander 401.473.1282, www.RICombatVets.org Find us on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/RICombatVets/ Find us on Instagram - www.Instagram.com/RI_CVMA_9dash2 RICOMBATVETS@Gmail.com RICVMA.AUX@Gmail.com
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: 1-8003429647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 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 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) 482-2565 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. 1-800-372-5463 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 @ email@example.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).
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RISE 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. 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, 21 June 2018
RISE 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.
If you have a business challenge or are stuck in the regulatory process, contact STAT at 401-278-9100 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: 1-800-342-9647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: access code - * 800-3429-6477 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/ VFW Unmet Needs Program: Established in 2004, the Unmet Needs program assists service members and military families experiencing financial hardship by providing financial assistance grants toward basic life necessities like rent, mortgage and utility payments. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded, and to date, Unmet Needs has provided more than $7 million in aid to struggling service members, veterans and their families.
Government Resources: 22 June 2018
RISE 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 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 508-208-4781 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.
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RISE 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) 482-2565 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
Real Estate: Real Estate Counselor: Arthur Yatsko salisburysearch.com 401-781-6886 Relocation Assistance Program 24 June 2018
RISE 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.
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 email@example.com. 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
25 June 2018
RISE Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association of RI 9-2 - CVMA 9-2 believes that by sharing the combined bond of having served in a Combat Zone and riding our motorcycles together, that we create and maintain a Brotherhood not unlike what we saw in the military. We believe that as Combat Veterans, it is our duty and responsibility to maintain that Brotherhood that so many were missing upon exiting the Theater of War. Our fundraising efforts are to help provide temporary relief to local homeless or at risk in need Veterans ranging from buying groceries, emergency financial aid for rent, utilities, moving costs, childcare and bus transportation, ancillary support for Veterans & their families, food and toiletry pantry, mechanical labor to provide a reliable vehicle for safe transportation. We are Veterans Helping Veterans. For more information – Steve “PH” Mondaca – RI CVMA State Rep 860.575.9886, Yanick “Eighty-8” Koenig – 9-2 Chapter Commander 401.473.1282, www.RICombatVets.org Find us on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/RICombatVets/ Find us on Instagram - www.Instagram.com/RI_CVMA_9dash2 RICOMBATVETS@Gmail.com RICVMA.AUX@Gmail.com
Wellness: Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association of RI 9-2 - CVMA 9-2 believes that by sharing the combined bond of having served in a Combat Zone and riding our motorcycles together, that we create and maintain a Brotherhood not unlike what we saw in the military. We believe that as Combat Veterans, it is our duty and responsibility to maintain that Brotherhood that so many were missing upon exiting the Theater of War. Our fundraising efforts are to help provide temporary relief to local homeless or at risk in need Veterans ranging from buying groceries, emergency financial aid for rent, utilities, moving costs, childcare and bus transportation, ancillary support for Veterans & their families, food and toiletry pantry, mechanical labor to provide a reliable vehicle for safe transportation. We are Veterans Helping Veterans. For more information – Steve “PH” Mondaca – RI CVMA State Rep 860.575.9886, Yanick “Eighty-8” Koenig – 9-2 Chapter Commander 401.473.1282, www.RICombatVets.org Find us on Facebook – www.Facebook.com/RICombatVets/ Find us on Instagram - www.Instagram.com/RI_CVMA_9dash2 RICOMBATVETS@Gmail.com RICVMA.AUX@Gmail.com
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 401-919-2059 or firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: 1-800-342-9647 En espanol : 1-877-888-0727 TTY/TDD: 1-866-607-6794 Overseas: access code - * 800-3429-6477 The Parkinson’s Place- Did your Agent Orange exposure cause Parkinsons disease? The Parkinson’s Place provides all therapies as well as maintenance to obtain and maintain a happy, healthy and active quality of life. TheParkinsonsPlace.com 401-728-2039 65 Blackstone Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860 26 June 2018
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. VetDogs- America’s VetDogs changes the lives of veterans and active duty service members, first responders, and others who have served our country honorably, by training assistance dogs to mitigate their disabilities. Our goal is to team eah individual with the dog that’s right for them to live without boundaries. For more information please visit VetDogs.org or call 1-866-838-3647 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 email@example.com, 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) 482-2565 or visit www.veteransinc.org
27 June 2018
28 June 2018
It is our mission here at Addition Recovery Institute to provide high quality outpatient services for substance use disorder in adults and their families throughout Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts. Care will be provided in an environment that fosters the dignity and self-esteem of our patients and positively contributes to the improvement of the quality of life of those we serve.
Addiction Recovery Institute offers: An Effective Methadone Treatment Program with no waiting list and immediate admission General Outpatient Program Intensive Outpatient Program ARI accepts most RI Insurances. Call Today! Pawtucket Office 401-725-2520 31 North Union Street Warwick Office 401-737-4788 205 Hallene Road 29 June 2018
DARE TO DREAM RANCH SPONSORSHIPS Just as Dare to Dream Ranch benefits from strong partnerships with companies, companies also benefit when they are highly engaged with Dare to Dream Ranch. Research shows that employees have a more positive image of their company as it reinforces the company’s commitment to enrich the community where they live and work. Customers are also more loyal to businesses that support the community. A strategic partnership with Dare to Dream Ranch provides high profile exposure allowing you to reach top community leaders, corporations and families through ongoing promotional opportunities with Dare to Dream Ranch. With Dare to Dream Ranch you are supporting your US military veterans that serve and protect our country.
Gold Sponsor $1,000+/mo
Ad in our Military RISE magazine Logo on Ranch Vehicle Logo in Riding Arena Logo and link on website Prominent Space on Event Signs Social Media blast 20 Tickets to our Annual Donor Appreciation Event
Silver sponsor $600-$999/mo
Logo on Ranch Vehicle Logo in Riding Arena Logo and link on website Social Media blast 10 Tickets to our Annual Donor Appreciation Event
Bronze Sponsor $250-599/mo
Logo in Riding Arena Logo and link on website Social media blast 5 tickets to our Annual Donor Appreciation Event
Friend Sponsor $30- $249/mo
Logo in Riding Arena Social Media Blast June 2018 1 ticket to our Annual Donor Appreciation Event
31 June 2018
Inspiring stories of veterans helping other veterans