Saturday, August 18, 2012

Marine combat veteran James Dean is our latest poster raising funds for his project “Under the Lights”, a company with the mission of standardizing the way amateur sporting events are organized. To learn more about his project and to see how you can help, visit his project page here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday Link Bytes: August 10 Edition

  • According to the CDC, military veterans are reporting poorer health

Friday Link Bytes is a weekly collection of stories relating to veterans & entrepreneurship

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Organizational Feature: Hope For the Warriors®

Name: Hope For the Warriors®


Phone: 877-246-7349

About Hope For the Warriors®: Hope For The Warriors® is a national, nonprofit organization that supports wounded U.S. service members, their families, and families of the fallen. Ten key programs help support the Hope for the Warriors mission. These programs are: Above & Beyond, Family Support, Family Reintegration, Hope & Morale, Immediate Needs, Outdoor Adventures, Spouse/Caregiver Scholarships, Team Hope for the Warriors®, A Warriors Wish®, Wounded Warrior Unit Support, and the Hope & Care Center.

Mission: To enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.

A quick glance at their ‘Above & Beyond’ program, which wounded service members who are pursuing entrepreneurship may find both valuable and helpful:

  • Above & Beyond: This program provides guidance to wounded service members “pursuing reintegration into the civilian sector”. The overall objective of Above & Beyond is to look into the “next step” options for those who are interested in a civilian career, higher education, advanced training, or a small business start-up. The program consists of one-on-one mentoring, along with 3-4 day seminars and follow up coaching that is all designed around the participants’ individual objectives. 

In addition to the information above, I spoke with Anne Woods, the Director of Public Relations, and here is what she had to say about Hope For the Warriors®:

1. What do you wish people knew about Hope For The Warriors®?

The mission of Hope For the Warriors® is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty.  Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.

Hope For The Warriors® supports ten distinct programs that offer a full cycle of care starting with Immediate Needs financial assistance, and continuing through A Warrior’s Wish®, Hope & Morale, Above & Beyond transitional program, spouse/caregiver scholarships, Family Reintegration Program, Family Support, Team Hope For The Warriors® and more.

2. What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering for or donating to Hope For The Warriors®?

Hope For The Warriors® has earned a Four-Star rating from Charity Navigator (, an independent organization that evaluates fiscal responsibility and accountability of nonprofits. 95% of all donations directly assist wounded service members, their families, and families of the fallen from each military branch.

Volunteers are vital to the organization and with their help, Hope For The Warriors® is able to assist more families and reach more communities.

3. What is your favorite memory so far?

My favorite moment was seeing the look of both relief and hope on the face of a spouse. Her husband had one leg amputated several years ago and the other leg had been giving him a great deal of trouble. Suddenly wheelchair bound more than before, the veteran had limited mobility in his own home. We immediately responded by purchasing a travel ramp that could be used at both their home as well as folded up and taken with them. We also reassured the family that if his second leg was amputated and home modifications were needed, we were prepared to assist them financially.

The look of hope had nothing to do with their financial needs however. The pain in his leg and the uncertainty of his future had taken its toll on this veteran and his PTSD started to control their lives. We invited the couple to join us at a bike race where other amputees were participating on their handcycles and recumbent bikes. It was a beautiful, warm and sunny March day—a perfect day to ride a bike or watch a bike race. Afterwards, we all sat together eating burgers and sharing stories. For the first time in months, this veteran was out, enjoying himself, and talking with other service members. That is why his wife looked so hopeful.

Four months later, this veteran still does not know what to expect about his medical future. He continues to struggle both physically and psychologically.  Regardless of what this couple must deal with, his wife knows that she can count on Hope For The Warriors® for financial assistance and emotional support.~

For more information on the ‘Above & Beyond’ program, click here.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Link Bytes: July 20 Edition

  • According to an Institute of Medicine report released last week at the request of Congress, the DOD and VA “do not adequately track success rates of PTSD treatment”. The report states that only half of those who are diagnosed with PTSD receive treatment for it- with the problem being either the lack of access to care, or the “perceived stigma” that tends to be associated with the diagnosis.
  • Congress could possibly order more restrictive VA rules for service dogs.
  • The Department of Veteran Affairs announced this week that $100 million in grants will go to local organizations that assist low-income veterans and their families nationwide. The hopes of the VA are to end veteran homelessness by 2015.
  • Arizona State University is offering a free Military/Defense/Veterans (MDV)  program that will start this September in the evenings at the ASU SkySong.This program is aimed to help participants launch new start up companies in areas such as: military technology, homeland security, border protection and consumer protection processes.

Friday Link Bytes is a weekly collection of stories relating to veterans & entrepreneurship

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

VeteranCEO: Empowering Transitioning Veterans

Name: VeteranCEO (“VCEO”)


Phone: (855) 838- 8226

About VCEO: VCEO is an online entrepreneurial training and transitioning program for recently separated and current veterans.

VCEO Mission: Accelerate veterans’ transitions from military service to successful entrepreneurship.

VeteranCEO (“VCEO”) was developed by veteran business owners, with the hope of serving as a starting point for military members and veterans who are interested in becoming an entrepreneur and starting their own business.

VeteranCEO is an online program, which is formulated into three components:

  • Introductory Program: This is VCEO’s complimentary, self-paced program. It is entailed of three online learning modules, which provide the skills required to start a business. This program also provides an insight to why veterans make great entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurial process. In addition to the entrepreneur aspect, this program helps veterans seek more “meaningful employment”, and helps recently separated veterans better manage their career transition.
  •  FastTrac® NewVenture™ Certificate Program:  VCEO has teamed up with the Kauffman Foundation’s  FastTrac® program to offer an online version of their proven FastTrac® NewVenture program. The program is facilitated and taught by certified instructors and other veteran business owners. It is specifically tailored to veterans’ needs, and helps them develop a business concept, determine critical steps in completing a business plan, and teaches them how to move forward with launching their own business. NewVenture will be offered beginning in the Fall of 2012, free of charge to active duty military members and transitioning veterans through a recent grant of nearly $250,000 from Accenture. Additionally, the program is offered through accredited, non-profit university partners approved for receiving GI Bill benefits.
  •  Community Portal: VCEO has a veteran entrepreneur community portal, which is an online platform that integrates all content, communications, and activities for the program. It also provides news feeds, discussion threads and resources, and most importantly, a community full of veteran entrepreneur mentors and peers.

VCEO is unlike the traditional entrepreneurship training programs that are usually intended for general audiences. VCEO’s program uses practice models, frameworks, and tools for further exploring entrepreneurship and running a small business.

John Panaccione, CEO of LogicBay (who is VCEO’s strategic partner), is a retired U.S. Army Veteran and is currently facilitating the program on behalf of VCEO at Fort Bragg and online through the end of the year.

Panaccione can attest to how the FastTrac NewVenture program is specifically tailored for veterans.

“This program starts with the premise that veterans possess priceless raw talent in the areas of leadership, decision-making, and risk management that are unparralled among their civilian peers,” Panaccione said. “It’s tailored for them and the strengths they bring to the table.”

Want to learn more? Visit the VeteranCEO website.



Friday, July 6, 2012

Friday Link Bytes: July 6 Edition

-An Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America fund is urging parents without kids in the military to support veterans.

-Veterans unhappy with recent supreme court ruling that struck down the Stolen Valor Act (a law making it illegal to to lie about receiving any United States Military decoration or medals).

-A new program in Maryland has been designed to give veterans and active military members a break when looking at buying a home. Active duty members of the military and veterans can request up to $10,000 toward settlement costs and the down payment through “Maryland Homefront”.

-Unemployment rate for veterans fell dramatically in June. For Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, the rate fell from 12.7 percent down to 9.5 percent.

Friday Link Bytes is a weekly collection of stories relating to veterans & entrepreneurship

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Link Bytes: June 22 Edition

-The DOD is supporting job and homeowner legislative proposals for military members and veterans. These proposed bills would provide increased career support and homeowner protections to current military members and veterans.

Overview on some of the proposed bills:

  1. Hire at Home Act- This encouraged states to strongly consider training when granting civilian credentials. If passed, the law would require states to consider a veteran’s military training when processing applications for jobs such as nursing assistants, registered nurses, emergency medical technicians or commercial drivers. 
  2. Military Family Protection Act- This bill has the objective of improving protections for service members and surviving spouses against mortgage foreclosures. 
  3. Fairness for Military Homeowners Act- This bill, if passed, would ensure that military members who move away from their principal residences for active duty are not prevented from refinancing the mortgages on those properties.

-More than 70,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired since the Obama administration appealed to private companies to hire veterans. President Obama’s goal to hire 100,000 veterans by the end of 2013 is said to likely be achieved.

-Wall Street is Recruiting Military Veterans.

Friday Link Bytes is a weekly collection of stories relating to veterans & entrepreneurship.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Education for Military Families on Finances

Members of the military and their families too often face difficult financial problems. Citi and CredAbility have come together with numerous veteran service organizations to help resolve some of the financial problems that many military members and their families are currently facing.

CredAbility ReConnect, a free online financial education and counseling program, has been launched by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, and the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network.

Some areas that are covered by CredAbility ReConnect:

  • The financial impact of deployment, for which online courses are available to help families learn how to manage money when a loved one is deployed
  • "Easing the Transition"- Online courses designed to help ease the financial transition for those who have either recently left the military, or experienced the death of a service member
  • "Budget and Credit Counseling"- Offers “easy-to-follow” plans that can help users better prioritize their spending and manage their money
  • "Debt Management" plans- Plans that are designed to offer affordable and easy repayment options that are individually tailored
  • "Foreclosure Prevention and Home Buying Guidance"- For those who are behind on their mortgage or facing foreclosure, there are certified counselors available to provide assistance

Some Financial Facts and Data (from & CredAbility):

  • More than 25% of military families who have credit card debt carry a balance of more than $10,000
  • Veterans ages 29 or younger have average monthly expenses that exceed their net income by $880

Check out CredAbility ReConnect


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

According to a new report from the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), hiring veterans is a smart move, and good for business.

Military veterans offer adaptability, they are accustomed to policies and structures, they improve leadership, boast teamwork, and are extremely loyal.

All of the above describes the ideal job candidate and employee for many people.

The problem is, many veterans aren’t getting hired.

What is stopping these ideal job candidates from getting jobs?

Read More


Friday, June 8, 2012