The Veterans Opportunity to Work (VOW) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011

Are you or do you know an unemployed Veteran age 35-60?

If so, there is a new Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor’s (DOL) education benefit program that helps train Veterans in high demand occupations.

As a VetSuccess.gov user we would like to share information about our new programs and benefits that are underway due to the enactment of a new law. In an effort to reduce Veteran unemployment, the President signed into law the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 last November.  Included in this new law is the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP) for unemployed Veterans, which VA begins accepting applications May 15, 2012.

VRAP will provide 99,000 eligible Veterans with up to one year of additional Montgomery GI Bill benefits in order to help you earn training and certifications in high-demand job. In order to receive these benefits, you must attend a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school.

The requirements to be eligible for the VRAP program are:

  • You must be unemployed the day you apply
  • You must be least 35 but no more than 60 years old
  • You must have an other than dishonorable discharge
  • You must not be eligible for any other VA education benefit program (e.g., the Post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery GI Bill, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment)
  • You must not in receipt of VA compensation due to Individual Unemployability (IU)
  • You cannot be enrolled in a federal or state job training program
  • You must be enrolled in a VA approved program of education offered by a community college or technical school

You can begin applying May 15, 2012, but cannot start any education or training until June 1, 2012 and you must apply to VA by March 31, 2014.

I cannot encourage you enough to take advantage of this unique opportunity if you are eligible, and if you are not, but know a fellow Veteran, who may be eligible, please pass this information along to them.

Also under this new law,  if you are a Veteran with a service-connected disability and have previously completed a VA vocational rehabilitation program and have used the initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits you may qualify for an additional 12 months of VA vocational rehabilitation benefits.  To be eligible you must:

  • Have previously completed a VA Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program and been considered “rehabilitated” by VA.
  • Apply within six months of using up your initial 26 weeks of unemployment benefits. You may still qualify for extended or emergency unemployment benefits.

To apply or learn more information about VRAP or Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment benefits, including on how to apply please visit:

www.benefits.va.gov/VOW

Your best bet…Hire a Vet!

Resources:

National League of POW/MIA Families

WE WILL NEVER FORGET!

The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia was incorporated in the District of Columbia on May 28, 1970. Voting membership is comprised of wives, children, parents, siblings and other close relatives of Americans who were or are listed as Prisoners of War (POW), Missing in Action (MIA), Killed in Action/Body not Recovered (KIA/BNR) and returned American Vietnam War POWs. Associate membership is comprised of POW/MIA and KIA/BNR relatives who do not meet voting membership requirements, veterans and other concerned citizens.  The League’s sole purpose is to obtain the release of all prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for the missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains of those who died serving our nation during the Vietnam War.

The League originated on the west coast in the late 1960s. Believing that the US Government’s policy of keeping a low profile on the POW/MIA issue while urging family members to refrain from publicly discussing the problem was unjustified, Bring Them Home or Send Us Backthe wife of a ranking POW initiated a loosely organized movement that evolved into the National League of POW/MIA Families. In October 1968, the first POW/MIA story was published. As a result of that publicity, the families began communicating with each other, and the group grew in strength from 50 to 100, to 300, and kept growing. Small POW/MIA family groups flooded the North Vietnamese delegation in Paris with telegraphic inquiries regarding the prisoners and missing, the first major activity in which hundreds of families participated.

Eventually, the necessity for formal incorporation was recognized. In May 1970, a special adhoc meeting of the families was held at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC, at which time the League’s charter and by-laws were adopted. Elected by the voting membership, now numbering approximately 1,000, a seven-member Board of Directors meets regularly to determine League policy and direction. Board Members, Regional Coordinators, responsible for activities in multi-state areas, and State Coordinators represent the League in most states.

Freedom has a flavor the protected shall never know.

For additional information on League policies, positions and activities, check the web site: www.pow-miafamilies.org.

Did you know…

1,666 Americans are now listed by DoD as missing and unaccounted for from the Vietnam War: Vietnam – 1,284 (VN-471 VS-813); Laos – 318; Cambodia – 57; Peoples Republic of China territorial waters – 7.  (These numbers occasionally fluctuate due to investigations resulting in changed locations of loss.)  The League seeks the return of all US prisoners, the fullest possible accounting for those still missing and repatriation of all recoverable remains.  The League’s highest priority is accounting for Americans last known alive. Official intelligence indicates that Americans known to be in captivity in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were not returned at the end of the war.  In the absence of evidence to the contrary, it must be assumed that these Americans may still be alive.  As policy, the US Government does not rule out the possibility that Americans could still be held.

Related…Home At Last

Army Capt. Charles R. Barnes, 27, of Philadelphia, Pa., was buried yesterday, May 2, in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. On March 16, 1969, Welcome Home Brother.Barnes and four other service members departed Qui Nhon Airfields bound for Da Nang and Phu Bai, in a U-21A Ute aircraft.  As they approached Da Nang, they encountered low clouds and poor visibility. Communications  with the aircraft were lost, and they did not land as scheduled. Immediate search efforts were limited due to hazardous weather conditions, and all five men were listed as missing in action.

Rest in Peace our Brother.  We will NEVER forget you and the price you paid.

 

New England Center for Homeless Veterans

New England Center for Homeless Veterans is located downtown Boston, at 17 Court Street.

Their Mission
…extend a helping hand to homeless men and women veterans who are addressing the challenges of:

  • addiction
  • trauma
  • severe and persistent mental illness, and/or
  • unemployment

and who will commit themselves to sobriety, non-violence, and working for personal change. We are recognized as one of the most effective private veteran’s transition programs in the country.

We as Veterans are one of the largest homeless groups in America today.  And as Veterans we all believe very strongly about “being left behind”, as Vietnam Veterans we will not turn our backs on our Brothers and Sisters no matter what.  Any Veteran that needs help, whether it be with PTSD, homelessness, being incarcerated, Agent Orange or whatever, is a Vet that can know, someone is looking out for them.

I urge all VVA members and ALL Veterans everywhere to help out whenever you can.  Help our comrades that are homeless.  Support the NECHV any way you can.  Visit the NECHV webpage, make a donation, contact your State and Federal Representatives and see what you can do to support homeless Veterans.  Let these guys know that “we got their backs…at home”!

I would also like to issue a very large “THANK YOU!” to the staff at NECHV, for being there, for supporting me, feeding me and keeping me warm and dry during a very cold and dark time in my life.  I will never forget you.

NECHV.org

 

 

firebase116.org Welcomes ALL Veterans and Active Duty Personnel.

WELCOME to firebase116.org

In keeping with the VVA Founding Principal, “Never again will one generation of Veterans abandon another,”  We would like to welcome ALL Veterans, and ALL Armed Forces personnel, their family, loved ones, friends and those who support them to firebase116.org.

Welcome Home Sisters and Brothers.  Thank you for your service to America. 

Please enjoy our humble website.  You ARE Home!  You ARE WELCOME here.  We got your back.   Anything that I can do to help you, let me know, feel free to post your request in the Forums or in an email to me; [email protected]  I personally want to make this the greatest site on the Internet for America’s Finest.  Slide into the Forums, enjoy the links and the pages here.

We all bleed red.  We ALL took the same Oath…

Oath of EnlistmentAnd as Billy Shakespeare so eloquently put it:

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile.”

We belong here…together.  We are Home.

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“A Veteran – whether Active Duty, Retired, National Guard, or Reserve – is
someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to
‘The United States of America’, for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

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firebase116.org welcomes and is open to ALL of America’s Finest.

firebase116.org Disclaimer

Dinner With Warriors

Dinner With Warriors Cookbook

This cookbook is a unique collection of recipes and inspirational stories from heroes of the War on Terror. The purposes of the book are first, to raise funds for some of the organizations out there that help today’s American Warrior and their families, and second to introduce America to a few of her heroes. All of the net proceeds from the sale of this cookbook will be donated to a few hand selected organizations that assist the heroes, and their families, that were wounded or fell during OIF and OEF.

If you are looking for a good cookbook, why not try Dinner With Warriors.  Show our “Heroes” that we support them and that we care about them.  Remember our founding principal.  “Never again will one generation of Veteran’s abandon another.”  Thank you for your service!