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:

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

 

 

The National Vietnam War Museum


For many Americans, Vietnamese, and others, the war in Vietnam was the defining event in their lives. It was a conflict that divided families and brought violence both to Vietnam and to the United States. Each of us had a Vietnam experience.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. as well as many other community and state memorials have been established to recognize the sacrifice of the 58,260 that gave their lives during that most unpopular and longest war the United States has been involved in to date.

These memorials, which have done much to aid in the healing of the wounds brought on by this conflict, do not provide an opportunity to reflect knowledgeably on the many other aspects of the era. This turbulent period influenced events in much of the world that still affect those who lived through the era, subsequent generations and governments around the globe.

At its peak, over half a million U. S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen were serving in Vietnam, the surrounding waters and countries, along with millions of Vietnamese and thousands of Australians, New Zealanders, South Koreans, Thais, and Philippinos.

They, along with their friends and families, have been misunderstood and misrepresented for over thirty years.

When completed, The National Vietnam War Museum will offer an educational environment where people from all over the world can come to remember, learn and understand….


Visit The National Vietnam War Museum

The museum is located on Hwy 180 about 1 mile east of the Mineral Wells city limits and about 45 miles west of Fort Worth, Texas|12685 Mineral Wells Highway, Weatherford, TX

The American Warriors’ Watch Coalition

 Firebase116.org is proud to be a Member Group of The AWWC.  See below for more information about The AWWC.

 

The Mission and Vision of the AWWC

THE AMERICAN WARRIORS’ WATCH COALITION MISSION STATEMENT:

The American Warriors’ Watch Coalition is an all-volunteer effort designed to help American Warrior Support Groups to realize their full potential. Toward that end, the AWWC will: 

  • Unite Warrior Support Groups across the country
  • Facilitate communication between Warrior Support Groups
  • Maximize Mutual Support while minimizing duplication of efforts among Warrior Support Groups.
  • Raise awareness of the need for American Warrior and Family Support.
  • Educate the young so that future generations understand the true Cost of Freedom and the role that the American Warrior and families play in the preservation of that freedom.

THE AMERICAN WARRIORS’ WATCH COALITION VISION FOR AMERICA

All across America there are hundreds if not thousands of groups, organizations, and even individuals who have committed to showing support to our nation’s Warriors and their families.  In researching this, the AWWC found that while the means and methods of support vary, these groups always have at least one if not all four of the following points in common:

Honor the American Warrior

In a media-driven society, the public concept of “celebrity” is limited to figures in entertainment, sports, and in some cases politics. Those with an appreciation of the heroism and sacrifice inherent in the American Warrior understand that such values are skewed. The honorably-serving American Warrior deserves celebrity more than movie stars and ball players. AWWC groups understand this.

Support the Warrior’s Family

Unlike popular athletes and film stars, the American Warrior most often gets along on very meager wages. The support of the Warrior’s family is vital to his/her effectiveness and mental health. The American Warrior needs to know that his fellow citizens are looking after and supporting his/her family during long deployments.

Share the sacrifice

The American Warrior often puts off the starting of a family, or further education, while he serves his nation. For those Warriors who are married, the entire family sacrifices both in terms of the comfort of a higher income and the insecurity of fear for the life of the Warrior. Having groups of Americans surrounding them and comforting their insecurities helps them both morally and often financially to endure separation.

Teach the next generation

“No people will surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of Foreign Invaders.” – Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, November 4, 1775

There is little that any troop support group can hope to achieve more important than education.  Some of our groups, such as the Warriors’ Watch Riders, use motorcycles because they are highly visible. Attracting attention to the work that all of us do is a vital means of achieving our vision by making the general public aware of the importance that WE put on what we do. When average, workaday Americans see other Americans going to such lengths to praise and respect our nation’s warriors, it makes them understand that this is, indeed, something that they themselves can and should do. In that way we educate the adults of our time.

But even more, we go into the schools. Regardless of what the specific mission of the organization is: if it is sending care packages to troops, raising funds for military family efforts, or doing Welcome Home celebrations for troops – we take it to the schools. We set up opportunities to give demonstrations to middle schools. We ride motorcycles into High Schools.  We present POW/MIA flags to a local schools and use the opportunity to teach the students the value that we place on the present service of our troops and the past service of our veterans.

The AWWC understands that education is the only thing that will prevent our country from repeating the shameful period of the 60’s and 70’s.

Please click the logo to visit The AWWC homepage.

The AWWC