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Veterans Benefits Information

New Jersey event helps women entrepreneurs

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Over 100 women business owners and entrepreneurs attended a leadership symposium supported in part by The American Legion Department of New Jersey on May 11.

The “Women Warriors in Business” event at Rutgers Business School was designed to empower women business owners, entrepreneurs and leaders toward success.

Bob Looby, the department’s employment and education chairman, said the idea for the event developed last fall.

“Basically I wanted to supplement the Boots to Business workshops with something bigger, more specific, just like when we supplemented our job fairs with the business courses,” Looby said.

The department wanted to find a way to help women veterans develop and grow their businesses. Sessions at the event included discussion of ways to strengthen leadership skills, methods to improve winning public and private contracts, and developing digital marketing.

Almost 32 percent of all businesses in New Jersey are women-owned, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. But Shy Hopkins of the New Jersey Small Business Development Center told NJTV Online that female entrepreneurs still face significant challenges in growing their businesses.

“Women not being confident enough to go out for loans when they have a small business, not being confident enough to go out for contracts. And that’s very important, very vital to the survival of a business,” Hopkins said.

Sponsors of the event included Prudential and M&T Bank, with support from the U.S. Small Business Administration, New Jersey Business Action Center, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and others.

Looby said it’s likely other similar events will take place.

He also praised the Legion’s Veterans Employment and Education Division in Washington, D.C. for their assistance in this and other projects.

“They’re great mentors, great leaders,” he said.


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Wounded Troops Discharged for Misconduct Often Had PTSD or T.B.I.

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The Government Accountability Office found that thousands of soldiers were ousted, and cut off from benefits, despite diagnoses of traumatic brain injury or mental disorders.

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Spring Meetings resolutions now available

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During the Spring Meetings in Indianapolis in May, the American Legion National Executive Committee passed a total of 29 resolutions on everything from new war memorials to VA's treatment of patients with opioid problems. These resolutions are now available to view in the Legion’s Digital Archive; see the full collection here.


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Illinois Legion leadership to support 20-mile veteran march

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The fourth annual Chicago Veterans: Ruck March is May 26, and members of The American Legion Department of Illinois will be volunteering to show their support.

More than 1,500 veterans, their families and military supporters are expected to participate in the event, which raises awareness for PTSD and veteran suicide. Participants will wear a 20-pound ruck sack and walk 20 miles through the streets of Chicago to represent the number of veteran suicides daily, and to honor and remember servicemembers lost at home and on the battlefield.

The event starts at Veterans Memorial Park in Glencoe at 8 a.m. with lunch at Centennial Memorial Park in Evanston. Legionnaires will have a tent at the lunch stop to pass out bananas, water and poppies in honor of the Legion's National Poppy Day on May 26, as well as have a service officer on hand to answer questions and information on Legion membership and other available veteran resources.

Department of Illinois leadership who will be in attendance includes Past National Commander and Department Adjutant Marty Conatser, Assistant Adjutant Gary Jenson and Membership Director Chad Woodburn.

To register or volunteer for the Chicago Veterans: Ruck March, click here.

The event is organized by Chicago Veterans, a nonprofit launched by Legionnaire Kevin Barszcz that "empowers veterans to take control of their transition throughout life." Learn more at www.chicagovets.org.


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Helping you celebrate Military Appreciation Month

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Servicemembers and families are being honored during Military Appreciation Month with a variety of discounts. Below are some highlighted offerings, via Military.com. Keep an eye on the list for updates.

Affinia Hotel Collection

Book your summertime stay at any Affinia hotel in New York City and receive up to 25 percent off. Plus, they will donate $10 for every reservation made to Operation Homefront.

Blue Star Museums

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s military from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

California's Great America

All active-duty servicemembers and veterans get free regular admission to California's Great America through May 29 with a valid military ID. Plus, each military guest will be able to bring up to six additional guests at a discounted rate.

Carowinds

Carowinds offers free park admission to any active, inactive or retired servicemember May 28 and 29.

Cincinnati Zoo

Active and retired military receive free admission on Memorial Day. The offer also allows military personnel to purchase up to six half-price admission tickets for members of their immediate family.

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg offers free admission during Memorial Day weekend to all active-duty military, retired, veterans, reservists, National Guard and their direct dependents.

Dell

As a special thanks for your sacrifice and service, all military members receive an additional 15 percent off select Dell and Alienware PCs and electronics. Claim your coupon by May 31; redeem by Aug. 4.

Dorney Park

Dorney Park in Pennsylvania offers free regular admission to any active or retired military personnel May 27-29. Military members can also purchase discount admission tickets for members of their immediate family (maximum of six).

General Motors

All active-duty, reservists, National Guard members, retirees, veterans within one year of discharge date and their spouses can receive $500 purchase bonus cash on eligible Chevrolet, Buick and GMC vehicles through May 31.

Home Depot

All veterans are eligible for Home Depot's 10 percent military discount on Memorial Day with a DoD-issued ID, a DD-214 or a Veterans Driver’s License. (This discount is good for veterans on July 4 and Veterans Day as well.)

Kings Dominion

Kings Dominion is offering free park admission to any active or retired servicemember May 27-29.

Kings Island

Kings Island is offering military personnel free admission May 26-29.

Knott's Berry Farm

Knott's Berry Farm offers active, retired, and veteran military personnel free admission May 27-29, as well as up to six discounted tickets for $48 each.

Lowe's

Just in time for Military Appreciation Month, Lowe’s has updated their military discount to include veterans in their year-round 10 percent discount.

Michigan's Adventure

Michigan's Adventure is offering military personnel a free admission May 28-29. Military personnel may also purchase up to six additional tickets for immediate family members at $26 each.

Mission BBQ

Veterans and active-duty military get a free sandwich the week of May 15. (Dates vary by service branch.)

Mystic Aquarium

Veterans and active-duty members who visit Mystic Aquarium May 27-29 will receive free general admission. Dependent family members receive a discounted admission rate of $20.99 per adult, $15.99 per youth (13-17) and $13.99 per child (3-12). Get 10 percent off at the gift store too!

Rack Room Shoes

Rack Room Shoes offers their regular year-round Tuesday 10 percent military discount on Memorial Day.

Silverwood Theme Park

Military personnel and veterans get free admission May 27-29. Immediate family members also receive a discounted rate when purchasing tickets at Silverwood's front gate. They will also have special rates May 28-June 9.

Sleep Number

From May 15-June 4, Sleep Number offers an additional $100 savings on all Sleep Number mattress sets, 25 percent off selected Sleep Number bedding and special financing. (In store only.)

Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is offering veterans and active military personnel a free select meal on May 29.

Valleyfair

Active duty and veterans will receive a free regular admission ticket into Valleyfair May 26-29. They can also purchase discount admission tickets for members of their immediate family.

Virginia Aquarium

The Virginia Aquarium offers active duty, dependents and retirees half off general admission on Sunday or Monday during the month of May.


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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at www.archives.gov