Posts tagged with "military"

Book illustration

The Stranglehold Series

By Katherine Jeffries

Lenient and non-existent criminal sentences have given rise to movements such as #metoo, #yesallwomen, #whyididntreport, #protecteverychild, #endmodernslavery, #blacklivesmatter to name a only a few. The growing unrest of a rigged justice system is rightly being met with a “burn it down” sentiment.

The Stranglehold Series was inspired by the very frustrations and inequalities we, as a country, are currently attempting to voice and rectify. While the BlackLivesMatter movement, as well as others, focuses on horridly heavy-handed punishments, even deadly uses of force for petty detainments of people of color, Stranglehold was birthed from the growing disgust of certain privileged offenders getting little-to-no consequence for acts so inhumane that most people cannot process the monstrous details.

We have privileged perpetrators such as Brock Turner, who, in 2016, brutally assaulted an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. Even with witnesses to the heinousness of his attack, he got little to no punishment for the various and twisted injuries he inflicted. Not a year later, the #metoo movement against prominent men who assault women and men alike went viral. Because of public outcry and the bravery of those willing to share their stories in solidarity, some semblance of justice is beginning. More recently, in the case of Ahmaud Arbery, actual video evidence of the murder did not result in the arrest of the killers until that footage was made public months later, demonstrating that if you are well-connected, you could commit the coldest atrocities and skate back into life-as-usual—so long as someone is incentivized enough to keep your secret.

These kinds of non-existent or delayed sentences doled out by those in the criminal justice system who don’t want to “ruin” the lives of predators has only emboldened some institutions into not only hiding those who commit certain crimes, but also continue to allow perpetrators access to more victims (as we’ve seen with the Catholic and Mormon churches, to name only a few). Despite complaints and investigations filed, some organizations even reward and promote harassers, as we’re discovering with the military and hundreds of women being demoted or discharged for reporting while their attacker is unscathed, such as the recent and upsetting murder of Vanessa Guillan.

Much of the same issues are at play in the society in my thriller series, Stranglehold. Unknown US politicians are funneling money into legal organizations set to keep violent, even sadistic criminals on the streets, all in hopes of growing government power in the name of “safety.” Although I’d quickly condemn anyone enacting vigilante justice against any suspect or convict, Stranglehold does offer a satisfying outlet as Grant Steele, Gemma Pearl and Trent Roth deliver swift and ruthless deaths to those who find pleasure or triumph in the pain of the innocent.

That said, Stranglehold isn’t a typical bang-bang-you’re-dead thriller. After all, Gemma Pearl can hear—down to the word—if someone is lying. That she can decide—on the spot—who is guilty isn’t the sole determiner, it sure helps them focus on who’s a threat and find what they need to decide who lives and dies. (In our current political climate, how handy would it be to have not only a sign-language interpreter sharing the stage with any given talking-head, but someone like Gemma calling bullshit. Not sure it would change much, but it would add some comedy to it all).

Beyond that aspect of magic realism, which allows for many polite phrases and the motives behind them to have moments of examination (imagine being around someone who knows every little white lie you tell—every.single.one), Stranglehold takes on the emotional toll trauma exacts. After all, Gemma Pearl isn’t only an assassin, but a woman who has endured years of isolation, physical and sexual abuse at the hands of her husband. The two of them were corralled into their marriage for the sake of Gemma’s safety, which inspires Gemma to ask, “Safe from who?” After Gemma murders her husband and while under Grant and Trent’s protection, Gemma is allowed to unearth and begin to unravel the trauma she’s not only endured, but also caused.

Most thrillers don’t attempt to unpack the damage done to their characters, portraying them instead as revenge-driven-until-revenge-satisfied. Stranglehold is far more thoughtful than that and readers who have survived abuse and trauma deserve a character who is strong, graceful and vulnerable at once. Trauma survivors have earned a character who is wounded but wanting more for herself, who is writhing out form beneath the feelings of unworthiness and invisibility abuse causes, who is learning to voice her hopes and carefully venture back into trust and love with someone who is just as embattled, just as scarred, just as determined to be healed as she is.

As a society, as a world, we have a long way to go, but with the discussions in Stranglehold about punishment, honesty, government roles and trauma healing, we can hopefully step into deeper interactions with ourselves as we heal and with each other as we demand a better system of actual justice.

Ricardo Zaldana Navy Illustration by Mina Tocalini

Navy SEAL Gear

Considered by many to be the most rigorous and highly trained military force in the world, Navy SEALs work in sometimes hopeless conditions to carry out special operations. This branch of the military was established by President John F. Kennedy to perform a variety of operations of unconventional warfare. Because of the nature of their work, Navy SEALs use only the best equipment to increase the chances of success and safe returns. Although some of this equipment is top-secret or restricted, many items that are regularly used by Navy SEALs are available to the general public.

Weapons

As a military branch, it’s natural that SEALs carry a variety of weapons. Missions can vary from quiet reconnaissance to explosive takeouts. Because of this, many styles of weapons might be in a SEAL arsenal. Common weapons include carbines or assault rifles, machine guns, concealable handguns, sniper rifles and even missile launchers. In most of the United States, this gear requires a permit to own and many deadly weapons are not available to the general public. One fun way to explore SEAL weaponry without the dangers is to purchase a plastic replica or even to build an accurate model.

Clothing

Clothing is an approachable way to explore Navy SEAL equipment since there aren’t restrictions and these items are less expensive than weapons, vehicles, or special gear. SEALs are equipped with some remarkably effective clothing, including pants and shirts made from durable materials with reinforced stitching. Even items such as socks and belts are specifically constructed for naval activities. If these basic items aren’t interesting enough, try out some tough all-weather military boots or specially-designed Luminox watches. Although some SEAL clothing is specialized for specific applications, much of it is qualified for sea, air and land. Some factors to consider for all these environments include waterproofing or water-resistance, durability through pressure and temperature differences, resistance to abrasion and dust and comfort despite any of these elements.

Vehicles

A collectors item only for the really dedicated, SEAL vehicles are among the most powerful and expensive. One famous item is the SEAL Delivery Vehicle, which is a small submarine that is designed to be as close to undetectable as possible. Some are large enough to hold up to six people, but some missions have been carried out by fewer personnel. Piloting a personal submarine isn’t a practical choice for most civilians, but replicas and models are fun ways to enjoy them anyway. However, a Humvee or desert vehicle might be a more practical collector’s item. These vehicles were designed to replace Jeeps and can be outfitted with a variety of essential equipment. For more fun, try out a Light Tactical All Terrain Vehicle, which can be as small as the average 4-wheeler or a bit larger to hold more people and equipment. Although expensive and not always practical, military vehicles are a great conversation piece.

Other Gear

Although SEAL stands for Sea, Air, Land, the successes of aquatic activities stand out as some of the more unbelievable tasks the SEALs have completed. To safely perform underwater missions, SEALs have to have the best in scuba, wetsuit and water-safe equipment to perform their jobs. SEALs rely on other items as well, though. According to one of the SEALs who participated on the raid that stopped Bin Laden, there are a number of items that SEALs carry with them almost everywhere, including water bottles, small point-and-shoot cameras, bolt cutters, tourniquets or first-aid supplies, helmets, night vision goggles, body armor, knives and multipurpose tools such as Swiss Army Knives. Although they come in handy for life-saving missions, most of these tools have everyday uses as well and are easy to obtain from stores. Even casual shops like My Gift Stop carry these kinds of useful items.

Whether you’re looking to outfit yourself in some of the most effective equipment in the world or you just want a few collector’s pieces, Navy SEAL gear is top of the line. Simple apparel items augment one’s closet with durable options, while equipment and home decor items are both interesting and educational.

Guillen illustration

The Murder of Fort Hood Soldier, Vanessa Guillen

By Emmet McGeown


“How can this happen on a military base? How can this happen while she was on duty? How can this just happen and then let it go under the rug like it was nothing?” These were the words of Mayra Guillen, sister of Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, who has been missing for months and is now confirmed dead.  

On April 22nd, Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, a 20-year-old Hispanic Small Arms and Artillery Repairer, went missing. She was last seen alive at a parking lot at squadron headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. For months, Pfc. Guillen’s family held out hope that their beloved was still alive, yet the discovery of remains near the Leon River, north of Austin, has vanquished that hope. While the FBI is still awaiting a positive DNA analysis, the family believes that the remains belong to Vanessa.  

Yet, this story does not begin with her disappearance nor does it end with her death. Prior to her vanishing, Pfc. Guillen, according to her sisters, was having difficulties with sexual harassment while stationed at Fort Hood, outside Killeen, Texas. The attorney representing the family in the case revealed that Guillen had confided to her sisters and several other soldiers that a superior had walked in on her while taking a shower and that he proceeded to sit down and watch her. Other relatives and Pfc. Guillen’s boyfriend have noted on social media that something is “not right” and that Vanessa felt unsafe at the military base.  

However, during a press conference on Thursday, July 2nd, senior special agent for the Fort Hood Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), Damon Phelps, reported that there was no evidence backing the claim that she had been sexually harassed. He affirmed that “there has been no information — and we have interviewed hundreds of people… There is no credible information about that.” Despite this rebut by CID, family attorney, Natalie Khawam said, in an interview with PEOPLE, that she believes Pfc. Guillens was sexually harassed by Spc. Aaron David Robinson.

Spc. Robinson was the leading suspect in Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, and as authorities caught up with him on Tuesday evening, he shot himself. It has since been revealed that Robinson was, in fact, responsible for the murder of Pfc. Guillen’s. Guillen’s was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in the armory where she worked, according to the family’s attorney. They made this discovery through an extensive investigation, in which witnesses divulged that they saw Robinson transporting a large box labelled “very heavy in weight.”

Then, after consenting to an examination of his cellphone records, court documents reveal, it was discovered that Robinson made several phone-calls to his girlfriend Cecily Aguilar on the night of Apri 22nd and into the early hours of the April 23rd. After being interviewed multiple times, Aguilar finally told investigators that her boyfriend had murdered Guillen. She also revealed how she and her boyfriend had met up and dismembered Guillen’s body together with a “hatchet or machete type knife” and, after attempting to set her corpse on fire, buried Guillen’s body parts in three different holes. Texas Rangers have since arrested Aguilar and she now faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.  

The issue of sexual harassment within the Army remains a problem in this case, given that Guillen’s family, according to their attorney, claimed that Vanessa was planning on reporting Robinson the day after she was murdered, and had delayed over fear of reprisal and inaction. Yet the Army says there exists no credible evidence that she was sexually harassed before her disappearance, and in a statement from the Fort Hood Press Center, officials said that the criminal investigation “has not found any connection between sexual harassment and Vanessa’s disappearance.” They plan to continue their investigation in light of new revelations. 

Lupe Guillen, another sister of Vanessa’s, told NPR that her sister wanted to be in the military since she was a little girl, “she wanted to be a fighter. She wanted to be a hero. She wanted to be someone in life. … The military failed her.

The family is now pushing for legislation to create an independent agency for soldiers who are victims of sexual harassment and assault. 

360 Magazine,African American,android,app,Apple,application,black,enterprise,entrepreneur,geek,languages,military,millennials,mogul,nerd,patrick gaston,Stony Brook University,tech,Vaughn Lowery,Veteran,web-based,youth,

Conlangio, free web-based application for constructed languages.

There is often a secret ingredient that draws us into powerful performances on our television, captivates us with storytelling in our favorite books and has us hooked on to the latest video game. That secret ingredient is a constructed language and there is a Denver startup focused on creating a platform for language creators around the world and promoting the art, science, and craft of inventing languages.

That company is Conlangio, an innovative language-construction software company with a free web-based constructed language application. This startup – not even a year old and still in its early phases – already has over 400 language creators and over 400 languages created using their software. It has created quite a buzz in this niche community and is planning to expand to content-creation and educational material in the near future.

The founder of Conlangio, Patrick Gaston, is a classically trained linguist, U.S. Army veteran, and software engineer living in Denver, CO.

“Language is my absolute passion. After getting my degree in Linguistics and becoming a software engineer, I really made it a mission to use this unique skill set to create language applications for underrepresented language communities. I started creating my own language in 2016 as a way to deal with some issues transitioning from military to university so this is where I wanted to start my journey,” says Patrick Gaston

One of the most amazing things about this startup is that it was created on nights and weekends as a side project – and still is!

“I’m kind of just riding this wave right now. Conlangio has definitely grown to a point that makes it hard to do part-time but I am loving every minute of it. This whole journey has already been so surreal and if I get to work on Conlangio full-time, it will be amazing,” says Gaston.

In the past year, Conlangio has grown to a diverse team of 4, including 2 military veterans.

Want to know more? So do we!

What is a constructed language? 
Constructed languages, or conlangs for short, are languages that have been created artificially, by an individual or a group, with the intent of being used for communication by a group of speakers, to enhance art, entertainment and more.

You may be more familiar than you think! If you’re one of the millions that tuned into HBO’s hit series Game of Thrones, you’ve heard of Dothraki, which is a fictional language constructed by David J. Peterson – an American language creator. That’s not all. Some other places you can find constructed languages are James Cameron’s Avatar, The 100, and the Lord of the Rings to name a few. That list is only getting bigger.

Why create a language?

People create languages for all kinds of reasons, some of these might include own personal use, video games, films or TV shows.

Stay tuned…
Be sure to keep an eye on this startup, as they may be responsible for your next favorite hit series.

To contact Conlangio or find out more, check out http://conlang.io/

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE, LA

Top 5 Ways to Meet People Online

Meeting friends is an adventure filled with fun but always requires going out of one’s comfort zone especially if you just moved into a new area. Online is the best place to meet single women dating. Why? There are 3.9 billion users of the internet worldwide, while the United States accounted for about 293 million of this population. This is more than what a single neighborhood can accommodate. 

Meeting People Online

To meet people online, you may need to join some communities or forums. This is similar to offline life. In reality, people in search of friends or date will need to visit bars, clubs or any other socially engaging event. 

These online platforms such as Military Singles usually require all their users to fill out certain forms. They will extract information from the filled details to set up a profile which other users can always see to have some information about the new person they are meeting. 

Some of the popular and best ways to meet people online include; 

Social Media

There are more than 243 million users of social media networks in the United States. Some of these platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are interesting places to find fantastic people. 

Facebook, for instance, is popular for connecting its users with friends and family. Anybody that has an account with Facebook will always be recommended to other people to become friends with through their algorithm that matches your account based on mutual friends you have with others. 

See someone you like? Send them a message and who knows, that might be the start of a long-term friendship. 

Dating Apps (Such as Military Singles)

Many people are already warming up to the idea of meeting people online through dating apps and sites. Ninety-one percent of Americans have reportedly tried online dating apps while almost 17 percent of them met their future partners through the apps. 

Dating apps and sites are not only meant for people in search of a date. In fact, a survey revealed 42 percent of Tinder users are married. Tinder is one of the most popular dating apps. 

Users of these apps may need not worry about the probability of people replying to their messages or showing interest in them. Grindr, a dating app for gays, for instance, has about 433.2 minutes of user engagement.

Thinking of the number of people you could meet? There are more than 8 million Tinder users. Plenty Of Fish (POF) also has more than 5 million users

Freelance Websites

The internet has made it easier for people to meet people to hire or outsource their jobs. 

People in search of new clients for their businesses may try freelance platforms to connect with new people. Popular freelance platforms like Upwork has more than 12 million registered users and 5 million users with approximately $1 billion worth of jobs posted yearly. 

These websites also offer escrow service that protects freelancers from not getting paid for their service. Some people have reportedly quit their day job to focus on freelancing full-time. However, this is not always advisable because it is not always as easy as it sounds. 

Team-Based Platforms

Anywhere in the world, meetings can be conducted with attendees located at different parts of the world through platforms like Skype and Hangout. Team communication has also been made easier all thanks to the internet. Team members can now communicate and share ideas irrespective of their locations by using platforms like Slack and Trello. 

These are great avenues of meeting people online. An employer using this kind of business model usually hire their employees from different parts of the world. Communicate with others, share ideas and you may be able to build your relationship beyond the platform. 

Schools using such a system most of the time always have lots of their students added to the group. This is an avenue for the student to build a relationship they may not be able to build while in class. 

Email

We receive different emails every day. Some annoying while others are important and informative. It is very possible to meet people through this medium. As a student intending to study in a particular school, to find out about the school admission criteria or assess your chances of getting admission there, search online for their email address and send them an email. 

Freelancers can also use the medium to solicit for work. Promotional emails from a company that might need their service is a lead. Send them the details of your service and await a response. 

Conclusion

Meeting people online is easier and more fun. However, it is advisable to be careful before agreeing to see anyone you meet online. When filling out the forms usually required by dating apps, users are advised to be sure of the apps’ validity to avoid leaking personal information to fraudsters. 

Aside from all of these, the internet has made it extremely easy to meet people online. 

AQUAhydrate Partners With Wounded Warrior Project

AQUAHYDRATE LAUNCHES PARTNERSHIP TO SUPPORT WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT WITH LIMITED-EDITION CAMO-GALLON

AQUAhydrate® has initiated a new partnership with Wounded Warrior Project®(WWP) and is donating $10,000 this summer to help honor and empower wounded warriors. AQUAhydrate is promoting the partnership with a co-branded camouflage edition of their Gallon package, the fastest-growing SKU in the high pH water segment. Available now through the 4th of July, the AQUAhydrate Camo-Gallon can be purchased at CVS, GNC and other fine retailers.

WWP is focused on supporting injured veterans, which includes providing free services in mental health, career counseling, and long-term rehabilitative care. Through its partnership with WWP, AQUAhydrate is helping to make sure warriors are supported on their journey to recovery.

“We’re excited to join forces with Wounded Warrior Project,” said AQUAhydrate investor/board member, Mark Wahlberg. “AQUAhydrate is proud to support their mission to impact and empower the lives of wounded veterans.”

“I’m thrilled to be working with the Wounded Warrior Project team,“ said AQUAhydrate Brand Director, Raz Inserra. “This is such an important partnership for us. All of Team AQUAhydrate is proud to be promoting this program and helping Wounded Warrior Project meet the growing needs of warriors, their families and caregivers.”

About AQUAhydrate

AQUAhydrate, Inc. is a Southern California-based performance lifestyle beverage geared towards the new generation of millennial consumers. Through a proprietary process, its water is purified to some of the most rigorous standards in the industry, supplemented with electrolytes and natural trace minerals and then elevated to an alkaline pH of over 9. It is this powerful synergy between alkalinity, electrolytes and minerals which fuels ultimate hydration, balance and performance.  AQUAhydrate is the water of choice of health/fitness authorities, professional athletes, and sports teams. Leading health and wellness expert, Jillian Michaels, spearheads all health and fitness efforts as AQUAhydrate’s Chief Wellness Officer. AQUAhydrate also boasts active investors and board members Mark Wahlberg and Sean “Diddy” Combs as owners. AQUAhydrate is available at retail locations across the U.S. as well as Amazon.com and GNC.com. Follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  

About Wounded Warrior Project

Since 2003, Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) has been meeting the growing needs of warriors, their families, and caregivers – helping them achieve their highest ambition. Every journey is different, and Wounded Warrior Project meets warriors wherever they are on their journeys to recovery. Learn more at woundedwarriorproject.org.

Rebel Wilson For InStyle May Issue

For her FIRST US COVER, Rebel Wilson is gracing InStyle’s May issue!  

Rebel celebrated her 39th birthday in a truly glamorous way: by shooting with InStyle in Paris. Inspired by over-the-top perfume ads from the ’70s and ’80s, she fronted our equally elaborate fragrance campaign for a fantasy scent dubbed Rebelle.  Watch Rebel in her greatest role yet, fragrance model. #Rebelle, available exclusively on InStyle.com.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Here, she sits down with Editor in chief, Laura Brown, to talk about what’s next (politics?), her law degree, dating and more.

  • LB: Do you feel like you have a healthier attitude toward your appearance now?
    RW: Actually, when you get paparazzi’d and stuff, it does make you think about it. When Pitch Perfect came out, I became internationally famous, and people were hanging outside my house to take my photo. You have to think about it a bit more than a normal person. But I’m a pretty low-maintenance chick. Through working with my stylist, Elizabeth Stewart, I’ve learned all these little tips and tricks—and they really work. Then you feel more comfort- able when you have to dress up. I remember I didn’t even go to a friend’s wedding in my 20s because I didn’t know where to buy a dress in my size. Now it is the opposite. Now I have a wardrobe full of custom Givenchy.
  • LB: You’ve done so much in a relatively short time.
    RW: If you look at the odds of someone from Australia making it, they’re pretty small. When I look at all the things I’ve done in my career … I feel like I’ve got so much farther to go. But I am really proud, and, you know, I didn’t have to sleep my way to the top. [laughs]
  • LB: What’s it like dating and such?
    RW: People get very intimidated, which is weird, the idea that I would be intimidating to anyone. But it happens all the time, to the point that someone I really liked was so intimidated and got a lot of anxiety and couldn’t have a relationship with me because I’m in the public eye. They didn’t want that, so that kind of sucked. If someone thinks they’re on a date with Fat Amy, that’s not going to happen. Sorry, I can be almost as much fun, but I’m not like that
    in real life.
  • LB: Whose career do you admire?
    RW: I like Donna Langley, who runs Universal Studios. I think that’s awesome. Also, I have this weird feeling that I might go into politics in Australia.
  • LB: So what would your political platform be?
    RW: I want to help people, and part of my case [in Australia] was standing up to a big, bullying media organization. When I see other people needing to
    stand up for themselves, I like to inspire them or help them with the legal knowledge I have. And, God, as a woman, you need to stand up for yourself in so many ways. It’s important, and I think some people do find inspiration from me and my life. My mother was a public-school teacher. I have a sister who is a nurse, and I’m real big into military—I shouldn’t say just military dudes. [laughs] I’m into good education for people. Through the School [of St Jude] in Tanzania, I have been helping to lift kids out of poverty through education. The health-care system is really important. Those are the political platforms I naturally would have because of my background, so I do think when I am done with Hollywood, that’s what will happen.
  • LB: You could go Schwarzenegger. Except do it in Australia.
    RW: Yeah, but I feel like I’m more qualified. I have the top law degree from the University of New South Wales.

The issue hits newsstands on April 19th. Photography by Robbie Fimmano. See the full online article here.

Cyber Florida Publishes Free Cybersecurity Guide

Cyber Florida is pleased to announce the launch of Cyber Defense for SMBs, a free resource for small and medium-sized businesses. This beginner’s guide introduces readers to the fundamentals of cybersecurity for business to help SMBs be better prepared to respond to, and recover from, cyberattacks. Cyber Defense for SMBs is available as a free digital download at http://www.cyberflorida.org/SMB.

“Small businesses are targeted by cybercriminals precisely because they are small,” remarked Cyber Florida Director Sri Sridharan. “Criminals know these businesses likely lack the financial resources necessary to employ state-of-the-art cyber defenses. Our goals with this guide are to help Florida’s small businesses avoid becoming victims of this troubling trend and if they are targeted, to help them be better prepared to recover and respond appropriately,” he said.

The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report stated that 58% of data breach victims in 2017 were categorized as small businesses. 

With input from experts in academia, private industry, government, and the military, this guide offers guidance to help SMBs identify the most cost-effective cybersecurity best practices for their business. Detailing some of the most important and urgent factors affecting cybersecurity, Cyber Defense for SMBs reviews the common threats SMBs are likely to encounter and industry-standard best practices for cyberattack prevention and mitigation, crisis management, and post-incident response.

In support of this effort, Cyber Florida has teamed up with the National Cyber Security Alliance to offer free workshops throughout the state of Florida that will provide SMB leaders with hands-on guidance. Workshops are planned for Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee during the first quarter of 2019. For more details and to register for a workshop, please visit http://www.cyberflorida.org/SMB. 

Accompanying this initiative is a resource-rich webpage, www.cyberflorida.org/SMB, that offers planning and assessment worksheets and links to other helpful organizations and resources. The webpage will be updated often with tips and articles to help SMB leaders stay abreast of best practices, as cybersecurity is a rapidly changing field. 

Cyber Florida Director Sri Sridharan is available for press interviews. To schedule an interview, please contact Kate Whitaker at the email or phone listed above. For all other inquiries or questions, visit the Cyber Florida website at www.cyberflorida.org.

Disclaimer:
Cyber Defense for SMBs is made available by the Florida Center for Cybersecurity for general educational purposes only and should not be used in lieu of obtaining competent legal advice from a licensed attorney and/or cybersecurity professional with the sufficient expertise necessary to address your organization’s specific needs. Use of this guide does not create any special or fiduciary relationship between you and the Florida Center for Cybersecurity or the University of South Florida.

About Cyber Florida: The Florida Center for Cybersecurity
The Florida Center for Cybersecurity (Cyber Florida) is a state-funded organization dedicated to positioning Florida as a national leader in cybersecurity through education and workforce development; innovative, interdisciplinary research; and community outreach. Hosted at the University of South Florida, Cyber Florida works with all 12 State University System of Florida (SUS) institutions as well as industry, government and defense to build partnerships and develop programs that grow and strengthen Florida’s cybersecurity industry.

Marine Veteran Steven Diaz Named Recipient of Nexen Tire Purple Heart Dodge Challenger

Nexen Tire America, Inc., a worldwide leader in high-performance, passenger, SUV / light truck and winter tire technology, has announced Retired Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz is the recipient for the American Muscle for American Heroes Nexen Tire Dodge Challenger R/T. Nexen Tire partnered with the highly respected Purple Heart Foundation to help select a well-deserving Purple Heart recipient to receive a one-of-a-kind American muscle car, a custom-built 2018 Dodge Challenger R/T 392 Scat Pack.

Diaz was selected by representatives from Nexen and the Purple Heart Foundation from thousands of nominations from across the country. Many of these submissions, which included incredible stories of heroism, patriotism and courage were posted to social media. The campaign was designed to honor a well-deserving veteran who was awarded the Purple Heart Medal after being wounded in combat – and to show gratitude for the safety and security provided to Americans by members of the Armed Forces.

While searching for and clearing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) in Iraq in 2005, Diaz was severely wounded by an IED explosion. The force of the explosion and flying shrapnel caused several life-threatening injuries throughout his body including the loss of sight in his left eye. Today, Diaz suffers from the effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and a seizure disorder. Dedicated to helping other veterans suffering from similar injuries, Diaz co-founded Hidden Wounds, an organization that helps “heroes battle the invisible war at home.” He is currently serving as the organization’s chief operating officer and Project Josiah program manager.

“I am extremely honored to be selected by Nexen Tire and the Purple Heart Foundation as the recipient of the Nexen Tire Dodge Challenger R/T. This is an incredible vehicle and program that has helped bring important attention to the thousands of combat-wounded veterans across the country who are still suffering from the effects of their injuries,” said Diaz. “I would like to thank Nexen Tire, the Purple Heart organizations and everyone else who came together to make this possible, and I am looking forward to using the Challenger to continue helping my fellow wounded veterans.”

“The American Muscle for American Heroes program has been a tremendous platform to help raise awareness for combat wounded veterans and the Purple Heart Foundation,” said Kyle Roberts, senior director of marketing for Nexen Tire America. “I would like to congratulate Steven for being named the recipient of the Nexen Tire Dodge Challenger R/T and thank him for his incredible sacrifice while serving our nation. These partnerships help companies like Nexen Tire show their immense gratitude for our men and women in uniform.”

“Our thanks go out to Nexen Tire for this opportunity to serve a combat wounded veteran,” said Douglas Greenlaw, National Commander for The Military Order of the Purple Heart, USA. “This vehicle donation is what the Military Order of the Purple Heart is all about – helping our country’s veterans in any way we can. This will be a life changing event for Purple Heart recipient, Marine Cpl. Steven Diaz.”

Helping make this possible, Nexen Tire also partnered with several other leading automotive aftermarket companies to help transform the Dodge Challenger R/T into a muscle car fit for an American hero. The company enlisted the help of renowned car-builder Kenny Pfitzer of Zero to 60 Designs to lead the charge on the custom modifications, which include Nexen Roadian HP Street Sport all-season radial tires.

Eric Garcetti, 360 MAGAZINE, dtla, flexla

FlexLA  

Mayor Eric Garcetti rides FlexLA w/ US Navy Veteran Andrew Gallo!

“We seize every opportunity to give Angelenos faster, more convenient, connections to their jobs, the people they love and everything our City has to offer,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “FlexLA will give people another affordable, sustainable, and efficient way to get where they are going – while providing our veterans with good paying jobs.”

Stay tuned for a video of the Mayor’s FlexLA ride to be posted on social media!

Travel around Downtown LA driven by a salaried driver – many of whom are U.S. military veterans – for an affordable, flat rate fare – on-demand. And this week, it’s FREE!

During the day, use the app to access LADOT transit info, and from 7pm to 2am, FlexLA vans are ready to take you anywhere you want to go within DTLA.

HOW THEY ARE DIFFERENT

First, FASTLinkDTLA is a non-profit partnership of businesses, employers, developers, business improvement districts, organizations, and nonprofits focused on improving mobility, transportation and infrastructure in Downtown Los Angeles. One part of our mission is to promote and re-brand DTLA as a new mobility innovation center by creating a network of early adopters and travel adventurers. Thus, the creation of FlexLA!

With FlexLA, you can:

Search, book and pay for on-demand ridesharing service

Have peace of mind with our predictable, flat rate fare guarantee

Count on safe, accessible, well-lit stops and screened drivers

Ride easy with an experienced, salaried driver, many of whom are U.S. military veterans

Request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle via our partner ButterFli

View the app in English or Spanish