Posts tagged with "Veteran"

illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

DEBATING THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE DRAFT

By: Clara Guthrie

Members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have proposed a revolutionary reconfiguration of the federal military draft that is aimed at including women in the Selective Service System, according to a release from POLITICO. As the law stands now, all American men must register for the service when they turn 18, although the draft has not actually been enacted in more than 40 years since the Vietnam War. Refusing or failing to register can lead to fines, being denied student financial aid or federal jobs, and even prison time.

In the new proposal – authored by Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Jack Reed of Rhode Island – the language regarding who must enlist at 18 would be expanded to include “all Americans,” not just men.

The conversation around including women in the draft has picked up speed and garnered national attention in the past few years. In June, the National Coalition for Men brought a case to the Supreme Court that challenged the male-only draft, calling it unconstitutional. While the Court declined to hear the case, three Justices—Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer and Brett Kavanaugh—did release a public statement on the topic. The statement argued that the exclusions of women from the draft made little sense when considering how much the military has changed in the past four decades since the Supreme Court first held up the original policy. The tone of the statement was unsure about whether the draft meets the standard of “exceedingly persuasive justification” to discriminate on the basis of gender. The Justices also noted the monumental 2015 decision from the Pentagon to open all military combat roles to women as further evidence.

This hot-topic issue most recently entered Capitol Hill in 2016. At the time, the Senate voted to have the decision become part of the annual defense policy bill; the House Armed Services Committee adopted a similar provision, but eventually scrapped it. As a compromise, an independent commission was formed to study the draft and the pressing question of what role gender plays in it. In March of 2020, the commission published its final report, which backed the idea of requiring women to register for Selective Service.

However, another distinctive school of thought advocates for the abolition of the draft altogether, as opposed to requiring all young people to register regardless of gender. As Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote in his recent piece, Women don’t register for the draft, and men shouldn’t either, “Selective Service has outlived its usefulness. It should be consigned to history. […] Congress shouldn’t just end male-only draft registration. It should end draft registration, period.” Jacoby goes on to argue that the draft is an outdated practice and that an all-volunteer army is far more effective: “Compared with draftees, [those who volunteer for service] work harder, serve longer, perform better, and are more likely to regard their service as a calling, not a compulsion. Their commitment and skill are reflected in the consistent No. 1 ranking of the military as the most trusted institution in America.” This final point is supported by a 2019 Gallup Poll that found that Americans trust the U.S. military more than any other public institution. 

But, of course, there are legitimate issues posed by relying on a solely volunteer force. The All-Volunteer Force Forum (AVF Forum) is a network of military personnel and citizens alike who support some sort of draft being reinstated in order to combat the civil-military gap (a disconnect in views between military and non-military individuals). The AVF Forum cites issues including unsustainable recruiting techniques, a lack of socioeconomic and geographic diversity in the armed forces, and an inability to draw from the largest pool of possible candidates as all being exacerbated by a reliance on volunteerism.

In April, The AVF Forum held a conference to discuss potential amendments to the draft which do not include the complete dissolution of the institution. One solution is as follows:

“The conscription of only 5 to 10 percent of the force from the top 10 percent income tax bracket, [presented] by Marine Corps veteran and author Elliot Ackerman. The logic being that those within reach of the levers of power would be more inclined to limit military involvement if their own children faced drafting and deployment.”

No clear solution was reached at The AVF Forum conference, as the complicated debate continues to rage.

While it is unclear where exactly President Biden stands on the matter, he did share a clarifying quote at the Military Officers Association of America candidate forum in September of 2020 before he assumed the presidency. “The United States does not need a larger military, and we don’t need a draft at this time. […] I would, however, ensure that women are also eligible to register for the Selective Service System so that men and women are treated equally in the event of future conflicts,” said Biden.

The original proposition by the Senate Armed Services Committee is expected to be considered during committee markup this week. However, there will be no official floor action on the bill until at least later this year. 

If the legislation eventually passes, the measure would only go into effect one year after approval.

Craig Morgan photo via Monarch Publicity for use by 360 Magazine

Craig Morgan Performs on Fox & Friends

Tune in Friday, June 25 to see Craig Morgan perform on Fox & Friends.

Country Music entertainer and Army veteran Craig Morgan will perform his single Soldier during Fox & Friends’ virtual All American Summer Concert Series this Friday, June 25 on Fox News. Soldier, written by Gavin DeGraw, appears on Craig’s most recent album, God, Family, Country, out now on Broken Bow Records.

A multi-faceted entertainer, Craig Morgan has made a name for himself as a country music icon, TV personality, celebrated outdoorsman, and patriotic Army veteran. One of country music’s best-loved artists, Morgan has charted 25 songs on Billboard and thrills massive crowds with signature hits including Bonfire, Almost Home, Redneck Yacht Club, International Harvester, This Ole Boy, Wake Up Loving You, and the four-week No. 1, That’s What I Love About Sunday. Last year, Morgan released his first new music in over three years – God, Family, Country. The album combines five new songs – including The Father, My Son, and the Holy Ghost, Craig’s faith-filled tribute to his son Jerry, with remastered versions of some of the most powerful tracks he recorded for Broken Bow from 2002 to 2008, combining his past hits mixed with future signatures. Craig offers his take on Gavin DeGraw’s smash, Soldier. He also teamed up with active-duty Army Airborne Rangers Justin Wright and Andrew Yacovone to offer up the summary, Sippin’ On The Simple Life.

Craig received one of country music’s highest honors when he was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008. Prior to becoming a country music star and TV sensation, Morgan spent seventeen years serving our country in the Army and Army Reserves. Morgan remains an avid supporter of America’s military personnel and has made 16 overseas trips to perform for our troops. He is a recipient of the 2006 USO Merit Award and in 2018 was awarded the Army’s Outstanding Civilian Service Medal, one of the highest awards the Department of the Army can bestow upon a civilian, in recognition of his significant dedication to our military men and women around the world.

Respire by Design image via Nyla M Grant for use by 360 magazine

RESPiRE by DESiGN

In 2015, veteran Nyja M. Grant’s health was drastically declining. Her doctor informed her that she was going to have to make a decision. She saw several specialists, and they all agreed. To ensure that she was making the right decision, Nyja began researching her condition, less evasive treatment options and what had possibly caused it. 

Nyja’s research led her to alarming data. She learned that by age fifty, 80 percent of African American women of African descent are diagnosed with uterine fibroids. Nyja was astounded. Digging a little deeper, she found out that fibroids are the number one cause of hysterectomies and other reproductive issues. Several studies have linked the ingredients in African American beauty products to infertility, fibroids, and ovarian cysts. Many hair products on the market for Black women contain chemicals that affect hormones and can cause these bodily issues. These harmful ingredients contribute to the higher mortality rate concerning neo-natal deaths for Black women. With Nyja’s failing health, thinning hair and continuous alopecia flare ups, she decided to make a change. 

Nyja chose to use this time to heal from the inside out. She promised to give herself a two-year grace period. During this time, she would not relax, cut, or dye her hair. She began to research alternative natural hair care and body products. Nyja searched for products that were safe, good quality and didn’t break her spending plan. To Nyja’s dismay, she was not able to find any products that she loved. 

In formulating her product, Nyja chose to use ingredients that were free from parabens and mineral oils, with no dyes or unnatural fragrances. She instead only opts for necessary and natural components, such as avocado, argan and jojoba oil. Not only are her products FDA-approved, but they are also cold-pressed and organic. As such, her skin and hair care easily penetrates hair shafts and absorbs into the body. Nyja’s focus on clean integrants also reflects her simplistic approach to branding. 

RESPiRE by DESiGN (RbD) products work for all hair types, no matter one’s ethnicity or gender. These unisex formulations can be also used for the face and skin to provide hydration, exfoliation, and moisturizing properties. R&D’s “Restore” neem oil is has anti-inflammatory attributes, which are great for rashes, eczema, and psoriasis. For those who struggle with pigmentation and dark spots, “Lots of Love” can be used directly on the skin or infused into bath water. The company’s oil can also be used for cuticle care and massages. A little bit of this product goes a long way, and because of its many uses, it is wonderful for travel. Nyja helps heal her customers from the inside out, and they continue to repurchase her trustworthy, versatile hair and skin care. 

RESPiRE by DESiGN is geared towards 30–40-year-old women. However, Nyja’s demographic is expanding now more than ever as Black hair is becoming more protected by HR agencies. Whereas Black hair has wrongfully been seen as unprofessional– and children have been banned from school for sporting their natural styles– this antiquated attitude is beginning to shift. Now, celebrities like Justin Beiber are sporting dreads, and the politics of Black hair are being brought into the cultural conversation by change-makers like Gabrielle Union 

As the years passed, Nyja started to give out her butters as gifts. People loved her healthy, safe, affordable product and wanted more. One day, Nyja’s son told her that she should sell her product. He even provided her with a whole business plan. Nyja launched RESPiRE by DESiGN as a birthday gift to herself, while living in the United Kingdom. 

RESPiRE by DESiGN Mission Statement

“’Respire:’ to build hope and strength, despite difficulty. I understand that life is not all about looks, but let’s be honest – people feel better if they are comfortable in their own bodies. Something as simple as a good hair day and glowing skin can do wonders for self-esteem. ‘RESPiRE by DESiGN’ was birthed from a difficult situation, and evolved beyond being just a business. For founder Nyja, ‘RESPiRE by DESiGN’ is personal. The lowercase ‘i’ stands for inner beauty, insight, inspiration, and intention. ”

  • Nyja M. Grant, Founder & CEO, Analyst, Database Manager, Anthropologist, Epidemiologist, Veteran

Questions for RESPiRE by DESiGN by 360 Magazine:

How did your diagnosis affect your outlook on life?

When I was diagnosed, I felt vindicated. I had been seeing doctors and specialists for nine years, only for them to insinuate that I was a hypochondriac. While I was elated to have a diagnosis, my new reality hit me hard.  I would no longer be able to bear children. My hope for a little Nyja was not going to happen. The pain made me go into research mode. I wanted to identify ways to help myself, what caused fibroids, and how to prevent this from happening to others. I couldn’t change the damage that was done, but I can prevent further by using healthier products. When I could not find healthier products, I decided to make them.

What type of ingredients do you use in your body butter?

Each of my products are formulated with ingredients that are cold pressed, vegan-friendly, and do not contain preservatives, chemicals, and dyes. Each product is safe if ingested, making it safe for our skin and hair to absorb.

The oils I use are: Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argon, Vitamin E and Neem Oil

For scents I use the following essential oils: Lavender, Tangerine, Vanilla, Ylang Ylang, and Peppermint

The butters I use are: Mango Butter & Cocoa Butter.

Whether you choose RbD products or not, please keep in mind that your skin is the largest organ on your body. Everything you put on your body will eventually be absorbed into your body.

What is the difference between a body butter and lotion?

To be honest, not much. Several soap recipes use similar ingredients. I just haven’t had a large enough demand from my customers to add soaps to my product line. However, my plan is to add hand-crafted soaps to my line in 2022.

The key difference between a lotion and a butter is in their ingredients. Body butter contains shea butter, and various oils like coconut, or jojoba. Body lotion is often a combination of water and oils. Body butter is often thicker, heavier, and has an oilier finish to it. However, RbD products are uniquely formulated to absorb quickly into the skin and hair to prevent leaving an oily finish.

In what ways does hair butter help hair?

RbD’s ReNew Hair Butter is naturally formulated using oils similar to those produced by our body. This makes it easier for these oils to penetrate quickly to soften hair, minimize tangles, smooth hair follicles, provides moisture, prevent split ends and breakage, improve retention, nourish the scalp, provide protection from sun damage, and promote hair growth.

Would you recommend your hair butter for all types of hair?

Yes, I would recommend ReNew for all hair types. However, I would suggest the product be used as described below:

For thin or straight hair– Use ReNew Hair Butter as a hair mask. Let the mask remain on your hair for 10-20 minutes. Wash your hair as normal with lukewarm water.

For thick, coiled, kinky, or curly hair– Use ReNew Hair Butter when pre-shampooing. Apply a generous amount to your hair, then add your conditioner of choice. If you are going to use a plastic cap, allow it to sit for 20-30 minutes. If you are using a steamer, allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes. Then, rinse out the conditioner using lukewarm water.

Does RESPiRE by DESiGN have any new products coming out in 2021?

Yes, I have two products coming out in 2021–ReStore Hair Oil and Bath Bombs.

ReStore Hair Oil was formulated for individuals who have a temperamental scalp. The key ingredient is Neem Oil. Research has shown that Neem Oil has the following benefits: promotes hair growth, prevents boldness, conditions hair, helps with dandruff and itching, treats head lice, treats scalp infections, and prevents premature graying.

If used as a body oil ReStore will: moisturize, sooth inflamed and itchy skin, repel insects, treat acne and pimples, treat hyperpigmentation, treat scars and blackheads, act as a layer of protection against environmental damage.

Respire by Design image via Nyla M Grant for use by 360 magazine

Respire by Design image via Nyla M Grant for use by 360 magazine

Respire by Design image via Nyla M Grant for use by 360 magazine
Respire by Design image via Nyla M Grant for use by 360 magazine
Respire by Design image via Nyla M Grant for use by 360 magazine
Motorbike illustration by Kaelen Felix for 360 magazine

Celebration of Life Ride

Make-A-Wish Founder Celebration of Life Ride – Organized by the Wish Riders: “Kickstands Up” for Charities

Arizona resident, Frank Shankwitz, co-founder, CEO, and the first President of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, passed away on January 22nd, 2021. The founder of the greatest global non-profit for children was asked: “What’s your wish?” His response? “To have my story told…”

Wish Riders is hosting a Celebration of Life Memorial Ride to honor the life of Frank Shankwitz on May 1st, 2021. The ride will originate in New River, Arizona at the Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon, which is located at 47801 N. Black Canyon Hwy. Riders will meet at 10:00 am with “kickstands up” heading to Prescott at 11:00 am.

Riders will stop at Legends Harley Davidson in Mayer, Arizona for a rest stop with provided beverages and snacks. They will leave there and head out to circle the courthouse square and arrive at the Prescott Rodeo Grounds at 840 Rodeo Dr. Prescott, Arizona 86305 for the 1:00 pm celebration. It will be a day filled with music including; Justin Hitson & Southbound and Ryan Weaver, vendors, tributes, family, and friends as we celebrate Frank and his legacy.

In 2015, Frank was identified as one of the “10 Most Amazing Arizonans.” Now Arizonans will have one helluva ride in honor of Frank’s life. The event will have pre-sale discounted tickets available for $10 and can be purchased at this website. Frank’s family will use the money made to benefit charities Frank supported including; The Wounded Blue, U.S. Vets, The Western Heritage Center, Prescott Chapter, and United Animal Friends, Prescott Chapter.

Frank was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. He began as an Arizona Highway Patrol Motorcycle Officer, and retired as a Homicide Detective with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with 42 years of service. He was featured in numerous publications and television programs and received several notable awards, including the White House Call To Service Award from both President George W. Bush and President Donald J. Trump, and the “Making a Difference In The World” award from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

In 2015, Frank joined six U.S presidents as well as Nobel Prize winners and industry leaders as a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2017, Frank was presented the Unite4: Humanity Celebrity ICON Social Impact Award. In February 2018, Frank shared the stage with Matthew McConaughey at Universal Studios at the LA City Gala and was presented the first City Gala Hero Award. In June 2019, Frank joined 89 celebrities when he received his “STAR” on the Las Vegas Walk of Fame.

Frank’s life story was told in his book, Wish Man, and was later featured in a motion picture by the same name that was released in June 2019, which can be seen on Netflix. Copies of the book, Wish Man will be available for purchase at the event along with a children’s book he wrote called Wishes Won’t Wash Dishes to raise additional funds for his charities.

The thing about wishes…They sometimes come true. Now and then they’ll be granted. You can work for them too.” – Frank Shankwitz

About In The Limelight Media

In the Limelight Media is multi-media platform comprised of video, a podcast, and a digital magazine dedicated to offering educational, empowering, and entertaining subject matter. With a laser focus on showcasing entrepreneurs, the shows can be seen on ROKU, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Google Play, Sony, Tivo, DailyMotion, and many more. The ITL podcasts are heard on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, Pandora, Podbean, Spotify, Stitcher, and Inspired News Radio. The In the Limelight magazine is a quarterly digital publication.

Veterans illustration by Kaelen Felix for use by 360 MAGAZINE

Postal Inspection Service Lists Scams Targeting Veterans

As Veterans Day approaches this Wednesday, Operation Protect Veterans is alerting more than 17 million U.S. veterans to scams that are specifically targeting them. OPV is a joint crime prevention program created by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and AARP.

Some of these scams are listed as: 

  • Secret Veterans Benefits Scam: Veterans are told they qualify for “secret” government programs or benefits that offer thousands of dollars. But first, they attempt to collect personal information or a fee.
  • Pension Poaching Scam: Scammers often offer veterans lump sum payments up front, in exchange for signing over all their future monthly benefit checks.  
  • Bogus Employment Scam: Scammers post fake job descriptions to collect personal information from a veteran’s job application, or they charge an employment fee.
  • VA Loan Scams: Offers to refinance VA loans at extremely low rates. 
  • Update Your File Scam: An imposter, claiming to be from a government agency, attempts to get a veteran’s personal information to “update their file,” so they can maintain their benefits.
  • Aid and Attendance Scam: Veterans (or their family members) receive an offer to move their assets into a living trust so that they can qualify for financial assisted Iiving benefits.

According to research conducted by AARP, veterans are twice as likely as the general public to be victims of scams. What can veterans – and those who care about them – do to prevent being taken advantage of by scammers? 

The Postal Inspection Service advises every veteran do the following:

  • Visit the Postal Inspection Service’s website (www.uspis.gov) to learn about scams targeting veterans and what they can do to prevent becoming a victim.
  • Check out any offer with a trusted family member, friend or your local veteran’s affairs office before acting. 
  • Don’t be pressured into acting immediately. If you are dealing with a legitimate outfit, they won’t try to pressure you to act before having a chance to check it out and think about it. If they do, just say “no” and hang up.
  • Get an answering machine and caller ID display. Then, let the machine answer the phone for you. If you don’t recognize the person leaving a message, don’t pick up the phone! 
  • Contact your telephone service provider, and ask them what kind of services they offer to help you block unwanted calls.
  • Report if you believe you have been the victim of a scam. Contact your local police or AARP (protectveterans@aarp.org or 877-908-3360).
  • Get credible information on how to qualify for veterans’ benefits by contacting your state veterans’ affairs agency. Visit www.nasdva.us, and click on “Links.”

“Veterans have access to special benefits and share a special bond that scammers know and use to take advantage of them,” said Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale. “The Postal Inspection Service works hard every day to stop scams targeting veterans, but we need everyone to become better informed, so they can help spread the knowledge to the veterans they know and love. 

“I encourage all Americans to make this Veteran’s Day not only a day of remembrance and thanks for our veterans,” Barksdale continued, “but also to make it the start of learning about, and helping to spread information on scams targeting veterans.”

For more information on scams targeting veterans and other scams, visit www.uspis.gov. To learn more about the U.S. Inspection Postal Service, visit www.uspis.gov. You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

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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, USA, NYC

What are veterans actually entitled to?

Enlisting in the military is a huge decision that isn’t to be taken lightly. Yet millions of the population take that step without hesitation to protect their country and sadly, return home sometimes with life-changing injuries.

VA disability benefits

VA disability pay rates demonstrate how veterans are given a combined disability rating which is also impacted by their number of dependents. It is complex to understand and vets are not always awarded the right compensation they deserve, which is why legal advice is often necessary.

However, financial entitlement is merely one of the many issues facing vets when returning home. What they have to live on is only a small component of the multiple ways they are faced with piecing together a life after serving in the military. 

The adjustment from life on the frontline to life back in the world they have been defending can be difficult. This is not just in the cultural, everyday sense of no longer existing in a disciplined and structured way with danger and high risk at every turn, but also in the practical sense too.

The paperwork that is required to exist back in life as a normal citizen, the health implications that may be a result of service, the overwhelming list of things to organize to have everything you need – it is a whirlwind, to say the least.

Health benefits

Health issues can be extremely broad-ranging. From the hugely debilitating and devastatingly life-altering physically to the equally paralyzing mentally, and often, as a result of the latter, the all-consuming consequence of this being substance abuse.

Therefore, there is a wide range of health benefits vets are deservedly entitled to use, depending on their specific needs. However, it is often hard for them to know exactly which services they might need if they haven’t yet identified their issues, or it might be that they aren’t aware of the services or cannot get access to them.

Education tuition and career counseling

Another avenue for vets to go down is education and tuition to enable them to further their civilian training and find a suitable career route after the military. It could still be that they pursue a career within the military but just not in active duty, or it might be that they want to retire from service and pursue something different entirely in civilian life.

There are many ways they can do this, such as applying for help to cover the costs of school or job training, or it might be that career counseling is needed. This is when vets seek advice and guidance on where their skills might be best suited within other jobs and which programs would help them get on that path. 

Furthermore, it also helps them to recognize where they might be going through some issues which are preventing them from achieving their goals.

Housing

Vets are entitled to home loans and grants to help towards the costs of paying for their homes or any modifications necessary as a result of their injuries. This may be in the form of ramps, wider doorways or much more complex changes, that could potentially even impact the building structurally.

However, in more extreme circumstances, but sadly, increasingly more common these days are the instances of homelessness amongst vets. There is advice available on shelters and storage of personal belongings as well as what other options might be open, such as armed forces retirement homes and housing programs. 

In conclusion…

It is so important to create awareness and support our veterans who have done so much for our country. So, hopefully by sharing this information, people who may have vets in their family, or friendship circles can help them find the advice they need to get a better start after they return home.

There is a lot of confusion out there, just as there can be with any benefits. But, by being aware of the challenges these men and women face on civilian soil after performing their duty, we can all make it a better country by sharing this and helping them as they’ve helped us. 

Kareem Bunton’s Creating a Scene in Brooklyn 

*Photo by Taylor Sessleman

Kareem Bunton is a veteran of the NYC nightlife having romped around at revered spots such as Mr. Fongs, VON, Union Pool and even Max Fish. He’s also got musical collaborations with Run the Jewels, Prefuse 73, and TV on the Radio under his belt. Now he’s loading up all of his experience in the limelight and taking it to a refreshing venue in Bushwick.

New York nightlife has found a new breeding place in Brooklyn, so it’s no surprise Bunton’s World Famous is taking root there. BWF is embracing an unexpected vibe of a Tangier hotel bar – obviously one enticing to the young urban “cool kids” ready to relive their ‘90s dreams.

“What I like best about the’90s scene,” he says, “was that it didn’t really matter what you had in your pocket or what you did in the daytime. Looking good, being a great dancer, or just having a lovely personality were often enough to get you through the door. Building a space is easy, creating a scene is not. To do this we are attempting to build a sense of community by hiring old school DJ’s and youngsters.”

The cozy 1400 square foot space will be importing the Tangier’s tropical vibes with drinks that’ll make you mistake Brooklyn for a sultry tiki bar on the beach, high in contrast to the mainstream cocktail lounge. Lucas Moran of Mr. Fongs will be constructing the menu, “Think flavored daiquiris, hurricanes, rum runners,” says Bunton. “It’s usually my preference to keep cocktails simple and quick to make. Waiting 10 minutes for a drink while listening to an unsolicited speech about botanicals is not my idea of a good time.”

Kareen bunton, 360 MAGAZINE, Claire de Lespinois

Photo by Claire de Lespinois

In a time where emphasizing unity and equality is pertinent, Bunton’s mission is to bring together the diverse community of artists and fashionistas into a memorable night of dancing reality away to old-school hip-hop.

Remaining unconventional and consistent with his exotic theme, Bunton says, “We are going to structure the schedule by genre rather than promoters or weekly residents. Different DJs will be able to share their interpretations of reggae, afrobeat, nuyorican soul.”

In addition to creating a unique and sexy scene, Buton’s World Famous also has a captivating retail element made up of t-shirts and snapback hats flush with the classic Bunton’s logo for the stylish enthusiasts of the scene to rock.

Debuting during New York Fashion Week on Friday, February 15th at 1005 Broadway, Bunton’s World Famous is a venue to explore for those ready to delve into a sultry salvation.

Kareem bunton, 360 MAGAZINE

Photo by Hannah Grankvist

Kareem bunton, 360 MAGAZINE, Claire de Lespinois

Photo by Claire de Lespinois

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.

END MEDICAL DEBT

RIP Medical Debt (RIPmedicaldebt.org) first gained public attention in 2016 when John Oliver on HBO made television history by announcing forgiveness of $15 million in medical debt by RIP. This news event blossomed into a tremendous outpouring of support for the charity. In the May 2018 issue of Town and Country magazine, RIP Medical Debt was listed as #38 among the top philanthropists in America. RIP Medical Debt most recently announced a single campaign abolishing a quarter-billion dollars ($250 million) of medical debt in all 50 states, including $50 million for abolishing veterans’ medical debt. Overall, by the end of 2018, RIP will have forgiven more than a half-billion dollars of unpayable medical debt since the charity was founded four years ago.

END MEDICAL DEBT by the founders of the charity, RIP Medial Debt, is the first book exposing the widely overlooked reality that Americans struggle with $1 trillion in unpayable medical debt. We hear a lot of talk about healthcare gaps and medical costs, but the media have largely been ignoring how medical debt imposes a devastating burden on people’s lives!

End Medical Debt’ confronts an important, sad truth: no one asks to be sick. It’s hard enough being poor; it’s hard enough being sick. But being poor and sick becomes a death sentence for some, and a life sentence to indentured servitude for others.

The authors — Jerry Ashton, Robert Goff, and Craig Antico — are debt industry insiders who lay bare the inner workings of our healthcare system, how it produces medical bills that people cannot ever pay, including insured middle-class people who think they are covered. Voicing decades of experience in debt collections, debt buying and healthcare management, the authors offer pragmatic yet differing views on such solutions as cost controls, insurance reform and “Medicare-for all.” All three agree on the interim solution of buying and forgiving medical debt.

On Veterans Day, RIP announced the forgiveness of $50 million in unpaid and unpayable medical debt as a part of a major donation by a single donor couple. We compute that this amount of medical debt for veterans will impact close to 29,000 individuals and families.

It may be hard to believe, but veteran medical debt really exists. It is almost a common understanding that medical costs for our armed forces and their families, both during and after enlistment, are paid by the government in return for their service to our country.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case. One visit to the emergency room or treatment for a serious illness outside (and even inside) the VA can devastate a vet’s savings and credit ratings.