Posts tagged with "Veterans"

Kaelen Felix illustrates Veterans Day for 360 Magazine

Remembering Veterans During a Strained Time

By: Elle Grant

Wednesday, November 11th marks the annual commemoration of veterans in the United States, aptly named Veterans Day. This year, in the unprecedented context of coronavirus, as well as intense political and social strife, the day takes on an additionally sacred context as a reminder of those who have served our country.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary marking the end of World War I. Congress then passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, with the day becoming a national holiday beginning in 1938. Similar to Memorial Day, which is an annual federal holiday in May, it celebrates veterans of the United States. However, the difference between them is that Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living and dead. Yet a particular focus is on those veterans still with us, who served their country with honor and distinction whether during war or peacetime.

Several countries have similar days commemorating their veterans that find their root in remembering World War I and World War II on or near November 11th. Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday. World War I, as arguably the most brutal conflict in human history on the soldiers, is a devastating reminder of why countries celebrate those who serve.

2020 is a particularly remarkable year as it marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War, and the 30th anniversary of both the end of the Panama Invasion and the beginning of Desert Shield.

Veterans Day has been distinctly impacted by the coronavirus, still sweeping the nation especially in the Midwest. As such, celebrations and efforts of remembrance are being affected in large ways. Arlington National Cemetery, used to hosting hundreds of thousands of veterans, their families, and the families of veterans who have passed, has altered its yearly ceremony in context of the current pandemic. For the first time, it will be livestreamed, with certain areas closed off, and embracing social distancing and masked mandates. Furthermore, the beloved observance at Memorial Amphitheater has been closed off to the general public, yet the overall cemetery will remain open.

Yet it is no time to despair or to pause the nation’s respects. There are 18.2 milling living veterans who have served during wartime alive in the United States today, all deserving admiration.

Many businesses and restaurants salute veterans during this day with special deals for those who have served and their families. 360 Magazine thanks all veterans for their service.

Veterans illustration by Kaelen Felix for 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.

Juna N Joey – Heroes

Veterans Day arrives Wednesday, and to celebrate the brother-sister duo of Juna N Joey are releasing a brand new single titled “Heroes,” which you can stream by clicking right here.

With patriotic and uplifting lyrics, it tributes the heroes of our country with a classic, country sound. Their harmonies bring their passion for helping and celebrating others to life.

This is the follow up to Juna N Joey’s song “Anchor,” which you can hear by clicking right here. They also started the “Find Your Anchor” campaign for the prevention of bullying.

The two are coming off an exciting 2019, during which DreamWorksTV asked them to participate in the Netflix special “Spirit Riding Free” singing Keith Urban‘s “Somebody Like You.”

They also co-wrote their first single, “Stay Young” in Nashville, which caught the attention of Release Radar on Spotify and Country Radio. You can hear the song by clicking right here.

They then opened for American Idol star Cade Foehner on his Southern Hallelujah Tour. They also joined the Gratitude Tour with Michael Rouse’s ESF Camps.

They first started posting on YouTube, using guitar, piano, keyboard, and saxophone. They’re currently working on an EP.

You can learn more about them by clicking right here. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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New West Symphony Concert

To honor the heroes among us, as well as those who have come before, the New West Symphony will be holding a free Memorial Day Concert on May 25. The virtual concert, which will be broadcast LIVE from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and will take place live at 7 p.m.

People who register are invited to submit the name of a service member, in memory or living; and their name will be shared during the live event.

Memorial Day is a time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice and gave their lives in the defense of freedom. They are among our nation’s heroes, said Symphony CEO Natalia Staneva. Today, as we confront a war of a much different kind, other heroes are emerging who are putting their own lives on the line in a courageous battle against the coronavirus. This live, online concert is designed to help celebrate those who make us proud by their unselfish actions, their incredible spirit and their uncommon sense of purpose.

The virtual Memorial Day concert comes on the heels of the New West Symphony highly acclaimed virtual Mother’s Day concert, which was viewed by more than 5,000 people.  As with that concert, the May 25 performance is being curated and will come under the direction of GRAMMY-winner and Music Director Michael Christie.

Program highlights will range from patriotic favorites America the Beautiful, You’re a Grand Old Flag, America and others to Copland poignant songs Zion Wall. At the River and Simple Gifts to Bernstein
Somewhere from West Side Story. These and other numbers will be lovingly performed by Sean Chen of Oak Park at the piano, Woodland Hills raised soprano Jessica Rivera and New West Symphony musicians. A bugler from the Air National Guard Band of the West Coast will close the concert next to the Reagan Library Gold Star Families Memorial Monument.

As with all performing arts organizations, the New West Symphony has had to creatively pivot its artistic endeavors to comply with state guidelines regarding social distancing and avoidance of large gatherings. To help music lovers continue to enjoy the beauty of music, each week Maestro Christie collects some of his favorite music performances including his personal video introductions and posts them on Michael Christie’s Jukebox. In addition, the New West Symphony is continuing to create original content and making it available online through social media, the blog and at NewWestSymphony.org.

We are looking forward to the day when we can once again gather in our concert halls for the shared experience and lifting of the human spirit that music uniquely brings, said Staneva. Until then, we will continue to find creative and engaging ways to bring the joy of music to our community as we together navigate these difficult and uncharted waters.

The New West Symphony is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary season. It draws its players from the rich talent pool of accomplished Los Angeles-area musicians and performs under the artistic direction of GRAMMY-winner Maestro Michael Christie. Its mission is to inspire passion for symphonic music through live performances and education initiatives that engage and enrich its diverse audiences. For more information, visit NewWestSymphony.org or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram.

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.

Billy Ray Cyrus x Today Show

Following the overwhelming demand of “The Goddess of Democracy,” a new song from his forthcoming album, Billy Ray Cyrus and The Snake Doctor Circus, Cyrus will return to the TODAY Show Wednesday, Sept. 5 to promote a cause he’s passionate about: supporting U.S. veterans.

As a DAV (Disabled American Veterans) celebrity ambassador, Cyrus provided a re-recording of his multi-platinum selling smash, “Some Gave All,” to be included in a new movie benefiting DAV. “God Bless The Broken Road,” which is in theaters nationwide next Friday, Sept. 7, tells the inspirational story of a young mother who loses her husband in Afghanistan and struggles to raise their young daughter in his absence.

“I wrote ‘Some Gave All’ about a Vietnam veteran, so I am honored that DAV and its new film “God Bless The Broken Road” included my song. Veterans are the heartbeat of America. So go to the theatres September 7 and support Disabled American Veterans!” Billy Ray Cyrus shared.

“God Bless The Broken Road” focuses on the importance of family, friends, and faith, while paying tribute to those who serve in the United States Military.

Proceeds from the film will go to DAV, a nonprofit charity that provides support for veterans of all generations and their families. The more successful the movie is, the more veterans the DAV gets to serve.

For more information on DAV, visit DAV.org.

Guinness x St. Patrick’s Day

200 Years of Friendship and St. Patrick’s Days : In Time for Milestone St. Patrick’s Day, Guinness is donating $1 to charity for each adult that dons a ‘Stache

This year marks the  200th St. Patrick’s Day Guinness will share with America, the latest reminder of the two-century connection between a legendary brewery and its good friends across the Atlantic. Once again, in the days and weeks leading up to March 17, it’s time for us all to embrace the stories we tell,  the memories we make and the bonds we build over a pint of Guinness.

The Guinness brand is encouraging all Americans, 21 years and older, to make a simple pledge (assuming they’ve already promised to drink responsibly, of course): gather with friends, new or old, toast to the many things we all have in common…and give a ‘Stache. Indeed, this St. Patrick’s Day, the Guinness ‘Stache – that unmistakable hint of foam left behind on the upper lip after the first sip of stout – is back as a symbol of the goodness and the Irish-ness that lives within all of us.

 From now through March 31, 2018, when adult beer lovers share photos of their ‘Staches – self-grown and groomed, drawn-on, or Guinness-enhanced – on social media (tagging @GuinnessUS and using #StacheForCharity), Guinness will donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the Guinness Gives Back Fund*, which supports nonprofits that contribute to the common good in our communities, including Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization.

“Over the past 200 years, so much has changed – yet so much has stayed the same, like people coming together to raise a pint of Guinness with their friends on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Guinness Brand Director Emma Giles. “We are proud to be part of such an enduring tradition that celebrates Irish heritage and, when it comes down to it, the power of friendship. The Guinness ‘Stache is a great way to bring that to life in a fun way for a great cause.”

The symbol of the ‘Stache will appear alongside Guinness brand activity at bars and restaurants and on social media throughout the St. Patrick’s Day season, including in some digital content that pays homage to 200 years of mustaches in America. To spread the word about the bonds a ‘Stache can build, the brand is releasing additional digital content that will help us all reflect on the friendships we cherish – and some very recognizable Guinness fans will also get involved in spreading the word.

In addition, it’s time for the latest limited-edition Guinness Draught cans, which will hit shelves in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The ongoing series celebrates the famed Guinness ad campaigns of the 1930s and ‘50s. While it doesn’t have a mustache, the kinkajou – which we thought was a sloth at first – will be featured on this version.

To keep an eye on everything the Guinness brand is doing and to get in on the ‘Stache action, follow @GuinnessUS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Whether you’re making a new friend or meeting an old one, having a Guinness Draught, or ordering up any other Guinness beer this St. Patrick’s Day, please respect the beer and drink responsibly.

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*The Guinness Gives Back Fund is a corporate donor advised fund administered by Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. The Fund’s mission is to support local charitable organizations which are classified under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that are aligned with the corporate focus areas of Diageo North America, Inc.

 

Media Contacts:

 

Dave Finn, Taylor

(212) 714-5792 

dfinn@taylorstrategy.com

 

Jim Sias, Diageo

(646) 223-2305

jim.sias@diageo.com

Dark Sky Movement

Once monthly from May through October Holiday River Expeditions (http://www.bikeraft.com/) shares the mystery and romance of the Dark Sky with star-struck guests who are participating in one of this veteran travel company’s 2018 Stargazing adventures.

“It’s easy to get excited about this special trip series. Seeing how it has deepened our guests’ understanding and our guides’ awareness of the night sky is reason enough to offer these trips,” said Lauren Wood, Holiday Trip Director. “The inexplicable boundlessness you feel staring up at the stars is just a bonus.”

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UnitedHealthcare California Challenge

More than 100 military veterans will ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles during the 2017 UnitedHealthcare California Challenge

 

Navy veteran Nathan DeWalt, left, rode a hand cycle through San Francisco Oct. 15 along with fellow veterans as part of the UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan)

More than 100 wounded military veterans, first responders and supporters began the 450-mile UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride Oct. 15 from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center to the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan)

More than 100 wounded veterans gathered at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center Oct. 15 prior to the 450-mile UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride from the San Francisco to Los Angeles. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Photo Credit: Amy Sullivan)
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More than 100 wounded military veterans, first responders and supporters began the 450-mile UnitedHealthcare California Challenge bike ride Oct. 15 from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center to the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Riders will make the seven-day journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. (Full Video Credit: Espe Greenwood)

Wounded Veterans × 450-Mile Bike Ride

Wounded Veterans Dedicate 450-Mile Bike Ride To Supporting First Responders

  • More than 100 military veterans will ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles during the 2017 UnitedHealthcare California Challenge, benefiting veterans and first responders with PTSD and other injuries
  • First-day ride features 76-mile route from San Francisco to Santa Cruz

 
WHAT: More than 100 wounded military veterans, first responders and supporters are dedicating an upcoming 450-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to first responders everywhere – from the Bay Area to Las Vegas and Puerto Rico. The UnitedHealthcare California Challenge, which runs from Oct. 15 to 21, will begin at the San Francisco Veterans Administration at 8:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15.

The California Challenge is a collaboration between UnitedHealthcare and Project Hero, a national nonprofit organization that helps veterans and first responders affected by injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives. 

Riding through historic sites, civic centers and local attractions, the riders make the journey with hand cycles, recumbent cycles, adaptive bikes, traditional road bikes and custom tandems. Local veterans are invited to ride on a single-day basis for a per-day registration fee, and local supporters are encouraged to cheer on the cyclists as they ride through communities along the route. To sign up or get more details on the route, visit ProjectHero.com. The full UnitedHealthcare California Challenge schedule includes:

 

  • Sunday, Oct. 15 – San Francisco to Santa Cruz , 77 miles
  • Monday, Oct. 16 – Santa Cruz to Salinas, 42 miles
  • Tuesday, Oct. 17 – Salinas to Lake Nasciamento/San Simeon, 120 miles
  • Wednesday, Oct. 18 – San Simeon to Pismo Beach, 56 miles
  • Thursday, Oct. 19 – Pismo Beach to Solvang, 74 miles
  • Friday, Oct. 20 – Solvang to Ventura, 72 miles
  • Saturday, Oct. 21– Ventura to Los Angeles, 63 miles

 
WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 15

8 – Photos and interviews

8:15 a.m. – Formal program begins

9 a.m. – Riders begin the UnitedHealthcare California Challenge
WHO: Local military veterans and their families including adaptive riders and their bikes, community leaders and supporters, including:

  •  UnitedHealthcare executives
  •  Project Hero and ride organizers

 
WHERE: San Francisco Veterans Administration, Main Entrance

4150 Clement St., San Francisco

Conclusion of Day One

Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 1410 Ocean St., Santa Cruz, Calif.

Riders are expected to arrive at 2 p.m.

 
PHOTOS/ Media are invited to photograph riders and military veterans. 
 
 
About Project Hero

Founded in 2008, Project Hero is a groundbreaking national non-profit organization dedicated to helping Veterans and First Responders affected by PTSD, TBI and injury achieve rehabilitation, recovery and resilience in their daily lives and increasing awareness of the national mental health crisis posed by PTSD and TBI. Project Hero programs work by producing positive outcomes at lower costs and reducing drug-based therapies. Project Hero builds and provides adaptive bikes to physically-challenged and injured Veterans and First Responders and has helped tens of thousands of our Healing Heroes at no cost to participants through cycling events, community-based programs in more than 50 cities throughout the US and by supporting research. For information, visit www.projecthero.org.

 
About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with 1 million physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @UHC on Twitter.