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Archive for the ‘Veterans’ Category

Eagles & Angels Limited – Remembrance Poppy

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The Remembrance Poppy honors military personnel who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. In remembrance of their selfless sacrifice and to celebrate Memorial Day, they have a limited amount of quality American made Poppies for sale.

Using the same delicate process since 1916, each Eagles & Angels Limited Poppy is hand-made in a downtown New York City factory. They are dedicated to making things here in America and they hope you are, too.

www.eaglesandangelsltd.com

Grand ReOpening Railhouse Brewery

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Aberdeen’s Railhouse Brewery is back better than ever.

If you are in the Ft Bragg area, come celebrate the Grand-Reopening of the Veteran Owned Railhouse Brewery this Saturday (15 April). In addition to 15 house beers on tap and food, there will be a home brew demo and live music from 1pm to Midnight.

Help Bill Jarvis’s Family Out

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

Bill Jarvis is a friend of mine and many of you as well. Unfortunately, Bill needs our help.

For those of you who don’t know him, Bill Jarvis is also a 23 year Retired Navy SEAL who served his country with honor. Bill just found out he has EML leukemia and is currently undergoing Chemo Treatments at Duke University. Bill has to spend a month at Duke University for his initial Chemo Treatment. His wife Laura has been by his side for the last 2 weeks. With his wife and children livining 4 hours away, the plan is to set up lodging for the family to stay by Bill’s side for this month and the follow up treatments.


This is Bill along with our mutual friend, Ron Bellan at Duke Medical Center. Ron has organized a GoFundMe for Bill.

Mr. Jarvis has been battling health issues for the last couple years with 2 heart atacks, 4 stents put in, and now finding out he has Leukemia. This has not broken his spirit or his family’s spirit. If there is anything we, as his friends, brothers, family can do to support the Jarvis family, it’s to take some of the financial burdon off of him so he can concentrate on living.

The funds will be used for additional Medical Expenses, Mortgage payments, Wife and children’s travel and living expenses to and from Virginia Beach to the hospital, along with additional expenses for their needs. Any additional funding over the amount needed will be donated to Duke University Hospital for further cancer research.

Bill is the main provider for the family. With Bill in the hospital, income for the bills has dropped and the family will be in need of assistence. The goal is to stay ahead of the financial burdon on the Jarvis family during this time of need. You are not only giving to the Jarvis family today, but the families of cancer tomorrow. Bill is adamant about donating any left over funding to the Duke University Cancer center.

Thank you all for your support in this very time of need.

To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/bills-fight-against-cancer

Fight and Flight Tactical – Ambidextrous Sling Pack

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

Fight and Flight Tactical is a Veteran owned small business and this is their Ambidextrous Sling Pack or A.S.P., which is an EDC bag for keeping a carbine close at hand.

The A.S.P. has three compartments, all pass-through, designed to carry an SBR, Pistol variant of a modern sporting rifle (with a folding stock), or an SMG (with a folding stock or no stock) in the main compartment, spare mags in the front compartment, and a body armor panel in the rear compartment. The sling strap can be reconfigured to work left or right handed, just by switching the bottom attachment point. Many have asked, “why a sling pack?” A two-strap backpack wouldn’t be able to deploy quickly and would have one of the straps flapping around, getting in your way. All three compartments have loop fastener inside for infinite configuration possibilities.

There are a wide variety of color combinations. Check the website for availability.

www.fightandflight.com

Ft Bragg Warfighter Expo – Speedbox

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

I’ve mentioned Speedbox in the past and I was glad to see them at Ft Bragg. Not only is the inventor a fellow 3rd Group Veteran, but this is exactly the kind of thing that units on Ft Bragg can use to improve mobility. Speedbox is designed specifically to be stacked on a USAF 463L pallet, taking the puzzle solving out of a building a pallet. It’s waterproof, durable, lockable, stackable, and wheeled, making it easier to move a fully loaded Speedbox around.

Here’s a reminder of what Speedbox brings to the table:

Durability
This has always been an issue with plastic containers. Speedbox solved this by implementing advanced engineering in the geometrical design of the container, using structural foam on the interior surfaces, and devoting an ample amount of raw compound in each 50 lbs unit. This is the most durable container on the market.

Mobility
A typical fully-loaded container ready for deployment can easily weigh 250 lbs. requiring a four-man carry. Speedbox addressed this issue by incorporating two simple machines, the lever and the wheel. The lever on the Speedbox is the retracting handle made from two ¾ inch aluminum rods. These rods are attached to a 2 lb. aluminum locking block which is secured by angle iron that reinforces the stress points. The wheels are 10 inch off-road, heavy-duty, no-flat tires. They will never go flat because there’s no air in them. The combination of the lever and the wheel make it easy for a single person to quickly move heavy loads across uneven surfaces (like landing zones at FOBs).

Integrated
Most military oriented cases are not ideal for stacking given their smooth sides or irregular shapes. Unlike these traditional cases, Speedboxes fit together like Legos. The feet and wheels nest into each lid below. The side walls nest with adjacent Speedboxes, and the fronts and back interlock through the use of a built-in tether. When Speedbox is used as a system, it creates the most stable, easily loaded and transportable pallet solution to date.

Speedbox is a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Business proudly manufactured in the USA.

463-L SpeedBox Load-out Video on Vimeo.

More information can be found at www.speedbox.us

Project Sanctuary Launches “Walton’s Warriors” Peer Mentoring Program

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Unique, 10-month mentorship program aims to empower military veterans by focusing on recovery, resilience and suicide prevention training

Granby, CO (February 21, 2017) – Project Sanctuary, a Colorado-based nonprofit providing therapeutic retreats for military families, has launched a new peer-to-peer mentoring program aimed at improving recovery and resilience, and, ultimately, reducing suicides among veterans. Veterans make up less than nine percent of the U.S. population, yet account for 18 percent of all suicides in America, according to new data from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Walton’s Warriors is a 10-month training program designed to equip veterans with the skills they need to provide support to fellow veterans struggling with such issues as PTSD and reintegration into civilian life.

The program was inspired by Brian Walton, a former member of the U.S. Army Special Forces, who had attended a Project Sanctuary retreat with his family, but unfortunately, succumbed to his PTSD in March 2016. Many of Project Sanctuary’s veterans reached out to offer help after Brian’s suicide, which prompted founder and CEO Heather Ehle to search for programs that could better train them on how to provide support. Walton’s Warriors was born after her search failed to yield any comprehensive, clinically-based options.

“When Bonnie Walton reached out to me in March 2016, and asked how she would tell her three sons that Brian wasn’t coming home, I knew that whatever it took, Project Sanctuary had to do more to prevent the unbearable pain that this family was experiencing,” said Ehle. “Our veterans want to stop the suicide epidemic – they simply need the tools and the ongoing support to be able to help themselves while they help others.”

Walton’s Warriors includes both in-person and online training delivered by licensed professionals and veteran coaches, following a structured, evidence-based curriculum. Participants will learn about therapeutic communication, red flags to watch out for and the importance of confidentiality and setting boundaries. They’ll also receive training on critical self-care skills.

“They can’t be effective mentors unless they take care of themselves,” noted Ehle, who expects many of the participants to return as coaches for the program in subsequent years.

The program kicks off with 21 veterans from ten different states at a retreat February 23-26, near Santa Cruz, Calif. Those Walton’s Warriors will then correspond weekly with coaches and facilitators, and will also be invited to participate in monthly educational opportunities. A second retreat is planned for May 3-6 in Grand Lake, Colo., with participants slated to graduate from the program in November.

Walton’s Warriors is sponsored by the Infinite Hero Foundation. Thanks to the Foundation’s support, 25 veterans will receive training through the initial program.

“At Infinite Hero, we believe that mental and physical rehabilitation for our veterans can and must be better. Our heroes deserve it, and we will deliver it. Infinite Hero looks for the impossible challenges and drives through to find solutions. We define the problems veterans are facing, empower collaboration across sectors and inject targeted investments into innovations that have the power to revolutionize the way we treat the injuries of war,” said Colin Baden, founder and board president of the Infinite Hero Foundation

Project Sanctuary focuses on strengthening military families during the stressful times of deployment, transition and reintegration, offering retreats nationwide. In 2017, the organization will offer 27 retreats to serve military families and will also continue outreach to the 1,800 families on its wait list to provide pre-retreat assessment and crisis intervention. Project Sanctuary uses the A.R.T. model – Assess (pre-retreat support services), Reconnect (six-day therapeutic retreat for the whole family), and Thrive (two years of follow-up services). The program is unique in its treatment of the family as a unit while also working with each family member individually to assess their needs. The overall goal is easing the reconnection of families previously distanced as a result of deployment and military service, including resultant injuries.

Veterans MFG

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Veterans MFG

Veterans MFG is a Veteran-owned and operated manufacturer of personal armor, vehicle armor, mobile ballistic shields, and tactical gear, based in Katy, Texas. Their products include IIIA-rated body armor, rifle-rated plates, ballistic face masks, plate-compatible t-shirts, and their rifle-rated Mobile/Vehicle Ballistic Shield, which can either be set up in a vehicle or carried via the straps for on-foot use.

Check out the video below of Veterans MFG with the Katy PD testing out their Vehicle Ballistic Shield.

vetsmfg.com

Medals of America – DD 214 Woobie

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Medals of America has combined a Veteran’s two most prized possessions

We’ve seen the DD 214 blanket but now Medals of America is offering a White Poncho Liner printed with DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. It has magical properties, protecting its owner from both the cold as well as the day-to-day BS that is the military’s bureaucracy.  

Kelly & Michael Rodriguez, A Knife Making Family

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Not only do Michael and Kelly Rodriguez currently have knife designs with CRKT but they are both Soldiers. Michael is a medically retired SF NCO and his wife Kelly is still serving as a Senior NCO at the 44th Med Bde. Incidentally, they’re also both great Americans and have great sons. One of them is also serving in the Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd. I’m very proud to call them friends and I’m also very proud of the work they are doing in the knife industry. Like I said earlier, both of them have designs under manufacture with CRKT as part of the Forged By War Program. Mutual friend Ryan M Johnson of RMJ Tactical taught Michael how to forge knives and worked with Team Rodriguez to get their designs to CRKT where he has a few designs as well. Recently, they shared their designs and told friends about CRKT’s Forged By War program’s donation to charities. It’s always cool to hear the background story behind a product and they are sharing that with us now.

Kelly’s Story

I can’t believe the day has finally come! About two years ago, on the way home from Blade Show in Atlanta, Michael asked me a question that he had once been asked by Ryan M Johnson. “Is there a tool or knife you wish you would have had when you were down range?” In fact, there was, and so I started thinking and putting those thoughts on paper. The Combat Stripping Tool was born. I was blessed that CRKT included me and my design in their Forged By War program.

I’ve always hated traditional trauma shears. Don’t get me wrong, they work, and for some things, they are the best tool out there. But for me and for most as my 18D husband agrees, I normally used them to strip clothes off of patients. And for that I thought there had to be a better way. Once shears get dirty with mud, blood, dirt or oxidation, they become difficult to open and close, and I know I’ve gotten a few hand cramps from some mascal (mass casualty) situations that I’ve been in. So I wanted to design a tool that was easy to use, easy to keep sharp, and didn’t take up to much space.

The CST does just that. It has an exaggerated bull-nose and thumb guard to prevent injuries to yourself or your patient. It has a textured grip to prevent slipping, a built in oxygen wrench, and a centimeter scale to verify tube placements or wound size. It’s also easily cleaned.

There will be a great video coming out soon that demonstrates how well it works. I admit that I was pretty amazed at how fast it strips uniforms off! I’ll share it when it’s out.

I’ve chosen Operation One Voice to receive 10% off all profits from the CST. Please check them out! They are a great organization that has helped my family a great deal.

CST COMBAT STRIPPING TOOL

Features:
Utility Blade for Cutting Fabric During Emergency Situations
Oxygen Wrench
Built In Measuring Scale

Specs
Blade Length 2.125″ (53.98 mm)
Blade Edge Plain
Blade Steel Feather Safety Razor Blade; SS, HRC 56-63
Blade Finish Satin
Blade Thickness 0.005″ (0.13 mm)
Weight 1.5 oz
Handle Glass Reinforced Nylon
Style Fixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
Sheath Feature Replacement Blade Included In Woven Polyester MOLLE Gear Compatible Sheath
Sheath Material Weaved Polyester; Black
Overall Length 8.0″ (203.2 mm)

Michael’s Story

This is the first official look at my design and a project from over 3 years ago. I gave a sneak peak last year . Meet my “Tecpatl”. I was asked by a good friend of mine (Ryan M. Johnson) if there was ever a knife I wished I had during my deployments that didn’t exist. I knew there was, I had always carried a push knife that was lightweight, easily deployable, didn’t take a lot of space on my kit, many different mounting options and had one purpose, to create space between me and a target so I could get to my secondary, support arrived or situation changed.

My only issue was that I could not operate my weapon without dropping the push knife. There are several knives that are called “Fighting Knives” which are very effective, but without spending countless hours of training they just look cool, are extra weight and take up space on your “lightweight” kit. All Combat leaders know training time is precious and should be prioritized. Rex Applegate understood this and I urge you to read his manuals not just on his techniques but his philosophy. I discussed at length with another great friend of mine (Bill Harsey) who worked with and knew Rex very well about my design. There were very few to zero flying knife attacks with a blade flashing back and forth as portrayed in movies, Rex referred to them who practiced this as the “Flowing Robe Boys” yes that is an actual quote. Combat has evolved, there is a reason we don’t charge into battle carrying a sword, battle axe and crossbow under a hail of arrows today. I do believe however Combatives or hand to hand should always be part of your training regimen. Knife fighting is an art, just like gun fighting, both are a beautiful art that require a lot of training. If you can afford the knife fighting training great, but if you find yourself in a situation where you need to wield a knife in combat I pray your well prepared. If you’ve ever been there, you know what I’m talking about, you rely on your training and instinct.

I wanted a knife that monopolized more than instinct, but your anatomy and physiology. Everyone can throw a punch (some better than others), its part of the fight instinct we are born with, not to mention the greatest transference of force is generated with a punch in line with a blade in a small space. A straight punch or downward slash with your wrist locked in its anatomical position uses the largest muscle groups in our upper body and if your trained in combatives or fighting your much more effective because you are trained on how to use your whole body in those movements. Your reach is increased because you are not forced to focus the cutting edge of a hand held conventional knife and guess where it will reach its intended target. Just picture it in your mind. This knife is an extension of your fist, your own body. The knife edge and point are always pointed forward towards the target (sound familiar?), mag changes with weapon and blade in hand present no danger of self inflicted wounds unlike other knives. The handle rests solidly in your palm giving the knife a stable foundation during use, but not too bulky which drastically changes the feel of gun in hand. The profile of the blade was designed utilizing several historic combat proven bayonets and the subsequent body movements necessary for their employment.

After I sketched it, Ryan Johnson noticed if you turned the blade upside down it resembled a skull, the resemblance is a complete after thought which I think is pretty cool. All I had to do was add a nose. So utilizing my culture I sketched up a version using Mexican Sugar Skull Art, with a mixture of warrior culture symbols. Which is what our Warriors are today, the evolution of Warrior Cultures from around the world and times past.

10% of total profits will be donated to the Special Operations Care Fund and the George W. Bush Institute, visit their websites and see how else you can contribute.

I want the thank Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) for taking this “Forged by War” project on and working on bringing Civilians and Military together. We are all American Citizens… De Oppresso Liber

TECPATL

Features:
Black Powder Coat with Sugar Skull Laser Marking
Multiple Hand Deployment Options
Kydex® Sheath with Spring Loaded MOLLE Compatible Gear Clip

Specs:
SPECIFICATIONS
Blade Length 3.375″ (85.73 mm)
Blade Edge Plain
Blade Steel SK5 Carbon Steel, HRC 53-55
Blade Finish Black Powder Coat
Blade Thickness 0.203″ (5.16 mm)
Weight 5.6 oz
Handle Stainless Steel
Style Fixed Blade Knife w/Sheath
Sheath Material Kydex; Black
Overall Length 5.813″ (147.65 mm)

Congressional Budget Office Suggests Elimination of Concurrent Receipt for Disabled Military Retirees

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

In a report entitled ‘Eliminate Concurrent Receipt of Retirement Pay and Disability Compensation for Disabled Veterans’, the Congressional Budget Office offers up Concurrent Receipt as an option to reduce the federal budget out to 2026. Granted, they are just doing their jobs, but when things like this make it on to lists, they start to take on a life of their own. Since the CBO estimates the Federal Budget could save $139 Billion over the next 10 years, someone is going to take a serious look at this.

For those of you unfamiliar with Concurrent Receipt, it is a payment system which compensates military retirees for their service connected disabilities. Until 2003, military retirees were not provided the same level of compensation as nonretired disabled Veterans were receiving. Rather than getting their full retirement annuity and their disability compensation, they had to choose between receiving their full retirement annuity from DoD or receiving their disability benefit from VA and forgoing an equal amount of their DoD retirement annuity; that reduction in the retirement annuity is typically referred to as the VA Offset. Because the retirement annuity is generally taxable and disability compensation is not, most retirees chose the second alternative.

 The problem is that the two pays are for different purposes. Military retirement is just that; to pay for loyal service lasting 20 or more years, while disability compensation is meant to renumerate for pain, suffering and loss of physical function during military service. To combine the two, takes the physical well being of career service members for granted, by not fully compensating them for their service connected disabilities.

Fortunately, the 2003 NDAA set a timetable for correcting the VA Offset and now retirees recieve full VA disability benefits in addition to their retirement pay. This CBO proposal shows that a bean counter wants to once again strip retirees of their fair VA disability compensation. Read the full proposal at www.cbo.gov/budget-options/2016/52177 and keep an eye and ear out for any attempts to adopt this strategy as law.