Posts tagged with "Veteran"

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.

Flash Mob Disrupts UN 20,000 Rally For World Law to Save Humanity

A Broadway actor leapt over a barricade to the front of the United Nations Assembly and interrupted the proceedings with a demand for peace and world law to protect human rights for all.

“And if you won’t do it, step aside and a Peoples World Assembly will arise from our own ranks to do it,” shouted actor Garry Davis, a war veteran and former bomber pilot.

UN security forces grabbed Davis, but as they tussled with him, war-hero Robert Sarrazac leapt up on the opposite balcony and shouted in French: “In the name of the people of the world not represented here, I interrupt!”

Other protesters scattered among the audience leapt up to continue the speech: “The nations you represent divide us and lead us to the abyss of total war.”

Delegates were shocked–until it became clear this was a coordinated action. Then many applauded and joined in.

On December 9, outside the UN, 20,000 supporters rallied to demand that world law be passed to protect human rights for all.

The December 9th rally was a historic first, in that it occurred seventy years ago today, and was part of the massive people-power movement which helped trigger the unanimous passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) the very next day: December 10th, 1948.

In a clip released to the press at https://vimeo.com/297521680 one of the protesters, Pierre Bergé, said the interruption of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris was planned and executed by “very famous writers” including Albert Camus.

Bergé called the disruption “a political comedy” and said it was designed to give people hope for a better way to run our world. “We have to dream, because the only way to catch the reality is to dream.”

The hidden history of how one man’s bold action helped spark a massive movement on the eve of this great leap forward for humanity is told in a forthcoming film “The World is My Country.”

Here is an excerpt:

Because this 70th anniversary event is so relevant to the hot-button issues in today’s world, the filmmakers are making a special password-protected preview version available online–for one week only. To sign up for this advance preview click on this link and select “Free Preview.”

Los Angeles area media and others are invited to meet the director at a preview screening of the film December 8th at 6:30 PM at 3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City 90230.

For more information about Garry and the passage of the UDHR see the article in the German magazine Spiegel.

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

Where Angels Meet

First Trailer Now Available for VR “Movie” that Allows Viewers to See Life as an Angel

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an angel? Where Angels Meet, a new cinematic VR experience, launching September 1 exclusively for Oculus Rift, follows the life of a young African-American man named Marcus from the perspective of his guardian angel. The VR experience allows viewers to don their wings and visit heavenly landscapes, as well as transcend time to witness key moments in Marcus’ life.

Where Angels Meet was created by Angeles Vista Creative Ventures (AVCV), one of the winners of 2017 Oculus Launchpad program. AVCV also announced today that it has released the first trailer for the experience at whereangelsmeet.com/trailer/

Where Angels Meet is a unique, narrative VR experience which touches on themes of the afterlife, spirituality, faith, racism and the common challenges of life. The story follows important milestones and events in Marcus’ life. Having grown up with the understanding that his mother died in childbirth, Marcus finds solace in his imagination and strength in his beliefs, as he transports himself to the marvelous “Garden of Light” where he can meditate and find comfort from life’s worries.

“Although Where Angels Meet is a fictional story, the aim is to provide insight into the life of a young African-American man, from a unique perspective,” said Micah Jackson, CEO of AVCV and creator of Where Angels Meet. “Marcus’ story parallels many of the issues and challenges that people of color face in the modern age and virtual reality is a powerful medium to convey this message.”

The “Garden of Light” is a wondrous, lush and beautiful place and serves as the central hub of the experience, as throughout the story different sections of the Garden will be visited. The “Garden of Light” is one of the most beautiful environments to ever be created in virtual reality. It will truly leave a lasting impression on viewers and can only be seen using the Oculus Rift.

About Angeles Vista Creative Ventures:

AVCV, LLC was founded by industry veteran Micah Jackson to create compelling games, VR content and to pursue creative ideas. After working for several, large, multi-national corporations in a creative role, AVCV was formed as an alternative to mass audience entertainment. The goal is to produce games and content that originate from a place of wonder, and ultimately create a profound emotional connection. Entertainment that sparks a smile, stirs imagination and occasionally causes some frustration…but in a good way! More information is available at: www.AVCV.biz

New True Crime Series ATL Homicide

SILVER SPRING, MD- May 29, 2018 – The compelling new true crime series from TV One,premieres Monday, July 9 at 10 p.m. ET/9C, dropping viewers smack dab in the middle of real-life murder investigations.

Veteran homicide detectives David Quinn and Vince Velazquez of Atlanta PD have stories-and they’re sharing some of the grittiest of them all. As part of the network’s“True Crime Mondays,” ATL Homicide dives into these stories with detectives Quinn and Velazquez as they recount their personal experiences solving these cases, alongside astonishing dramatic re-creations that transport viewers into each case.

Thirty-year Atlanta PD veterans, Quinn and Velazquez have spent fifteen of those years working side by side in the homicide division. Tackling hundreds of cold cases together from everyday ‘who-done-its’ to high-profile murder mysteries and more, the two have a visible, visceral chemistry out in the field – the streets of “Hotlanta” – and have put killer after killer behind bars. ATL Homicide follows the detectives as they search for the truth in an investigation, seeking to deliver justice on behalf of the victims of these often gruesome crimes: “This is not just 9-to-5,” Quinn said. “This thing is three o’clock in the morning…forever!”

“Through each compelling case, audiences will feel like what they are watching unfold is happening in real time,” says Tia A. Smith, Sr. Director of Original Programming & Production. “The blurred line between what’s real versus a re-creation is what really sets this series apart and flips the true crime genre on its head.”

The series places viewers in the front seat of the action, with Quinn and Velazquez guiding each turn as if the investigation is happening in the moment. At the heart of ATL Homicide‘s wild, twisting, complex rides, however, there is one clear destination: the truth. “It’s all about the truth,” Quinn says.

Some of the cases the detectives tackle this season are:

The skull of an 11-year-old was found in a field. When Quinn and Velazquez talk with the victim’s grandmother, they learn that the victim’s older brother was heavily involved with street gangs. The search for his killer now leads the detectives into the dangerous world of Atlanta gang violence.

Four days after her husband reported her missing, a woman is found dead in the woods. The victim’s belongings were scattered all around her. A talk with the victim’s husband reveals that the two had a strained and open marriage. Detectives Quinn and Velazquez now have a myriad of potential suspects to probe in order find her killer.

When an U.S. Air Force veteran is found beaten and stabbed to death in his apartment, the crime scene looks like a random robbery gone wrong. The case goes cold and no one expects it to be solved. That is, until the case goes to Quinn and Velazquez. Digging deeper into the victim’s past, the detectives discover that this man’s murder was anything but random.

Things were going great for a 21-year-old former cheerleader, but life came to a screeching halt when her boyfriend came home to find the woman strangled to death just a few feet away from her baby. The boyfriend is now the only suspect, but he swears he didn’t do it. Quinn and Velazquez set out to find the truth and uncover someone from Sparkle’s past who may have wanted the young victim dead.

Found nude and barely clinging to life, a 38-year-old woman died in the ambulance before she could identify her attacker. Detectives Quinn and Velazquez struggle to find the truth, until they try to talk to one man who refuses to invite them into his home and they notice something out of the ordinary in his apartment.

A man is shot and killed while in the process of moving into a new apartment with his wife. Quinn and Velazquez survey the area and find a trail of blood leading away from the murder scene. Quinn figures someone else was hurt and fled. An anonymous tip leads the detectives to a suspect, but when a witness comes forward, the detectives learn that their suspect was not acting alone.

A 40 year-old immigrant was living the American dream, running a successful business, until suddenly, he was violently murdered. The year-long investigation forces Velazquezand Quinn to not only figure out how the victim got himself mixed up with such criminals, but to also take on a notorious band of lawbreakers who will not hesitate to use deadly force on their targets.

ATL Homicideis produced for TV One by Wide Net Productions and Jupiter Entertainment. Executive Producers for Wide Net Productions are Rob Kerr and Sedg Tourison, for Jupiter Entertainment Matt Sprouse and Allison Wallach serve as Executive Producers; Rudolf Fischmann is Supervising Producer. For TV One, Tia A. Smith is the Executive in Charge and Sr. Director of Original Programming and Production, and Robyn Greene Arrington is Interim Head of Original Programming and Production.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook(@tvonetv) using the hash tags #ATLHOMICIDE and #REPRESENT.

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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